Model, Text and Photos by: Yuri Hul
Italeri re-released the Esci kit few months ago. This is a really nice kit with recessed panel lines, which are very nice and thin. Considering the models age I still think that it is one of the best 1/72 F104 models out there. In the box you get four sprues of plastic including the clear one of them is the canopy sprue. The model was compared to some scale drawings and the shapes on the model were perfect. Instructions are very nicely printed and can be followed without any problem. The decals are very nice printed and include four different versions, German Air Force, Belgian Air Force, Italian Air Force and Dutch Air Force.
Construction and Painting
I started the kit with painting the cockpit with Tamiya Light Blue with some Light Sea Grey added to it. After the paint had dried I applied instrument panel decals. I gave those few minutes to dry and then fuselage parts were all glued together. I decided to detail the seat a little bit, I added some masking tape seatbelts and ejection handles. After the glue has set, and the whole model was glued together I started to sand it. There was minimum filler used on this kit, the fit of the parts was nearly perfect.
Now the model was ready to paint, before the painting I painted landing gears with some silver and the air brakes with a mix of Interior Green and Yellow. I decided to do German Air Force version. For the underneath grey I used Tamiya Light Sea Grey with a little bit of Light Blue to lighten it up. Italeri says that underneath coat should be silver but after looking throe some of my reference I found out that it was suppose to be grey. Then the surface was masked, and topcoat of dark grey was applied, for which I used Tamiya Dark Sea Grey. After that has dried the camouflage was masked and the Tamiya Olive Drab has been applied. I let the model dry for a while and when I came back I took the masks off and masked the nose cone, which was sprayed with light grey and then dark green. After that was done I decided to paint the tanks and the rockets.
I painted the tanks light grey and olive drab, the side tanks have orange stripe on them which is suppose to be semi gloss I achieved the result by mixing Tamiya Gloss Red and Tamiya Flat Yellow together. The rockets were painted light grey and had the black stripe around them made with a decal stripe.
Decaling and Final Steps
Then the model was decaled the decals went on without any problems, decals are really thin and they are printed the way thats there is almost no film around them. After everything has dried I attached landing gears air brakes, and other final touches to the model. I really wanted to open the canopy on my f104 so I cut it with #13 blades then I added mirrors and small handles to it. Then I drilled 2 small holes in the canopy and the part where the canopy would open and attached some metal rods to it so I could glue the canopy to the cockpit. I also decided to replace the antenna on the nose so it was made from thin tube and small wire.
I would recommend this model to any kind of modeller, it goes together really nicely and makes a really nice finished product. I really enjoyed the model. This F104 makes a really nice addition to my collection. I spent no more thin 12 hours on this project
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