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F-84F Thunderstreak – Italeri/Kinetic 1/48

This kit was one of those rare kits that I bought on a whim, and successfully completed without ever "putting it up". It has been the focus of my efforts for the last 6 weeks or so, off and on. The kit itself is an Italeri boxing of the kit, which itself lends much of its shape and engineering to the old Monogram kit (compare the instructions on Scalemates, you'll see!). This boxing is only worse off from the Kinetic kit in that it does not offer the bearing balls for weight, though there is plenty of room to improvise the 20g needed. The plus side to the Italeri kit is that the provided decals are very nice and offer a wide number of NATO air force selections. The key difference between the Monogram kit and the Kinetic kit are that the Kinetic kit has deep (too deep I'd argue) panel lines (while the Monogram had raised), and that the plastic finish is rough, and in-fact some surfaces still show remnants of machining marks. The surface finish must be dealt with if you're planning NMF, so be aware.

To begin, I decided early that this build would include nothing that didn't come in the box. The only slight exception to that is that I used the US insignias that came on an Aeromaster ANG sheet, due to the Italeri decals having what looked to be too-thin red stripes. I discount this except on the basis that this sheet was in the box when I purchased it second hand. All other decals looked good. The Italeri decals (which had no printer name on the sheet, Cartograf maybe?) were not too thick, but still very durable. Most importantly, they reacted very well to Micro-sol.

The build was pretty straightforward, and fit was excellent all over. There was a bit of flash here and there, but the majority of parts it was very easy to discern what should stay and what should be cut away. The cockpit has fairly decent detail, but I would have liked to have had a Eduard Zoom IP to drop in, as it really would have made the interior pop more. Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for future builders of this kit), Edaurd released a Zoom set for this kit the same time that I was painting the exterior...! Go figure...

On the exterior, there are a few choices to be made. First, the top of the nose can be displayed open to show the gun bay. I chose to keep it closed due to the various decals that would be on the gun bay door and its adjacent surfaces. Next, the spoilers are made to be displayed open, however, They fit into the fuselage perfectly, if you wanted to display them that way. Next the kit comes with four pylons, and corresponding drop tanks. I chose to mount only the inner two, though I did not fill the holes for the outer two, to leave the option of potentially adding alternate ordinance later. Lastly, though not really a provided option, one must commit to either having the canopy open (the way the kit is designed) or cutting up pieces in order to display the canopy closed. As you can see, I chose to close it. Only minor modification was needed. If you chose to leave it open, there is a fair bit of interior detail that can be seen, such as the inside canopy framing.

On the topic of paint, I started by first sanding down all surfaces with a med/fine sanding sponge. Much of the details are starkly recessed, which means a that a generous sanding did not hurt them any. On top of that, I used MrFinishing 1500 (black), which I also lightly sanded smooth with a fine grit. After that, I laid down a base of Vallejo. I would love to tell you it's Chrome, but I don't really know, because I'm pretty sure my 32mL bottles were mis-labelled at the factory. The "Dull Aluminum" looks like Chrome, and the "Chrome" looks like Dull Aluminum, so I go with that.. Any who, on top of that, I used a bunch of different Aluminum tones, to try to produce similar variations that I could see in photos. in some places, I lightly oversprayed the cured base, then waited 5-10 minutes and dabbed the surface with Tamiya or Frog tape. This left splotchy color, but I tried not to over do it, as I did not want to weather this airframe much. The blue wingtips and nose incorporate decals, however they were NOT sized well enough to cover the whole tip (especially on the wings). For this reason, I cut these decals down to just a few millimeters from the yellow strip, and painted the rest of each wing tip, with enough blue on the decal to still blend it in. I think this turned out ok. Overall, the paint was sealed with X-22 for decals, and X-35 overall. I'm not sure why the Semi-gloss is more gloss, than not, but I'm still happy with it. The anti-glare panel was actually a decal, but in the end, I still oversprayed it with thinned OD and matte varnish. Panel lines accented only with Tamiya Dark Grey panel line wash, too help keep them from standing out too much.

