1/72 scale kits of the F-104 Starfighter
review / Modelling report
In my youth, I saw many F-104 Starfighters flying at air shows, both from the Dutch Air Force as from many other NATO countries in the seventies. Many plastic model kits have been issued of the F-104, in many many scales. This modelling report will focus on 1/72 scale F-104 models (for 1/32 scale models, look here...)
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was high speed single-engine interceptor aircraft. It was called “the missile with a man in it”. It could fly well over MACH 2 and had a M61 Vulcan Gatling gun.
The famous aircraft designer Kelly Johnson developed the F-104 which started in 1952 with the XF-104 first flight March 1954 but with the J65 engine. The Starfighters would later get the J79 engine with the YF-104A being the first flying February 1956. The F-104 had small very thin trapezoidal wings and was very fast with MACH 2 capability although not very manoeuvrable. Although the USAF used it, it saw most active service with other NATO countries.
Early Starfighters had a downward-firing Stanley C1 ejection seat because the aircraft had a T-tail. But this configuration quickly changed, with the Lockheed C-2 upward-firing seat that also could be used at lower flight levels. Many export Starfighters were later retro-fitted with newer Martin-Baker seats. The Royal Netherlands Air Force Starfighters retained the C-2 seat.
Basic armament included the 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun. Also, it could be armed with Sidewinders AIM-9 missiles. These could be carried on the wingtip stations, but also on later versions at fuselage pylons. Four underwing pylons could carry fueltanks and bombs. Range with only internal fuel was limited, so typical on the Starfighter the large wing tip fueltanks were often seen.
Various Starfighter versions were developed, see list below. Overall, more than 2,500 Starfighters were manufactured.
The F-104G typically
looks like as seen in this profile and has thick wheels and bulged main
wheel doors to accomodate the thicker wheels. The F-104G was extensively
used by NATO air forces, like the Royal Netherlands AF (KLu). The Royal
Netherlands Air Force Starfighters retained the Lockheed C2 ejection seats,
but many other air forces later replaced their seats by a Martin-Baker
zero-zero ejection seat.
about the F-104 can be found on many websites...
OK, what 1/72 scale models are on the stack?
ESCI / ITALERI / Revell F-104
For seeing all kits, simply start with the upper
page and continue....
- F-104 Startfigher, Detail & Scale 38, Kinzey
- F-104 "in action", Squadron signal publications
- Verlinden "Lock on" on the F-104G
- F-104 Starfighters, Airdoc books
- IPMS The Netherlands: MIP 4-1977 and MIP 1-1978 (Dutch Starfighters)
Full info on Royal Netherlands Air Force ("Koninklijke Luchtmacht") used Starfighters at IPMS Nederland
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Created this page
August 19, 2014