I've always been in awe of the NF-104 crash chuck survived, and really like that scene in 'The Right Stuff' Sam Sheppard did a good job.
You all know the story, Yeager tries to break the world height record but only makes it to 108000 ft before he gets the pitch angle wrong (70 deg nose up) and cannot correct with the hydrogen peroxide RCS boosters, the Rocketdyne AR2-3 booster engine cuts out and the star fighter starts to descend nose high, with the nose high chuck cant restart the main engine as the intakes don't have any airflow or pitch down because the tail is blanked by the fuselage. the NF-104 enters thicker air a develops into a very violent flat spin, going through 14 spins before it hits the desert floor, Chuck allegedly punching out on spin 13. He's then badly burnt but the hot base of his seat hits his helmet and starts a pure oxygen fire in his pressurized helmet . all gripping stuff!
Its only recently ive realized how modified the F-104 was ...to become the NF-104. I had thought about scratch building the booster but then found out there was a conversion set with full parts AND decals for all of the NF-104's
So I've bought the conversion kit (not cheap man!!) and raided the stash for the only 1:48 F-104 i have, the Testers F-104C.
Straight away i could see this kit isn't really up to snuff, it actually has a really good fit and molded intakes i like this (no more intake seam lines) but the scale is wrong and it just does not have the detail. I don't want to waste an expensive conversion on a inferior kit so i've gone out an bought the Hasegawa JSDF F-104J as the conversion suggests.
In the meantime while waiting for delivery i though i may experiment with some polished metal painting using Alclad and other metalisers, the Testors kit will be a good test bed.
The Testors kit isn't bad , just lacking in detail the fit is very good, but some scratch building was needed for the cockpit and landing gear etc...
No putty needed, and i have painted the model in black Alcald primer ready for the chrome/polished metal paint.
I'm going to try some new painting techniques on this which i hope to use for the Hase kit.