In Box Review: Kitty Hawk F-86D Sabre Dog

Kitty Hawk did it again! After the Bronco, their release of the F-86D proves that the model industry is still thriving. True, I was never a big fan of “The Dog” and although I am an avid canine lover, the F-86D never did it for me. That is, until I opened the box.

My first impression was that this 1:32 scale  kit is rather large. Much bigger than what I expected to find and the box art is just gorgeous!

F-86D Cover Art

Before we go any deeper into the subject, let me give you a little background where the “Saber Dog” found its roots.

The North American F-86D “Sabre Dog” was a transonic, all weather interceptor. Derived from the F-86 Sabre day fighter, who had proven itself gallantly during the Korean conflict, the “Sabre Dog”, however, had only a mere 25 percent resemblance with other Saber variants. The “D” had a larger fuselage, a bigger afterburner engine and a characteristic nose radome.

Another distinctive asset that made the D variant different, was the absence of guns. Instead it had a retractable tray with 24 Mk4 unguided rockets. Back then this was considered a more effective weapon against enemy bombers than a fusillade of gun fire. The F-86D had a wider and longer fuselage with a clamshell canopy. It featured enlarged tail surfaces and AN/APG-36 all-weather radar tailored into a radome in the nose above the intake. Later versions of the F-86D were retrofitted with a more powerful J-47-GE-33 power plant. A total of 2,504 “Dogs” were built.

Built F-86

Back to the model, the kit features 8 sprues with finely molded light grey plastic and one sprue with flawlessly executed clear parts.


The kit consists out of the following; crisp engraved panel lines in both fuselage and wings, detailed ejection seat, detailed cockpit and aft deck, separate intake insert, detailed front wheel housing and extremely well rendered engine.


Separate front and aft fuselage sections, which is an indication that another version might follow in the near future. Separate bottom piece with detailed wheel well housing, separate rocket tray that can be mounted either retracted or fully deployed. Kit features separate control surfaces and slats, separate tail fin, open or closed air brakes, option to open or close canopy, two drop tanks and two sidewinder missiles. Detailed radar section with detachable nose cone. A small fret of PE is included to represent the ejection seat harness and left and right brackets to support open airbrakes if so desired.


An extremely very large colorful decal sheet is included with the option to choose one of six versions;

325th FIS, “Sabre Knights” Aerobatic team, F-86D, 82nd FIS, F-86D 181st FIS, Texas air National Guard, USAF, F-86D, JASDF, F-86D, ROKAF and F-86D ROCAF. Full color charts and schemes are provided with the instruction sheet.

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As I stated above, the Sabre is not my forte but with this kit it is hard to resist not to start cutting plastic. Its beautiful markings and development era when airplanes had the shape and contours of a silver Cadillac, the F-86D sure belongs up into the wild blue yonder.

Job well done Kitty Hawk! Keep them coming!

CLICK HERE to be one of the first to pick one up!



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