Lockheed F-104A Starfighter by Der Kampfflieger (1:48)

Discussion in 'Kit Reviews' started by damraska, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. damraska

    damraska Member

    Publisher: Der Kampfflieger
    Subject: Lockheed F-104A Starfighter
    Model Number: N/A
    Designer: Roman Vasilyev
    Year Issued: 2006
    Format: .pdf document
    My Source: DeWayne Barnett http://www.teuton.org/dbarnett/
    My Cost: 2.75 USD
    Scale: 1:48 (built at 1:33 scale)
    Parts: 134 (confirmed)
    Construction Style: Connecting strip
    Upgrades: AeroGlass canopy
    Prototype: Unknown

    Part I: Base Model

    The Lockheed F-104A Starfighter by Der Kampfflieger consists of 134 parts at 1:48 scale. The model includes a simple cockpit, full wheel wells, wingtip launch rails, and two Sidewinder missiles. The bare metal fuselage of the prototype aircraft is simulated by a single shade of gray. The wings wear white on top and gray on the bottom. The national insignia and most other markings look sharp. The model does not include any drop shadows. The wheel wells receive some weathering. The canopy utilizes the only gradiant fill.

    The model builds up using the connecting strip construction method, with a single former at each joint. The kit does not actually include any of these strips, so the modeler must make them from scratch. In addition, it appears no allowance was made for the thickness of these strips with regard to fuselage formers. You must cut significantly inside the lines to make the formers fit. I would recommend printing the formers 5% to 10% smaller than the rest of the model to avoid this problem. With the exception of the fuselage formers, intakes, and gun bore, everything fit very well. The spine and tail hide most fuselage panel lines.

    Start by building up the rear gear box. Reinforce the walls with cardboard for extra durability. Assemble part 25 with the bar to the outside. Unfortunately, this renders the rest of part 25 upside down, but you can still assemble the landing gear correctly. Use multiple layers of cardboard inside 25 to add rigidity. Add connecting strips to each end of 53, insert the gearbox, then seal it in with formers D and E. The connecting strips around former D will eventually grab fuselage part 42 and intake parts 56R and 56L. Leave 4 gaps in the connecting strip where 42 turns inside 43.

    Continue on the fuselage working aft. The last fuslage segment includes the tail, which does not utilize a single former. This makes construction of the tail somewhat difficult, as it actually has some thickness. I ended up scratch building the formers myself. Go slow and test fit 46 multiple times. Part 67 goes under the lip formed by the tail. Roll 69, add G1 inside one end, wrap 68 around the other, and then put the whole thing through H. I ended up cutting H in half to make it fit. The engine should be perfectly round, so shim as necessary before securing this assembly inside the tail.

    Build the forward landing gear well. It's a bit short, so add an extension to the front. If you reinforce the well with cardboard, you will need to do surgery on the surrounding parts. If using wire, insert 17 now with a wire core. Build the forward fuselage. Put the forward landing gear well in when you get there. When you get to 1, stop and build the cockpit. The cockpit includes a nice instrument panel, a simple ejection seat, simple control pedals, and a flat control stick. Put 11 over the cockpit now. Add the cockpit to 1, with 11 inside your connecting strips. Build up 40 and test fit by sliding it over the cockpit. Part 66 is all wrong so scratch build a replacement. When you are happy, secure 40 in place. Build up the nose as a single assembly. Add nose weight if you desire. Connect the nose to 40. Part 37 is too thick so replace it with some wire painted white (or black?).

    Build up each intake (54, 55, 56, C) and test fit before securing them. Parts 55R and 55L are too long, so test fit and trim as required. Trim the backs of 56R and 56L to get the best fit. There will be gaps between the top and bottom of 56 and the fuselage. Add some shims to cover them up, then secure the intakes in place.

    Each wing consists of one piece, folder over, with a single spar to maintain shape. Trim the back of each wing so that parts 58L and 58R fit correctly. Unlike the actual aircraft, each wingtip on the model comes to a point with no wingtip former. The one piece wingtip missile rails are completely flat. The flat wingtips and flat rails will probably make it difficult to mount the Sidewinder missiles. I shimmed the ends of the wingtips to give them some thickness, built the rails as 3D objects, and then added the Sidewinders.

