has been said about the recent Hasegawa 1/48 F-104 series, I believe I donít
have anything to add. The F-104 had been a mainstay of Turkish Air Force for
many years until 1994, you can find detailed information at www.tuaf.org.
time ago, I started a project to build one 1/48 example of each F-104 variant to
have seen service in the Turkish Air Force. You can see my F-104S and TF-104G
models here at the ARC archive.
After my TF-104 conversion, I wanted to take the project further by building a
detailed model of an ex-Norwegian F-104G; which was particularly attractive
because of their relative rarity in Turkish Air Force, and their unique gray
scheme. I wanted to detail this model as much as possible, and after reading all
the reviews I could find, I decided to start with the CMK interior and exterior
resin sets for the Hasegawa kit.
I received my CMK sets, I realized that these sets did not contain the
Martin-Baker GQ.5a ejection seats for ex-Norwegian F-104Gís. I was faced with
two alternatives: Aires and Cutting Edge. Expecting to build many more F-104
kits in the future, I decided to obtain both. While I was at it, why not order
the Aires cockpit set, landing gear wells and the nozzle set? I added all of
them to my shopping cart.
their usual punctuality, Hannants delivered all of them in 10 days to
(Thanks chaps!) When I examined the sets, I noticed that the detail level of the
CMK landing gear wells was slightly better, while the Aires cockpit was
definitely better in my opinion. As a result, I decided to use the GQ.5 ejection
seats, nozzle, cockpit panel and coaming from the Aires set, and the cockpit
tub, landing gear wells, engine, FOD guard, PE details, avionics and radar bay,
and the Vulcan gun parts from the CMK set.
the CMK set parts to the model turned out to be difficult. I had to glue the
cockpit tub temporarily with white glue, and then use CA to secure it into place
after gluing the fuselage halves together.
dealing with the resin parts, I proceeded to finish the assembly and prepared
the model for painting.
I painted the rear fuselage with various Testors Metallizer tones with the help
of references and photos. I mixed the grey color using Humbrol enamels and
painted the fuselage with my trusty Aztek 470 airbrush, and moved on to paint
decals are a mixture of DACO stencils and KediDecals (my own line of decals,
specializing primarily in Turkish Air Force). Only some small stencils were from
the kit decals.
all this work, I was not done yet. What I had on the shelf looked more like a
disassembled model than a complete airframe-all those panels, radar and
electronic bay details and other stuff had to be painted and weathered
separately. First I assembled the resin radome and painted it. I broke the
delicate rails of the radar system earlier, so I had to fabricate them from
Evergreen strip stock. After painting these details, I weathered them with a
diluted mix of Tamiya black to accentuate the details. The task of painting an
weathering the details was done only after I completed the gun assembly in
then painted the small fuselage details like the intakes and dielectric panels
throughout the airframe. I painted the landing gear with Testors non-buffing
aluminum, and made the landing gear lights using MV lenses. I also replaced 9
lights on the fuselage and tip tanks with appropriately sized MV lenses, painted
with Tamiya acrylic transparent colors where necessary.
proceeded to paint the coaming and the canopy, after dealing with the
installation of the ejection seat and assembly of the PE seat belts. This was a
lot of work, especially since I decided to mix-and-match parts from both CMK and
Aires sets. I built the canopy de-misting assembly from copper wire, installed
the FOD guards and made wing leading-edge protectors using styrene stock. I made
the Remove Before Flight tags on my printer.
approximately 100 hours of work, I am proud to share the latest entry in my
collection of Turkish F-104s, an ex-Norwegian F-104G, with ARC readers. It
definitely was not cheap, and fitting all the detail sets was a painstaking and
length process. In the end, I believe it was worth it.
F-104G won the 1st place in Istanbul Aviation Museum Plastic Modeling Clubís
annual contest on