Box art picture of the sprues picture of the decals picture of the decals

Sword/Special Hobby F-84F Thunderstreaks

Project start 2023-04-01

Even as stash denizens go, this is an odd bird. It wasn't the kit that was lurking in the stash, but rather the decals. I got the Model Decal sheet as a gift for use in my Heller Starfighter, and the F-84F decals also on that sheet were somewhat surplus to requirements. Still, I hate to throw out anything still of some value, especially if it was a gift, so I picked up a brand new tooling of the Thunderstreak to stick under the decals.

The decals in question are for a machine of Escadrille de Chasse 1/9 "Limousin" of the French airforce, based at Luxeuil or Metz in 1961.

The kit is the very recent Sword tooling. The parts are basic, and appear just short of crude, but the surface engraving looks very nice. The ejection seat is resin, but otherwise this is straightforward plastic. Being a short run kit, there are no locating pins or similar luxuries. I don't really mind, but some sort of indication where the wing pylons are supposed to go (other than a suggestive arrow on the instructions) would have been appreciated. Masks for the transparencies and wheels are included. I've never used pre-cut masks before, so this will be a novelty for me.

After my experiences with their RT-33 I'm going to be approaching this kit with extreme paranoia, and fully stocked up on sandpaper and filler. Perhaps it will be a pleasant surprise, but I'm fully expecting a memorable fight.

Work on this project has stalled, as I direct consequence of my product paranoia. My preferred metallisers by AlcladII have been transferred to MIG Ammo, and are now called A-Stand. Theoretically, they are exactly the same as their AlcladII counterparts, but new owner all too often means new formula, with new meaning cheaper, just good enough to sell on the strength of the previous brand for a while. As said, I'm paranoid, and I hate losing my toys. So, I bought me a bunch of different metalliser paints, including of course the A-Stand ones, and a whole bunch of Trumpeter 1/144 MiG-21s and set up a test series, much as I'd done with the Su-27 colours. Rather predictably, the MiGs were a pain in the butt to build, and with all sorts of distractions going on, took months and a bucket of filler to build into something that can be used to test bare metal finish. Today, I finally find myself looking at ten glossy black MiGs to test on, so the real test can begin. As before, I'll be using nose numbers to identify the models and paints used, according to the table below.

Nose number Paint brand/number/name Thinner
1 MrColor SM201 Super Fine Silver 2 Firescale lacquer
2 MrMetalColor MC218 Aluminium none
3 AK RC020 Aluminium IPA
4 AK Extreme Metal AK479 Aluminium none
5 AK Extreme Metal AK481 Polished Aluminium none
6 FireScale Metal Color FMC011 Aluminium none
7 Tamiya LP-70 Gloss Aluminium Firescale lacquer
8 Hataka Orange C078 Aluminium none
9 MIG A-Stand 2300 Aluminium none
0 MIG A-Stand 2319 Airframe Aluminium none

The picture doesn't show the numbers, but the MiGs are numbered back to front, left to right.

Box art picture of the sprues picture of the decals

As usual, curiosity and temptation got the better of me, and this project has been expanded with the equally new Special Hobby Thunderstreak.
At first glance, the difference between the two is shocking. The SH is to all appearances a state of the art, regular production kit, that appears decades ahead of the Sword, at about the same price. Unless it looks a lot better on the sprue than it will build, I don't realy see any reason for the continued existence of thw Sword kit.
The Special Hobby has more than enough 'things under wings' for both models, and of course helpfull stuff like locating holes for it all. I hope to be able to apply the information that gives me to help build the Sword kit, and add some bits to the latter's loadout.

Finishing materials:

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