    As designed, you cannot model the plane with an open canopy. The model does not include a heads-up display.

    The one piece stabalizer also folds over a single rib, with each tip coming to a point. I added a cap at each end to give it some thickness.

    All three landing gear build up easily and fit well. The main gear actually include a fair amount of detail. Remember that 25 is upside down, so part 31 does not attach at the indicated point. I recommend reinforcing all three gear with wire, and putting a wedge of cardboard underneath each main gear strut. This will keep the finished model off its belly. Each wheel consists of 5 parts. The hubs are completely flat.

    Despite the few problems noted above, the F-104A Starfighter by Der Kampfflieger builds up into a good representation of the prototype, recommended for modeler's who enjoy mildly difficult kits. I believe it also represents the only F-104 currently available from a primary source.

    Parts Breakdown:
    Page 1: Cover
    Page 2: 59 (print on card)
    Page 3: 42 (print on card)
    Page 4: 33 (print on card)
    Page 5: Construction diagrams

    Notes: No written instructions.

    Part II: Experiments and Upgrades

    For the F-104A build below, I started by scaling up all parts to 1:33. Next, I recolored the entire model using brushed metal fills. I extend my thanks to Leif Oh, whose tutorial, Swedish recolouring of the GPM Storch, taught me how to use Photoshop. After printing the model on 67#, acid free cover stock I proceeded as above with the following exceptions:

    Inside the main gear well, I replaced the drawn wiring with actual wire. Part 25 was reinforced with cardboard until completely solid. Since 25 goes in upside down, I covered the mounting points with extra card. The top, front, and back of the well were reinforced with cardboard.

    As noted, the fuselage formers are too big. I cut mine down, but the results were not perfect, which is why you see pinching just above the wing roots on my model.

    For the tail, I scratch built an elaborate internal framework and cut the rudder free. Part 67 no longer fit, so I made a new part that did. I also enlarged the attachment point for the stabalizer. I added caps to the ends of the stabilizer, making it more 3D. After lining the inside of the rudder attachment area and building the rudder into a 3D object, I finished up the tail.

    For the wings, I once again scratch built an internal framework and cut free the control surfaces. This gave the wingtips some thickness. I redesigned and built up the missile rails as 3D objects. The Sidewinder was redesigned as rolled paper with a cardstock nose, instead of rolled cardstock, because it looks so much better. After building up the flaps and ailerons as 3D objects and lining the insides of the attachment points, I put the wings together.

    For the cockpit, I printed the control panel twice, punched out the instruments on one, and used a layer of plastic between them. I made the stick 3D and backed 5 with a duplicate of itself. I added seperate belt restraints and a thickened headpad to the seat. Parts 16 and 15 were made more 3D. I forgot to add a HUD!

    All three gear wells were lined with strips to simulate currogation. All gear were reinforced with wire--a non-trivial task. The rear landing gear still wanted to collapse, so I added a wedge at the base of each main strut, resolving that problem. The insides of parts 60L and 60R were reprinted, holes removed, and added to the forward gear doors. Struts and landing lights were added to the main gear doors. The wheels were formed from about 16 parts each to give them a much more 3D look, and I turned the nosewheel.

    Despite much effort and shimming, the engine exhaust did not come out as a perfect circle. A fan hub was added inside the engine.

    For this model, I made my first ever attempt to heat form a canopy. A blank was made using Super Sculpy and Miliput. I then tried to shrink a thin sheet of clear PVC to the form. That was a complete bust. Next, I tried to shrink a Coke bottle to the form, using the stove. The second attempt actually bent the form, so I tossed it and ordered a F-104G canopy from PaperModelStore. No joy there, either--it's too small. So, I went through the spares box and dug out a canopy for the Maly Modelarz Hornet. That did not really fit either, leaving gaps along the middle of the frame. I stuck it on, faired over the frames, and called it a model.

    As an experiment for new techniques I consider this build a double failure. The brushed metal textures look nice, but are no substitute for a bare metal finish. The canopy project was a disaster. However, the model itself turned out okay. So it goes.

