Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Republic F-91-III Thunderceptor
“Radar Version”

Planet Models, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No.143 Republic F-91-III Thunderceptor “Radar Version”
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 53 pieces in cream colored resin and 2 clear vac-form canopies. Instructions, painting guide and decal sheet for 1 aircraft.
Price: USD $51.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook - In Box
Advantages: Nice surface detail; good cockpit and wheel well detail; excellent decals
Disadvantages: Colour and marking sheet lacks some detail.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for modelers who have experience with resin kits and parts.


Reviewed by Mick Evans

Planet Models' 1/48 scale Thunderceptor 
is available online from Squadron 




The Republic post-war series of jets have always been some of my favourite series of aircraft. Starting with the F-84 Thunderjets and Thunderstreaks the aircraft ooze a sleek but powerful image and the names applied to these aircraft portrays an image of mighty power and speed.

In 1948 the chief designer at Republic, Alexander Kartveli, submitted a proposal for a very efficient fighter interceptor to the USAF. Two prototypes were ordered and were designated the XF-91 Thunderceptor. The design was to incorporate the General Electric afterburning J-47-GE-3 Turbojet engine complemented by originally the Curtis Wright XLR27 rocket motor. The rocket motor failed to live up to expectations and was replaced by less powerful XLR-11 reaction motors used in the X-1. The design of this aircraft was unique in that the incidence of the main wing could be varied from -2 to +6 degrees and was swept back at 35 degrees. The prototype was the first US built aircraft to achieve the speed of sound in level flight. The USAF lost interest in the aircraft in favour of less sophisticated and cheaper options such as the Convair F102.

The first prototype #46-680 is currently preserved and displayed at the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base Dayton Ohio.





This 1/72 scale kit by Planet Models is all resin and has been superbly moulded.

The kit contains 53 pale yellow resin parts and 2 vacuum formed canopies. The surface detail matches the detail of the best injection moulded plastic kits and is free from flaws and air bubbles.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Most of the moulding blocks should be easy to remove, but some care will be need on some of the more delicate parts, with the cockpit having the largest moulding block to remove.

The cockpit and instrument panel has some excellent detail and a fully detailed ejection seat is also provided. The nose wheel well and main wheel wells have scale depth and some good interior detail. An interesting concept is the afterburner is moulded integrally into the rear fuselage and is formed when the 2 fuselage halves are joined together. The intake detail is sufficient with the splitter plate and nose radar forming the intake trunking. The undercarriage is a real work of art and it would be nice to have seen the masters that were crafted for this kit. The detail is very fine and faithfully reproduced. The undercarriage is unique in that the main gear is an inline dual bogie system and will need careful alignment to ensure that all wheels are in contact with the ground.

Underwing drop tanks are provided, but these are a bit of a mystery. The box art and instruction sheet show the typical high speed slim Republic tanks but those supplied in the kit look like subsonic tanks similar to those fitted to the F-80 series and these are not represented in the instruction sheet. You may have to rob an Airfix or Italeri Thunderstreak kit for the high speed tanks.

The decal sheet has been nicely printed by Aviprint. The decals are in perfect register and have good colour saturation. Various decals are pre-cut to fit around the wing wheel wells to take the guess work out of trimming and fitting. The clear carrier film is ultra thin so the decals will have to handled carefully and the decals should snuggle down into the surface detail nicely.

Finally the canopy is nicely vacuum formed and is crystal clear. A second canopy is provided in the case of damaging the canopy during cut-out and trimming. Markings are provided for the first prototype which is finished in aluminium with a grey spine area.

The instruction sheet is very comprehensive and easy to follow. The colours and markings instructions could have had a bit more detail on the shade of grey and whether the aircraft was painted aluminium or natural metal. You will need to dig into some other reference detail to find the colours.

Highly recommend to modellers who have experience in building resin model kits.

Thanks to MPM / Planet Models for the review sample.

MPM and Planet Model kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide and at Squadron.com

Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Mick Evans
Page Created 16 August, 2006
Last updated 15 August, 2006

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page