by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
I was thrilled the morning of Christmas 1972 to unwrap this F-86F & MiG-15 set, which I built and held on to for years even after more recent builds were vanquished by fireworks. Praised in a feature in the Fall 1972 issue of The Squadron magazine, the Tamiya F-86F & MiG-15 set was proclaimed as, ". . .extremely well done...flash free and the fit is good. They are up to the typical high standard we have come to expect from the aggressive Japanese manufacturer.
"Easily among the finest jet kits available today, Tamiya's 1/100 Minijets are as detailed as their larger counterparts in 1/76 [sic] scale."
38 years later...
Squadron's review is right. This 38-year-old kit is crisply molded in silver plastic. The parts are virtually free of flash and ejector marks, with minor seam lines. Look closely at the photographs, the only sink hole I see is on an ejection seat.
Strangely, except for the control surfaces and the speedbrakes, the delicate recessed panel lines of the previous Minijet series are replaced by very delicate raised panel lines! The cockpits have no detail except the seats and the incredibly detailed pilots. The landing gear is over scale and well detailed for this scale, though the gear wells are devoid of detail--about what you’d expect with a 38-year-old small kit. Both jets have parts to display the gear up or down.
The pitot tubes and MiG cannon are horribly thick. The gun troughs for the Sabre will take care to drill open, and will require a fine bit. (What is .50 caliber in 1/100, .005 mm?)
The fit is very good but not to current Tamiya standards. Filling is required on the MiG's intake, and the Sabre's bottom fuselage/wing junction.
Clear canopies with fine raised lines will enhance the models.
Tamiya boxed all these kits with stands for the choice to build them in flight.
You are treated to decals for two sets of adversaries:
1. USAF, FU-432, 18th Fighter-Bomber Group, Korean War, (which did not fly their first F-86 CAP until February 26, 1953)
2. Korean People's Army Air Force, No. 079, Korean War
3. People's Liberation Army Air Force
4. Republic of China Air Force, F-86152, No. 152
The decals are opaque and sharp. The color is good--the F-86 yellow bands are not as orange as the photograph displays. While the North Korean roundels are off register, I have a couple of these kits with good replacement roundels. Data stencils are minimum. Whereas I have used several original Minijet decals without problem, these decals have been brittle.
Both Sabres are NMF (Natural Metal Finish), as is the KPAAF MiG. The PLAAF MiG is shown in the attractive five-color camouflage.
These are delightful kits. I have yet to build a 1/144 aeroplane so I can’t compare them. The Squadron wrote that these are, "..."Easily among the finest jet kits available today, Tamiya's 1/100 Minijets are as detailed as their larger counterparts in 1/76 scale." Not true compared to 1/72 of today, yet these models do hold up well against their contemporaries.
When Tamiya reissued most of their Mini Jets (now titled 1/100 Combat Plane Series on their website) a few years ago, this set was not reissued. It can be found at shows and on-line. I also found a suspiciously similar 1/100 F-86 & MiG-15 issued by Hobbycraft. Like Hobbycraft's 1/72 F-82 that is suspiciously similar to the Monogram kit, HC's Sabre and MiG are full of flash and molding flaws, with decals that are horrible in every way--avoid it!
Please go to DISCUSS THIS REVIEW for links to all of my 1/100 aircraft reviews.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.