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George R Blair Jr
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USAF F-86E Record-Setter: 1/48 Italeri F-86E

June 10, 2024 · in Aviation · · 28 · 216

This is the fourth of four F-86s that I have built for the " Sabre and FJ Fury Group". I chose the F-86E for this build, which actually comes from the old ESCI molds from 1979. The biggest problem with this kit is that it wasn't really sure whether it was a Sabre or a Fury. The fuselage was designed to be either a Fury or a Sabre, depending on which parts were included in the kit. This resulted in a lot of filling and sanding for parts that didn't fit very well. There are still places on the nose and canopy that look like a Fury to me, but nothing I can't live with. I had a set of EuroDecals for this specific plane, but I ended up replacing several of them. The blue in the national insignia was too light, so I replaced them with some very old decals from Microscale. The lettering on the nose had the wrong spacing, size, and font, so I replaced them with some I made using clear decal paper. I wanted to have a non-weathered airplane, but it came out much shinier than I planned. I may go back and tone down the shine a little.

This particular F-86E was one of two used to set a 100 kilometer closed circuit speed record of 635.69 mph in 1951. Interestingly, the planes were numbered 2 and 4. The planes were taken off the assembly line and sent to Edwards AFB for the record attempt. The Air Force wanted to show that these were "stock" aircraft and not specially modified planes, so right after setting the record, the planes were repainted and sent to Korea. The record-setting team received the Thompson Trophy in 1951 for their record-setting flight.

Thanks to everyone that followed the build in the F-86 Sabre and FJ Fury Group.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

28 responses

  1. Nice unusual scheme, and a great collection of Sabres!

  2. Thanks, Greg (@gkittinger). The F-86s have been fun, but I am ready to move on to something new.

  3. Comes alive with the red. Great job.

  4. Beautiful work, George @gblair . Looks really nice. I’ve never seen a model with this paint scheme . Very nice!

  5. Another wonderful Sabre result, George!
    And another great contribution to the successful Sabre GB!
    Loved following your thread.

  6. Excellent result, George! Another winner.

  7. Nice. You really have a great looking foursome of finished Sabres completed, George @gblair. I hope your eyes aren't suffering from all that shiny NMF glare on these guys. I notice in the photo you included of this speed Sabre, there are a few dings on the fuselage.

    • Thanks, Eric (@eb801). Now I need something in camo and/or weathered. I hadn't noticed it before, but there appear to be some bent panels in the photo. These planes were supposed to be right off the showroom floor.

  8. This turned out great George (@gblair). I really like the colors. A nice ending to this run of Sabres.

  9. Don't change the NMF. It looks great. Very nice work on a not so nice kit and a super result.

  10. Thanks, Tom (@tcinla). I was looking for something fast and easy for this last Sabre, so I used Tamiya Silver Leaf from a spray can. It was also a lot more durable than the high price metals.

  11. A wonderful collection of Sabres, George @gblair
    Each of them equally beautiful with their own unique scheme.
    You are definitely a Sabre expert by finishing this quartet.

  12. She turned out beautifully, George!
    Looking good on the shelf with the other Sabres.
    They form a very nice collection you can be proud of!

  13. Thanks, Alfred (@alfred). Thanks for following along and providing moral support.

  14. Cool looking Sabre!

  15. Excellent looking Sabre. I like unique schemes. Also learned something new.

  16. Beautifully done and very interesting coloring.

  17. Red nose looks impressive!

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