Zip da dee Zipper! Kinetic 1/48 F-104G Starfighter
Kinetic 1/48 F-104G Starfighter
This is the biggest letdown of the whole kit. But I’ll get to that. The decals are cartograph, so they are of perfect register, glossy, and colorful. There aren’t many, as the only options you have are for German Zippers. And all versions are attractive, with two three-tone camouflage and one Marine jet with the two-tone gray/silver scheme. The instruction sheet belies the excellence of the rest of the kit. Kinetic has been told directly, by myself and others, that their instruction sheets are subpar and in dire need of improvement. The printing is outdated, it’s monochrome, and thus the painting profiles are hard to read and follow. The paint callouts are also limited, as the only paint line referred to are MiG colors. Yes, there is conversion table at the front of the sheet, but who wants to constantly refer to that while building? Kinetic has been advised to look at other manufacturer’s instruction sheets for reference and inspiration. That consultation has still not produced an updated instruction sheet.
Nice, crisp, no flash. Detail is excellent, and the gates are clearly defined. . Although not quite to the quality of the top manufacturers.
Compared to the Hasegawa kit, it’s almost identical. And while some of the detail in that kit is called into question, that’s not the case here. Excellent shape.
Subject/Cool Factor: 8
While not a Mustang or Spitfire, the Century Series are still a very popular subject matter. Although the F-104 is arguable not the most coveted of the six aircraft. In any case, we’ve not had a completely new tool Zipper in along time, and this one is most certainly welcome.
Kinetic has been known to take the basic layout from other already existing kits. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? And such is the case here. It follows the Hasegawa layout and buuld sequence to an extent, and that’s not a bad thing.
Box score: 43
I ad absolutely no issues with the fit that I didn’t cause myself (I stupidly put the nose gear well in backwards). The intakes fit perfectly. The only filler used was on the fuselage underside. In one spot.
Detail is excellent. And the much maligned, overdone rivet detail of the Hasegawa isn’t present on this kit. Not that it’s completely devoid of any. But he rivets are added where most needed, such as around the tail/engine section.
Just a tick off for the confusing build sequence at times. The instruction sheet does leave out some thing like the AIM-9 assembly, and it’s exact position on the belly. I had to estimate that myself. Other than that, no issues with the build.
While not an exorbitant price, the letdown with the pubs in this kit really make it difficult to be a higher score.
Fun Factor: 9
Fun kit, just the aforementioned letdown.
Build score: 44
Add it all up and the D score is…89 out of 100
Just missed out the Grade A kit. Fix those pubs, Raymond!
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.