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Jay Mitchell
33 articles

Monogram F-86 Sabre

January 24, 2023 · in Aviation · · 33 · 1.2K

This kit was in a shrink wrapped box with a $2.99 price sticker on it. The box was dated 1976. The kit was in great condition, the old decals looked perfect. I also had a new set of Warbird Decal's common stencils & markings (48 025). I thought I was in for smooth sailing on this project.

The assembly part of the project was easy and straight forward. It is a pretty nice kit from the 1970s. Not a lot of parts, assembles easy with just a little care and basic modeling skills.

The decals are where things started going awry . Although the original kit decals looked great, the first one in the water broke apart . I coated the rest of the decal sheet with liquid decal film, but they still didn't behave well enough to use. I pressed on with the new Warbird Decals stencils.

The first yellow band decal also broke apart. I was able to piece the 5 parts together and they looked passable . I coated the other yellow band decals with liquid decal film. They went on ok, but after they were dry I noticed they had developed a couple small splits. The rest of the stencils went on ok without any problems. I used micro sol & set on them and they seemed to snuggle down nicely over the surface details.

I've got a Hasegawa 1/48 F-86 kit , one of its decal choices was a bird , I used those on this old kit. They are for 8th FBW's commander's aircraft , Miss Tena.

The 8th had flown F-80s during most of the war , but changed to F-86s in February 1953, a few months before the end of the war.

Although it's not the latest or greatest kit , it still turns out looking a lot like an F-86 Sabre.

I really like the simplicity of these older kits and their ease of construction. Just perfect for a casual builder like myself.

A family photo... Sabre & Super Sabre.
this is my Monogram F-100 I built about 43 years ago while I was still in high school.

I'm looking forward to building more of the 50s jets I have in my collection of kits.

Reader reactions:
14  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

33 responses

  1. One of my favorites, Jay (@ssgt). You have done a really nice job on this one, especially with a decal rescue involved! I still have 4 or 5 of these in my stash that will eventually all get built. 50s jets are the best.

  2. Nice work Jay @ssgt, the tri color stripes looks great on the Sabre. Also nice job on the different aluminum shades used. Your Sabre jet is beaut!

  3. Good save on the transfers, Jay, definitely from the best era of jets, maybe a possible group build in the future?

  4. Fantastic job, Jay! What better than building an original Monogram, let alone in such splendid manner!
    Glad you sorted things out with the old decals, I always get nervous with my builds that feature old decals upon entering this stage. The liquid decal film seems to have helped.
    Congratulations on your build!

  5. A great looking Sabre, Jay @ssgt
    Even though you had a struggle with the decals, they do look great in the end.
    Your F100 did survive those years nicely, a great duo on that picture.

  6. Way to bring the classic Monogram F-86 back to life, Jay. And top-notch job dealing with the decals issue. I built that Monogram model back in my teen years, and recently built the Hasegawa F-86. Beautiful aircraft to have in the collection, for sure. Appreciate the photos too, thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you, Spiros @fiveten !

    I like these older kits, but the original old decals that come with them can cause problems.

  8. Nice work, Jay. That kit brings back memories.

  9. Great build Jay! And some nice photos included in the post. The Sabre is one jet my dad always regretted not being able to fly.

    • Thank you, Greg @gkittinger! This was part of that collection of Claude Goode’s kits.

      Your dad got to fly some other great aircraft! I’ve always heard good things about the F-86 Sabre .

      I think it and the Hawker Hunter are my favorites of the early jets.

  10. decal difficulties aside you produced a excellent result. Great job on building a classic, Monogram posts are always among my favorite

  11. Thank you , David @dbutler !

  12. Great looking Monogram Sabre, Jay @ssgt! 👍 The old gal still builds into a pretty nice model; I noticed you handled the intake opening much like I did when I built this one. 😃 I couldn't think of a better way either!

    • Hi Gary @garybrantley.

      That F-86 was a tail sitter. I took a lead fishing weight and flattened it with a hammer . I trimmed it up to fit in the intake, glued it in and made that intake cover out of some heavy paper to cover the lead weight. I used a red crayon to color the intake cover red. I also put some flattened lead between the seat and side consoles in the cockpit. I still need to make cover for the tail pipe.

      • I imagine I epoxied a spent bullet into the nose somewhere, it's been 25+ years ago and I just don't recall. I made the intake cover out of Evergreen sheet, with wire insulation around the edge, and a couple wire "handles". It may not be close to correct, but it closed up that yawning intake!

        It's a bit hard to see, but here's the best shot of it I have:

  13. Most excellent Sabre, Jay! The build of this oldie has been expertly managed. It's great to see these kits being built, and lends credit to those who crafted them so many years ago. The scheme is great as well, and as a matter of fact I have a new print sheet (brand escapes me) that has those markings, which was my top pick for the Hasegawa F-86 I have yet to start. I'm glad they worked out for you in the end!

  14. Great to see these old kits brought to life. You did a great job, and it goes to show just how good those kits really were, when they build up nicely 50 yrs later. Love the markings you chose too.

  15. Great build Jay, good atmospheric pictures with text 😊 50's jets full of charisma.
    Nice one 👍

  16. Thanks Andrew @pb_legend

    There was a lot of interesting paint schemes used by the USAF in the 1950s... much nicer then today’s multi-gray aircraft.

  17. This is another WINNER from the Mitchell stable of Great Planes. Regardless of all the decal issues you persevered and delivered a great looking model of this iconic fighter. Your NMF looks realistic and the model look even more impressive against that beautiful background. Well done my friend.

    • Thank you, Morne’ @mornem ! I appreciate your compliments ! I’m happy with how it looks, the Miss Tena , 8th FBW markings probably looks nicer then the original markings of the kit decals. “All things work together for good..., “( Romans 8:28) I think the sky back ground makes the models look better.

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