Republic F-84G Thunderjet
(various kits)


F-84G Thunderjet in 1/72 scale: : kit review & building report
Academy and Heller kits
 

The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was a American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft of which development started in the Second World War. It first flew after many problems in 1946 as jet engines were a new way of propulsion. The definitive F-84G model was introduced in 1951. 

The Thunderjet became the Air Force's primary strike aircraft during the Korean War. More than  7500 jets were produced and many supplied to NATO countries because of the Cold War.  It was also the first jet aircraft to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. The USAF Strategic Air Command had F-84 Thunderjets in service from 1948 through 1957.

In plastic modelling various kits appeared, and in 1/72 scale these models are presented: 

Academy 1/72 kit
Heller 1/72 kit
Hobbyboss 1/72 kit
Tamiya 1/72 kit



The Academy kit no 1617 is very good with no mistakes at all. You can choose between the F-84E or G, between several types of air brakes and some panels in the forward fuselage. Cockpit detail is also very good. NO filler is needed what so ever. Stores include rockets and bomb and the obvious wingtip tanks. 
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The instructions are very good and you get a separate markings sheet and very good and large decalsheet. Parts look good as well as the instructions with nice cockpit detail in the kit. 

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The details are so fine that I used the airbrush to first spray the smaller parts while they are in their sprues. Later on, I sprayed the entire model Humbrol metal 27002 aluminum and take care as not to handle the model with your hands as you will get fingerprints. I depicted some panels in another metal colour, than added a coat of Johnson Klear as varnish. 

 
The decals came from Dutch decal set 72042 but also  the older set 72022 was used which contains some extra stencilling of the F-84G. The white round frame cockpit  on the cockpit is supplied on this last sheet as well as some smaller stencilling.

The model depicts a F-84G from 316 squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force (KLu), Code TC-22 based at Eindhoven Air Base in 1952-1956. Typically in that period each airbase and squadron had its own colour used in the markings. The squadron colour was orange and the air base colour light blue.

The decalsheets are excellent although you will need to cut in the decal of the rounded nose band. I also overpainted it later on in the same colour and also painted the wingtip tanks fins orange.

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The model took a very small amount of time and the result is a neat very fine model! Recommended!

 




Also shown here is the older Heller model of the F-84G Thunderjet, finished here in the colours and markings of 49 bombgroup, USAF, as deployed in Korea. 

Here the parts are seen from a kit of a friend of mine:



The markings of my model were made from scratch. The Thunderjet was issued by Heller in 1/72 scale way back (see bottom of this page.) in the seventies but this aircraft has also been issued in better kits by Academy, Tamiya in 2000 and Hobbyboss in 2010. 

The kit has raised panellines but the shape is good.


 the Heller 1/72  kit, made way back in 1985



real F-84 of the USAF Thunderbirds

HobbyBoss also issued a very nice kit in 2010 of the F-84G Thunderjet, with several marking options. This kit appears at first impression a very simple snap together kit with only a few parts, but looking more closely it is very detailed and accurate. This 1/72 model was purchased for less than 4 EURO! 

Panellines are finely recessed and the fit is good.

(NOTE: HobbyBoss mid july 2011 also came up with a 1/32 scale Thunderjet F-84E, a very good kit. Will be subject of a building report later on this website)

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The schemes provided include a F-84G of the 58 FBG used in Korea in 1953 and a very nice USAF Thunderbirds scheme. [Thunderbirds site...] 

The decal sheet is wel printed.


An impression of the assemby is seen in the instructions picture, and this is a very good and straight forward build indeed.

Two separate panels are there in the lower front fuselage, probably to issue another variant like the F-84E later. 
The F-84G has a couple of intakes at these panels, and the rear fuselage end at the exhaust pipe is slightly shorter for the F-84G, being a straight line on the F-84G with the rudder trailing edge, whereas on the F-84E this exhaust pipe protrudes a tiny bit. 
(Very early F-84E also had no extensive canopy framing. Also, the F-84E had no refuelling equipment such as the intake at the wing leading edge and the tank booms on the tip tanks).


Assembly was straight forward with very minor filling in some places. After assembly and surface polishing, a grey base coat was added with Revell 75 enamel. 

