In 1986, as speculation about Lockheed’s Northrop built what it called the YF-17 technology demonstrator to compete with General Dynamics’ YF-16 in the lightweight fighter program. When the F-16 won, the U.S. Navy hired Northrop to base the Navy’s next fighter on the -17, with the result designated F-18.) Testors assumed that in order to deflect radar waves, the F-19 would be sleek and streamlined and would somewhat resemble Lockheed’s other-worldly SR-71.
Testors models stuck a pair of standard-issue vertical stabilizers on its 1/48-scale model and packaged it up. Some 700,000 sold almost immediately, making it the best-selling model ever, surpassing even AMT’s Star Trek USS Enterprise. Would that art imitated life. When the Air Force unveiled the F-117 Nighthawk in 1990, it was not a pretty sight. Lockheed’s stealth fighter was as angular as the house of seven gables.
More info on the Lockheed F-19 here.
Here is a nice kit of a wonderful ”what if” aircraft. Not much is described on the kit’s instruction so it is pretty much a pictorial deal. The modeler can build it with a very humble landing gear up or down and a ”bomb bay” opened. The kit is an old one but it still checks out. I have got this one from my local hobby shop (Hub Hobby) in Richfield, Minnesota for $7.99. There is flash to deal with on the parts and some filling is required in some areas where the upper and lower fuselage meet. I did not followed exactly the decals placement. I coated the model with Testors Glosscote and after applying the markings I sealed them under a semi-thick coat of Testors Dullcote.
On a side note, I also own the 1/48 F-19 released back in the day by Testors in their memorable yellow box. But that one I keep it in the not so mint box for nostalgic reasons.
The Revell F-19 now resides on my main desk in the office. Trust me, it does make a very great conversational piece around aircraft and model builder enthusiasts. I would recommended it a friend.