TAMIYA 1/72nd F-84G KIT #60745

Review and photos by Bruce Craig

Price: $12.95

This kit is a size-reduced version of the Tamiya 1/48th scale F-84G kit #61060. The Tamiya F-84G Thunderjet is a "typical" kit in that it is injection molded, and with decal sheets. There are no vac, resin, or photo etched parts included. The plastic parts are nearly perfect; I found only minor flash. Parts are funished to make a reasonably detailed nose gun bay installation, and the bay door may be posed open or closed. Unlike the 48th scale kit, flaps are molded with the wing and must be cut to be shown retracted. The canopy may be modeled open or closed. Auxiliary wing tanks are molded as part of the wing, so no optional wing tips are furnished for modeling without the auxilliary tip tanks; auxiliary pylon tanks are furnished. Two bombs and JATO units are supplied; however only the perforated "swiss cheese" speed brake is furnished. One source states the perforated speed brake was used only on the late G-model Thunderjets, while another shows drawings indicating the perforated brake was used on "F-84 early" and the slotted brake on the "F-84G late." Inspection of photos shows the perforated brake on G- models, and the slotted brake on E- and earlier models. Decals are furnished for three USAF aircraft, and they make the data stencils for several access panels plus the turbine warning stripe on the fuselage sides as one decal, which conveniently reduces the problems associated with working with many small decals. Tamiya has generally duplicated the stencils on their 1/48th kit; other model sources state these date stencils are incorrect; I have neither confirmed nor denied this. Like the 1/48th kit, the canopy bracing line, which starts at the center rear, extends one "brace" too far forward; the fuselage is five scale inches too short (in the panel in front of the wing); the intake cone is not faired properly internally; and the small nose gear part which traps the nose wheel needs minor trimming to align the nose wheel properly. The canopy error and the nose wheel alignment are the most noticeable. With careful sanding and polishing, the extra brace on the canopy may be removed; see the Tamiya 1/48th review page for details on how to correct the canopy and for the correct way to represent the braces. The "short" fuselage is not noticeable, and the effort to correct it means the "fix" is not worth considering. The inside of the intake cone may be cleaned up with a hobby knife. The nose wheel alignment may also be repaired with a hobby knife, and, if not corrected, the nose wheel tends to cock to one side. The criticizism of the Tamiya decals by others notwithstanding, the decals are very good and prefectly usable from the box. That doesn't mean a modeler shouldn't consider aftermarket decals, it just means the Tamiya decals aren't as bad as some reviewers may imply. Decals are furnished for FS-460, 8th FBS, Taegu, Korea, 1952; for FS-454, "Four Queens", Taegu, Korea, 1952; and FS-271, Turner AFB, 1956. Also, aftermarket decals are already available for this kit, including the sheet for Thunderbirds livery by Airway Graphics. Also, I checked some of the other aftermarket 1/72nd decal sheets recommended for the Heller kit, and I believe they could be used with this kit with minor trimming.

In summary, this Tamiya offering is the latest of several 1/72nd scale F-84G kits to come to market. It is easily the best of the lot, although the Heller kit is still a reasonable alternative. See also Drewe Manton's review page and the 1/72nd scale Thunderjet kit fuselage comparision page.


UPDATE
Since Drewe Manton's review and this review of the Tamiya kit were written, Academy has produced a 1/72nd scale F-84E/G kit. Generally, the Academy kit is slightly better than the Tamiya kit reviewed here. See that review for a discussion of the differences between the two kits.


Tamiya 1/72nd F-84G decal sheet

Tamiya 1/72nd F-84G decal sheet. The parts trees are not shown on this page as they are shown on Drewe Manton's review page.


Go to page with large images of canopy fix and brace order.
NOTE: The page references the "fix" for the 1/48th scale kit, but the information is as well applicable to this 1/72nd scale kit.


KIT RATING
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The Tamiya F-84G is moderately priced at $12.95. Given the quality and reasonable accuracy of the kit, it is currently easily the best value for anyone wanting to build a 1/72nd scale model of the Thunderjet. I didn't rate it 10 of 10 because of the minor but noticeable canopy, intake, and nose wheel glitches, and because of minor omissions of parts appropriate to the G-model. ADENDUM: I left the rating at 9, but the Academy kit is now the better choice, if only slightly better.


Contents Copyright 1997-2000 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved
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