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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
Best Starfighter Ever?
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 693 posts
AeroScale: 551 posts
Posted: Monday, October 30, 2017 - 02:34 AM UTC
Hello friends (I hope I can call you that now)

Its great to have you along. I'm hoping there will be fewer trials with this kit, but let's see. Whatever happens your advice, encouragement, expertise and constructive criticism has become part of what I look forward when I start a new kit, so thanks for looking in.

Here's some progress...
Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 768 posts
AeroScale: 656 posts
Posted: Monday, October 30, 2017 - 01:48 AM UTC
I seem to have missed you starting your new project Steve but I'll be along for the rest and I look forward to seeing the trials and triumphs
England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: November 06, 2005
KitMaker: 753 posts
AeroScale: 311 posts
Posted: Monday, October 30, 2017 - 12:21 AM UTC
Welcome back Steve after the 1/32 Mirage III saga!

Look forward to seeing you work your magic on this one.

Staff MemberAssociate Editor
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 01:56 AM UTC
Looking forward to seeing you work your "magic" with the Italeri F-104C.

Nothing like starting with that clean canvas. Looking forward to seeing your progress in your next update.

England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 693 posts
AeroScale: 551 posts
Posted: Sunday, October 22, 2017 - 06:17 PM UTC
Cockpits. We nearly always start with cockpits. This kit isnít any different. My first step before assembling anything was to gather reference material. Itís not easy finding complete 360 degree views of the interior, especially the area behind the ejector seat, so I ended up gleaning as much as I could from various photos on the internet. If youíre reading this and can add anything, please drop me a pm or feel free to post some images here.

These are the best I could come up with.


In the process of researching it became clear that even with the Eduard upgrades there was a lot of detail either missing, simplified or just plain wrong. The area that needs the most attention is actually the bulkhead behind the ejector seat. The kit provides a few basic lumps and bumps that donít look like anything very much, and Eduard provides nothing. I want to bring this area to life so I removed all the details and created a plain canvas to do some scratch building. An hour or so of meditative cutting and sanding took it from this...

to this.

Right after that I removed and cleaned the Italeri ejector seat parts. I can see a lot of test fitting in my future as both the Italeri and Eduard instructions can be just a bit vague and some attachment points look flimsy. This work is going to need the modellers best tools - patience, care and experience. It feels good to be making a start.

Happy modelling guys.
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 693 posts
AeroScale: 551 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 02:22 AM UTC
The best Starfighter ever? OK, so I don't mean the absolute best. I mean my best. Iím going to build Italeriís 1/32 scale F-104C and throw everything at it - aftermarket, scratch building, and as much time, patience and money as I can muster. The objective is to build my best model ever and take as long doing it as the kit and my ideas demand.

I must admit to a love/hate relationship with Italeriís 1/32 scale aircraft kits. I love the subject matter, especially the cold war jets, but I hate some of the sloppy moulding and poor engineering. Anyone who followed my Mirage IIIc build will know it was a real trial. And yet when I look at all the kits in my display case itís the Mirage I enjoy the most. Perhaps because it tested my skills and patience, I feel a glow of satisfaction whenever I see it. If you want to know why it tested me, then check out the blog here on Aeroscale. By the way, Iím sorry about the missing photos. They are a victim of Photobucketís now infamous third party hosting policy. Iíve switched to imgur.

Now its on to the F-104C, which seems to be one of Italeriís better 1/32 scale kits based on the evidence of other modellers and a quick look at the kit parts. Not flawless by any means, but not unbuildable either. My plan is to make an early Vietnam war version in natural metal. To help it along I invested in some Eduard goodies including interior and exterior photo etch, resin exhaust nozzles and resin wheels. I have metal landing gear too. I also bought a resin ejector seat but I got the wrong one (damn). Iíll be using photo etch and scratch building to enhance the kit seat instead.

Thats the plan. Here are some photos of my subject, an F104C of 435th TFS, Da-Nang 1965, and some of the goodies that will contribute to the finished model. If you want to help me out with references, memories or any other suggestions then please feel free to join in the fun. And of course follow along and comment if you want to, but don't feel obliged.

Oh, and hereís some mood music to, well, get you in the mood. I hope its not prophetic


Happy modelling folks.