by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The YF-105A prototype first flew in October 1955 and after being up engined and having a redesigned fuselage the Thunderchief entered service in 1958 as the F-105B.
On the basis of combat experience, the F-105D was updated with a better ejection seat, radar homing and warning (RHAW) antenna on the tail fin, additional armor, and protection to the hydraulic system which proved to be very vulnerable to combat damage. With all the redesign work carried out to the aircraft the F-105 was lengthened and it weighed more than a 1000lb then the B model.
Having never seen the Trumpeter 1/32nd scale F-105D kit I cannot say accurately if it is a scaled down version, but by previous experience with Hobby Boss kits, they usually scale down and simplify the bigger Trumpeter kit.
Packed in a large sturdy cardboard box the 245 parts can be found 8 light grey sprues and 1 clear sprue. There is no sign of flash but there are a few pin marks. Most of these won't be seen but there are a few I found on the inside of the wheel well doors and engine exhaust pipe. They are quite shallow so filling them shouldn't be too problematic.
At first glance it looks like Trumpeters phantom riveter has been hard at work on this kit but studying photos of the "Thud" there does seem to be lot of rivets and fasteners adorning the aircraft. The fuselage and wings have some nice fine recessed panel lines.
The cockpit is nicely detailed with the ejection seat made up of 7 parts and has moulded on harness's. The instrument panel and side consoles have raised detail on them and the inclusion of a set of decals for these parts should make the cockpit look quite good.
The nose wheel well has piping moulded into all 4 sides of the well but the main landing gear wheel wells are pretty bare by comparison, mind you there isn't a lot in there on the real aircraft. The undercarriage legs themselves are a multi piece affair with clear parts for lights and some good detail for injected plastic. Adding brake lines to the undercarriage will add to the realism.
Now what makes me think this is a scaled down Trumpeter kit is the inclusion of a full engine, Gatling gun and a radar for the nose. All the parts are beautifully detailed but at no point in the instructions are you told if you are able to open it up to show the internal detail. The same is for the canopy which is in the closed position in the instructions. A bit of research and some scratch building should be encouraged to show this kit to its full potential.
Another nice touch to the kit is the detailed in-flight refueling probe which is in the open position but with a little work could be closed up (but why would you lol).
Ordnance supplied for the kit are a center-line fuel tank, 2 wing tanks, 8 Mk 82 bombs, on two 4 bomb wing racks and 2 AGM 12B Bullpup missiles.
The clear parts look to be free of blemishes and scratches. The frames are frosted so masking should be a breeze. The instructions call for parts M11 and M12 not to be used as these are the extra canopies needed for the F-105G version, but on my kit they weren't there anyway, the sprue looks to be snapped off, just leaving the number tag showing lol.
The instructions are printed on an A5 size sheet which has been folded concertina style. The build sequence is in a logical order but there isn't any numbered stages, which is quite usual for Hobby Boss instructions. The drawings are in the black and white line style we are all used to and internal colours given along the way for Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range of paints.
Painting and Decaling
A separate colour sheet contains the paint and decaling guide. Printed on one side there is a handy guide to the paint colours needed for the aircraft along with a key to Mr Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol paint numbers. As far as I know this is the first time Hobby Boss have given you the paint numbers for any other company other then Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range of paints, and is a welcome addition.
Two schemes are given for the aircraft, with both having the SEA camo scheme applied with white undersides.
F-105D, 62-4364, 354th TFS, 354th TFW. This aircraft was called "Pussy Galore II" and features a naked lady on top of the fuselage in front of the canopy, and to protect her modesty I have "blurred" the image. According to a little research I have done this aircraft was flown by Captain Victor Vizcarra in Takhli, Thailand, October 1966.
F-105D, 60-0521, 457th TFS. This aircraft went on to be a Thunderstick II conversion, which is easily distinguished from the standard -D model by the backbone electronics bay fairing from the cockpit to the vertical stabilizer. It subsequently crashed on Dec 22, 1976
The decals look to be in perfect register with only a little carrier film around the edges. The naked lady is printed on a separate decal sheet, for most probably so that it can be easily omitted from the kit, for reasons that I can't be bothered to speculate or really care about :).