F-102A Delta Dagger
Encore Models, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Encore Models Kit No. EC48001 - F-102A Delta Dagger
|Contents and Media:
||Over 100 parts in grey coloured plastic; 59 parts in cream coloured resin; two frets of photo-etched parts (one in colour); markings for two aircraft
||USD$51.29 available online from Squadron
||Classic Monogram kit used as a starting point; Case XX wing; well cast, blemish-free resin enhancements; improvements over the original kit including one-piece seamless intakes and replacement, accurized nose; choice of weapons; two excellent frets of etched metal parts including one that is pre-coloured; decals in perfect register with minimal carrier film; detailed instructions.
A well-thought out and comprehensive upgrade to a kit that is well worth building in the 21st century.
Encore Models' 1/32 scale F-102A is available online from Squadron.com
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept Soviet bomber fleets.
The F-102 was the first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter of the USAF. It used an internal weapons bay to carry both guided missiles and rockets. As originally designed, it could not achieve Mach 1 supersonic flight until redesigned with area ruling. The F-102 replaced subsonic types such as the F-89 Scorpion, and by the 1960s, it saw limited service in Vietnam in bomber escort and ground attack roles. It was supplemented by F-101 Voodoos and, later, by F-4 Phantom IIs. Many of the F-102s were transferred to United States Air National Guard duty by the mid-to-late 1960s, and the type was retired from operational service in 1976.
The follow-on replacement was the Mach 2 class F-106 Delta Dart, which was an extensive redesign of the F-102.*
Monogram's 1/48 scale Century Series kits were genuine classics - both in terms of the famous subjects and the models themselves. Detail in the cockpits and wheel wells was very good for their day, and they hold up pretty well now. Surface detail comprised petite and consistent raised panel lines - perhaps not the fashion of the 21st century, but still looking good after a few decades.
Two versions of the F-102A were available over the years. One had the Case X wing of the early production Delta Daggers, while another version had the Case XX wing with the droopy wing tips, typical of late production F-102As. It has long been rumoured that the mould for the Case XX wing was destroyed when the Case X version was released, but happily this is not the case, as Encore Models release depicts this later production variant.
Squadron's in-house brand, Encore Models, has given the Monogram moulds a new lease of life. In addition to the still very respectable Monogram plastic, Encore Models has added a multimedia feast including 59 parts in cream coloured resin; two frets of photo-etched parts (one in colour); markings for two aircraft.
This is not resin for resin's sake. For a start, the two main shortcomings of the original kit have been addressed. The incorrectly contoured kit nose has been replaced with a resin item, and the tricky two-piece intakes (the inside seam line was all but impossible to eliminate) have been replaced with one-piece seamless parts.
Resin replacement control surfaces are also provided. These are optional, but will be worthwhile not only to reposition the elevons and flaps, but also for for going a long way towards thinning the kit's thick trailing edges. Other exterior enhancements include a very attractive set of wheels.
The internal weapons bay is treated to the option of three AIM-4A, three AIM-4D, three AIM-4F and three AIM-4G missiles, which may be displayed depolyed in the open bay. The AIM-4A and AIM-4D would be a more typical load, but Encore Models has offered the later missiles for use at the modeller's discretion.
The remaining resin parts enhance the cockpit with an entirely new tub, seat with cast-on harness straps, instrument coaming and smaller details.
The colour photo-etched fret provides the instrument panel and side consoles.
Yet more details are offered on the slightly larger nickel plated photo-etched fret.
The clear canopy is quite thin and well detailed.
Two marking options cover an overall Aircraft Grey aircraft of the 460th FIS, and an SEA camouflaged Delta Dagger of the 64th FIS in Vietnam during 1966.
Decals are printed by Cartograf. Registration is perfect, colours look good and the sheet is luxuriously glossy.
The "Encore" treatment is ideal for the classic 1/48 scale Monogram F-102A kit. The original plastic still stands up well in 2010, and a lot of thought has gone into the choice of resin corrections and details included in the box. The photo-etched parts are also a worthwhile upgrade to the model.
Encore Models' 1/48 scale F-102A Delta Dagger is an impressive and very well detailed package. I do hope that we see this same treatment applied to more of Monogram's classic 1/48 scale kits, either in the Century Series or from the Second World War.
I can just imagine a similarly upgraded Monogram B-26 Marauder...
Thanks to Squadron for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2010 by Brett Green
* Introduction Text courtesy of Wikipedia
Page Created 7 September, 2010
8 September, 2010
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