1/72 Lockheed F-104C
Gallery Article by J.C. Bahr - April 01, 2009
Plane Type: Jet; Plane Name: F-104 Starfighter; Scale: 1/72; Kit Manufacturer: AMT
Here's my AMT/ERTL (ex-ESCI) 1/72 F-104C/G that I built a few years ago.
There was not too much done with this kit as it is a fairly nice kit straight out of the box. The only glaring problems I noticed were that the instrument hood overhangs the flat space it's mounted on, to where there is an open space on each side that I did not notice in any reference photos of F-104 cockpits. I filled these spaces with sheet styrene.
The kit wheels are only accurate for the later variant F-104's and are more commonly associated with the F-104G which can be built from this kit as well. To get the earlier wheels, I had to scavenge a set from the Hasegawa F-20 Tigershark as its main wheels were the only ones I could find at the time that came close to matching the original style 104 wheels. I believe Revell/Monogram have catered to this on their newer tooled F-104C in this scale.
The fins on the wing-tip tanks were corrected as they represent the configuration found on the later F-104G's. I have heard that the placement and size of the tip-tanks in this kit are innaccurate, but they look fine to my eye, so I'm not going to fret over it.
The natural metal finish was accomplished with SNJ which was my first experience with this product and I was thoroughly impressed. The different panel hues around the exhaust were painted with the old Polly S Metalline series which was excellent paint for being acrylic based... unfortunately it is no longer produced and I have yet to find an acrylic based metallic paint that can match it for fineness of the metallic particles and overall adherence and durability.
Markings came from a Superscale decal sheet and I believe depict an F-104C deployed by the U.S. to Taiwan as a deterrent to China in the Quemoy Matsu Crisis between 1958 and 1959.
ARC Air Forum Name: J.C._Bahr
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Photos and text © by J.C. Bahr.