F-105D Thunderchief
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F105D model in 1/32 scale  
TRUMPETER: kit modelling report & review
The Trumpeter model in this large scale was and was a real sensation at the time. 

Modelling report

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[ also check out the 1/72 Trumpeter kits ] 

(Look here for the 1/72 scale Hasegawa kit....) 

This kit is large and very impressive! Who would ever believe that a 1/32 injection moulded kit would come out. Sure, there was a very crude " Combat Models"  vacuform (I have seen this kit as a friend try to make this.. and gave up...) and a very expensive 1/32 resin Collect-Aire kit, but the Trumpeter kit supersedes them all. 
Trumpeter actually released 2 kits of the Thud on 1/32 scale : the F-105D single seater AND the F-105G Wild Weasel type two seater. This modelling report will deal with the single seat F-105D, kit no. # 02201.
The F-105D kit has over 500 plus parts and the kit is good enough to be build straight from the box if you like. I will do some extra detailing but nothing really fancy. It builds into a very nice replica of the F-105D "Thunderchief".
The parts come in a huge sturdy box with sprue s in light gray plastic individually bagged, lots of stores, black rubber tyres, 1 photo etched, and a film for the main instruments. The box is really packed and full. The instructions booklet is O.K, and you get a very nice colour profile of the Thud and lots of decals for both the plane and the many "stores". The decals are impressive.

The parts have panel lines that are nicely done and in the correct place and the riveting will be O.K. after painting/spraying. Overall it looks like a "Thud" with good proportions. 

The kit also comes with the option to show the 20mm Gatling gun, the refuelling probe, and even a bomb bay! This bomb bay was rarely used, a fuel tank was permanently installed in it in operational use to extend the Thunderchiefs operational flying range.
The Trumpeter kit also comes with parts for a radar with some parts to swivel the nose cone but these will not be used in this model. I opted to build a "clean plane" to really show off its clean and nice lines.
Other nice Trumpeter kit's add-ons are also the large J-75 engine parts and the option to leave the rear fuselage part off to show the engine. However, this will need some extra bulkhead detailing and scratch modelling in these areas. 
(As this kit will be finished however with a clean configuration, with engine is to be put on a newly to be made scratch engine dolly next to the plane with fitted rear fuselage and retracted refuelling probe).
Unfortunately, the kits' main undercarriage legs are of plastic and not metal as in the Trumpeter MiG-21 kits for example, and this is the only real part where you need to do something about. The plastic wheel legs needs strengthening or replacement with AeroClub metal legs otherwise the legs will bend under the kit's weight.

Some pre-airbrushing was done with parts still in their sprues.

OK, lets start now...

The cockpit parts are OK. You get nice instruments (a transparent panel, film for the instruments and a rear panel to sandwich), side walls, a good set op side panels and a seat of 5 parts. 

 seat parts

The seat will benefit from additional detailing, it is a bit different as when seen on pictures. I added more detail to the side arms and set the head rest somewhat higher. On top of the seat added details and piping were added and the additional details on the rear bulkhead.

 the seat temporarily set in the tub...


note launch rail at rear bulkhead

But the basic kit parts/shapes from Trumpeter kit can be used. Also added was the seat's "launch rail" to the rear bulkhead and I did not use part # F7 and left out the seat cushions parts # F5 and F4.

 the painted instruments and controls, being quite good of the kit when photos of the real thing are studied 

                   some parts installed 

the white surfaces on the main instrument panel are MicroScale Kristal Clear, to dry yet.... it than becomes transparent clear...

The shape of the canopy is unfortunately inaccurate. When seen from the front, you will see that the kits' canopy is "too flat" and not rounded enough in cross section. Look at good photos and you will see what I mean. The cockpit canopy is in fact the only incorrect part of this impressive and otherwise excellent Trumpeter kit.
I had a balsa wood mould ready in my spare box that could be used to make a new canopy. So a new canopy was made from clear acetate plastic in the oven and through the "plug through " technique with more a more rounded shaped cross section. (see here how this was done on the A-10 model) .
The rear fuselage cockpit shape and fit was simply corrected by "bending out" the fuselage sides (fuselage parts # A1 and A13) at the rear bulkheads' position. The wind screen must actually also be replaced to get the rounded cross section but on the other hand it is not very well seen. A new forward screen was also made from the balsa mould , but I will decide later on if I will use it. The fit is more difficult to the forward fuselage wind screen area.

 the canopy cross sections... left kit part, right new made part

kit parts in place

 lower right, the newly made canopy

  the forward wind screens and main canopies 
The cockpit itself was painted in light grey with black detailing on the instruments.
In the cockpit tub, I added some piping to the rear bulkhead and some pieces of sprue to the sidewalls for added detail. You get good results with minimal effort as the panel parts' layouts are accurate for the F-105D as seen in various photos (see references). No need for after market sets here. With some basic modelling skills you can get good results in the cockpit area. 

As I wanted to display the engine separately, some parts inside the fuselage were to be supplemented/ replaced with some from the spare parts box (e.g. the intake fan, and rear pipe). I used two photo film canisters to get depth into the engine pipe.
Inside the fuselage next to the intakes, a piece of card was glued to prevent a "see through". The seam in the intakes needs some sanding and filling of the machine ejector pin marks here with putty.

As a point of interest, the avionic bay was opened to the right lower cockpit side and also the bay for the "retractable" auxiliary dynamo fan. These will be added later on, the bays being boxed in with card.

The main landing gear legs really needs strengthening. I opted to glue on the sides a metal pin made of thick paper clip.

The pin was "blended in"  with the use of white glue. Some additional piping was added next from thin stretched sprue.
The gear doors come unfortunately without internal details and lots of ejector pin marks. They were all filled and some details were added with thin card and plastic strips. But the door shapes are O.K.
The rubber tyres and hubs are fine. The main gear bays have only limited detail. I drilled out some holes seen in photos and also opened up the auxiliary air vent in the fuselage sides of the bay.
  inner gear door details
Small pieces of sprue were added next. From thin stretched sprue, thin piping lines were also added. 
The nose gear bay is excellent and the gear leg is well detailed but a bit weak. Add also a thin piece of metal pin here. 
The fuselage and as a matter of fact all the kits' parts fit very well. You will hardly need any filler! Do not forget to add 100 grams into the nose to prevent tail sitting! 
On to next page [2]....
Reference books:
  • Walk Around F-105 Thunderchief, #23, Squadron/Signal Publications
  • F-105 Thunderchief, by Bert Kinzey, Detail & Scale, Vol.8
  • Thunderchief, F105, Warpaint #38  by Kev Darling
  • Wings of Fame Journal Vol 18.
  • KokuFan Japan of November 1980
  • Warbirds illustrated #49, F-105, Robert F Dorr 

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Created April  2, 2004