Century Deuce: 1/48th Monogram F-102A Dagger
Here is yet another of Monogram's massive "Century Series" kits, the F-102A Dagger. Originally released in 1990, it remains the only Deuce still available in 1/48th scale. The other company to produce one was Revell in the 60-70s. These Monogram kits are very nicely detailed for their age and still hold up well today.
Notable Kit Features:
Excellent molded cockpit detail
Seated pilot figure, 2 ground crew and boarding ladder included
Engine bulkhead provided with basic compressor face depicted
Convincingly detailed gear bays and landing gear
Positionable speed brakes
Nicely detailed weapons bay with AIM-4 Falcons
Two external fuel tanks
Fine raised panel lines and surface details
I came across this 1/48th Monogram F-102A Dagger kit quite reasonably priced at a hobby show. It even included some markings that I quite liked, so an Out-of-the-Box build was added to the stash. My F-102A-40-CO, Serial 54-1405 would be in the markings of the Squadron Commander's aircraft of the 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (USAFE). The 496th was based at Hahn AB Germany 1961 (with deployments to Wheelus AB, Ramstein AB Germany as well as New Camp Amsterdam, Netherlands).
Ejector pins are present, mostly out of sight however a few will need to be dealt with
Fit of the upper / lower wing halves leaves a considerable gap to be filled and sanded (luckily this is on the underside of the wing)
Tail join will require some filler and the inevitable smoothing out
Intakes have upper and lower seams which will have to be dealt with to a degree
Control surface are molded slightly dropped however they are one-piece with the wing and the trailing edges are quite thick
Kit Additions / Modifications:
This kit was built Out-of-the-Box
Admittedly I committed the unforgivable sin of building my 1/48 scale Monogram F-102 weapons bay closed (which required a bit of sanding and filling as punishment). Now before you go railing on me for skipping one of the biggest eye-catching features of this Delta, did I mention I am just not that fond of this aircraft, you know aside from it's place in history. It was a bit of an "experiment" shall we say, and The One-O-Six was really all this airframe should have been... Oh oh, I feel I may have offended the Delta fans out there with that previous paragraph, so let's just keep that discussion between friends, shall we?
The overall paint consists of FS 36473, USAF Air Defence Gray. The other painted details were added after that base including; the yellow tail, black tail & anti-glare panel, radome tan nose, chromate green gear wells and doors & blue airbrake flash. The large USAF wing markings as well as the aircraft "Buzz codes" carry a lot of clear film that has a tendency to show (and possibly yellow), so I made the executive decision to paint on these markings instead of using the decals. ...Unfortunately that spray session did not go well with the paint jamming up the airbrush (probably paint particles) and then being thinned too much for this particular application (which requires fairly dry, light, smooth, multiple coats to work with the masks. Note to self: If a paint session starts to go south early on, pack it up, totally clean out the airbrush and start again another day. Due to this mishap, I had to repair quite a bit of the lettering bleed through so took the opportunity to do some all over paint weathering across the airframe (This way the repairs to the lettering don't stand out as much). I also spent a bit of time on the exhausts, getting a number of metal shades blended together.
Next the gloss coat was applied for the decals to go down over. A near final step was to figure out a suitable way to do the pitot barber pole, which was finally accomplished with a fine flexible decal by cartograph (failed with masking and the first kit decal attempt). After all the final bits were added, this beast was ready for a spot in The Hangar.
The After-Build Report:
If you want to build a 1/48th scale F-102A Dagger, then it pretty much comes down to this kit, which has been released by the Revell / Monogram brand as well as Hasegawa /Revell. I will still recommend this kit as it does build up into a nice replica of this big Fighter / Interceptor. The cockpit details consist of molded switches, throttle and stick with a decent ejection seat. The surface details are nicely done and if you don't like the raised panel lines you can sand them off, to get your big Delta Interceptor on the display shelf. The Encore Models' / Squadron 1/48 scale F-102A Delta Dagger (2010 release) seems an impressive upgrade on this same plastic with improved resin and photo-etched parts added (including a nose cone shape correction and seamless intakes).
Completed build #256 - December 2022 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #85-5518 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers