Revell 1:48 F-84E
I finally got around to this kit, which has been on my to-do list for quite a long time. It's pretty much OOB, but I did use a resin seat from Quickboost. It's probably not quite as pleasant a build as the Tamiya F-84G, and there are some rather fiddly bits including the landing gear scissor links and the tiny landing lights, but overall I enjoyed it. It's the only game in town for a proper F-84E in this scale.
I wanted to do a Korean War bird, and I wasn't particularly taken with the kit decals, so I invested in a sheet from Experts Choice/Bare Metal Foil. One reason I went with that set was they correctly have the large USAF wing markings in Insignia Blue rather than black. More on that later.
I used various shades of Alclad metallic lacquers to finish the model, predominantly Duroluminum, which is far and away my favorite for overall surfaces. I used Dark Aluminum for various fuselage bay covers, and I misted on Burnt Metal Carbon for the darker areas under the cockpit and ahead of the exhaust. The exhaust itself was done with various mixes of Stainless Steel and Burnt Iron. I decided to mask and paint all the red stripes and trim except for the arrow markings on the tip tanks. I also masked and painted the olive drab antiglare strips with Model Master ANA 613 OD.
Then it was on to the decals. The Experts Choice decals worked okay, but they were prone to cracking and had to be handled with a lot of care. When I finally applied the USAF wing markings, I was disappointed because they were far too light. I therefore removed them from the top wing and generated computer artwork from which my friend Bill Michaels of NH cut masks with his Silhouette Cameo cutter. I applied the masks and used Model Master Insignia Blue to paint the markings. Much better!
The other big decal trouble I had was with the upper wing national insignia. Neither the Experts Choice nor any other decals in my stash would lie down properly on the curved NMF surface, to which I had not applied a clear gloss coat so as not to ruin the metallic effect. Having recently had great results from some Techmod F6F-3 decals, I purchased a sheet of their assorted national insignia decals, which worked perfectly. The blue of the Techmod decals was slightly different from that of the E.C. fuselage ones, so I ripped those off and replaced them with Techmod ones.
After the decals were done, I applied Mr. Color GX clear flat to dull the finish down. I would have liked to have replicated the highly oxidized surfaces of many Korean War Thunderjets, but again I was fearful of losing the metallic quality with too much added stuff. I think the result is a decent compromise; the model in person is less shiny than it appears in the photos.
The model depicts “Miss Jacque II” (port side) / “Kay-Allen” (starboard side), an F-84E-15-RE, serial no. 49-2360, 182nd FBS, 136th FBW, 5th AF, Taegu Air Base (K-2), Korea, January 1952. The unit's planes were drawn from the Texas ANG.