1/32 Hasegawa F-104 C Starfighter

Gallery Article by Peter Doll on Aug 17 2011


F-104 C Starfighter 479 Tactical Fighter Wing

For me as a great fan of bare metal cold war jets, it was a must to build sometime a large scale model of Lockheed's Starfighter F-104 C 56-891, FG-891 of the 479 TFW. USAF, based at George Air Force Base, California.
56-891 was the Tactical Air Command's first "Charlie" model and was delivered to Nellis Air Force Base ,Nevada on 19 October 1958 and became the personal aircraft of Col. George Laven Jr., CO of the 479 TFW at this time.
Laven's bird was painted in one of the most colorful finishes ever seen on a Starfighter for a gunnery meet in 1958 and Tactical Air Command was not impressed with this flamboyant paint and Col. Laven was rather pointedly informed to remove it. That's the reason why this color scheme was only shown for a short while.
Hasegawa's kit of a "Charlie" in 1:32 scale is an early F-104 G with additional parts of the smaller tail, that's all.  They didn't care that the C-model had symmetric tail fins of the external tanks and different wheels. Finally the early C's didn't have an arresting hook. All these parts have to be scratched to build a correct early "Charlie".
A certain batch of Hasegawa's F-104 C- kits had that nice decal sheet with the special markings to build Col. Laven's bird  while later kits had only decals with the markings for a "C" in in regular wing colors, which are flamboyant as well.
As usual I've again plated my model with kitchen aluminium foil. All panels and rivets were removed and rescribed later on the foil. Parts that needed color had to be painted prior to plating, because it's impossible to tape the foil, which comes off when removing the tape later.

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The tail section of the model is plated with parts of aluminium foil which I've cooked in hot water together with egg shells to create a burned metal character of this section. The longer the foil remains in the hot water, the deeper the corrosion

To paint my model I've used Tamiya colors; upper surfaces of the wings are gloss white, while the undersides are anti-corrosion gray (FS 16473).

This model is really an eyecatcher when displayed on model exhibitions and I'm proud to tell you that my "C" is already an award winner in an online model-competition held at Flugzeugforum.de.   Why not take a look there.

Thanks for reading my article and watching my pictures.

Peter Doll

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Photos and text by Peter Doll