NOTE: later it turned out that the THUNDERBIRDS Thunderjets did not have the refuellling booms! So remove these!

In the bays, adequate moulded details are provided.

After the grey base coat, the model received a coat of gloss black and, when dry, a coat of Johnson Future to ensure that a very smooth finish is there. Next, a couple of coats of ALCLAD II gloss Aluminium were applied with the airbrush.

The decals are very thin, ensure to position each decal in the correct place at once as much as possible to avoid cracking the decal. Although I used ample amounts of decal setting of DACO , the wing tip tank decals did not fit 100%, so some retouching was needed with gloss red paint. Also, the "blue" had to be painted in many places. 
Note that several paint manufacturers have the special Thunderbird colours in their range. 

The canopy has framing and this was made from aluminium foil strips cut from BARE METAL FOIL with a very sharp scalp. Note also the circular shape.

Adding the rest of the details like the gears and antenna's was no problem and so the model was completed quickly. In the cockpit, some details were added like seat straps to the seat which is nicely done in the model parts.
For the Thunderbird jet, obviously no armament was installed. 

The result was a very nice USAF Thunderbirds demoteam Thunderjet model in 1/72 scale!


NOTE: later it turned out that the THUNDERBIRDS Thunderjets did not have the refuellling booms! So remove these! I did that later. 
 


Tamiya also issued a very nice F-84G kit in 1999. Kit no. 60745 has about 100 parts. 


This is the best 1/72 Thunderjet kit although the Hobbyboss kit is very good as well. Panellines are very fine and the undercarriage and stores finely detailed. Only the decals are a bit thick but very nice indeed. Colourschemes in the kit are for natural metal planes with 2 options: 
USAF 508th SFW, 1956 Turner AFB
USAF 58th FBS four queens, 1952 at Taegu, Korea

Assembly was done as per instructions after some pre-painting of parts while still on their sprues. The Tamiya fits very good with no putty required. 

When assembled, the kit got the same painting approach as the Hobbyboss model made. After a base coat, the model received a coat of gloss black with the airbrush using gloss acrylic Revell black. Next and when dry, a coat of Johnson Future to ensure that a very smooth finish is there. 

After masking, the olive drab (using Gunze Sangyo acrylic 303 field green) was airbrushed in front of the windscreen and on the fuselage spine. Masking was done with low tack tape.

Than a couple of coats of ALCLAD II gloss Aluminium were applied with the airbrush. Always wear a face mask!

Many Thunderjets had aluminium paint applied to some lower surfaces to prevent to quick damage from operating from rough runways. This was airbrushed on the Alclad coat using matt aluminium of Revell Aqua 99 acrylic.

 and the result....

It would be nice to make a bit unusual Thunderjet. From Hi Decal Line decalset 72047 was obtained and it has decals for an Iranian Imperial Air Force F-84G. This IIAF aircraft operated from Mehrabad AFB around 1960. From the Tamiya kit decals, various airframe stencilling was used.


The result is very nice. 

Finally, the kit was completed by adding the undercarriage, JATO bottles and fueltanks. The canopy frame was hand painted as I had a steady hand. Colours of the framing varies on Thunderjets, sometimes the off white isolation is seen. Some "wash" to suggest actual use of the aircraft was applied using the Promodeller Wash fluid. 

The seat as in the kit was painted a mix of grey and green and installed, this completed a very nice F-84G of an unusual airforce.



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The Imperial Iranian Air Force under the Sjah operated about 69 Republic F-84G from May 1957 until December 1965. Pilots were first trained also with the USAF in Germany. Iranian F-84's were mostly flown from Tehran and Mehrabad bases. Also the aerial demonstration team "Golden Crown" flew the Thunderjet. 


References:

Web:
- IPMS Nederland KLu F-84 Walkaround
- IPMS Nederland KLu F-84 information pages...

Books: 
- F-84 Thunderjet in KLu service, Dutch Profile, (Dutch with English summaries)

- F-84 Thunderjet in action,  Squadron Signal
- US fighters of fifties, Squadron signal
- Squadrons van de Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu), Helfferich, Wyt, 1994 (in Dutch)
- Aerobatic teams internet site


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Created July 22, 2001
Last update February 20, 2014