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1/48 Trumpeter F-100C Super Sabre

The F-100 History:
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.  The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight.  The F-100 was originally designed by North American Aviation as a higher performance follow-on to the F-86 Sabre air superiority fighter.

Adapted as a fighter bomber, the F-100 would be supplanted by the Mach 2 class F-105  Thunderchief for strike missions over North Vietnam. The F-100 flew extensively over South Vietnam as the Air Force’s primary close air support jet until replaced by the more efficient subsonic LTV A-7 Corsair II.  The F-100 also served in other NATO air forces and with other U.S. allies.  In its later life, it was often referred to as “the Hun,” a shortened version of “one hundred.”

The request for a fighter-bomber was addressed with the F-100C which flew in March 1954 and entered service on 14 July 1955 with the 450th Fighter Wing, Foster AFB, TX. Operational testing in 1955 revealed that the F-100C was at best an interim solution.  The uprated J57-P-21 engine boosted performance but continued to suffer from compressor stalls. The F-100C was considered an excellent platform for nuclear toss bombing because of its high top speed.
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1/48 Trumpeter F-100C Super Sabre

OK here we go. There is no much to add to what’s already been said about this model kit. I have seen some fellow modelers ”thumbing down” this kit. One of the reasons being overall shape.  We’ll take my opinion with a grain of salt: when finished, it looks like an F-100 Super Sabre to *me*.  Another ‘complaint’ that it has come to my attention is the engine nozzle. Well, there are 2 different nozzles included with Super Sabre and although 1 of them doesn’t look familiar, the other supplied nozzle looks fine to me. Along in the pictures of the Super Sabre you can see that Trumpeter is not that far from the real thing. That based on the picture of the F-100 Super Saber ‘Thunderbird’.

I pulled out of the closet the F-100 Century Series from Monogram. The proper nozzles are also included with the Monogram kit, however one of the nozzles is different in shape. The exhaust nozzle that you are seeing on the Trumpeter F-100, is also provided with the Monogram.

Could it be possible that Monogram and now Trumpeter many years later had wrong? I don’t think so. See the attached picture from the Monogram exhaust nozzle. It was mean to be used to display the model in-flight but I trashed the project. It might not be perfect, but I don’t see the reason to ditch the model for this. See the provided picture with insets and you be the judge.

In honor to the truth, the nozzle was not an issue as it was the ejection seat. My references didn’t point me out to to a definitive ejection seat. Some showed a metal bucket, cushion, non-cushioned, no cushion on the back, slightly different arm rests; to get all those doubts out of the equation, I ended up installing the supplied ejection seat and a 1/48 pilot kindly donated by the Monogram F100 model.

The surface detail on the Trumpeter F-100C is exquisite. The fit on the large fuselage is absolutely trouble free. With a little bit of patience and good running cement like Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, you can almost get away with primer. Surface controls are separate and is your choice to glue the flaps up or down with the exception of the front slats on the wings. The ones on this kit are not cemented. In general, the assembly goes fairly easy with no building bumps to hold the modeler back and steal out modelling time.

Colors and Weathering:
We will see a lot of these models in natural metal finish, they look so nice. But since I already have a NMF F-86G, a 1/32 scale and a F-84, I decided to go with a jungle camouflage and add some contrast to my jets shelf. Colors used were:

  • -Acryl Interior Green for wheel wells.
  • -Acryl Camouflage Gray 4766
  • -Acryl Dark Green 4726
  • -Acryl Medium Green 4734
  • -Acryl Dark Tan 4709
  • -Alclad 2 Duraluminum
  • Alclad 2 Transparent Sepia

Weathering was achieved with a wash of Lamp Black Oil. The area in metal finish was not sealed. It was kept masked until the rest of the model was painted, weathered and sealed. The mask was then removed, the rivets and panel lines in that area was done more subtle with Panel Line Accent Color (Brown) from Tamiya. It does flow thru panel lines and rivet indentations like magic.

What did I miss in this kit?
This is not a comparison between Monogram and Trumpeter, it wouldn’t be fair at all. However, when I ditched the Monogram F-100 a few months ago, it was around 60% built. This is just wishful thinking so bear with me:

-The proper parts to build the model with open canopy provided with the Monogram, are not available in the Trumpeter model.
-For the price, Trumpeter should throw in a pilot figure from the era. Lucky I used the one from the Monogram kit which also comes with a crew member.
-Cannon hatch on the Monogram is missing in the Trumpy
-Removable Ammo door available on Monogram is also missing on the Trumpeter.
-Wheel well details are notably more abundant on the Monogram*
-For the price, a few ”known” and less obscure ordnance on the Trumpeter model would have been welcomed. Besides the included 4 AIM-9 missiles, I don’t even know what are those 2 ‘bombs’. Those weapons on the model shown here, come from the Monogram kit.

*Wheel wells are more detailed on the monogram, however hydraulic linkage to struts, gear doors and air brakes are more true to scale on the Trumpeter model.

Editors Note
Judging by the few leftover parts including an extra ejection seat, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double seater F-100F version down the road. The kit might not be perfect, but it doesn’t deserve the bad rap I’ve seen either. It is a far cry to the only ones available.

If you prefer to hear the rivet counters, try to see if you’d be better served with an old Monogram or a Lindberg Fire Power Series. The F-100C from Trumpeter, is a winner in my book. And boy I’m glad they opted to make this model instead of yet another Mustang P-51 or BF-109.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • Dale Hutchinson

    Excellent review…I agree with all points. Your build came out really nice. A friend gave me another one of these and I will probably go without the NMF as well. As always, a beautiful build.


  • George

    Attention fellow model builders: The decal sheet from the Monogram F-100 is intact. If you need it, I’ll be more than happy to share it here. I’m not looking forward to making any profits, just enough to pay the shipping. If you need any other parts from the Monogram, check for availability. The clear canopy parts are available, even masked with Tamiya Masking tape.