Lindberg 1/48th XF-91 Kit #513
Also released as Kit #539

Price Unknown

So far as I know, this is the only available 48th scale Thunderceptor kit. It is typical of the early plastic kits, meaning, "gross" and "empty" are words to add to the vocabulary. Like a good repeat offender, it has been released and rereleased over the years. Many times with a new box; every time with the same warts in the box. I bought three kits 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, but they must be high priced if one used Argentine currency; otherwise, check the piggy bank for a couple quarters.


Molded in silver plastic, raised panel lines requiring a survey crew, rivets big enough to hold the Brooklyn Bridge together, and space in the empty see-through fuselage for a pulse-jet engine from a V-1. Amazingly, the overall dimensions panel lines are somewhat accurate, but that's as good as it gets. No gear wells, sticks for struts, slabs (with huge rivets) for gear well fairings, and a hole and a stick to hold the seat and crash-test-dummy pilot figure. Not so noticable (among all the other problems) is that the canopy and "razor back" are too large. I built one of these, straight from the box, to learn how to apply Bare-Metal Foil. Afterward, I test flew it, for maybe 15-20 feet. It was sorta like Lose98 -- ooops, I guess it is Windows98 -- as it gave new meaning to "ungraceful exit." I did salvage the horizontal tails, and used them to make the dihedral tails on the RF-84K I'm building. I built another, but kitbashed it together with a Monogram F-84F to (a) replace the entire cockpit and "razor back" to bring that portion of the plane into a somewhat realistic represenation of the real thing, and (b) to add detail to all the other places it was missing, such as the nose and main gear wells. Since the main landing gear wheels are not accurate, I found parts from other kits that were similar (using photos of the XF-91 as reference) and cast my own parts using the other kit parts as masters. Can't forget the sanding stick to get rid of these raised panel lines and rivets, and the scribing tool to "engrave" the panel lines. For those not familiar with model contests, this process is known as "making a silk purse out of a sows ear." Photos are at the modelers page for XF-91.

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, the exception being that the canopy and fairing are too large. Panel lines are reasonably close to photos and drawings.

Go to page with large image of Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Box Art Go to page with large image of Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Decals Go to page with large image of Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Wing

Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Box Art

Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Dry Transfer Decals

Lindberg XF-91 Kit 539 Wing

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I rated this kit this high, because it usually comes with all the parts in the box. If you want a 48th scale Thunderceptor, this is the choice -- unless you scratch build one. If you want a good model, that may be the better choice.

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