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

by Jeff Brundt

Republic F-84G

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Here's my 1/48 Tamiya Thunderbirds F-84G.The Thunderbirds flew their debut exhibition at Luke AFB in early June 1953. One of the most important decisions of the newly formed Thunderbirds was the selection of their first aircraft. Primarily, the aircraft had to be stable for maneuvers in formation, reliable to meet show schedules, rugged for demonstration aerobatics and combat proven. The choice was the F-84G Thunderjet.



Tamiya's F-84G Thunderbird comes chrome plated and this is the only difference (other than decals) from the standard version of the kit. This chrome plating seems to daunt some modelers but just requires some scraping of  the joining surfaces to allow the plastic cement to work. Some modelers have opted to strip off the chrome plate with brake cleaner or Easy Off oven cleaner. If you go this route you'll be presented with white plastic. I opted to leave the chrome plating in place and build the kit OOB.





Building the kit went straight forward and no filler was needed. Since some of the main fuselage seams would be somewhat noticeable due to the plating I had decided to go ahead and take care of these areas by scraping the seam and then repainting these areas with Alclad later. The nice thing is most all of these seem to fall on a panel line so it would be easy to mask and blend in as different shaded panels on a NMF airplane.



Painting and Markings


The only prep required for painting these plated areas once they were masked off was to "rough" up the plated surface to give the Alclad something to 'bite' into. If you do not do this the Alclad will not stick and eventually flake off during handling and subsequent masking. I used several different shades of Alclad to get a varied NMF finish, although the primary finish is the chrome of the original model. The decals actually went on better then expected. You have to paint the tip tanks red and blue with the center white section being a decal. The nose intake also has to be painted red. Tamiya's X-7 red is almost a dead match for the decal red. The tail group is painted Tamiya X-1 gloss white.



Taking my time and having plenty of Solvaset helped. The model was then given a panel wash with artist oils and turpenoid. The only real pain is masking all those glass panes on the canopy. It took me three tries before I was finally happy with the results. I had wanted to use Eduards's masks but Sprue Brother's was the only place that carried them and they were out for several months. I finally bit the bullet and used Tamiya tape and a sharp X-Acto. This was an enjoyable build (except for the canopy) and looks quite striking in red, white, blue and chrome.


  • Tamiya 1/48 F-84G: Image
  • Tamiya 1/48 F-84G: Image
  • Tamiya 1/48 F-84G: Image
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Model, Images and Text Copyright 2010 by Jeff Brundt
Page Created 19 May, 2010
Last Updated 19 May, 2010

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