Drew Hatch has a new toy! He shares with us his first impressions of Kinetic’s 1/32 scale F-86F-30.
The F-86 Sabre is probably best known as the ‘Mig Alley’ Killer. Streaking into North Korea to shoot down the Mig 15 in dogfights. The F-86 was a combination of lessons learned from some other early fighter designs and technology from captured German Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters. It was during a telephone conversation that the aircraft has its design changed from a straight wing to a swept back design that made all the difference over Mig Alley.
The F-86F models had improvements to the airframe incorporating the ‘flying tail’ found on the previous version, an improved J-47 jet engine which had more thrust and better reliability over previous models. The F-86F-30 had a larger “6-3” wing. It was 6” wider at the chord and 3” wider in wing span. The leading edge slats were also removed and aerodynamic fences installed for greater control at high angles of attack.
Kinetic’s first kit in 1/32 scale is the F-86F-30 and it’s a real gem. It consists of 180 parts with a metal nose weight and two decal sheets. The clear parts are superb with very well defined edges. Options included in this kit are an opened rear fuselage to display the engine that even has its own stand. Two styles of drop tanks, bombs and Sidewinder missiles that are not used on this kit indicating other variants to come – cool!
The instructions consist of eight assembly pages, parts map, color guide referenced to Mr. Color enamels and three pages of markings. The kit itself has beautifully recessed panel lines. There should be no whining over these. The kit is also detailed with rivets. Now before some of you go grabbing your spears and pitchforks, they are very very fine and shallow recessed rivets. Some of the best I have seen and are almost too fine even for the scale.
Construction starts in the cockpit. An interesting arrangement in the kit is the side consoles are molded on top of the separate gun bays. This could make it very difficult to replace the cockpit with a resin one if the gun bay covers do not fit perfectly. The cockpit detail is adequate. There is an option for the instrument panel. You can use the molded plastic with all the relief provided or use a clear panel with a decal sandwiched in between. I think I would use the molded one and use my punch set and apply the individual dials from the decal sheet onto it. The seat is nicely done but lacks any harness.
The rest of the assembly is straight forward. You have the option to pose the stabalators, flaps, rudder and speed brakes. The J-47 engine seems to be missing the vanes on its face. The plumbing on the engine is basic also. Super detailers that choose to show the engine displayed have a decent base to work their magic with. The kit provides intake and exhaust covers – a nice touch for us modelers that can’t fill an intake seam for the life of us.
Two color markings are included. Both in Natural metal finish and from 39 FIS/ 51 FIW. Beautious Butch II and Mike’s Bird with kill markings. Interestingly enough, the yellow intake band is not provided for ‘Mike’s Bird’ leaving that up to the modeler to paint. There are extensive stencil markings that could really make this model look the part.
In conclusion this kit is wonderful. I think Kinetic has done an excellent job and the price is good for the detail provided. I purchased this one at Lucky Model for $20 USD. (They do charge US$17 shipping. Roll Models lists the kit for US$32… but you still pay shipping. ~Ed.) If the fit is as good as it looks it might, we should be seeing several examples in shows very soon. If you’re interests are in this scale, this is a must have kit of this important Korean War fighter.
Drew Hatch has been an avid modeler since he was a teenager. Taking a modeling hiatus while flying in the Canadian Armed Forces, he picked it up again when he met his wife. They’ve been married ten wonderful years. Drew’s interests are naval and Canadian aviation, with an emphasis on the Pacific War. (Along with the slight detour into N. Africa during WWII.)