Overall, this was a fun build. It has given me an interest in planes and Century jets like never before, but I can't necessary say there is another in the pipeline at the moment. Anyway, on to the pics, showing an F-84F from the 81st FBW, 91st FBS, stationed out of Bentwater AFB in 1958. I hope you enjoy!

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.


22 responses

  1. Definitely the best model from the Kinetic kit I have seen. I disliked the kit so much I binned it, so you are to be complimented on making a quality cloth purse out of this sow's ear kit.

  2. Andrew, @pb_legend

    I am very pleased to see your F-84 posted here in the headlines section. It looks great, and I have enjoyed corresponding with you about this build. I need to get my tribute Korean War F-84E underway again...the clock is ticking ...and it seems that I always have too many projects going on at the same time. I'm not complaining though. I know that when I started doing research on the f-84, I also started developing a fascination with the Century Series jets, much like you described.

    You have done a magnificent job with yours, and I especially like how the various panels are different colors, exactly like the real thing. Tempting a bare metal finish on the Italeri / Kinetic kit takes a brave soul, but with a lot of sheer determination, and some quality time with finer grits of sand paper, it is possible, (as you have shown us here). For me, I have never had much luck with wrapping decals around compound curves.

    You have done some excellent work here. It looks wonderful !

    I definitely pressed the "liked" button. One more question for you: What color did you use for the JATO bottles ? Thanks in advance.

    • Louis, many, many thanks! Im glad you enjoyed the final results. I know the feeling with the decals, and have shelved kits after failed attempts to decal (F9F immediately comes to mind). Always do what is most important to you, first.. period. Group build our not, you're tribute will be well recieved, and no less honorable.

      As far as the RATO bottles, I used the below color. I search for shots of these in real life and found surprisingly few, and all b&w.. for all I know they could have been purple, but this seemed a logical choice to me, as if the were yellow chromate. In all likelihood the were probably unfinished metal..

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  3. That's one nice Thunderstreak.

  4. That turned out really nice, Andrew, definitely worth the effort you put in, I pressed the liked button as well.

  5. Nice job on your build, the finish is spot on. I love how the aluminum came out and the solid looking decals colors. This is a great looking build!

  6. An awesome looking Thunderstreak, Andrew @pb_legend
    The various tones of the panels are very nicely done.
    I also like the way how you did the wingtip painting.

  7. This is an amazing result out of the seemingly challenging Kinetic / Italeri kit, Andrew! Thanks for the very informative article.

  8. Nice work, Andrew.

  9. Outstanding job Andrew, my compliments to you.

  10. Andrew,
    Your approach to build this kit proves that mind over matter works. The painting or the use of differing shades of chrome and silver when properly applied and mixed with some excellent use of decals gives the impression of strong work. I've always have sat on the fence about getting this kit and when folks write a article and don't gloss over the details or offer a unvarnished opinion about the kit it really helps. Your efforts on this build show that good things can happen with the right technics.

    Two thumbs up

    • Thank you Stephen, I'm glad that you found the article helpful. I am ashamed to admit that sometimes I just want to post pics with a brief summary and be done.. but two things usually convince me otherwise. First, as I build, I internalize mental notes that I feel would be helpful to highlight for others. I can't share them all, but [secondly] I know the kind of advice I often look for in other people's articles, and try to provide some of those anecdotes.

      Cheers and thanks for your response!

  11. Nicely done, looks great!

  12. Looks good Andrew, I've build the Monogram kit but your Kinetic looks better than mine with the different shades of NMF. Good job.

  13. Andrew, that is a magnificent Thunderstreak! Your NMF is just great and does justice to a classy and classic fighter from the '50s. I built the old Monogram kit some years ago, and posted it here back in '12. Nowhere near the level of your great build, but here's a look to compare:

  14. Fabulous effort, and incredible result. Love the scheme. A beautiful model all around.

  15. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    This build surely shines a honor light for the F-84.
    Just looking at it from some angles, it shouts historic.
    A challenging kit but yet you have managed to give this a look and stance of grace.
    Very good application of metal sheens, nice work Andrew.

  16. Excellent Andrew, really like this work, I love the painting and weathering - really like the dulled down aluminium.

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