Skarach's world

North American F-86F Sabre build


The kit

Airfix F86-F Sabre
The Airfix North American F-86F Sabre 1/72 kit.


As usual the cockpit was fully painted before the fuselage halves were joined. Also, sufficient weight was added to the nose section.


After that, construction was uneventful. Being inexperienced in aircraft modelling I still find the hiding of seams with filler a more irksome process than on armoured vehicles. I guess that this is not all that surprising – for example, the fuselage joins are very prominent.



The canopy was masked with the Eduard mask set. Primer was next applied, following which I sprayed the wheel wells an approximate green colour and masked them. The base colour was a Humbrol spray can of metalcote polished aluminium (this is used in the book referenced below in their Sabre build). It seems quite a nice finish – not the equal of the lovely looking Alclad paints, but I am not ready for those yet!



Once dry, I found it preferable to seal it with a coat of gloss varnish. Next, remaining details (top of the tail, nose tip, gun ports, wheels) were sprayed or brush painted. Mostly for reasons of time, I wimped out of painting the fuel tanks! A second coat of gloss varnish was applied in readiness for the decals.



This is where things got a bit ugly! In contrast to an armoured vehicle model requiring only a handful of decals, this aircraft has an incredible number of them (see here). I tried to do them methodically, over several nights. For the most part it went alright, but I have certainly learnt some lessons for next time. I should, of course, have remembered to respray gloss varnish over the first batch of the larger decals when it came to adding any smaller stencil decals over them (thus avoiding any semblance of decal “silvering”). I was also not completely happy with the setting of the yellow and black band decals, particularly on the fuselage. If I had my time again I would seriously consider painting these instead (certainly the yellow and maybe using appropriately cut black strips to border them). But the chief error was to place one of the most prominent stencils upside down! If only I had checked the box art. Of course, I only noticed this long after the time when I could have rectified it. Short of painting over the offending area and obtaining a new set of decals there was nothing to be done. Oh well, I shall have to put it down to experience and ignore it.


The Airfix Book of Scale Modelling, Jonathan Mock, Conway, 2011 (ISBN 9781844861262), pages 70-75.

2 thoughts on “North American F-86F Sabre build

  1. Pingback: MiG 15 build « Skarach's world

  2. Pingback: North American F-86F Sabre and MiG 15 « Skarach's world

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