1/72 scale kits of the North American F-100D Super Sabre made by Meindert de Vreeze
review / modelling report
The North American
F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft developed in the
nineteen fifties in the USA. It was the first operational supersonic fighter
that flew with the USAF. It was also used during the Vietnam war and referred
to as "the Hun". Later also the Air National Guard (ANG) but also some
foreign air forces used the Super Sabre.
The aerodynamic research for high speed aircraft after the Second World War explored various concepts like swept wings and delta wings (like the Convair XF-92). Design of the F-100 with a swept wing started in 1951 and the first prototype flew in May 1953. Some improvements had to be made and the first F-100A entered USAF service September 1954 as fighters with some 200 build. Many problems were experienced, but still development continued.
The next variant was the F-100C entering USAF service in July 1955. It had an improved J57-P-21 engine and it could carry fuel tanks as well. About 475 were build. The F-100D was the next much better version with with a larger wing and vertical tail. It became available at the end of 1956 for the USAF and over 1200 were build.
All F-100 versions experienced problems in flight, electronics, structure and many accidents happened. So a two seater trainer , the F-100F, was also developed, entering USAF service in 1958. No less than 350 were manufactured as it was really understood that flying a supersonic fighter would require better training.
USAF Super Sabres were also deployed to the European content, starting with the Berlin crisis in the nineteen fifties. Super Sabres were also used by Taiwan, Danmark, Turkey and France. The French Armee de l 'Air was the first Western-aligned air force to receive the type, arriving May 1958. A total of 100 aircraft (85 F-100Ds and 15 F-100Fs) were supplied to France, and assigned to the NATO 4th Allied Tactical Air Force. The French Super Sabres were delivered under a US military assistance program, before De Gaulle took a more isolated NATO course. French F-100's were used until late 1970's.
The USAF also
used the "Hun" during the Vietnam War in attack and even in Wild Weasel
roles. By 1972, many USAF F-100 aircraft were allocated to the US Air National
Guard (ANG). In 1979 they were all super ceeded by the far better F-4 Phantom
and later the F-16.
I took a look at my model stash and saw a whole pile of F-100 Super Sabre kits in 1/72 scale. A very old kit I bought in 1983, so more than 29 years ago, was the old Hasegawa F-100D kit. It had a USAF Vietnam and metallic schemes and decals included and I bought it in a local toy store, BIMBO in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands for a mere guilder 9,85 FL. I had already started modelling it more than 20 years ago and it was even filled with putty and sanded when found in the box. It had been hiding for so many years, but now it was time to finish it.
Alongside the Hasegawa kit
a much better 1/72 ESCI F-100D kit was found as well as an AMT
kit of the F-100F two seater. The AMT kit has many parts in common with
the ESCI kit. So what kept me to start this little 1/72 F-100 project?
|To be for sure, at least one 1/72
model of the Super Sabre model should get a highly gloss metallic finish.
Seen in books while I was a kid they were always very smart looking in
such a scheme. For the other 1/72 jet model collection, a camouflaged F-100
would also be nice.
I found also a very nice Modeldecal sheet no. 69 with French SuperSabres, dating back from 1983. These sheets were rare at that time in the Netherlands and I bought it for some 8 guilders at the time. It had a choice of several metal schemes but also a camouflaged Thud and these decals, as always were well researched. The Modeldecal set has decals for natural metal schemes of:
.1 F-100D of EC 2/3 Champagne , based at Reims and Lahr (West Germany), circa 1962
.2 F-100D of EC 1/2 Navarre
.3 F-100D of EC 3/11 Corse around 1971
.4 F-100D of EC 1/11 Roussillon circa 1960
... and camouflage schemes using Federal Standard FS 34079, 34102, 30219 and 36622 light grey-white colours:
.5 F-100F two seater of EC 2/11 Vosges around 1975
.6 F-100D EC 4/11 Jura based at Djibouti Africa around 1978 (with shark teeth)
So as I had completed some French Cold War jets, I opted to make the ESCI kit into a French F-100D of the Armee de l 'Air. (see below for more details...)
The AMT kit decals for the F-100F looked great with very colourful USAF F-100F's.
I also had an EDUARD
etched metal upgrade set SS 169, some parts will be used.
So, let us start with the models:
(1) First the ESCI kit.
The ESCI kit F-100D (no 9022) from 1982 was a great improvement over earlier kits in 1/72 scale. This kit has about 75 parts in tan coloured plastic and looks fine with some recessed panel lines.
