Days Of Thunder! [Second Edition]

Building Encore’s 1/48th F-84F Thunderstreak. Pt.II

Once I had everything laid out, I’d started with gluing the sub- assemblies like the wings, drop tanks and prepared the smaller parts. It is always nice to have all the pieces cleaned up and at the ready before you start the big stuff.

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I must admit, other than a minor “tweak” around the intake and insert, this kit literally drops together! In part I of the F-84F build I planned to upgrade the cockpit a little bit but now in hindsight, I’d rather spend more energy in the final paint job so I decided to close the canopy. That would speed up the process and I’m really looking forward to the airbrush and decaling element of the project.

Since the canopy is crystal clear and gives you a very transparent look inside the cockpit, I at least gave the seat the paint job it deserved. Once put into place, it really spruced up the front office!

This kit is one of the better ones HobbyBoss produced and outer detail and panel lines are very crisp and refined which makes it all the more closer to the truth. I remember the old Monogram (still very good, shape wise) and Heller ones but both had raised paneling.

When Kinetic/Italeri and Fonderie Miniatures (a Heller platform based multi-media kit) tried their attempt to supply the modeler with a representation of the airplane, I was rather disappointed with the outcome as I was hoping for more sharp and refined paneling.

Low pressure injection molding tends to interfere with engraving and you’ll never achieve the same result in subtleness and razor sharp detail compared with engraved high pressure kits. So the HobbyBoss rendition was a welcome addition to my “bygone days” collection.

After I glued the fuselage and wing joints together with plastic weld and let it dry a little, I applied a bead of medium superglue around the seam.

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, no putty is required but just to ensure a smooth transition between two halves, it doesn’t hurt to apply some superglue. It makes sanding a lot easier and it prevents a “melt” line where regular liquid cement might leave one. Even days after gluing, nothing is worse when you start airbrushing and you discover to your horror there is sagging across the fuselage joint!

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When you are done sanding, you will notice that there is some loss of surface detail. You can easily fix this with “curving over” your scalpel or X-Acto knife between two existing  panel lines to make them reconnect.

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Once this is done, then it’s just a matter of assembling all the big components. I was happily surprised with the near perfect fit of the wing roots and tail assembly. Again no filler is necessary. So far so good!

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In part III we will tackle the paint scheme and elaborate more about using the appropriate varnish and applying weathering techniques but for now I’m quite satisfied with the result.

I decided to do a quick In Box Review of this kit so you guys could get a better look at it:

As for today, I’m happy to announce that this kit is NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE!!! And we’ve got a LIMITED TIME OFFER – FREE Squadron Baseball Cap With Purchase of Encore F-84F Thunderstreak!

Use coupon code: ECGIFTFEB at checkout
Offer expires Sunday, February 28th.

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Meanwhile, I think I’m gonna have a beer, kick back and reminisce about yesteryear when the Thunderstreaks roared through the Belgian skies!!

Cheers

Cheers!

JV

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

  • SanityPlea

    To be quite honest, I wish both resin parts and photo-etch would just go away. Both are a pain in the posterior to work with and that pain is unnecessary given the potential quality of a good mold. Just me, perhaps…but I speak for some 100-plus kits built over the last 40-some years, at least arguably museum quality. Amen.

    • Plankwing

      I, on the other hand, welcome the much better detail PE and resin can bring to a model that even the best of injection molding cannot accomplish. And, having followed the progress of 3D printing for several years, I have no doubt many items for enhancing models will become available from that industry.

  • Vincent Biggerstroft

    Thank you for so good review of F-84F Thunderstreak. This one is my favorite. But it was hard for me to find force in myself to buy it and gather. It was really hard before I met this topic 10 Keys To Success: Stop Looking For It And Get To Work and saw your review. Now I know that I can do that, I can gather my favorite plane.