Academy 1/48 North American F-86F Sabre

67th FBS, 18th FBW, US Air Force, Korea 1953

The second Sabre in this collection is Academy’s F-86F-30. The kit is very nice and goes together very straightforwardly. Full intake trunking is included, unlike Monogram’s Sabre, along with positionable flaps and a better detailed interior. I used SNJ for the second time to replicate the natural metal finish. The advantage of this NMF finish is that it needs no primer coat, can be masked, and can be polished using the aluminium powder to the desired shine. The disadvantages are that the paint is quite susceptible to being scratched when polished, and enamel paints do not adhere well to it. The big, big let-down with this kit are the decals. They look very nice, being thin (although significantly out-of-register; the other kit marking option was more affected by this than the one shown here) but have terrible adhesion. As you can see, several walkway markings have already flaked off, and the fin flash and national markings are flaking off on the kit. If I ever get round to it I should use some aftermarket decals to replace the missing ones – every time I look at this kit more markings have come off. I ditched the decals for the fuselage and wing stripes and painted these and the nose using Humbrol enamels.

Year bought: 1998 (A model shop in Guildford)

Year built: 2000 (Send Marsh, Surrey, UK)

© Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved. Jonathan Bryon.

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