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F-104G Starfighter

by Darren Howie


F-104G Starfighter


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F-104G is available online from Squadron.com




After spending quite a few years of relatively slow model production, a move to Sydney for a new position with Qantas has seen my model production accelerate quite rapidly. I have spent the last few years building World War Two aircraft so a change was in order. The Hasegawa F-104 provided the motivation and was a great place to start.

Having been a great fan of the Marineflieger’s F-104G’s in their dark grey paint scheme’s and their dayglo red fuel tanks I had been waiting for the right decals to come along to complete this project.


Thankfully Paul Cotcher and Victory Productions have come to the rescue with a beautiful decal sheet providing markings for numerous Luftwaffe and Marineflieger F-104G’s.

With nothing to stand in my way the project commenced.



Hasegawa’s 1/48 F-104G and Resin Accessories


Many of you will be familiar with Hasegawa’s F-104G but to summarize it is simply a great kit. The fit of all the major components is excellent with a very high level of detail throughout.

I decided to use a Black Box resin cockpit set on the project which also had the included bonus of an extra set of drop tank’s plus a crew figure which I decided to not use so as to not clutter up an already small cockpit.


Also from the resin box came a set of Aires wheel bay’s which provide surprisingly good value for money. Excellent detail in both the main and nose gear well it is an excellent addition to the base kit.

Dremel in hand construction began.





Several good reviews have already been done on the Hasegawa F-104 so I will not dwell on the basics of the kit apart than to say it goes together beautifully.

The Black Box set is a different story.

After much work with the dremel and sandpaper I finally managed to squeeze the cockpit tub between the fuselage halves. Even after a huge amount of work the fit was still extremely tight and copious amounts of Zap and accelerator were required to hold a highly stressed front end together.

By far the major amount of time I spent on construction was spent trying to get the tub to fir inside an extremely tight fuselage. Be cautious and patient and it will fit but it is definitely not a drop in replacement.

I am interested to compare the Black Box set to my Cutting Edge set I have for a future project. Cutting Edge have a good reputation for fit so hopefully I won’t have any of my above dramas with that set.

The next problem was the replacement coaming for the instrument. The Black Box one is a very nice replacement for the well detailed kit one but given the following problems this is one part I would not use again.

The part is quite thick and so I set to thinning it out. When I got to the point that the point when the part was completely transparent I thought it would be thin enough.

Big mistake.

Extensive sanding of the inside of the canopy is required to even get a marginal fit to say the least. This caused big problems with the front canopy fit causing that part to sit to high and needing huge amounts of Mr Surfacer to help fill the gap and blend in the front of the canopy with the nose of the aircraft.

I will not use this part again in any of my future builds as it simply didn’t fit despite my best efforts. Given the kit part is quite reasonable I will stick with it in the future.

The Aires wheel bays fitted quite well just requiring some judicious use of the Dremel to ensure an excellent fit.


With the fuselage together and the wheel bays in the kit progressed quite quickly to the painting stage. The fit of the wings, tail and various other components was nothing short of excellent.

To make the finished kit look a little busier, I added the underwing drop tanks from the Black Box set and a set of AIM 9 missiles on the underbelly racks. The instructions from the boxing of the F-104J show how to build the rack which has the components in the F-104G box but none of the details of how to build it.





Probably the biggest problem I faced during painting was finding a suitable match for the top surface color used by the Marineflieger.

I ended up settling on using Gunze color 335 which when weathered seems to be a reasonable match.

I decided to paint the F-104 as it would of looked in its last days of service. With the new Tornado’s taking pride of place the condition of the F104’s was let slip and this is how I finished the F-104.


The dayglo red was painted after advice from a fellow lover of dayglo Ian Bevan from Melbourne. On his advice I sprayed an undercoat of Aeromaster RLM04 yellow. With a nice solid coat in place I misted coats of Gunze dayglo red over the yellow.

The benefit of the yellow undercoat is you can vary the tone of the dayglo and even wet sand it back to create some excellent looking streaked and faded paint.

All kudos to Ian for that idea as it works beautifully.



As mentioned above I used the great sheet of decals from Victory productions. Printed by Cartograf they went on splendidly. I spent a week on and off placing the stencils and markings as there is a large number of them. They are laid out quite well printed with fine detail and go onto a gloss surface like a dream.

Well done Victory and Cartograf.


Spending my life around airplanes I am a firm believer of using plastic as a canvas to portray the way the aircraft looks close up in the flesh. In 48th most details and dirt would be almost invisible leaving you with a dull and faded looking kit.

Not for me!

Using the plastic as would a painter canvas its out with the Iwata and the pastels and let the games commence.

I am extremely happy with the result giving me the result I pictured in my minds eye before I had even started the project. If you are into F-104’s don’t hesitate to get this kit it is excellent value for your hard earned money.





Altogether this kit is a great build. With the detail components you will get a slightly better result but I still believe the straight kit represents great value for your hard earned dollars.

The Black Box set is good value providing lots of bits and pieces for the Starfighter fans that will see use in more than just one kit.

As I have already said the decals from Victory are excellent value and go on perfectly.

Now its time to start planning for a Taiwanese F-104 in low viz colors.




Additional Images


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Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Darren Howie
Page Created 09 October 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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