Tamiya, during my early modeling days of the early 1970's, had a substantial line of 1/100 modern jets and helicopters:The 1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series. As the standard for scales sorted itself out, 1/100 fell to the onslaught of 1/72. However, Tamiya's line were quite impressive for the time, featuring predominately recessed panel lines and the good fit Tamiya would be known for.
One of the offerings was the USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief, backbone of USAF Tactical Air Command's strike force during the Rolling Thunder campaign in the Vietnam War. So great were their loses that it was derisively nicknamed "Thud", as F-4 pilots were wont to describe the sound they made hitting the ground. F-105 was not designed to be an air superiority fighter but was fast and powerful much like its P-47 predecessor, few were downed by MiGs; like the Thunderbolt, Thuds could fight, downing 27-1/2 enemy fighters in 1966 and 1967 with their 20-mm Vulcan cannon, and two with Sidewinders. Thunderchief was an excellent tactical bomber. On short-range missions, it could carry sixteen 750-lb. bombs. A few years ago Tamiya reissued the F-105 and several others of the series. My kit is an original.
Tamiya's Thud comprises a clear canopy and 51 dark olive parts, 21 being the 16 M117 750-pound bombs and MERs. Parts are provided to build it gear-up or down; original kits came with display stands. Decals are for 3 fighters.
No flash mars these parts, nor did I find sinkholes. Mould marks mar mainly unobtrusive parts. The bombs are a problem as they are molded slightly off-center No detail in the wheel wells and the pilot and ejection seat are the only cockpit embellishments. The gear doors are thick and detail less.
The kit assembled easily with tight joints and seams. Very little filling and sanding was required. The only gaps were the right fuselage to vertical fin joint, and the pitot tube to radome.
The 30 year-old decals (some with brown staining) went on without cracking or any other problems, and settled into the fine recessed panel lines easily. Unfortunately, all are for SEA four-color scheme aircraft. Decals for an aluminum lacquer finished Project Look Alike Thud would have been nice.
Highs: Satisfying scale, recessed panel lines, good fit, three decal options.Lows: Limited weapons load, thick gear doors, no interior detail.Verdict: These are delightful little kits. I have yet to build a new 1/144 aeroplane so I can not compare them, but these are as nice as many pre-CAD 1/72 kits.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...