Taegu Tiger: - 1/48th Tamiya F-84G Thunderjet
Tamiya released this 1/48th scale Republic F-84G Thunderjet kit back in 1998 and while it is a gem to build with excellent fit, panel lines and details, upon close examination, there are some reported shape inaccuracies.
Notable Kit Features:
Good cockpit details
Late style ejection seat (with decal seatbelts provided)
The nicely detailed nose gun-bay can be displayed open
Excellent panel lines and surface details
Optional position flaps & ventral speed brake
A choice of tip-tanks or bare wingtips
Under-wing tanks as well as 500 pound bomb ordenance provided
Rocket Assisted Take-Off (RATO) bottles
Nice boarding ladder is also included
Great fit of parts
Ball-bearing nose weight provided
I picked up this 1/48th Tamiya F-84G Thunderjet kit second hand at a model show for $10.00 Now, present me with a decent kit at low cost and I will find a reason to buy it (even though I already had built one and may have preferred the Monogram kit to build as a comparison). Fast forward a few years and a fine gentleman and fellow model builder I met via, what we use to (and still do) call twitter (@Rheumatoidman), is forming up a "Just for Fun Jet" group build. Seemed a good time to try out my NMF skills with a new brand of paint (Vallejo). I went with the kit markings of the 8th FBS 1952 based at Taegu (K-2) South Korea, as I really liked the yellow and black stripes on this WingCom aircraft.
From a build stand-point this kit has few (if any) vices as the fit is excellent
Maybe you can mildly complain about the center split nose-wheel bay which is hard to clean-up
I don't recall coming across a photo of an F-84G with flaps down, at engine off however I opted for this look, regardless of accuracy
Kit Additions / Modifications:
For this kit I used the outstanding Aires cockpit set because, it came included in my $10.00 2nd hand model - how great is that!
Painted on the USAF, Buzz-Numbers and yellow and black stripes
First things first. Due to the chosen marking of the 8th FBS, that had yellow and black stripes on the wing tanks (which would require very flexible decals and I doubted Tamiya's were up to the task), I decided that painting the yellow and black would be prudent. This would also allow me to tone down the bright look of the yellow for some scale effect.
The NMF paint finish on this aircraft was achieved using Vallejo Air aluminum (which I was rather pleased with and will use again - noticeably better than Tamiya aluminum in finish and durability). I used slightly darker tones of aluminum along the fuselage according to reference photos from Korean war F-84Gs. A light coat of gloss was used to seal in the aluminum as the next stage would require some masking work and I didn't want to risk lifting any of the metal finish, The large USAF wing markings as well as fuselage Buzz-Numbers over an aluminum paint job caused me to option for painting on these markings, to avoid seeing any decal carrier film (especially over time). I did later read a comment from Cutting Edge decals that the USAF was actually specified in navy blue, however I had already committed to black and wasn't about to try and confirm this detail as this would force a complex respray of colour.
The After-Build Report:
The Tamiya kit is a stress-free build, with excellent fit and surface details, but with some overall shape inaccuracies if you are a rivet counter (being too deep in profile as well as having ventral fin and rudder shape issues - if you care). The Monogram F-84s are considered superior in shape outline, although the Tamiya panel lines may be slightly better. Kinetic has the newest example of the F-84F with engraved panel lines...however it seems to have quite a few issues regarding accuracy and fit. If you want a model of a F-84E in your collection, which has some minor differences, Monogram / Revell also released this version of the Thunderjet.
Completed build #263 - July 2023 using the 1/48th scale Tamiya #61060 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