A Dart from the Guard!

Trumpeter’s 1/48th Scale F-106A Delta Dart – Click Here to Order.

Finally here! After a 30 year “reign” of Revell/ Monogram’s F-106, we have a new “kit” on the block. RM’s Dart is not the easiest model to assemble but shape wise it was the best. Until now. Trumpeter took it to a whole new level with their release and the incorporation of finely engraved panel lines, makes it all the more attractive.

Serving with the U.S. Air Force from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, the Convair F-106 Delta Dart was considered one of the best interceptor platforms in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard’s inventory during the Cold War Era. Developed in 1956 from the F-102 Delta Dagger, for almost 29 years the Dart was the Nemesis of many Russian TU-95 Tactical Bomber. With a more powerful Pratt & Whitney J-75-P-17 engine it was capable of higher speeds all the way up to Mach 2. It could carry 4 AIM-4 Falcon Missiles and an Air-2 Rocket in its weapons bay. All together 277 F-106 Darts were built.

The Kit

Dart from the Guard The Kit

Inside the box are 11 sprues with over 190 plastic parts, a small sheet of PE for seat belts and rear view mirrors and a decal sheet for two Air National Guard versions. Every time I look at either an F-102 or an F-106 in 1/48th scale, it surprises me time and time again how big these models are. With a length of almost 450 mm and a width of over 243 mm, the Dart is not a “small” kit once assembled. What really drew my attention are the finely molded details. Compared to its RM predecessor, the Trumpeter rendition looks so much less bulky than the RM version. Building wise, there is not even a doubt that this kit will give you trouble. With his older sibling however, you had to make sure that before you started building the model, there was a 5 lbs tube of putty within reach. To be honest, although it did not have the greatest fit and there some warping issues, with the Revell/Monogram kit, price/value wise, you could not go wrong and once built, it still looks impressive.

Features on the Trumpeter F-106 are; A detailed cockpit (I would recommend the True Detail replacement ejection seat TD48433), 4 x AIM-4 missiles, one Air -2 Rocket, very detailed open or closed weapons bay, wheel wells and landing gear, two drop tanks and movable control surfaces. The decal sheet gives you the options to choose from two versions. One from the Florida Air National Guard or if you are a Tony Soprano fan, than I would suggest the New Jersey ANG rendition. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Conclusion
Although I did not build one yet, it is sure on my to-do list. The F-102 nor F-106 were never my favorite subjects but just by looking at the quality and finely molded detail of the Trumpeter rendition, I am tempted to cut plastic as soon as I get away from this keyboard! So buy with confidence and turn the Delta Dart into a masterpiece. It sure deserves it!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • M&S

    The Trumpeter Six kit has the dogfight canopy but no Six Shooter mod gun pack. The kit inlets are thick lipped and bulged (to the point of ’rounded’) rather than slab sided as they need to be (the Monogram items are not perfect here either).
    As with many Trumpeter kits, the finely engraved lines and deep rivets tend to vary a bit in depth and crispness and this becomes critical on the long fuselage and wingroot seams of the model where slight misalignments also require a good deal of sanding with a resulting rescribe. Though a consensus is still out, the nosecone is a bit too rounded (almost ogival) which makes the jet look a tad…strange during assembly but it turns out alright with the canopy and windscreen on.
    As the reviewer mentioned, it is a large and heavy model and so SAC Landing Gear is almost a must.
    The decals are very blah (as are Caracal’s to be honest) without any of the early nose art jets of the ‘Red Bull’ 87th FIS (see the Squadron In Action) which made the Six so colorful during ADTAC meets at Tyndall. The ‘Big Sky’ Montana birds and the later QF-106 drone conversions with the rescue orange wing and tail panels are also all absent. Trumpeter take heed: Markings make a model aircraft, especially the more obscure Cold War fighters without a lot of combat history, by making us go to the aftermarket you take money out of your own pocket in terms of how much modelers will spend before walking.
    The ejection seat is well detailed for a plastic kit item but very bluff with large features and so resin replacement is also a must. With 15 dollar Decals, 17 dollar landing Landing Gear and a 10 dollar Seat atop a 60-70 dollar MSRP, the resulting 110 dollar price tag before shipping takes this kit out of the price range of a lot of modelers simply looking for a better Monogram tooling without the hassle of raised lines.
    If you shop around however; the model can be had for as little as 50 dollars and this is closer to reasonable.
    Overall, Trumpeter continues to be very much hit or miss. This initial F-106 release is definitely a ‘hit’ kit in terms of quality of execution but for the price, it is disappointing in it’s overall lack of improvement on the 30 year old Monogram toolings which clearly were an inspiration for the model.
    Giving us transport crates as an alternate means to display the Super Falcons, both canopies in-box, the IRST and the M61 Six Shooter package (which would require another half sprue if done in a ‘bay open’ condition and just a single part for the bay closed alternative), along with early style F-102 tanks and better markings, would have made this an easy, out of park, success.
    As is, let your budget be your guide.
    Monogram kits of the Cadillac can still be had for 25 bucks, new, and if you are willing to deal with the raised lines and the horrific fit, can be made to look just as nice as the Trumpeter does, out of box.

  • william j sherman newtown conn

    I have been building models since the early days of hawk and renwal. Then came mongram with retracting gear and launching bombs etc. I am on something of a sabatical now because of all the unbuilt kits in the basement, the expense of contmperary kits and kind of case of the blues staring at 65 this coming October.
    I have a 1/48 glencoe Bell X1A which has no interior detail. Cutting and sanding is not my best talent but I am going to try in this case. I just ordered a 1/48 F-80 interior from Squadron and I wondered if you had any ideas for me? I also have a built up cockpit from fisher models resin kit for a 1/32 sea fury. The kit from fisher is great but at 195.00 I am hesitant to get another one. There is a plastic Sea Fury from Hobby Boss in 1/32 which will take the fisher cockpit and canopy sections, again, with some cutting and sanding. Any ideas?
    thanks