Heller 1/48th RF-84F Kit #80417

Review by Bruce Craig

Price Unknown

So far as I know, this is the only reasonably available 48th scale Thunderflash kit. I bought this kit new, but it was several years ago, and I do not remember for what price. I don't know the going prices on the used kit market. I am in the process of building my kit (it, like my Monogram F-84F, is ready to paint).


Molded in silver plastic, raised panel lines, but much less discreet than the ones on the Monogram F-84F kit. Fit is good, moderate flash; detail in cockpit is poor to modete, gear wells, speed brake wells, landing gear, and fairings detail is reasonably good but not as good as the equivalent parts on the Monogram F-84F kit. Several small sink holes needing filled, but otherwise my kit went together without a hitch. The BIG issue with my build was, I couldn't stomach the gross raised panel lines, so I got out the sanding stick and my engraving tool (from Bare-Metal Foil). Lots of patient work was required to scribe the panel lines, but it surely looks better. Canopy is in one piece and not as finely molded as the three-piece canopy with Monogram's F-84F. I added a few details to the cockpit, primarily a photo etched harness. My build is as an F-84K FICON, as photographed at Planes of Fame, Chino, California in May, 1998. I modified the horizontal stabilizers from leftover parts of a Lindberg XF-91. Okay, since you asked, I used the Thunderceptor as a learning curve for applying Bare-Metal foil, then sought -- as an experiment in aerodynamic engineering -- to see how far it would fly! The horizonal tail parts didn't break ... they fit into the parts box ... ! I made my own decals using PC Pagemaker 6.0 and clear decal sheets from ATP-Airliners printed on an Alps MD-2010 four-color printer.

Kit dimensions are not measurably different than the drawings I enlarged from 1/72nd to 1/48th, so it appears to me to be within reason for dimensional accuracy. Panel lines deviate somewhat from the photos and drawings, but the deviation appears to be more in lack of precision than outright incorrect.

Go to page with large image of Heller RF-84F Kit 80417 Box Art Go to page with large image of Heller RF-84F Kit 80417 Decals Go to page with large image of Heller RF-84F French Kit Box Art

Heller RF-84F Kit 80417 Box Art.

Heller RF-84F Kit 80417 Decals.

Heller RF-84F French Kit Box Art. Image courtesy of Guido Van Roy.

Go to page with large images of Heller RF-84F kit 80417 box art and decals.

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If you want a 48th scale Thunderflash, this is the choice. If you have one, and don't mind either the raised panel lines and lack of cockpit detail, or the work to scribe the lines and add detail, it is otherwise a reasonable representation of the Thunderflash. Not a great kit, but not bad either.

Contents Copyright 1997-1999 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved