1/48 Revell F-84F

Gallery Article by Mark L. Rossmann on June 19 2012



Originally designated YF-96A and first flying on June 2, 1950, the Thunderstreak was a company-sponsored swept-wing development of the F-84C Thunder jet. Official interest, lukewarm at first, hardened soon after the outbreak of the Korean War, and the type was ordered into production with a designation in the F-84 series. Although tooling commonality with the Thunderjet was supposed to be 55 percent, in reality only 15 percent of tools could be reused. Issues with production started immediately, the F-84F utilized press-forged wing spars and ribs. At the time, only three presses in the United States could manufacture these, and priority was given to the Boeing B-47 Stratojet bomber over the F-84. The YJ65-W-1 engine was considered obsolete and the improved J65-W-3 did not become available until 1954.


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When the first production F-84F finally flew on 22 November 1952, it differed from the service test aircraft. It had a different canopy which opened up and back instead of sliding to the rear, as well as airbrakes on the sides of the fuselage instead of the bottom of the aircraft. The aircraft was considered not ready for operational deployment due to control and stability problems. The first 275 aircraft, equipped with a conventional stabilizer-elevator tail plane, suffered from accelerated stall pitch-up and poor turning ability at combat speeds. Beginning with Block 25, the problem was ameliorated by introduction of a hydraulically-powered one-piece stabilizer. A number of aircraft were also retrofitted with spoilers for improved high-speed control. As a result, the F-84F was not declared operational until 12 May 1954 

Ongoing engine failures resulted in the entire fleet being grounded in early 1955. Also, the J65 engine continued to suffer from flameouts when flying through heavy rain or snow. As the result of the problems, the active duty phase out began almost as soon as the F-84F entered service in 1954, and was completed by 1958. Increased tensions in Germany associated with construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 resulted in reactivation of the F-84F fleet. In 1962, the fleet was grounded due to corrosion of control rods. A total of 1,800 man hours was expended to bring each aircraft to full operational capacity. The aircraft were retired from active service in 1964. Stress corrosion forced retirement of ANG F-84Fs in 1971. Many counties flew the F-84F, West Germany, Belgium, Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, and Taiwan.

This is the Revell F-84F that builds up into a good representation of the aircraft. Many articles exist on the merits of this model and other manufactures I’ll leave that to you to decide if this kit is up to standards. Aircraft was painted with Model Masters Aluminum Metalizer, and “Green” spray paints. Coating was with the Metalizer Sealer (non buffing) I wanted to build a French F-84F and found this Berna Decals BD 48-27 on the FlightDecs Website, out of Thunder Bay Canada. The price was around $17, but worth the cost to get French markings, thanks FlightDecs. Beginning in 1955, the French Air Force flew F-84Fs for over 10 years. They equipped the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 11th Escadres. The aircraft depicted is from Unit: EC 3/1 "Argonne", Armee de l'Air Serial: 1-PB (52-8844), St. Dizier, 1957. I have been unable to find more information for French F-84F’s that did not serve in the “Suez” Crisis, so apologize for lack of content.

References: Wikipedia, Berna Decals, Revell Instruction Sheet. 

Thanks to Steve for maintaining this fine site to provide articles. 

Mark L. Rossmann


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