Friday, November 5, 2010
Enter the Monogram Kits: F-105 Thunderchief
The 1/72 scale Republic F-105 Thunderchief had to be my first model airplane kit from Monogram. Like the Revell kits, Monogram's were plentiful and cheap. I liked the F-105 because I had seen an old desk top model of one in my friend's garage. The sleek shape of the 105 really appealed to me. My original Thunderchief was completely unpainted because I didn't have any paints yet at the time. You can see a picture of me and this model if you go to my earliest blog entry. I kept her for a long, long time; longer than some other models I built later and finished with paint!
I decided to do this rebuild in the spirit of my younger days by hand-painting the camouflage scheme. It was very time consuming, but worth the effort. From a foot away or more, she looks great. It's a very simple model to build, heavy on the rivets, and not a whole lot of other detail. There are much better 1/72 scale F-105s out there, but this one was one of the first. Revell had their own version around the same time frame - late 50s, early 60s - but theirs was a tad smaller at 1/76 scale, or something close to that.
I've always liked the crew ladder that came with this model, but not the crewman. He doesn't fit well onto the ladder, so I left him in the spare parts bin. I would have preferred to leave out the pilot figure as well, but on this kit, he's mounted to the seat, providing the only detail to the cockpit interior.
The 1973 reissue of Monogram's F-105 Thunderchief remains as one of my all-time favorite plastic model airplane kits.