1/48 Hasegawa F-104C

by Martin Kurz

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This is Hasegawa's F-104C in the markings of the 479th TFW flown by Col. George Laven Jr. The kit was built pretty much OOB, except for some scratchbuilt details in the cockpit (e.g. ejection seat details) and the landing gear area. The nose pitot tube was substituted by two hypodermic needles. Decals are from an - AFAIK now out of production - Albatros Modelworks sheet covering rare F-104 birds.

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The kit is a very good fit, only the intakes required a little filler to blend them to the rest of the fuselage. An annoying fact were multiple ejection marks on exterior surfaces like flaps and rudder. I filled them with Mr. Surfacer using a fine brush desperately trying to avoid the destruction of the beautiful detail surrounding them. This was particularly tedious work as the NMF would later show every little scratch and dent in it's full splendor.

Colours used were Alclad II and Gunze Acrylics. For the basic airframe colours I sprayed Aluminum, Dark Aluminum and White Aluminum (sparingly) and a mixture of these to match the panel colour pattern to the real F-104 as good as possible. Some panels with a slight bluish hue were oversprayed with Gunze transparent blue.

For the darker areas around the engine I additionally used Alclad II Steel and Jet exhaust. The heat discolourations were done with Alclad II Jet exhaust and Gunze transparent colours (blue, orange and smoke). Before decaling everything was sealed with Gunze acrylic gloss, since Microset/sol sometimes slightly corrodes the Alclad finish. The decals went on with no major hassles and responded well to the decaling solutions. At last I applied a shading for all panel lines and recesses with highly thinned dark grey/brown Hansa airbrush colours. Overall, the painting and finishing took much longer than the plastic work and decaling together.

Martin

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Photos and text by Martin Kurz