1/32 Kinetic F-86F Sabre

Gallery Article by Mark Doherty on Apr 19 2011


The Kinetic Sabre is a great kit. It’s big, chunky and full of detail. The kit has a complete engine, and the all important nose weight, included. I began my build with the cockpit. The instrument panel is clear plastic with raised detail and holes for the instruments. The panel came up well - painted black and with some dry brushing. Then came the instrument panel ‘sandwich’ – first the back panel, then the decal. Added to this is a small amount of clear-fix, strategically placed, such that when the painted instrument panel is attached, the clear-fix fills the holes. The seat is also well detailed, consisting of 6 parts. However, I added some homemade belts and harnesses. I also added placards to the front of the fuselage, and this helped to hide the fuselage join. 

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The fuselage construction is well thought out. The gun bays/ side consoles fit together really well, along with the 4 parts of the fuselage. Once the fuselage is together, the rest of the kit is pretty straight forward. Some sanding and filling are needed, but not much for such a big kit. Re-scribing the sanded detail was a pleasure, mostly because of the shape of the fuselage. I decided early on in the build that I would try out the Alclad range of paints. A friend recommended the Alclad Black Primer to start with. This stuff is great. It highlights the mistakes that need corrected in the fuselage really well. As a result of using it, I felt that this was the ‘cleanest’ model I had built for some time. Next was the Alclad. I usually airbrush in the garage where the light isn’t great, so when I put on the first coat I thought that it hadn’t worked at all. 

I kept the pressure low (15psi) as instructed, and sprayed another coat. This time I could see a slight difference. By the fourth coat – incredible! I couldn’t believe the effect: it really looked like aluminium. Chuffed, I let it dry for about a week, and then used a thin coat of Vallejo gloss varnish. Next, I thinned down some enamel black paint and ran it along the panel lines. I noticed that it darkened the shiny finish in places, and I could then use this to darken panels or thicken panel lines. This worked a treat. I am never confident with big decals and so decided to spray the yellow bands and use Eagle Strike Productions Korean Ace decals. After masking the required areas, I used Vallejo Flat Yellow, another coat of gloss, and then applied the decals. Finally, I attached the landing gear, which is sturdy and needed very little alterations to look right. I added placards, etc. to give more detail. 

Overall I am really pleased with this model. This is a great kit and I would certainly be keen to build another one. This was my first shot at using Alclad, and the advice that I got of be prepared, a clean finish, low pressure and be patient, worked well.

Mark Doherty

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Photos and text © by Mark Doherty