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Tamiya's 1/48 scale
F-84G Thunderjet

by Michael Novosad

Republic F-84G Thunderjet


Tamiya's 1/48 scale F-84G Thunderjet is available online from



This looked like an easy kit as there were not that many parts to it, but I was always intimidated by the natural metal finish requirements. Tamiya and Polly Scale acrylics were used for the interior parts, and ModelMaster Metalizer paints were used for the exterior.

The cockpit was first painted flat black, then airbrushed interior green. An oil wash was applied once everything was thoroughly dry, then the high points were dry brushed with Rub-n-Buff silver. Details were painted with red, white and yellow per the references on hand. The kit decals were used for the dial faces. Several applications of Solvaset were required for the decal to snuggle down over the instrument panel surface features. After everything had dried each dial was given a dial face made from a small drop of Krystal Kleer applied with a round toothpick.

The interior of the fuselage sides were painted and oil washed the same as the cockpit. There were several small vent openings aft of the cockpit on each side of the fuselage, and these were covered over from the inside with small pieces of .010 sheet styrene painted black to eliminate see through.

The intake vane and front wheel well at made up from two halves, resulted in a seam down the middle of the well. I covered the seam with small pieces of Evergreen channel section. The wheel well was painted dark green and over sprayed with yellow/green. The pitot tube located on the leading edge of the intake vane was replaced with telescoping sections of brass tubing. I cut each section to length and chucked each into my Dremel tool and by using the lowest speed and 400 grit paper was able to taper the front of each section to more resemble the kit part. The end result is a more realistic pitot tube in my opinion.


The nose cone fit required some filler to blend the join. I used Tamiya putty in this instance as this putty has a very fine grain and can be sanded and polished to a very smooth surface which is just what is required for a natural metal finish.

The interior of the wheel wells was painted deep green, than a thinned application of Tamiya Yellow/Green was applied with an airbrush. The same final color was than dry-brushed over the high points. A light application of Rub-n-Buff silver finished the wheel wells. The wing halves were then cemented together.

There are four external fuel tanks that may be added to the model: wing tip and two under-wing tanks. I drilled locating holes in the tanks and wing pylons and added short lengths of wire to the under-wing tank mating points to assure a solid connection.

I air-brushed the landing gear and wheels with Tamiya flat black, and when cured dry-brushed the parts with Rub-n-Buff silver. The tires were then hand-painted PolyScale night black, and when that cured I dry-brushed the tires with Pactra Rubber.

After masking all openings I airbrushed ModelMaster non-buffing aluminum over all surfaces. I was quite lucky as I found only a few areas where flaws became apparent. This areas were cleaned up and those areas were resprayed. This particular metal paint lays on thin and smooth: I was quite happy with the results so far. This base coat was allowed to thoroughly dry for 48 hours. I used post-it notes for the masking of the various panels.


The antiglare panel on the top of the fuselage was painted with PollyScale olive drab.

Since the metallic finish application results in a very smooth surface there was no other preparation required for the placement of the decals. Most modern aircraft have information stencils applied almost all over the exterior. These can be quite tedious to apply, but the final effect is quite worth the effort I think. Aeromaster sheet 148-025 was used for the various stencils. The main marking and national insignia came from the IPMS USA 2005 National convention souvenir sheet.

The panel lines on this model were finely recessed and would be complimented by a wash. I used an Winsor Newton Artist ink to achieve this affect.

Once the decaling was completed the model was given an application of ModelMaster semi gloss clear.

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2007 by Michael Novosad
Page Created 04 June, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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