1/32 Trumpeter F-100D Super Sabre

Gallery Article by John McCormick on Dec 22 2009


Trumpeter continues to offer a great variety of 1/32 scale aircraft, and as I have an affinity for 1/32 US jets, building their F-100D Super Sabre was a natural choice for me.  As far as Trumpeter kits go, the Super Sabre is a very nice kit, and with a little effort builds up to quite an attractive model.

For aftermarket kits, I used both the Aires' cockpit and wheel well sets.  Each is typical Aires high quality, with crisp, clean resin molds that are accentuated with photo etched pieces.  It took a little effort so thin the kit's wing pieces in order to get the wing wheel well section to fit, but other than that, both sets fit quite nicely.  Additionally, I used the Zacto intake correction set.  This set includes an FOD cover for the intake, and although this hides the additional detail inside the Zacto intake, I just couldn't bring myself to tackle the seam on the inside, so I took the easy way out!  The Zacto replacement intake fits very well with minimal effort. 

Lastly, I used Eduard's photo-etched slat set for the leading edge slats.  This set hides the very prominent seam between the top and bottom wing joins, and it also adds much of the detail inside the slats that was missing on the plastic parts.

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Although it goes against every fiber of my being, I chose to display the kit with the tail section removed so that the engine detail could be displayed.  The engine assembly proved a bit tricky, as there were many seams to deal with.  However, in the end I was pleased with the final results.  I scratch built some interior detail in the aft fuselage section, as well as inside the front fuselage section where the engine is mounted.  For the aft tail section, I referenced Ed Kinney's article that was published on the IPMS USA web site.  The interior detail in the front fuselage section was copied from photos I found in the reference page on the ARC forums. 

Normally, I would have finished this kit in SEA camo, as I have that painting technique mastered reasonably well. However, I felt the need to challenge myself, so I decided to go with the metal finish. The real birds were painted in silver lacquer and were not actually a bare metal finish, so I didn't try to go for the high polished look. I used the Model Master Aluminum buffing metalizer for the base color. Then, I masked a few panels off using strips of wet coffee filters and painted them with the Aluminum color that was darkened slightly with a little Magnesium color. 

Simulating the burned sections the tail section that were so prevalent on the real airplanes posed a real challenge. Steel metalizer was used as the base color, then I applied Tamiya clear colors to try to simulate the burned panels that were discolored from the heat of the afterburner. I was disappointed with the final result, and I am tempted to buy another set of decals and re-do the entire tail section. 

The kit offers some nice options for decals, but because they are so badly mispelled, I purchased a set of CAM stencils plus the Strike Eagle "Little John" set. Both sets are highly recommended, as they were very easy to apply with no silvering. After applying a coat of metalizer sealer, I applied a water-based wash using black and rust to dirty the plane up a bit. A final coat of metalizer sealer was then applied to seal things up.

The metal finish was a real challenge for me, and I learned a lot by going that route. While not my best work by any stretch, all in all I'm very pleased with the end results. Special thanks to Frank Knight of the Bay Colony chapter of IPMS for his advise and support!


John McCormick

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Photos and text by John McCormick