A tribute to my Father-in-Law Republic F-84E Thunderjet, Korea 1952
My father-in-law, Jack Terhune of Springfield, Missouri, was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He joined in March of 1950, after turning down several scholarships to play college football. He always said he joined to see the world and never got out of Texas. During his service, he was a ground-crewman for the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Jack passed away at age 86, on New Year’s Eve 2018, sleeping peacefully in his own bed at home. What a way to go, eh? 😊
After a three year hiatus, I’ve finally something new to show here. I started this model build around the first of this year, and right away considered it something of a tribute to Jack. Several times I mentioned to my wife, Jackie, how wished her Dad was here to advise and consult. I believe he would’ve enjoyed that, and hopefully, been pleased with the final result.
Jack, this one’s for you! I hope you approve ol’ airman! 😀
The model is the Revell 1/48 F-84E. I bought it off a consignment table at Kings Hobby in Austin, Texas a few years back. The build was filled with snafus and problems, some caused by the clumsy builder, and some due to odd engineering choices in the kit’s design. I used a lot of the extensive kit decals, dated 2002, but they required a lot of work. First, I brushed a coat of Microscale decal film over those I intended to us. I kept a pan of water on an electric “hot-plate” on the work table, just under a simmer, and it took a long soak in that and then an even longer wait to get them off the paper. Even then, they were quite thick and required a good dose of Solvaset. Remarkably, only two split and even they could be salvaged.
My “go to” paint for NMF was always SnJ but my unopened bottle was old and proved unusable. As did my second choice, Floquil’s Bright Silver. In the end, I used Humbrol Meta Cote polished aluminum overall, with areas painted in several different combination of aluminum and various other colors. I painted the nose ring and the anti-glare panel as I didn’t trust the old decals for that. It was hair-raising (if I still had enough to raise, lol) getting the big decals on the vertical stab but I “endeavored to persevere” and pressed on.
I added a bit of detail to the cockpit and main gear. Painting the canopy was another adventure. Initially, I used an EZ Mask set but when removed, paint was pulled from almost every frame. Eventually I chose to do it similarly to the method used on the real bird. To replicate the fiberglass reinforcing strips glued to the real canopy, I painted clear decal film, then cut into thin strips of two different widths and applied over the canopy “frames”. It was nerve-wracking and tedious work spread out over several days to avoid lifting previously applied strips. Wow, was I glad to finish that step. 😉
I finished the model on June 5th and took her out to our municipal airport before sunrise yesterday for some airport pics in natural light. I really hope my modeling mojo is back; I’ve got several kits in line and another, started well before this one waiting on some home-made decals. I hope it can be finished this summer too.
So with all that said, here’s my tribute to Jack and also to the pilots and crews of the Korean War planes. You aren’t forgotten by me. Cheers!
Republic -84-E-25-RE, 51-0478
9th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 49th Bomber Wing
14 additional images. Click to enlarge.