Written by 3:22 pm On the Bench

WIP : Trumpeter 1/72 F-100F Super Sabre Pt.1 – Construction

There has never been an official F-100F Wild Weasel I kitted so the only route is to modify a base 2-seater Super Sabre. Well, how hard can that be right? The base kit will be the Trumpeter F-100F kit from 2010. No photo of the box as I’d thrown the box away to save space previously.

The ejection seat is quite detailed for 1/72 so I only added 0.7mm tape for the restraints.

The seats are a very tight fit into the cockpit tub. The consoles are smooth and require decals and the whole cockpit looks sufficiently busy after decals, wash and highlights. Note the almost full length intake trunking.

The kit comes with separate flaps so you can have them lowered. Looking at pictures though, they are always up when on the ground. To get an easier fit, I cut off all the aligning tabs on the flaps and simply butt-jointed them to the wing. It took some trimming to get them to fit neutral in a straight row. The leading edge slats are usually lowered so I left the kit parts as is.

I’ve seen photos of both the MLG doors being open or closed while on the ground. I decided to have the cleaner look with the doors closed but there’s an overly large gap where they (don’t) meet. Nothing putty can’t fix though. Note the pre-opened holes for the stores. Some of these would need to be filled for the specific F-100F I’m modeling.

The arrestor hook fits at an angle. I had to re-check references but this is correct. Such an odd placement though.

So what turns the bog-standard F-100F into a Wild Weasel I? This handy reference below points out all the modifications the F-100F went through. The photo below was provided by ARC member ‘Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy’. He got the photo from other members and is meant to be shared to everyone who needs it. So to pay if forward, I’ve posted it here too. He also shared a lot of info he gathered from various sources so a grateful shout-out to him.

The chin mounted Vector IV/APR-25 antenna was made out of a piece of square rod trimmed and sanded into shape.

I’m modeling 58-1226, a Block 20 F-100F so there’s a louvered vent on each side of the forward fuselage. This was done by scribing with a rectangle template. There are also flushed IR-133C DF antennas forward of the vents and these were also scribed on. Some sources state that

58-1226 also had four of those little elongated pyramid-shaped antennae on the fuselage, two on each side, just under the windscreen.

However, Wolfpak Decal’s info sheet did not include this detail. I decided to leave these out since I don’t have a picture of it anyway.

The Block 20 F-100 also has a cooling intake for the doppler nav on the base of the tailfin. i haven’t been able to find a proper picture of the vent (almost all photos online are not Block 20 F-100s) but from the reference photo above it looks like the there’s a lip around the opening that’s not flushed with the tailfin. I first marked out where the vent should be then I cut out the slot.

Using 0.25mm plastic plate, I made a pair of intake lips.

Once cemented into place, the outside was sanded into shape while I carefully scraped the ‘inside’ of the intake with a blade to thin out the opening.

From another source on Britmodeller, the tail fairing needed some modifications too.

This style of antenna mount was used because apparently, the original aircraft had a rather thin tail fairing, and the APR-26 mount needed two tapered side panels added to the original fairing, to make the whole thing wide enough to mount the APR-26. The later type antenna mount occurred because the original fairing by that time (mostly on “D” models) was already wide enough, and the just stuck the antenna on the back of what was already there.

I began by adding 0.25mm plastic plate to get the fairing wider. The front of the plate was then sanded into a taper.

For the trapezoidal shape at the back I used a square rod and trimmed it into shape.

I then added another shorter 0.25mm plate over the fairing to get the shape of the step. The front of this plate was also sanded into a taper like the original additions.

I then added the 3 blade antennas on the bottom: 1x sharkfin VHF antenna, 1x ARC-34 comm antenna and 1x WR-300 antenna between the nose gear well and speed brake.

The last most fragile addition is an antenna that points backwards from the APR-26 tail fairing. I used stretched sprue for this piece.

The canopy was masked off and attached to the kit. It didn’t fit well and there’s a gap between the windscreen and canopy. I had to make a call between having the gap here or at the back (addendum: I’ve since cracked the canopy in 2 places after trying to re-adjust the fit). There’s also a step where the windscreen meets the fuselage that I had to fair with putty. This is the 2nd time this year I’ve been let down by an ill-fitting canopy. I really need to remind myself to dryfit the clear parts!

The kit fits good in some places but has noticeable gaps in others, with many of them cutting through panel lines. I took some time to address all the gaps and rescribed the lost panel lines. After all this was done I attached the starboard refueling probe and the nose pitot.

Ready for the paint barn!

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing

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