  2. damraska

    damraska Member

    View from the rear.
  3. damraska

    damraska Member

    View from below.
  4. Loopy

    Loopy Member

    Beautifull build! Seeing builds like these is an inspiration to an aspiring builder like myself.
  5. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member

    Very nice build, and great commmentary. I have this kit and was thinking of experimenting with the color also, such as spraypainting a wash coat of silver paint on the model and then rubbing SNJ silver powder mixed with various shades of black wash on specific areas. I think your re-coloring was a good effort and would look great on silver card. I've been avoiding silver card because I'm a little heavy-handed and afraid that I might create too many creases and dimples.
  6. Texman

    Texman Guest

    One of the best failures I've seen!

  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Your failure is a 1000Xs better than my successes:grin:

    Silver anything.......plane......train.........whatever, is going to be very very very hard to replicate in paper.

    I like the idea of the different shades on the panels............... and you could always do a camo version that they tried out in Viet Nam:grin: :grin:

    But truthfully I think it is fantastic the way it is now............... and as long as you are statisfied......... heck that's all that matters anyway!

  8. paperbeam

    paperbeam Member

    Are You Kidding Me?

    Okay? That build looks awesome! Silver, as you mentioned though, would definitely add more realism...8)


    N and Z scale Old West models (free samples) at http://www.paperbeam.com
  9. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I have seen some real F104's that didn't look this good. Not all of them were shiney. This model you built is awesome.
  10. eatcrow2

    eatcrow2 Member

    I think it looks super!!!!!! Very clean work, and great photos showing her off..
  11. damraska

    damraska Member

    Thanks! My next experiment will involve printing on silver card with color overlays at varying levels of opacity to see it I can replicate burnt metal, aluminum, titanium, and so forth. The wrinkle problem worries me too, especially in curvaceous areas like the waist of the F-104. I'm thinking of doing a bare metal F-100D based on the model from Der Kamfflieger, scaled up to 1:33. It's basically a tube with wings. First I need to find silver card that will work in my inkjet printer.

  12. MOS95B

    MOS95B Member

    A little late, but that's pretty!!! No particular reason, but that's always been one of my favorite aircraft.

    Nice job!!!
  13. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Check Michael's............ I believe it been spotted there by others on the site.

    A 1/33 Silver Hun............... WoW that should be nice!

    The only problem that I've seen on the silver paper is the markings always look "washed out". You might have to invest in that injet decal paper ans resort to the old plastic way of doing the markings.

  14. damraska

    damraska Member

    I definitely want to go that route, but according to my research only F-104Cs served in Vietnam. The A and C versions look almost identical, but I want to make sure I can use this model for a C before spending time on a repaint. The C carried additional ordanance and will look more impressive, especially hauling a nuke.

  15. damraska

    damraska Member

    Check check. Is it a particular brand or type?

    I noticed that on the XF-103 build thread and had come to the same conclusion.

    Thanks for the help!

  16. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    Actually that doesn't look too bad, pity it is the F-104A though. I much prefer the CF-104 or the F-104G or J, the rear empenage is much more elegant. The extra strakes on the F-104S just don't work for me.

  17. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    No Problem on the help............ shoot if I get to see more great builds I need to come up with more help!

    Not sure on the Michael's brand, but I know Rob has used Red River Brand silver paper for some of his builds, and they were impressive.

    It ain't cheap........... but you can not argue with how the model looks.

    On the transfer decals.............. go to think on the way home from work today........... you could even print the panel lines on the markings and line up the lines on the model and give it that recessed look on the model.

    More of a real paint job and not just something stuck on the model.
  18. badgerys

    badgerys Member

    Somebody please enlighten me.Have tried to find the photos without success.Is it possible that the photos were victims of the move?If there is a way to view the photos please,somebody tell me.
    Kind regards
  19. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    Just a note on the printable decals - don't expect them to last all that long. When I tried it - they faded / washed out after a couple years. It happened to both the decals I had applied and some I had printed without application.
    I was doing markings for Warhammer 40k miniatures. What I was able to do was apply the decals and use them as a guide to paint my symbol. Once I painted over and clearcoated, the decals stayed on - but if I didn't paint over, it was a washed out mess after a couple years.
  20. damraska

    damraska Member

    Hi Dieter,

    As of 6:45am PST, the images from pre-move posts are still disconnected from their parent messages. Peter and crew have the images, and will eventually reconnect them, but it may be a few days yet.


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