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Century Hun: 1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

Released for the first time in 1980 the 1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre was part of a full set of Century Series fighters produced in 1/48th by Monogram. For several decades this kit remained the best choice (and there wasn't much choice) if you wanted the F-100 in 1/48th. That fact may still be true today, depending on your priorities.


1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

Notable Kit Features:


  • Nicely moulded raised cockpit detail

  • Ejection seat has moulded cushions and seat belts

  • Overall good dimensions

  • Slats & speed-brake can be positioned down

  • Optional open gun-bay, ammo bay

  • Two different styles of exhausts provided (F-102 style for some post war versions)

  • Nice gear and wheel-bay details

  • Boarding ladder included

  • Stores include Bullpup, Mk.82 bombs and wing tanks

  • Raised panel lines with nice recessed details

  • Very reasonable cost (comparatively)


F-100D and F-100F Super Sabres

Build Inspiration:


At some point early in my model making days I got the idea that it would be really cool to get some photos of my models "in flight". Keep in mind that this is during the 1980s, well before digital cameras and computers were accessible to the average person. Working with what I had at the time (and not much money to invest in this project), I assembled a painted sky background, a large glass sheet, my trusty Canon AE-1, a tripod and my vision of aviation photography in scale:) The Proof of Concept trials proved frustrating, taught some lessons in lighting, details and scale (and subsequently damaged some aircraft models), however it wasn't a complete failure, so maybe I was onto something. Being young and ambitious with free time on my hands, my natural inclination was, I'll figure out the remaining details - let's scale it up! What I really wanted was a multi-aircraft shot. For example, a Bf 109 Messerschmitt swooping past the B-17 with an allied fighter in pursuit, or a formation of jets thundering past. Ah, the thrill of a new project... Next step was down to the local model shop for some inspiration! As luck would have it, they had a couple of 1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabres on Damaged Box Sale - Challenge accepted!

I won't go through all the details of the challenges I ran into, and almost but not quite (to my standards) overcame in this ambitious project, just suffice to say the trio of Huns in the Sun never made it to final production stage. The main challenges were in invisibly supporting the scale aircraft on the glass (plastic tens to slide easily on glass), glass glare reduction / elimination (backlighting was key here, but is was still a great obstacle) and subject preservation. It was this last point that ultimately shut down the project as I came to the conclusion that I was going to lose a number of aircraft in crashes chasing this lofty goal of mine, and maybe my time was better spent on other projects. So I took the lessons learned and decided to terminate the project before the cost over-runs and production accidents claimed too many of my limited resources!


1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

Heads-Up Report:

  • Careful test fitting of parts is best for this circa 80's kit construction

  • Raised cockpit detail possibly not accurate

  • The fit of the gun-bay cover will have notable gaps to fill (card stock and filler) other open bays fit slightly better but require work

  • Nice (but partly imaginative) moulded detail in the gear bays

  • The nose air intake duct two halves will require some work to get that seam to disappear (possibly cut off the rear backing so you can work from both ends)

  • Best test fit the intake duct to the nose (and don't follow the instructions to first glue the duct to the upper fuselage) Find what works best before gluing the duct pieces into the nose

  • Some of the Monogram kit's fit problems can be worked around if you first build the fuselage without the wings, and remove the horizontal tails (this will allow better clean-up of the rear fuselage joins)

  • If you remove the horizontal stabilizers, re-join them later using stiff wire or small tubing passed through the fuselage as the attachment point - drill out holes in the ends of the stabs to fit them on the kit as this will allow you to position them later (careful of your drill angles and depth)

  • The gap to fit the fuselage between the wings (which are joined as a single unit) is too narrow, so best to separate the two wings and put a spacer in or fit the wings individually

  • Both the nose fit and the exhaust fit required some sanding of surfaces to smooth over the steps and seams

  • The wing tanks provided in the kit are the 275 Imp. Gal. tanks used by the early F-100s - The later tanks were the 335  Imp. Gal. type (about 28" longer)

  • Half-tanks are pre-attached to the pylons with a resulting gap that you may want to deal with (by severing the tanks and reattaching them later)

  • Wing pylons do not fit well to the wing and must be gap filled or re-contoured to fit

  • The Monogram fine panel lines were sanded off (mainly because I sanded off a lot of it in the construction process)

  • Note: all this work is even more challenging on a NMF as the demands for a perfect finish increase


Kit Additions / Modifications:


I'll incorporate all my wonderful hindsight advise if I built another one of these 1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre kits gear down (which isn't out of the question yet :)


1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

Finishing:


The paint on this aircraft was, once again, the time-consuming USAF TAC Jungle scheme of the Vietnam war era aircraft. Consisting of FS 30219 Tan / 34102 Med. Green / 34079 Dk. Green over FS 36622 Lt Gray). The camouflage colours were sprayed in oil-based enamels lightest to darkest without any weathering. A gloss coat was then sprayed using a lacquer finish to prepare for decals. The final matt coat was sprayed, using lacquer (Testors Dullcoat?) to complete the finish. Dark washes which were used to highlight the controls and various inlets.


1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

The After-Build Report:


While not perfect by any means, the general consensus is that, shape-wise the 1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre remains a better representation of the Hun than the competition's kits. The 1/48th F-100 Monogram kit is not an easy build, however it is doable with patience and intermediate or better model making skills. In the end it should net you a good looking Hun for a very reasonable cost, assuming you don't go to town with the aftermarket (which is another route you could take).


The 1/48th Trumpeter kit is easier to build, with scribed panel lines however these attributes are the only advantages over the Monogram kit. Problem areas (on the D) include the shape of the intake, canopy, tires, early 275 tanks, rivet detail to name a few.


1/48th Monogram F-100D Super Sabre

As always, keep in mind for your build, that often the critiques on these model aircraft are from people very familiar with the type. They know the aircraft in great detail so can see the short-comings that others would probably miss. It would be nice to have a close to perfect 1/48th scale F-100C/D/F kit, but we don't yet, so You do You and decide what is more important to You in Your build. How much do you really want to invest in time, effort and finances to get the end result you are potentially capable of?


I don't ever recall my family ever commenting that "actually my F-100D here isn't a Vietnam bird as everybody knows that the later 102 tail cone didn't come into use until post-war ANG days... and BTW those tanks look a bit short to me.. didn't you notice that..?" Yes I know, you noticed these sorts of things, but not everybody does! :)


Completed build #55 - September 1995 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5416 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


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