F-86 Sabre in 1/72 scale: kit modelling reports
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Fujimi from Japan came in 1986 with a very nice 1/72 kit of the F-86F Sabre. It was later also released in other boxes with different decals and also some other parts.
Some parts with the same part number were even modified in some kit releases such as for (longer) F40 type wing tips or the 6-3 wing. This depends on the version in the kit and Fujimi did their homework. It is clear that as Japan also used the F-86 Sabre, they had access to real jets and manuals.
Each Fujimi kit release is very nice and has delicated recessed panel lines. It is the best 1/72 kit of a F-86 Sabre in 1/72 scale. Detail parts look very good and it has the option to open up the air brakes and has an adequate cockpit. There is also a complete air intake funnel with fan bulkhead but you also use an intake cover #6. The jet pipe is also deep but you also get an optional cover.
Fujimi kit number #F-20 is for a RF-86F reconnaissance version with special bulges on and below the fuselage for the camera equipment. It had no guns in the nose. It has the slatted F-40 wing with extended tips.
The kit decals are for Japan Air Self Defense Force jets with a choice of serials/ codes. They have a natural metal scheme. The instructions are good and show adequate and correct paint details. In this kit, the introduction is in Japanese text, but details are also in English with Fed.Std colours.
I had an old March 1979 Japanese BUNRIN DO / KokuFan #107 publication that showed many JASDF F-86 jets.
The decals are really well researched as well as obviously Fujimi from Japan had info. You get decals for the instrument panels as well and the stencilling.
The RF-86F kit has an extra sprue with clear parts for the camera bulges and an extra sprue with a few parts for blisters and blanked gun panels.
This kit release has "F-40" wing parts #52, 53, 54 with the longer wing tips and straight pitot tube as used on the RF-84F.
The kit rudder lines were enscribed a bit deeper as were the flap outlines.
The fit of the kit is very good and it can be simply assembled. Use the blanked gun panels for the RF. A bit putty and sanding was needed at the nose intake ring and the wing-fuselage junction. The tiny gaps of the blisters were closed up with white glue. The nose panels fit very good.
The 200 gallons wing fuel tanks of the kit are also to be fitted.
The model would get a natural metal finish for the JASDF RF-86F of the no.501 squadron. Ensure a smooth surface, so polish all surfaces to remove any scratches and sanding marks.
The model was airbrushed after masking the camera windows with Vallejo metal coat acrylics. I used 77.701 aluminium. Some panels were masked for other metal colours.
Seen here after the tapes were removed.
The various paints were added with a brush like in the cockpit medium aircraft gray. In the cockpit for the RF-86F, I did not install the "gun sight" part #C3.
Decalling was done with the kit decals for scheme 1, and it took some 2 hours to put all the decals on the model.
The landing gears were installed. On many jets the inner' gear bay doors and big front nose door are also often seen closed on parked aircraft, so these was done on this JASDF model as well.
The straight pitot tube was replaced by a metal needle fixed with superglue and the anti-collision lights on wing tips painted red and dark blue.
The canopy and wind screen frames were hand painted aluminium with a fine sable brush. For a JASDF jet, the mid wind screen section is also sometimes seen tinted transparant blue. So this was painted with thinned Tamiya clear blue X-23 paint.
A gloss varnish was airbrushed to protect the decals and the canopy set slided open on the model, and that completed this very nice kit.
For the JASDF some 180 F-86 Sabres were acquired in the 1950s and Mitsubishi built under license some 300 jets. The F-86F was called the "Kyokukō" (旭光, Rising Sunbeam).
Below the "F-40" type wing is well seen with the extended wing tips.
Fujimi from Japan came with also a double pack with 2 different F-86 kits in the box with release numbered 35504. It had 2 different kits with decals for:
- Republic of Korea F-86F-40 with slatted wing and extended tip with a choice for a camouflaged jet or a natural metal jet with yellow markings.
- Philippine Air Force F-86F-30 with different 6-3 non-slatted "F-30" wing. Markings are for the Blue Diamonds aerobatic and display team.
These kits were made rather straight out of the box so for general assembly comments see notes above.
The first kit made was for the Philippines aerobatic and display team with decals from the kit. The team was formed in 1952 as the Blue Diamond (without "s") and in 1957 obtained F-86F Sabres flying these until 1968, than under the Blue Diamonds name.
Assembly was straight forward. The air brakes of the model will be set open.
After a light grey base coat airbrushed with Revell Aqua 75 steingrau, a few Vallejo metal acrylic paints were airbrushed with the main colour being 77.701.
The 6-3 non-slatted "F-30" wing is easily recognized through the small wing fence.
Some parts were airbrushed while still in their sprues.
The kit decals are very good. Blue Diamond F-86F-30-NA number "4" with serial 113432 was made. (note that another F-86F-30-NA serial 24432 was also used later as number "2").
The gear bays were painted interior green and gear doors were set open.
I painted the cockpit interior as noted above. The gear bays interior green and the gears themselves silver. The canopy and wind screen frames were hand painted aluminium.
[area: approx 300,000 km2 with many islands | capital: Manila | population: 107 million | GDP 3,500 USD per capita nominal ]
In the 1950s and 1960s jet aircraft were some 50 F-86F Sabres along with T-33 trainers.
For more information about the Philippine air force look at my F-5 page here...
F-86F-30-NA , serial 113432, coded 432, Blue Diamonds "4"
... at Mactan air base...
The second "double" kit was similarly assembled as described above. But this kit has the "F-40" wing with "long wing tip" with straight pitot tube. The model made as a F-86F-40 of the South Korean Air Force with the kit decals scheme "3", coded 2940.
Note that initially "2940" was a F-86F-10 serial 51-12940; probably this aircraft was retrofitted later with the different "F-40" wing as seen in this model.
The air brakes were set closed and no stores were set below the wing. The gear bays were painted interior green and gear doors were set open.
[ area: 100,363 sq.km | population: 51,7 million | capital: Seoul | GDP USD 35,000 per capita nominal ]
The South Korea air force was set-up with American aid from 1948, flying with Pipers. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) got additional light aircraft and later F-51's, the USA had military bases in the country. In the 1950s jets delivered included some 112 F-86F and 10 RF-86F Sabres. The jet trainer was the Lockheed T-33 and later F-86D Sabredogs with radar nose were acquired.
For more info about the ROKAF, read the A-37 page here...
yep... even more F-86 kits to be made in the future...
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April 6, 2023