NOTE: the same kit appeared in 1998 in an Italeri re-issue #98 as well:
For the stores it has many pylons for under the wings, "stores" are Bullpup and Sidewinder missiles and the later style 335 gallon fuel tanks. The Sidewinder horizontal "T-" pylons look a bit strange. The nose intake is undeep with no intake tunnel.
The kit has the ventral speed brake with the later style larger cut-out for a central fuel tank (this is not in the kit). Two types of engine nozzles are supplied as well as the later standard arrestor hook. The wing slats are integrally moulded "closed" with the wing. On the single clear canopy a strange rear frame is moulded at the rear, it should not be there so polish this away.
It appears that the arrester hook was fitted after 1962 on most USAF aircraft so was not present on earlier Super Sabres.
No bombs, TERs or rockets are in the
kit; this I will get from a Fujimi A-4 Skyhawk kit, or get these from a
Hasegawa Stores Set.
The ESCI kit itself has decals for a French AF Super Sabre of EC 4/11 Jura as well with shark teeth (as in the Modeldecal set 69). Other kit decals are for a metallic "Petty penny" USAF F-100D of 481 TFS, Danish overall green F-100D of Escadrille 730 and finally a USAF Vietnam camouflaged scheme F-100D of the Arkansas ANG of the 184 TFS with red tail band.
The big nose intake is quite undeep. So the closed noses of the fuselage halves were cut open, the nose intake ring is separate. But this also led to create a intake air flow tunnel, so this was made using plastic card. The edges and gaps inside the intake well simply filled with white glue that dried out perfectly.
The cockpit edges were a bit altered
to look more as the real edges, areas cut out with a modelling knife as
well. The inside of the cockpit was painted as per Modeldecal suggestions
mat grey like the ejection seat.
The fixed position lip of the stabilizers parts 45 + 46 were cut off however and the gaps in the rear fuselage section filled and sanded. ( The stabilizers themselves will be set on at an angle later on ).
The rear exhaust part 33 or 41 is also very undeep. So it was
drilled open to make it look deeper using a bit of tubing. The clip
for the drag chute cable under the fuselage should only be on the left
side, so fill and sand.
The ESCI kit otherwise needed almost
no filler so that was great.
For the French F-100D, the Modeldecal
scheme (see above) for the esquadron "EC 2/3
Champagne", serial 54-2128 with code 3-JT was chosen. This unit was based
during the Cold War at Lahr NATO airbase in West Germany. It has a metallic
overall look. ( Later on in their careers, French Super Sabres were painted
dull silver for anti-corrosion purposes, but during this period Super Sabres
were still metallic looking).
Next, came a coat of Johnson Clear/Pledge gloss varnish to get a smooth gloss undercoat for the ALCLAD. Next coats were thin mists applied with the airbrush of ALCLAD II Polished Aluminium ALC-105. (Note: ALCLAD can NOT be brush painted).
All the not yet fitted parts like
undercarriage, doors, pitots and booms were not forgotten to get their
coat as well. The opening canopy frame was already also sprayed in the
metallic colour as well.
I always "drag each decal" through an amount of Johnson Future/Pledge . This minimizes "silvering" and helps adhering to the model surface. The smooth ALCLAD paint certainly helps here as well.
The model really looks nice now. Next, the smaller parts were added like undercarriage, tanks and probes.
The windscreen frame was hand painted,
any spilt over paint can be removed from the transparent windscreen with
a tooth pick easily once dry.The windscreen was than set on the model,
fit is good with some gaps closed with white glue. When dry, these were
painted metallic with a fine brush.
Some black details were painted with a fine brush on grills and vents with very thinned black paint, as well as in the flying surfaces gaps at the flaps and slats. The wingtip lights were painted with drops of red and blue paint and a drop of MicroScale Kristal Kleer.
After drying for 24 hours, finally the model got a decal protecting coat of Johnson Future/Pledge with the airbrush.
The characteristic fuel tanks were set on the model, they are accurate. Also a couple of inboard pylons for the BullPup missiles. Those in the kit were used and simply painted white with some coloured bands. Nice outboard pylons are provided as well as a refuelling tank boom and pitot nose probe.
Some views of the completed model...
Next will be the AMT 1/72 scale kit for a two seater F-100F, with many parts in common.
On to next
[ Page 2... ]
Back to 1/72 Models.......
- F-100 Detail & Scale, Volume 33, Bert Kinzey
- F-100 in action, no. 48 or 1190 , Squadron Signal
- North American F-100 Super Sabre, Profile Publications no. 30 (British nostalgia!)
- The Century Series: The USAF Quest for Air Supremacy,1950-1960, Schiffer publications
IPMS The Netherlands F-100
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Created this page
June 24, 2012