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1:32 Kitty Hawk F-86D Sabre Dog


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Kitty Hawk 1:32 F-86D Sabre Dog



The F-86D - Wikepiedia Entry

The North American F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog" or "Dog Sabre") was a transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Air Force and others. Based on North American's F-86 Sabre day fighter, the F-86D had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, larger after-burning engine, and a distinctive nose radome.


The Kit.

After my review of the Kitty hawk Ov-10D Bronco I was contacted by Glen of Kitty Hawk.  He asked what I thought of the plans for the F-86D which of course my reaction was I couldn't wait for it.  It's a great looking aircraft, from the classic days of Fighter Jet Development and I was really looking forward to it, especially given a chance to try some Alclad finishes on it.  Well I didn't know Glen at the time was from Kitty Hawk so when he asked for my address I was really surprised and when he told me why even more so.  So, first of all thanks to Glen for this review sample.


Now the box it came in said "Commercial Prototype" and I must say if this is a prototype its a pretty good indicator for what we can expect as it just pops out of the box.  I love the cover art, really dynamic with a good realistic look, it also has some nice shots of the various schemes on it (there are 5 to choose from!) and they all look great, more of that later though.


The box is standard Kitty Hawk, very well bagged, individual sprues, individually bagged decals and some etch and a box which contains and protects the bagged up clear parts.  


There are of course also the instructions which are great, easy to read and where necessary colour callouts are in FS and the Gunze Sangyo Mr Color Range, so let's see whats in the box. 


Kit Breakdown and Instructions.

The fuselage is split into 3 here, a forward, centre and rear section, the wings are standard upper lower as are the tail control surfaces.  There is a full engine and one could imagine a super-detailer having a ball here, especially if the rear end of the kit is left off.  There is no cradle here for the rear end if it is left off but again for a super-detailer that's probably not beyond research and scratch building.  There is also a split top and bottom full air intake all the way from the mouth to the engine forward section.


The fuselage really hints towards other models and looking at the pre-order releases available on some websites it does look as if a few different models of the Sabre are on their way.  Whilst I can't (yet) vouch for the fit all joins in the fuselage fall on panel lines and I don't suppose assembling this kit is beyond the abilities of the readers here.  Some care may be required in lining up the sections but again with care and patience I don't see this being a problem.


There is also a full radar set under the nose which can be posed open as well as what looks like very detailed, multi part wheel wells and a weapons.  Interestingly here the 24 FFAR Rocket pack that was considered more effective against enemy bombers than standard aircraft cannon is replicated, which I think is a nice individual touch for this type.  


Underwing fuel tanks and early model sidewinders are also available as is open speed brakes on the rear section with a very detailed bay.  All very welcome additions Im sure you all will agree.  


The breakdown of the kit and detail involved looks really good and looks like it'll go together really quickly and easily.  Of course this is yet to be proven but I don't think any of it is beyond the skills of readers of this website and the really talented people will have a stunner even if built straight out of the box.  So, onto the individual sprues.  




The Sprues.

There are 7 grey plastic sprues, 1 clear and 1 small photo etch.  The plastic is I would say of a great standard up there with the best including Tamiya, not particularly soft and not particularly brittle either.  The clear parts are crystal clear and there is no sign of flash anwhere, theres also little to no sign of any ejector marks.  Where these do necessarily exist they seem to be in areas which are invisible once the kit is complete.


Sprue A is the main upper and lower wings and shows that there is scope here for the flaps and every other leading edge or trailing edge control surface to be positioned.  The riveting and panel lines here is very subtle and from what I can tell they are all in scale.  The detail will just pop under a thin coat of good paint I think.



Sprue B has the control surfaces for the wings on sprue A and again the panel lines and rivets are very subtle, again it'll look great under a layer of paint.


Sprue C is the front fuselage section along with all the separate panels for this section.





Sprue D mostly consists of the engine parts and some of the fuselage elements including the nose radar assembly.





Sprue E includes more engine parts, the cockpit and other ancillaries, effectively closing off the forward 2/3 of the airframe.





Sprue F is the rear section of the airframe including the rear fuselage, control surfaces and fin with its separate posable rudder.



Sprue G is undercarriage bays, weapons, drop tanks and the wheels and wheel gear bay doors.



Sprue GP includes the clear parts including cockpit transparencies, anti-collision lights and other clear parts.  The cockpit parts here really are 1st class with great rivet detail, no seams to clean up and they are crystal clear.  Really nice to see them protected in a dedicated box too.





The PE fret is the parts for the cockpit and a few smaller items only really scale correct in PE for the airbrake bays.



The main decal sheet is huge, quite literally the full footprint of the very large box.  Of course aircraft of this era were very colourful (if only we could say the same today) and with that in mind the register of these decals looks to be up there with the best.  The chosen schemes are varied and colourful and I for one can't wait to try the decals out, if I had a preference It'd be the Texas ANG aircraft with its Day-Glo orange panels but I'm sure we can all find a scheme we'd like to build and I'm also pretty sure that the AM market will soon have schemes flying out of warehouses.




The available Schemes are:
Scheme A: Bare Polished Metal, Red and White of the 82nd FIS (the box art),

Scheme B: Bare Polished Metal, Orange and Red of the 325th FIS USAF "Sabre Knights" Aerobatic Team,

Scheme C: Bare Polished Metal, Day-Glo Orange of the 181st FIS, Texas Air National Guard, USAF (my personal favourite),

Scheme D: Bare Polished Metal, JASDF Scheme,

Scheme E: Bare Polished Metal, ROKAF Scheme,

Scheme F: Barley Grey FS16440, ROKAF Scheme.







Final Thoughts

Well I do believe we are really in the golden age of modelling, especially in 1/32.  Kitty Hawk has grabbed this by the scruff of the neck and has started producing kits I think we have always wanted and thankfully hasn't stuck to the old favourites we can all name, do we need more Spitfires or ME-109s?  I love them both but its time for the more obscure and interesting kits to start flowing I think.


On this alone I have to congratulate Kitty Hawk.  Who'd have expected 2 years ago a 1/32 Harvard, 1/32 OV-10 of any variant, with  more variants rumoured to be coming, or even this Sabre Dog kit.  I cant wait personally to see what comes next and whilst Kitty Hawk keep releasing these I think they will keep having a dedicated following of 1/32 modellers.  I can't wait to see their upcoming P39Q for instance, Ive hoped for that aircraft in a large scale for some time.


The after-market will make a killing here too I'm sure.  I don't suppose it'll be long before there is a resin cockpit, some metal undercarriage (it could be a heavy kit so I hope it is coming from someone) and some stunning decal schemes.  What would I replace if I could?  Well Im a sucker for a good bit of coloured (Eduard?) PE Cockpit and a BrassIn Ejector seat, the rest however would just be polish on an already great kit I believe.


So, highly recommended and if it comes in at the price level of the Harvard and OV-10D (circa £50 - £60 is a guesstimate) I'd say this is a must have.  I think this just jumped to the top of my build list once my current build is over and that says a lot for me as I have quite a few waiting in the stash.


Thanks to Glen at Kitty Hawk for the review kit and I assume it'll be available soon (is already available to pre-order) on any number of good model stockists.


Highly Recommended.

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