Triple MiG Killer - 1/48th Tamiya F-84G Thunderjet
Updated: Mar 23
Tamiya's release of this F-84G was a nice surprise after the Battleaxe kit disappointment and came ahead of Monogram's announced release. (Of course it would have been better if Tamiya released one of the other desired nifty-fifty jets and left us with the Monogram F-84... but I digress.) This is a typical Tamiya build without any fit issues and excellent detailing out of the box.
Notable Kit Features:
Very nicely detailed cockpit
Excellent panel lines and surface details
Optional position flaps and ventral speed brake
Detailed nose gun bay that can be displayed open (actually it doesn't fit well closed)
A choice of external tanks or 500 pound bombs under the wings
Wing tip tanks are optional
Rocket Assisted Take-Off (RATO) bottles included
Ball-bearing nose weight included
While searching through a rather extensive decal collection at a local hobby store I came across a set that caught my eye as it depicted an F-84 that had multiple victories... and you thought the F-86 guys got all the MiGs in Korea. I was down for a build at that point and picked up the Tamiya kit to do the project with.
On 23 January 1951, 1LT Jacob Kratt had the distinction of shooting down 2 MiG-15s on a single mission. This was no small feat considering that the MiG-15 is deemed superior in speed, climb and hitting power. Kratt would continue his success and gain another 'Kill' over a Yak-9 to finish the war as the top scorer in the F-84. On Kratt's double 'Kill' mission the 523rd was providing high cover for squadrons conducting a strike on the North Korean airfield at Sinuiju, just east of a known MiG base at Antung, Manchuria.
The eight strafing aircraft had already made their runs on the airfield before the enemy reacted. During the attack MiGs were spotted taking off from Antung and a major 'furball' ensued. Kratt quickly got into the fight, "I rolled over and came down fast, and got in a good long burst on the No. 2 MIG. Smoke poured out of his tail, and he turned to the Manchurian side, and that apparently disorganized their attack, as two more of our flights made passes at the field, and nobody got bounced on his run. My wingman said that when he passed my MIG it was flaming." Within two minutes Kratt had two victories. As luck would have it that day, the MiG's late takeoff prevented them from gaining an altitude advantage. Amazingly all F-84's from the mission made it back to base, claiming 4 MiGs for the days work.
The ejection seat isn't the best (apparently) but seemed good enough. KMC makes a good cast-resin F-86 seat (very similar to the F-84) if you want to go that option
This is a well fitting kit (if you don't want to close the gun bay) and didn't present any construction issues
I actually haven't seen an example of the F-84G parked with the flaps down however it added to the interest, so I used the dropped option (probably not accurate though - if you care)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Added seatbelts made from painted masking tape
Used aftermarket decals from Cutting Edge decals 48-106
This was another NMF (Natural Metal Finish) attempt that I should have spent more time on the panel variations as they are too subtle. The jet would also benefit from a light panel wash to bring out some of the details. The Cutting Edge decals were excellent and the kit turned out alright without much added effort. The open gun bay certainly adds to the character of he kit as the detail is quite nice.
The After-Build Report:
After a very long period without any decent representation of the F-84G in 1/48th scale, we got two excellent examples about a year apart, with ProModeler's example following this Tamiya one. Both kits are worthy builds and it would come down to which kit you were able to find. The Monogram / ProModeler / Revell kit tends to be less expensive.
Completed build #112 - August 2009 using the 1/48th Tamiya F-84G kit 61060*2400
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 suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers