Karo-AS 1/48th F-84E/G KIT #48-16

Price Unknown

On 20000121, I received a Karo-AS Thunderjet kit from Frank Valentine in Germany, who was kind enough to trade me for some other model kits. Although the kit had been opened, the packaging for the resin and white metal parts had not been opened. Therefore, the kit is in "new" condition. Although the kit states it is an F-84E/G, and alternate parts, such as canopy and ejection seats, are furnished for both E- and G-model Thunderjets, neither auxilliary intakes nor in-flight refueling doors are engraved or furnished. Further, although the instructions show the two styles of speed brakes (incorrectly identified, as the kit maker followed the incorrect reference in the Squadron Signal F-84 book), neither style part is included in the kit. Therefore, any other considerations aside, the kit as furnished is essentially an E-model. There is no copyright or other date on the box or instructions, so I have to guess the kit was produced in the mid- to late-80s.


On an earlier version of this page, I stated, "When I get to see one of these kits, I'll review it." Now, I have the kit, and here is the review. The kit, made in Germany, is vacuform with resin and white metal parts, plus a decal sheet. There are three white vac parts sheets, two sets of clear vac canopy sheets, one "squeeze" of resin parts, early and late ejection seats in resin, and white metal landing gear parts. The decals furnished are for only one aircraft, that being 52-3274, FS-274, 468th SFS, Turner AFB, Georgia, 1956. FS-274 has basically the same markings as FS-271 as furnished with the Tamiya 1/48th scale Thunderjet, but the similarity ends there as the Karo-AS decals do not inlcude anything more than the basic national markings, numbers, and some of the livery. Decal quality is average to good. The quality of the vac parts is quite good, but the white vac parts are not particularly accurate. The clear vac canopies are good but not great, and both the braced and non-braced versions are furnished. It was considerate of the kit maker to include two sets of canopies -- four in all -- to accomodate the modeler who had a slip of the knife. The resin parts appear be squeeze cast, and have considerable amounts of flash and pin holes. The cockpit parts, especially the instrument panel and consoles, are simplistic and inaccurate. Both style ejection seats are included as resin parts, and again, both have excessive flash and pin holes. The seats, though not highly detailed, are at least reasonably accurate. The landing gear parts are furnished in both resin and white metal; the parts are better than the Hawk kit's sticks, but are not quite up to the level of the relatively poor parts as found in the Collect-Aire or Battle Axe kits. The nose wheel is passable, but the main wheels simply are not correct for any version of the Thunderjet. It appears that, like the Collect-Aire kit, the main wheels were copied from another airplane kit, but unlike Collect-Aire, the kit maker didn't even use the F-84F main wheels as a master. The main problem facing a modeler with this kit is the lack of parts for the intake ducts and landing gear bays. These parts must either be scratch built, or aftermarket resin detail sets must be added. After inspection, I conclude that the Aires detail set 4075 would be a good candidate, as it has all the specific parts which this kit is missing. The Teknics set 48069 does not have the main gear wells, so would not be as useful for this application. Also, one of the cockpit detail sets, either Cutting Edge 48123 or Aires 4071 could well replace the marginal parts furnished with this kit. There are no after-market wheel sets at this writing, so one would have to steal the wheels from a friend's Tamiya or ProMod kit when they weren't looking. Okay, so I have some from the Tamiya kits I used for my Tip-Tow model. Although the instructions appear to be eight letter-size sheets, in fact, only two of the pages are instructions, with the rest being text or illustrations that have little or no bearing on building the kit. Of those two pages, one, an exploded parts "assembly" illustration with parts number keys, is the only relevant building guide.

As can be seen in Harold Offield's Karo-AS review and model, the kit can be made into a reasonable representation of the Thunderjet. But, as Harold sets out in his review, the task isn't an easy one. All things considered, modelers interested in building a Thunderjet in 1/48th scale should be thankful for the Tamiya and ProModeler kits. Meanwhile, this kit takes it's place, along with the Hawk, Collect-Aire, and Battle Axe kits, in the history of Thunderjet kits.

Webmaster's note: As of 19990730, a review of this kit was submitted by Harold Offield. Click here to go to his review.
My thanks to Harold for his review!

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Box art, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G Thunderjet, kit #48-16.

Decal sheet, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G Thunderjet, kit #48-16.

White metal and resin parts, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G Thunderjet, kit #48-16.

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Vac parts sheet one, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G kit #48-16.

Vac parts sheet two, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G kit #48-16.

Vac parts sheet three, and vac canopy sheet, Karo-AS 1/48th scale F-84E/G kit #48-16.

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At one time, this Karo-AS kit may have been all there was -- along with the Hawk kit -- but today, the modeler has much better choices. Also see review and rating by Harold Offield.

Contents Copyright Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved