1967 Thunderbirds F-100D Super Sabre – Italeri 1/72
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Thunderbirds F-100D Super Sabre
THE F-100D ERA
on May 25, 1953, the Air Force’s official air demonstration team, designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, was activated at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The unit adopted the name “Thunderbirds,” influenced in part by the strong Native American culture and folklore from the southwestern United States where Luke Air Force Base is located.
The team flew and maintained the F-84G Thunderjet. The straight-wing configuration of the F-84G was considered well suited for aerobatic and demonstration maneuvers, though the aircraft could not exceed the speed of sound.
Always trying to display the most advanced fighters of the age, the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak became the team’s new aircraft in 1955.
After one season in the F-84F Thunderstreak, the Thunderbirds traded aircraft again and became the world’s first supersonic aerial demonstration team as it transitioned to the F-100C Super Sabre in 1956. That same year, to simplify logistics and maintenance for the aircraft, the Thunderbirds moved to Nellis AFB, Nev.
Nearly forgotten, the F-105B Thunderchief performed only six shows between April 26 and May 9, 1964. Following an unfortunate accident in the F-105, the team transitioned back to the Super Sabre following the incident and the F-100 remained with the team for nearly 13 years.
The Thunderbirds started the 1969 training season still in the F-100Ds, but in the spring of 1969, received the first of the new McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs and began the team’s conversion.
The plane I’ve built is the (‘D’ version) ‘SIX’, in the 1967 season.
As I’ve got the kit already built (oob) from a friend, I just had to paint it.
Being a fan of this plane since kid when I read “Michel Vaillant – Concerto pour Pilotes” book by Jean Graton, and as I planned to build all the Thunderbirds planes, the version was chosen.
Note: Among other small differences, like the probes, C version planes had serial number on the tail and a less complex scheme while D version got the team number (in place of the serial number) and a stylized bird on the underside.
There was only a small detail worth mention: there are no decals for the F-100 Thunderbird in 1/72… “Well, I guess I’ll have to do some masking” 😉 And so it was. Apart from the national and squadron insignias, US lettering and flags (home printed), all was painted.
Following an extensive mask and painting job, here are some pictures of the journey and the final result.
As someone would say “painted, not decaled”
19 additional images. Click to enlarge.