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Trumpeter F-106A Delta Dart

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale plastic model aircraft kit
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Trumpeter’s F-106A features recessed panel lines and options that include a choice of open or closed canopy and weapons bay. The inner surfaces of the speed-brake petals have molded-in detail but aren’t separate parts, and no operating mechanism is included in the kit.

An armament package of AIR-2A Genies, IR-guided AIM-5F Falcons, and radar-guided AIM-5G Falcons is given, plus the trapeze-like launch rails to display the Falcons in the extended load-or-launch positions. The launch rails aren’t designed to be posed retracted.

The cockpit builds up into a nice little module, though the seat could use lap belts and more detail. Decals and raised detail for panels and consoles are excellent. The area behind the cockpit is a shelf with no detail except the canopy actuator, but once the canopy’s in place it’s not very visible anyway.

There’s nice detail in the wheel wells and the missile bay. The nose gear strut has to be built into the well box, so it is extended for the rest of the build, which potentially gets in the way of handling. The cockpit and nose wheel well are tight fits and have to be sandwiched together into the fuselage halves.

My sample kit had fit issues: The left intake didn’t fit well, but the right one was perfect. The three-part wing’s lower center section fit poorly around the lower intakes and exhibited a mismatch with the outer wing surfaces. Other fit issues were smaller, such as a few locating pins that didn’t fit their receiving holes in size or spacing and had to be sanded or trimmed to fit.

The upper wings fit the area-rule fuselage contours perfectly. The multipart landing gear is nicely detailed and looks terrific when built up, and there’s nice detail on the wheel well doors, though the inner main gear doors lack actuating rod mechanisms. The lower rotating beacon is absent.

Trumpeter has taken the welcome step of listing five paint equivalents for each color in the painting and markings guide — a nice touch which helps eliminate guesswork. I used Tamiya acrylics and chose the Michigan Air Guard scheme from the kit’s three decal options.

I deemed the blue of the first insignia I applied too light, so I substituted aftermarket insignia for the remaining three. The decals worked great, though the black ones with their single ink color were thin and tended to fold back on themselves. The overstrike decals with multiple layers of ink (like the yellow) were hardier and easy to apply. All settled into the recessed detail just fine. Stenciling was provided.

The windshield on my sample wouldn’t fit well until I removed the radar sight and recorder from the glare shield and sanded down its base a little.

Accurate in outline and appearance, Trumpeter’s Dart scales out well. Not a complicated kit — the fit issues I had just feed the old argument of “modeling” versus “assembling.” This one took me a little longer to complete (22 hours) than others its size and qualifies as a modeling project.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2018 issue.

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