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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Thud the Hard Way: 1/48th Monogram F-105D Thunderchief (Conversion)

Updated: May 19, 2023

When Monogram released this kit F-105 kit in 1982, it was impressive. Detailed raised cockpit dials and switches, good ejection seats, nice recessed vents and control surfaces (although it had raised panel lines because this is the early eighties). While not fully up to today's standard, the kit can still be built into an impressive model of the Thunderchief.

Notable Kit Features (This kit was purchased as a F-105F):

  • Excellent molded cockpit details with typical Monogram raised switches and dials

  • Nice Ejection seats with molded seatbelts (typical of Monogram)

  • Positionable canopies

  • Optional crew figures (a real bonus for some model builders)

  • Vulcan gun muzzle details

  • Gear detail is good however due to the length of the plastic main gear, it will create stability problems and require bracing or main gear replacement with metal versions

  • Nicely detailed wheel wells

  • Main wing spar provided

  • Well thought out intakes resulting in smooth intake surfaces

  • Inclusion of the separate fuselage jamming pods making a conversion to "G" model easy (and a "D" possible, but now you could just buy a D :)

  • 4-separate speed brake petals (one posed in the dropped position

  • Positionable stabilators

  • Lots of weapons stores (Mk.117, Mk.82, AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-78 Standard ARM - complete with launch rail & Tanks, depending on the kit

Build Inspiration:

I was already fan of the Thud, after reading up on the early air combat days in Vietnam, so when the 1/48th scale F-105G kit was released by Monogram, I immediately broke into my savings and picked up a couple. The raw power and sleek lines of this aircraft made it a "must have" in the inventory. Monogram initially released the kit as a double seat "G" model however what I really wanted to build was the single seat "D" version... now maybe they would release the kit as a single seater but how long may that take, if ever..? In 1983 Monogram released the double seat "F" version. I must have really wanted a F-105D as I decided not to wait for a possible future release and instead opt to undergo a cut down conversion early in my model building days!

Heads-Up Report: (This kit was built a long time ago so my memory is limited)

  • This model kit has been released by Monogram, Revell, as well as Revell-Monogram / Hasegawa with different kit numbers and decal options over the years with the latest release in 2013 by Revell

  • Metal Main Gear replacements will be the best addition for this kit (if you can find any)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Raised panel lines were sanded down

  • Section behind pilot (containing second crew station) cut out and fuselage rejoined

  • Tail reduced in chord as well as in height to better represent a D tail

  • Later RHAW antennas removed from tail and early versions added

  • Combat camera removed from nose (not present on an early D version)

  • Reinforcement plates on wings should be removed if you are back-dating the kit - which it looks like I didn't know of this modification at the time, as they are still present

End Result:

The conversion must not have been overly difficult, as after building this silver dope finish (not NMF as you may have thought) I decided to go for it again to get myself a TAC jungle version of the "D" Thud. Now, as my luck would have it, Monogram released their D version in 1985... just after I finished this kit... go figure. (and remember I still have a second G in the stash that I intended to convert to a D... as well as a G to be built as a G and a G to be built as a F... I told you I really liked the Thud :)

Overall I would still recommend this Monogram F-105 kit. Although some will find it somewhat outdated, it still gives the newer kits competition, based on its good overall representation, reasonable price point and nice details. If you want more detail as well as recessed panel lines, you may find the Hobby Boss kit a better choice as it has options to build and display the engine, radome, gun bay and re-fueling probe (however this Hobby Boss kit is obviously at a much higher price point as well).

Completed build #6 - May 1985 using the 1/48th Monogram F-105F #5808 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge your skills if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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