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Gary Brantley
43 articles

Monogram Convair F-102A Delta Dagger

November 13, 2021 · in Aviation · · 23 Comments

I took this model out to the Cameron Airport yesterday. I started it around May 1st, working on it in fits and starts, I finally got her across the finish line. It is the 1990 release of the Convair F-102A from and it marks number four of of my completed fighters, alongside the Monogram F-100D and RF-101B and the Testors F-104A. I still have a Monogram F-105 and F-106 in the stash but honestly, I don't think I'll be able to crowd them all together on one shelf. Those birds take up a lot of real estate! ?

I based this one on a photo I found in a Century Series book. I was drawn to its rather unusual "silver dope" finish and found a set of Pro-Modeler decals for an Idaho Air Guard plane almost just like the one in that single photo, circa 1967. One of the drawbacks to that scheme was matching the lime-green color of the Idaho marking for the wing fences. That challenge turned out to be easier than expected and I got pretty close. Many photos of Delta Daggers show their brake doors painted in a different color. Since I had custom mixed enough green, I exercised a bit of artistic license and painted this one's brake doors in that same green. "Authentic" or not, I like how it looks.

It is almost all OOB except for Eduard seatbelts, and a bit of seat plumbing I added, and an added antennae just aft of the canopy too. The drop tanks in the photo were ADC gray with polished tips and ends but I liked how the ModelMaster Chrome Silver looked and left one in all-over silver; we'll just say it's a replacement tank. ? The aircraft is painted with Humbrol Metal Cote matte aluminum and finish coated with a semi-gloss clear. I had a few little boo-boos in the topside silver and after it was clear-coated, I tried to touch them up. Bad idea. They looked terrible; but I decided to mask off the areas and square them up. Then, I cut-out card-stock masks to clear-coat those squares. It looks much better and perhaps represents "touched up" spots. The insignia decals are from the 1990 kit, while the Idaho specific decals are from the 1996 Pro-Modeler sheet. I over-coated them all with MicroMark decal film and used really hot water. They all went on without drama.

The kit itself is challenging in several areas. I did more filling and sanding on this model than I've done in years. It was also a bit awkward to move around; I had two different "jigs", one for topside work and another for the bottom. I added a fair amount of ballast around the cockpit area to avoid any tail-sitting. In my opinion, the hardest part of the assembly was the multi-part main landing gear. I had fretted about those brake doors but that stage went together really well. All said, I like how she looks and I'm glad I tackled the project. But, I believe I will wait a while before starting another Monogram Century fighter!

Thanks for dropping by and taking a look! Have a great weekend!

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Very nice work, Gary. Photos "environment" really take on the effect of realism. All good.

  2. She is a real gem, Gary @garybrantley
    Together with the photo shoot background, it looks very realistic.
    Well done.

  3. All the work was worth it, resulting in a great looking lawn dart. Love the B/W shots too.

  4. Great build and shots taken outside. It all looks amazing!

  5. A wonderful Delta Dagger, Gary!
    The Monogram F-102, despite its age is a good kit; built by your usual excellent standards, the result is no less than truly imposing!
    Add to the above the great pics, what more to ask for?

  6. Excellent build! A sharp looking Dagger.

  7. Wow, @garybrantley, that looks great !, nice work there !

  8. Gary, if you can cut your teeth on Century Series Monogram kit you certainly will have a bigger tool box of knowledge and can tackle a broader range of kits after having made. Monogram kits play the part of Century Series too and you don't have to spend an arm a leg to build them. Perhaps, more time on elbow grease, modeling skill and patience. The end results looks looks great. I am sure there is more pride in saying "I made this" than "I assembled this". A little more craftsmanship with the hands and the use of the brain, than just gluing.

    Two thumbs up.

  9. Great result, Mr. Brantley. All that filling and rescribing looks very good.

  10. Nice work, Gary. I like the silver lacquer on the 102.

  11. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments! Those are so encouraging and most appreciated. She turned out okay but the airport scenery really does make her look better. ? I was hoping she would photograph well out at the airport, but for some reason, I could never seem to get comfortable with the camera, position of the model, etc. Just never felt "in the groove"; I was using our Nikon D3300 DLSR instead of the Canon SX160 point n' shoot I usually use. I'm not as familiar with the Nikon and maybe that's it. But, you know the "magic" of digital photography; take 80 pics and get a handful of good ones! ? ?

    Thanks again for the compliments and support my friends!

  12. Gary, @garybrantley
    This is a model that could easily pass for the real thing. In fact, I had to take a closer look at several of the pictures just to make sure that I was looking at the model and not a photo of the real plane. It's that good ! Having an airport for the background is like icing on the cake.

    These Century Series jets are something that I have not built any of in many, MANY years. I have been toying with the idea of starting a new group build specifically for these aircraft. Once we have some of our current groups wind down, I might just do that... and by then you might feel like building another jet from this era.

    I clicked the "like" box too.

  13. Looks great, Gary (@garybrantley). I built this kit a couple of years ago and had forgotten how big it was in 1/48. I have toyed with the idea to build a 1/48 kit of each of the century series, but I haven't followed through yet.

  14. @lgardner and @gblair, thanks gentlemen! I sure appreciate your comments! I like the Century Series jets a lot and hope to eventually build my other two CS kits. The F-105 and the 106 are both big aircraft...I may need another cabinet! ? ?

  15. It looks great, Gary, beautiful finish, and the airport photographs really set it off.

  16. The Deuce is one of my favorite birds. Your rendition is excellent, bravo!
    Those Monogram kits were excellent for those times. It’s a pity that Revell never invest in new molds with recess panels.
    Anyway, congratulations again ?

  17. Thanks @chinesegeorge and @Stelaire! I sure appreciate your comments gentlemen! ?

  18. You certainly knocked that one out of the park and made it to home plate, Gary@garybrantley! She really could pass for the real thing in these photos. Glad you hung in there and finished it. Well done!

  19. Amazing work - it really looks fantastic and as everyone has commented already the photos do it incredible justice and add so much to it.

  20. @eb801 and @anthonyricco, thanks for your kind comments guys! I like taking plane pics out there at the airport; great natural light and an appropriate setting too. I have another model, finished last spring, that hasn't been photographed yet. It's my Tamiya Meteor F.1, done as Prototype Number One. I want to use the airport in neighboring Rockdale and have been waiting on the weather. I want a cloudy day that's not too dark. And not too cold or too hot and not raining either. ? It's about 25 miles away and I want everything right for the session. That said, I am getting antsy to get that done.

    Again, many thanks for all the wonderful, supportive and encouraging comments from my fellow model builders! What a great community! 🙂

  21. Excellent Dagger! All the elbow grease paid off handsomely. Well done.

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