Kinetic's F-84F in the Box
The package is composed of a beautifully illustrated, sturdy box, 84 pieces on four sprues in light grey, injection molded plastic, and 7 pieces of crystal clear plastic on one sprue. In addition, two steel balls are provided to weight the nose of the aircraft so that it stands properly on the tricycle gear.
Sprues are bagged in pairs for protection from scratches and marring. Very little flash is evident, and easily cleaned up.
The decal sheet is semi-gloss and in perfect register.
Colorful markings are provided for two American aircraft -- Missouri National Guard and U.S. Airforce, both circa mid-'50s. Extensive stencils and placards are provided as well.
The instructions are clearly illustrated across eight A-4 sized pages, plus four pages of plan views. No history is provided. Colors are given in Mr. Color codes, but the color names are given as well if you use another brand. Assembly appears to be straight forward, however the placement of the landing gear doors and actuators is not as clear as it could be.
The main pieces are in a very appealing satin finish, with recessed panel lines which stand out without being "trenches." The most striking pieces are the air brakes (which include the most delicate air louvers I have ever seen in plastic) and wheel wells which include nicely rendered detail. The landing gear include molded brake lines. The pilot's seat includes molded seat belts. The cockpit walls and tub are petitely rendered with better than average details. My only complaint is the instrument panel, which is -- at best -- understated.
Clear parts are thin and free of distortion. Two steel balls are supplied as nose weight too.
The nose can be built with the gun door open exposing the four 50 caliber weapons in a two-piece insert. The canopy is designed to display either opened or closed and details one would not expect in a 1/48 release – the three piece actuators are a work of art, an instrument atop the windscreen, and rivet/panel lines inside the rear canopy beneath the main actuator!
The only ordinance provided is four under-wing fuel tanks, but a four tube RATO pack is included .
One might fairly ask how this kit compares with the Revell / Monogram release of a decade ago. All in all, it appears that this new kit has referenced the earlier one, while sharpening up everything (e.g. the gun ports and air intakes), and adding recessed panel lines and a gun bay. However, the Revell-o-gram kit gives a broader ordinance suite (bombs) and adds a weapons trolley.