Trumpeter | 02232: 1/32 North American F-100D
Reviewed by Randy Bumgardner and Chris Sherland
A brief history of the F-100 Super Sabre
The first in the legendary "Century Series" of USAF fighter jets, North American aviation developed the F-100 as a evolutionary step from the F-86 Saber. While only vaguely representing the F-86 in very subtle ways, the F-100 was a completely new supersonic design. The prototype flew 3 months prior to the end of the Korean war in May of 1953 where it's "father" the F-86 had dominated in the air superiority role.
The F-100 went through initial teething pains as many aviation programs do, but the design was clearly ushering in the next generation of supersonic fighters, and the USAF took delivery in 1954. Indeed the "Hun" as it was to be called was the first fighter in the USAF inventory to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. Eight years after the first Super Sabers were delivered to active USAF units, the F-100 was deep in combat operations over Viet Nam. Now well matured the Super Saber filled the roles of fighter, ground support, and forward air control (FASTFAC) during the war. The F-100 also holds the distinction of being the first aircraft to fill the role of "Wild Weasel" as a AAA and SAM radar site hunter.
The F-100 claimed one of the first air to air combat victories over Viet Nam, shooting down a MiG-17 with it's 4 20mm cannon.
Viet Nam was the F-100's brief moment in the limelight. During the war it was steadily replaced by the F-4 Phantom and F-105 Thunderchief, both newer and more capable airframes. In an ironic twist, it was the F-100 replacing the F-105 as the Thunderbird's choice of aircraft after the 105 proved to be a less than optimal airshow performer.
Trumpeter has shown no fear in tackling an untested subject in their 1/32 line, and the F-100 is more proof of that boldness. This is a very large kit of a unique subject and very nicely produced. Trumpeter's style might not be for everyone, their surface detail and movable control surfaces have always been points that modelers tend to fall on one side of the fence or the other. However when a kit of this magnitude is released it has an effect on the folks in the middle. Opening the box you are confronted with a project that suggests a large scope combined with fine engineering, for many this is the type of build that will be extremely satisfying. While not as complex a build as their 1/32 P-38 Lightning, the large Hun packs in a lot of impressive features such as a two-piece fuselage assembly that allows for the full engine kit to be shown as well as a boarding ladder and the unique F-100 engine service cart (a "dolly" for the rear fuselage) for diorama support.
As the only injection molded F-100 produced to date, the Trumpeter Super Saber brings this first Century Series Jet into the large scale market with no competition, or real comparison points save their own F-105 and the old but loved Revell/Hasegawa F-104s.
The following analysis and critique is provided by Captain David Mason [IPMS Philippines] with his permission:
- The standard weapons used on the "D" model Hun were Mk-82s, Mk-117s, BLU-32 Napalm, and AGM-12 Bullpup missiles. None of these are included in the kit.
- The weapons pylons are not correctly shaped and the sway braces are not correct.
- The forward avionics bay is open-able but devoid of black boxes.
- The forward and tail mounted Radar Warning Receiver antennas are missing.
- The ejection seat is incorrect. The seat back is curved to accommodate the pilots parachute not flat.
- The 20 mm ammo drums are too shallow.
- The 20 mm feed chutes are too small.
- The speed brake and wheel wells need much more detail and plumbing.
- The horizontal stabilizer should be mounted to the fuselage using a single round rod. Not a fixed slot.
- The drag chute cable retention petals should only be on the left side of the fuselage not on the right side.
- The canopy is missing the heavy support bracing along the canopy rail.
- The rubber main gear tires are too thin for a D model variant.
- The gun gas purge vents should be hollow not solid.
- Both the standard and F-102 style exhaust nozzles should be included.
- The main gear strut wheel wells are too shallow.
- The J57 engine front is not correct.
Review sample courtesy of Stevens International.
© Randy Bumgardner and Chris Sherland
This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016