Al Superczynski's

Old Kit Corner

As promised last month, here's another look at a Hobby-Time kit. I featured their solid wood XB-51 in an earlier column and just recently acquired one of their all-plastic kits that I've been trying to find for years - a 1/71 scale F-100A Super Sabre.

The F-100A differed considerably from the definitive D model as used widely in the CAS role in Vietnam, having a shorter vertical tail with less chord and no flaps on the main wings. The kit, while somewhat crude, accurately reflects these differences for the most part.

The model consists of 24 parts molded in silver plastic, including 3 for the display stand (mine is missing the stand arm - anyone have one?), and a clear canopy. The moldings are crisp, with little flash but everything is a bit heavy-handed, especially the smaller parts such as the landing gear.

The decal sheet in my example is damaged but not very accurate anyway, especially the proportions of the national insignia and the font used on the serials - if I were ever to build this kit I'd replace everything with aftermarket items. That said, it does look like it would have been usable otherwise after bleaching out a little bit of yellowing.

All panel lines and control surfaces are indicated by heavy raised detail, there are no landing gear wells or cockpit opening, the only cockpit "detail" being a pilot's head to glue onto the flat area below the canopy. There's nothing included to block off either the intake or exhaust, so you could look straight through the empty model from either end. A test fit of what parts are loose shows that the kit would probably go together pretty well but it would be extremely difficult to make anything other than an in-flight stand model from this kit. At a minimum, all the raised detail would have to be sanded off, the landing gear door outlines and control surfaces scribed in, and the holes for the landing gear legs filled. It wouldn't be much more work to convert an F-100D kit, and even the old Hasegawa model would be more detailed right from the box.

Even though the outline is fairly accurate the amount of effort needed to make this kit presentable and it's relative scarcity relegate it to the status of a collector's curiosity, with a value of $25 or so.

I'll go back to Aurora and another of their private aircraft next month. Till then, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to, and the critics will flame you every time."

Al Superczynski


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