Tiger Meet Missile: 1/48th Hasegawa CF-104 Starfighter
Initially released in 2000, Hasegawa's 1/48th scale F-104G Starfighter delivered a gem of a kit with great features right out of the box. There have been numerous boxings of this kit with various markings from Hasegawa over the years. (As well as re-boxings from Eduard, Italeri and Revell.)
Notable Kit Features:
Simple construction with well fitting parts
Nicely detailed cockpit
Ejection seat with molded on seatbelts
Canopy can be posed open or closed (although there is no actuator for the open position)
Separate flaps and slats (normally in the neutral position on ground)
Speed brakes can be positioned open or closed (normally closed on ground)
Nicely detailed wheel wells and gear
The Tiger Meet markings are quite eye catching to start with, and when combined with a Tiger Squadron, it presents an unbeatable combination for a "must-build" project. The 1983 Tiger Meet was hosted by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 439 Squadron based at Baden-Soellingen Germany. This year marked the thirtieth anniversary of the base and all three CAF squadrons were sporting special schemes. CAF 421 Squadron was in red with a big white arrow on the side; CAF 441 Squadron had the rear fuselage covered with black and white checkerboards and CAF 439 (Tiger) Squadron wore these yellow and black stripes. This also marked the final year that Canadian CF-104s participated in the Tiger Meet.
This kit has no real vices. The only areas you have to be a bit carful with the fit is on the intakes (ensuring everything is lined / trimmed up) and in posing the canopy open (if chosen)
Depending on the boxing, most kits lack underwing pylons and stores. (A long time nit-pic of Hasegawa kits is the lack of any stores.)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Built Out-of-the-Box (OoB) with the exception of the Belcher Bits (BD6) decals
The paint scheme for this aircraft is pretty straight forward with its wrap-around two-colour scheme. The most challenging part was to get the "barber pole" red and white stripes done on the pitot tube. Minimal weathering was done on this CF-104 Starfighter, as these jets were painted just prior to the Tiger Meet so they looked pretty pristine.
The After-Build Report:
Hasegawa's1/48th scale F-104 Starfighter series remains a good kit to get your "Manned-Missile" build on the shelf. Simple, well detailed with a very good fit gives the model maker a great OoB build or a great base for an add-on package, either way you should be pleased with the results. The newer (2019+) Kinetic kit looks very nice, with better detail (at a higher price) and the "Gold" series bumps this detail up a notch. Any of the older kits really aren't able to hold their own against these two any longer.
Completed build #153 - December 2012 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #09539 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