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Revell 1/48 F-104G

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) by Lockheed. A set of modifications produced the F-104G model, which won a NATO competition for a new fighter-bomber. Several two-seat trainer versions were also produced, the most numerous being the TF-104G. A total of 2,578 Starfighters were eventually produced, mostly by NATO members. The F-104 served with the air forces of over a dozen nations. The operational service of the Starfighter ended with its retirement by the Italian Air Force in May 2004, some 46 years after its introduction in 1958 by the USAF.

Revell 1/48 F-104G Starfighter

When I built this model kit almost a year ago, I had originally in mind a F-104 Starfighter model where I could initiate myself into the Alclad 2 Natural Metal Finish system. But frankly, my models display cases aren’t the most colorful ones. Nothing but different shades of gray inhabits the shelves so I chose the 1:48th scale F-104G from Revell from the Deutsche Luftwaffe JBG 33. Its bright yellow base color catches your the eye of the most distracted observer.

This model kit is a fair easy to build. Don’t expect a lot of details from it. At some point I thought about going with the landing gear up and display it on flight, but the wingspan on the F-104 is notoriously short. The cockpit is very basic and if your not going to display it open, better use the provided pilot to give some life to this model. The landing gear wells and speed brakes leave a lot to the imagination and scratch building 😉

❗  As most of you know, I’m an OOB builder, and in my humblest opinion, this model kit might not be the best F-104G but at least it has more display impact than a bland and more expensive die-cast version.Add to that the satisfaction of putting it together yourself. It is molded in bright yellow which makes the yellow dreaded modeler’s life a lot easier. The decals are not the best, they are slightly thin and in some spots you can see a hint of yellow coming thru.

In those areas I airbrushed with my Aztek airbrush Model Master Acryl Gloss Black. Still you can see on the pictures some hints of yellow but this was caused by the studio lighting. The base paint I used was Testors Spray Yellow Enamel I had left over from a previous build. This is a commemorative edition F-104G ”El Gabo 33”. These editions usually have the benefit of having good maintenance. For that reason I refrained from applying any weathering.

Do I recommend the Revell 1/48th F-104G Starfighter? If you are a detail freak, this model is an open canvas. You can either choose and dress it with resin and scratch styrene or look for another option.

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.