Monogram 1/48th F-84F Kit #5437 Silver
See also Kit #5432 Olive Drab

Price Unknown

This is one of two reasonably available 48th scale Thunderstreak kits; Heller's is the other. I think, but don't know for sure, that this kit came before the Heller kit. Whichever, this is the better of the two. In fact, until the Tamiya Thunderjet, and now the ProMod Thunderjet, came along, this was the best of any F-84 model available, and it is still the best of the Thunderstreak/Thunderflash kits available. I bought four (used) of the 5432 olive drab kit. The 5437 silver kit reviewed here was loaned to me by Ted Theoe. I don't know the going prices on the used kit market for this kit.

KIT REVIEW

Raised panel lines, but much more discreet than the ones on the Heller kit; also more accurately done. Fit is good, little flash; reasonable detail in cockpit, gear wells, and speed brake wells, good landing gear and fairings detail. I suspected the decals were the same for both the silver and the olive drab kits, but they are not. The decals provided with this kit are for only one aircraft, 52-6675, which the serial number decal identifies as "F-84F-30." However, the ARCO-AIRCAM AVIATION SERIES No. 16 list of serial numbers identifes this aircraft as being an F-84F-45-RE. The Monogram instructions do not give any other information about what service of the USAF the decals represent.

The primary difference between this kit and the olive drab kit #5432 is that this kit has one pylon-mounted auxillary fuel tank, no bombs, and includes the "Shape" nuclear device, while the olive drab kit has two of the auxilliary fuel tanks, two bombs, and no "Shape." All other parts are common to both kits. It is intersting to compare the "Shape" parts in this kit, which have grossly oversized raised details and no data decals, to those in ProMod's new F-84G kit which have finely engraved details and decals for the data. And, in fact, that is true of all the parts in each model -- ProMod's F-84G shows the vast improvement in kit engineeing and rmanufacturing processes that have taken place during the fifteen years between the release of this F-84F and the F-84G kits. But, to me, there is one noticeable difference that is not an improvement; the plastic on this kit is more rigid than on the F-84G kit, and it shows in the way the alignment tabs on the wings of this kit hold the wings in alignment much better than do those on the F-84G kit. I know, they are supposed to be glued into place -- this is a matter of all parts maintaining their shape during assembly. Okay, so I'm picking nits.

I have spent much more time learning about the plank wing series, but, my less-thorough knowledge of the Thunderstreak tells me this kit is pretty much right on. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. UPDATE: See the Fuselage and Wing Comparison pages for more comments on the differences in the Monogram and Heller kits. Also, as Harold Offield and I have compared the kits, our current belief is that the Monogram more correctly represents F-84F models before block 65, and that the Heller more correctly represents block 65 and subsequent. But, the jury is still out. And, my thanks to Guido Van Roy for furnishing the image of the box art for the kit as released in Germany.


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Monogram F-84F kit 5437 box art

Monogram F-84F German kit box art, image courtesy of Guido Van Roy

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 box decals

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Monogram F-84F kit 5437 fuselage parts

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 wing top parts, front

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 wing top parts, back

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Monogram F-84F kit 5437 wing bottom parts, front

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 wing bottom parts, front

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 misc. parts

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Monogram F-84F kit 5437 clear plastic parts

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 "Shape" instructions

Monogram F-84F kit 5437 emblem ad


KIT RATING
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A good kit. Builds into a moderately detailed representation without any aftermarket stuff; makes a great kit for the super-detailer. Only rated at seven because it is starting to show its age when compared to the new kits with engraved details and even better detailed kit parts. Also, a very good kit for a beginner who is ready to tackle something more difficult than a snap together kit.


Contents Copyright 1997-1999 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved


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