Hobbycraft FICON GRB-36D/RF-84K 1/144-scale kit review

Part 1: Republic RF-84K Thunderflash and McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

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RF-84K sprue All the parts of the RF-84K are on a single sprue tree.

XF-85 sprue The kit includes the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin as a bonus. Somebody in the cottage industry should come up with a trapeze kit for the Minicraft 1/144-scale B-29 Superfortress.

RF-84K and XF-85 sprue trees First I painted the interiors of the cockpits and the seats with Testors Model Master Interior Green (FS 34161). At this scale the precise shade isn't important.

RF-84K major subassemblies I assembled the primary subassemblies; fuselage, wings and external fuel tanks. I built the RF-84K with its landing gear retracted for display on the trapeze of the GRB-36D. I carved out the mating holes in the main landing gear bays to make the main landing gear doors lie flatter. It was still necessary to carve the doors down slightly to make them match the contours of the lower wings. There is no nose landing gear door included in the kit for building the model gear up. The nose gear hole is easily filled in.

RF-84K wings installed After filling and sanding, I glued the wings to the fuselage.

RF-84K masked and ready for first coat of flat black I filled the gas between the wings and fuselage. I masked the canopy and glued it into place.

RF-84K with first coat of flat black I sprayed the entire airplane flat black. I sprayed the fuel tanks, horizontal stabilizers and the nose probe with Testors Model Master Metalizer Magnesium.

I masked over the anti-glare panels and wing walkways and spray painted the airplane gloss white. I painted the top of the jet intakes and the inboard section of the flaps Orchard Supply Hardware No. 652 Bright Red. Despite the inclusion of red decals in the kit for the underside of the jet inlets, they were not painted red.

After masking the red areas, I sprayed another coat of gloss white to provide an even backing for a coat of Testors Model Master Metalizer Buffing Aluminum.

RF-84K, 52-7258 at Edwards Air Force Base I modeled my RF-84K after 52-7258, which was used for performance evaluation tests with GRB-36D, 49-2694 at Edwards Air Force Base. Air Force Captain Mel Apt made the only hook-on at Edwards on March 23, 1956. There were no external tanks or stores on the RF-84K during the hook-on, so I left the tanks off my model. Air Force Photo B-161916AC via National Archive.

RF-84K and XF-85 completed RF-84K and XF-85 completed The nearly finished models of Republic RF-84K Thunderflash, 52-7258 and McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, 46-524. After I took these pictures, I added red turbine warning stripes to the sides and bottom of the fuselage of the RF-84K. There are several suitable red stripes provided on the decal sheet. I also printed and applied the proper tail and buzz numbers.

Wait until the model is complete before gluing the horizontal stabilizers in place. Mine break off nearly every time I handle the model.

Part 2: Building the GRB-36D Part 2: Building the GRB-36D

Part 3: Completed GRB-36D and RF-84K Part 3: Completed GRB-36D, 49-2694 and RF-84K, 52-7258

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