Airfix 1/72 Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star

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  • Last reply 2 months, 4 weeks ago
Viewing 1 - 15 of 32 posts
  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    I noticed there hasn’t been a Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star yet and this old kit has been staring me in the face or the last few months, ever since I found a decent set of replacement 1/72 decals at one of the Hobby Stores that sells ‘used’ kits.
    The kit is the OLD Airfix F-80C Kit # 02043-3 which appears to have been originally released back in 1973. The box art from my kit suggests a release date of 1975. I have no idea how long I’ve actually had this kit.
    Cross-referencing other F-80 kit instructions and other internet searches indicate the markings are for a F-80C with the 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group stationed in Korea in the Autumn of 1951.
    ‘Wiki’ info stated that :
    ‘during the retreat of U.N. forces from North Korea into the South in December 1950, the 25th flew more than 21 sorties each day that month to save the 2nd Infantry Division, which had been cut off by the enemy near Kunuri, from being overrun. Air cover was officially credited with preventing disastrous losses to the division.’
    So with this build I get to tackle some bad fitting components and try out a complete NM Finish.

    One thing I did not know about the F-80 was that initial design began at Bell as a single seat variation of the Bell P-59 Airacomet prior to design work being handed over to Lockheed. Another tidbit I did not realized was that the original XP-80 prototype was originally powered by an imported de Havilland H-1B Goblin engine flying for the first time in January 1944. Due to production issues, design modifications (resulting in a slightly larger aircraft with redesigned air intake ducting) were required to adapt the final General Electric J33 series engine.

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • John Healy said 3 months ago:

    Great choice! That’s still a decent little kit.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    What a choice, George @georgeswork!
    I love old kits; in good hands, like yours, they will be transformed into jewels.
    Waiting for your progress!

  • Louis Gardner said 3 months ago:

    George, @georgeswork
    This is a perfect choice !!! I am excited to see what you have planned for this little gem………… Thank you. For me doing research on the aircraft and men that flew them is just as much fun as the actual building part.

    The F-80 is a beautiful plane and I’m surprised we don’t see more of them built up. Our friend Morne Meyer @mornem
    has done a magnificent job with his build. He did a lot of scratch building and mods to his. Maybe you can take a look at his build for some tips or tricks for yours ?? His is the Hobby Boss version. Here’s a link to his plane. Hope this helps.

    Hobbyboss F-80 C Shooting Star “Saggin Dragon”

    I still have one of the unbuilt Monogram kits that I have owned since I was a teenager. Mine is the original release, and the decals are long gone. It will make it to the work bench later and end up as a part of our Korean War group.

    Thank you again for starting this build thread.

  • Allan J Withers said 3 months ago:

    Nice one George !!

  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    Thanks for your comments gents.
    To Louis – I’m afraid I won’t be doing things to detailed here, but the photos do give some ideas for some finishing details. I’m just hoping to treat this pup with the proper respect it deserves and get a good looking build.
    This kit has its issues and hopefully the decals don’t fall apart – but I do have the 3 amigos ready on the sidelines – MicroSet, MicroSol & MicroScale Liquid Decal Film!
    It was a decent Sunday and I got some work done to start the build.
    First thing was to try to dress up the cockpit a little, it was a tub design with an instrument panel and a pilot figure (which I will not be using).
    Paint the seat and floor Zinc Chromate and then the panel and sidewalls black. The decal sheet has a panel decal which I used and then painted on some details on the sides and added some seat belts using masking tape stripping. weights added to the nose section to ensure a proper stance.
    The inlet fit is terrible and the venting is made up of protruding nibs. I’ll sand those down and hopefully find some vent decals. Looking at the decals, the red side stripes go over the venting.
    I knew there will be putty.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    Next the wings were put together.
    The injection points had to be scraped down to get the wings to fit together properly.
    The Wing tanks holes were cleared and the wings glued together.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    What a lovely little kit and what good progress, George!
    Those cockpit enhancements look amazing and add to the overall quality of your build a lot!

  • Erik Gjørup said 3 months ago:

    George, this is a very nice plane – I remember building the T-33 in my youth, but always hovered around the shooting star. Perhaps inspired by your build one will show up on my bench 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this build George (@georgeswork)!

  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    Thanks Spiros @fiveten & Erik @airbum,
    Nothing too fancy with the cockpit, just enough to see something through the closed canopy.
    I see this GB idea really works – great ideas for future builds. I have too many kits to figure out which kit to build next and see others building choices gets me motivated and helps with the decision.

    Stayed up a bit late to get the wings onto the fuselage so I can do some putty work today.
    I am impressed with the amount of detail in the wheel wells, you usually don’t find much in other kits from this era.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Looking very nice, George and indeed the wheel well detail is spectacular!
    P.S. 1. One day I should also start using masking tape during filling, in order to protect the surrounding areas….
    2. I totally agree with you about this site’s modeling motivation.
    Looking forward to your progress!

  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    Yeah the raised panel lines are the concern. I wanna leave as many as possible.

  • George Schembri said 3 months ago:

    Got things sanded down and ready for the paint box.
    Applied a base black under coat followed by Tamiya X-11 Silver. Not 100% satisfied with the air intakes with the NM finish which SHOWS EVERYTHING!!
    Onward and forward.
    Will be putting on a coat of Pledge for decal application.
    Gonna wait a bit to apply the decals as the last time I used X-11 on a model I was too quick to apply decals and the decals grabbed the paint and left cracks – gottta make sure things are cured.
    Or was that because I used the X-11 as a base under the Grey/Green?

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    This is some great work on a model that your photos clearly show was “a bit of real work.” The final photos of the NMF paint clearly demonstrate you conquered the little monster.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    NMF looks great, George @georgeswork!
    Looking forward to your decals!

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