Planet Models, 1/72
u m m a r y
Republic F-91-III Thunderceptor “Radar Version”
|Contents and Media:
53 pieces in
cream colored resin and 2 clear vac-form canopies. Instructions,
painting guide and decal sheet for 1 aircraft.
USD $51.96 from Squadron.com
||FirstLook - In Box
detail; good cockpit and wheel well detail; excellent decals
marking sheet lacks some detail.
||Highly Recommended for modelers who
have experience with resin kits and parts.
Reviewed by Mick Evans
Planet Models' 1/48 scale Thunderceptor
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
The first prototype #46-680 is currently preserved
and displayed at the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base
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
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
Thanks to MPM / Planet Models for the review sample.
and Planet Model
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers
Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Mick Evans
Page Created 16 August, 2006
Last updated 15 August, 2006
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