1/72 Hasegawa F-104

Starfighter Bavaria

by Juanjo Dominguez

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The Kit.

This is the well known 1/72 F-104 Hasegawa kit. No things to say about the model other than it's probably the best 104 at the Gentleman's Scale. This particular version comes with one of the typical striking German camos. The only complaint is related to packing. As almost all of the Hasegawa kits, this is bagged in only one bag. So you may find out scratches on clear parts (as I did...). Decal sheet is big. With many stencils and perfectly in register. The only complaint is on the Germany flag, a little translucent.

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Building.

This models starts once again, in the cockpit area. This detailed cockpit is somehow unusual in Hassegawa 1/72 scale kits. Very well represented with raised details for all parts of the cockpit includig the seat. In this case the cockpit is OOB except for the seat-belts built up with Tamiya tape and reheat P.E. detail parts. The overall fit is pretty well except for the air intakes and undersides fuselage joint that need a lot of filling-sanding-rescribing to look good.

Painting.

The painting process is the same for all the colors: Base coat, preshading of panel lines with base color+some black, sprayed inside panels with a lighter version of the base color trying to perfilate the preshaded lines and finally a blend coat of base color thinned with Mr Color for translucent appearance. Tail and wingtip fuel tanks were painted white. I added a litte amount of black to the white paint to avoid paint yellowing. I used Tamiya tape for the hard edges camo and Gunze colors indicated by Hasegawa . I finished with Gunze clear in preparation for decaling process.

 

Decaling.

This is a main step in this model as the big decals are the attractive in this model, so a good work in this area will definitively improve your model. Hasegawa has included two possibilities for the tail decoration: One of them with all the elements in only one decal and the other with individual elements. I used the second one option. All the numbers, letters, etc were cut off one by one to eliminate the clear decal film as much as i could.

This decals reacts heavily with Micro solutions, so be warned to do not touch the decals since they warp badly, but later they comes to flat again and only little amounts of Micro Sol/set and slightly touches were needed to achieve the correct look. I used a sharp needle to cut on the panel lines and some more Micro Sol on that panel lines to “blend” them with the model. Another clear coat layer was used to seal the decals and avoid silvering.

Weathering.

In this model I only used my favorite method for washing the panel lines. Humbrol Extradark seagray + black + thinner and a sharp brush. This is the only weathering I used mostly because I think is enough, for this relatively clean plane, with the panel shading previously described.

 

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Final Touches.

For the burner can, I used Gunmetal + Flat Aluminum from Humbrol Metalcote, polished with an old tooth brush. Then a black chalk wash and once the wash was dry, I removed the excess with a dry cotton swab.

The navigation lights were reproduced with my favorite method: Painting inside the blind holes with silver, then with Gunze red or blue clear and finishing by filling in the holes with clear epoxy. The only exception was the big red light just in from of the vertical fin, this is a resin light from CMK.

The pitot tube was done with hypo tubing and a filament from a tooth brush dipped in metalcote, for the thinner section. This will avoid breaking this fragile part since this filament is flexible.

Aknowledgements.

First of all, I wish to dedicate this model to all my friends on the Aeronet forum (especially to Josu Arevalo for give me the link to the Aeronet forum ;) ) since this forum has supposed to me the possibility not only to meeting the great people in that forum but in fact, the opportunity to shaking hands with other builders in my own country. I can highly recommend this multinational forum in Spanish because its high building standards and friendly people there.

I also want to thanks the guys who gave me information about the subject, here in the ARC forum. And of course, to all the people in the ARC family.

Juanjo

 

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Photos and text © by Juanjo Dominguez