by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Announced in their 2010-2011 catalog, Trumpeter thrilled many a fan of “The Hun” with this
new release of the two-seat F-variant Super Sabre. The F-100 is one of three aircraft that lead me to be bit by the flying bug. To this fan of the F-100, it is a welcomed arrival.
Enter the Hun
The first of the USAF “Century Series” jet fighters, the North American Aviation F-100 Super Sabre was the supersonic follow-on to their highly successful F-86 Sabre (itself a follow-on to their supreme P-51 Mustang.) The “Hun”–short for “Hundred”–was the first jet fighter capable of supersonic level flight, entering squadron service in 1954. As the Hun was the scourge of Europe in the Middle Ages, the aerial Hun was the scourge of USAF safety statistics. To improve the flight characteristics as well as mission capability, the F-100 was developed into the D-model. The F-100D was further developed into the two-seat F-100F. This “Fox” variant retained the six underwing hard points of the “Dog” but lost two of its four 20mm cannons.
F-100s flew with USAF and for Republic of China Air Force, Royal Danish Air Force, Armee de l'Air, and Turk Hava Kuvvetleri; only Dane Huns did not see combat. Though the official account differs, F-100s probably scored the first USAF aerial victories over Vietnam, on 4 April 1965. F-100Fs were the first Wild Weasels, flying surface to air missile (SAM) suppression, known as "Iron Hand." But The Hun did not have the performance required and was withdrawn from CAP and Wild Weasel missions. The two-seat F-100F model saw extensive service as a "Fast FAC" or Misty FAC (forward air controller) in North Vietnam and Laos, spotting targets for other fighter-bomber aircraft as part of the top-secret project Commando Sabre.
Super Sabres remained in service with USAF National Guard units until 1979.
The box is very sturdy and sports beautiful artwork. There are seven light gray styrene sprues and two clear sprues, all bagged separately. Only one piece was loose from the sprues. The decals are protected in individual bags. You have 173 parts to build your model with, including several optional parts.
The molding is crisp. Recessed panel lines and restrained rivet detail enhances the model surface. I found no flash, seam lines, mold marks, sink holes nor ejection marks that will be visible after assembly. The surface is smooth except for the canopy framing. It has a frosted texture that probably will be noticeable with a Natural Metal Finish (NMF).
Measurements of the test-fitted model show the length 50' 2" (intake to afterburner) and wingspan of 38' 9"–almost spot-on. Trumpeter’s advertised length of 367mm equals 57' 8", probably accounting for the extended pitot boom. That will provide you with a model just under 14.5” long and a wingspan of nearly 10”. Test fitting indicates tight seams for minimum filling.
I am very fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to crawl around in and out of an airworthy F-100F. The details I documented will be the basis of this critique.
The impressive cockpit is built with 17 parts and several decals. These decals are of the consoles and instrument panels should you decide not to paint these items. The switches and knobs and bezels are sharp, with both raised and recessed detail. Individual rudder pedals are included but sadly, the throttle and a few other prominent handles are not supplied. There are slots on the left consoles where the throttles would be. The console under the windscreen is simplified, lacking the ganglion of wiring and accessories found on the real machine. The actual ejection seats have a surprising amount of wiring visible from the exterior, which the kit seats simplify. These wires should be a minimal effort to add. The cockpit assembly is mounted to the two-piece intake, which also hosts the nose gear well. There is no detail molded inside the fuselage halves. Unless you use a mirror, this cannot be noticed once the fuselage halves are together.
The large single piece main canopy has quite a lot of internal structure, especially the center section and the area behind the rear cockpit. None of this has been molded. The model does not afford the option of displaying the canopy open.
Your first optional choice is which speedbrake bay and brake to use. The detail is very convincing on either version. The main gear well has detail on the top wing but none on the sides. Both areas afford superdetailers plenty of opportunity to busy-up the model. Other optional parts allow use of either the straight or crooked aerial refueling boom and your choice of the folded or extended pitot tube.
The landing gear doors have accurate interior detail. So do the gear struts. This includes plumbing and, for the nose gear, the cable and pulley system. There are no trunnions molded where struts attach into the airframe. The torque links are molded on the struts. These components are large enough that the torque links could have been separate. The gear are built with separate actuators, side brace links, overcenter links, and attachment links for the doors. The tires have molded sidewall detail.
Like their 1/32 ME 262, Trumpeter engineered this model with separate flaps, ailerons, rudder and leading edge slats. To protect the guides of the slat, Trumpeter molded a slab of plastic across them. It appears to be easy to remove. The arresting hook is a separate part.
Finally, this model sports the original afterburner. Many F-100s were retrofitted with the afterburner used on the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. I would appreciate parts for this option.
Clear detail parts are separate navigation lights, beacons and landing lights.
Your final options concern the underwing stores. Trumpeter supplies four AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles, ALQ-31 jamming pods, a “practice bomb” that appear to be a Mk 77 napalm canister, plus a pair of droptanks. Each AIM-9 has five parts, including two separate front fins. The ECM pod has two separate fins as well as a separate generator propeller. No bombs are included. The underwing pylons are single pieces to which you add anti-sway braces for the drop tanks. Seven pylons are provided, six underwing and one under the fuselage.
Instructions, decals, painting
The instruction sheet is the Trumpeter booklet format with sprue and decal drawings. Eleven steps of clear, uncluttered, and easy to follow line art illustrations take you smoothly through the assembly process. Except for attaching the canopy, the airframe is completed in seven steps.
Painting guidance is basic for the interior components, with Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Hobby as the referenced paints. The exterior painting and marking guide is a matt sheet of full color, four-views of your four aircraft options. This sheet contains a table of the respective paints for Aqueous Hobby Color, Humbrol, Model Master, Mr. Hobby, Tamiya, and Vallejo.
Four sheets of decals are included including a large sheet for the USAF Thunderbirds Aerial Demonstration Team. The sets include national markings for USAF and Republic of China Air Force, and dozens of stencils and informational markings. Each sheet is protected by wax paper that is taped on. Carefully remove the tape so that you do not damage the paper backing. When I removed the wax paper, it was slightly sticking to the decal facing. No damage to the decals occurred. The decal colors are opaque, the printing is sharp, and I see none out of registration. The yellow in the middle tri-color unit markings is more yellow than the photo shows. Happily for those modeling a NMF, very little decal film is outside the printed areas of most markings. Some of the stenciling has excess film around the alphanumerics. The film is clear and seems very thin.
Four Super Sabres can be made by the four sets of decals:
• USAF, 56-1226, 614th TFS, 35th TFW, Phan Rang AB, Vietmam, 1968
• USAF, 56-3807, 48th TFW, RAF Lakenheath, England, 1963
• Republic of China Air Force, 56-3808, 23rd FBS, 4th FBW, Taiwan, 1978
• USAF, 56-3924, Thunderbirds Aerial Demonstration Team
Trumpeter has completed their 1/48 F-100 series with an impressive tribute to the Super Sabre. Excellent molding and detailing, thoughtful options, separate control surfaces, and exciting decals present the modeler with a potential showstopper. Some of the detail is simplified, such as on the ejection seats and the landing gear struts. The lack of internal canopy structure is a glaring omission for such a visible feature. Except for the napalm canister, the kit supplied weapons arm the jet for air-to-air. If you want to configure her for air-to-mud, there are several munition kits available.
Trumpeter has another great model with their F-100F. Recommended.
Please see the SUMMARY below for the link RELATED LINK: F-100F Walkaround for almost 200 photos of an airworthy F-100F!
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