Sunday 11 July 2021

1/48 Kinetic Mitsubishi F-104J Starfighter 202 Sqn JASDF


Depicted as aircraft 46-8606 from 202 Squadron Japan Air Self Defence Force Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan 1979.

This is the second Starfighter I've built. A long time ago I built the Hasegawa F-104S in an Italian scheme.  The Starfighter has flown in a pretty wide range of schemes, in particular the JASDF examples.  This makes them attractive (to me) as a modelling subject. Plus they are small so can fill in the smaller spaces in my cabinets.

The Kit

  • 1/48 Kinetic F-104J JASDF Kit No KI-K48080


  • Reskit Wheels
  • Reskit Exhausts
  • Eduard Steel Belts
  • Eduard LOOK Panel
  • Eduard Mask Set
  • Master Model Pitot Probe

The Build

This is my third Kinetic kit.  The others were the Sea Harrier FRS. 1 and Mirage IIIO . Both of these needed a bit of work to overcome some fit issues but turned out ok.  As the F-104 is one of their new "Gold" kits I was interested to see how it would build up.

I was a bit disappointed that Kinetic didn't give us a decal for the instrument panel but I had the Eduard LooK panel. 

I love the detail but not the background colour on these. I am pretty sure the panel should be FS36231 like many US jets of that era.  I ended up touching up the Eduard panel with some grey paint  (FS36270) closer to the colour I wanted and to remove the pixels

I don't like FS36231 for cockpit as it's to dark so I often use FS36270 as it a bit lighter. That's what I've used here.  I painted the Tub Mr Color 306 and then masked out the side consoles and sprayed them black.

 I picked out the switches and knobs with a tooth pick and Vallejo colours.

On previous Kinetic builds I have had trouble getting a resin seat that fits so I usually just grab Eduard Steel Belts.  I know modellers are divided on these but I think they are fine for the smaller scales.

Unfortunately the Reskit exhaust came deformed in the packaging.  To their credit they did offer a replacement but I figured out I could try and fix it.

The exhaust is very thin and quite flexible so I dropped it in some very hot (nearly boiling) water for a few seconds , then slid the wad punch into the exhaust, then placed it into some cool water . I repeated this a couple for times and it turned out fine.

Is the Reskit a worthwhile upgrade to the kit?  Well whilst it definitely nicer I'm not sure I'd bother in the future.

The instructions don't mention nose weight but for safety I've added some lead shot and glued it with Deluxe materials Glue and Glaze. Some white tac is used as a rear wall.

The Fuselage join is good. Only a little filler used once I sanded down the glue beads that arose when squeezing the parts together.  The areas where I did use filler were 1cm bit forward of the fin on the top, and a few spots on the rear of the underside.

The speed brakes are designed to be positioned open. I wanted them closed so some trimming of the internal structure is required. I then used white tac to allow fine adjustment of the brake against the fuselage.  

The tip tanks go together without issues.   And the nose radome fits the fuselage perfectly. 


  • White was The Scale Modellers Supply insignia white. This was applied straight over the plastic . I like this paint , it covers well but is really thin. 
  • The Yellow as mixed from SMS Yellow with a drop drop of Mr Color Red and Mr Color Grey FS36081. It ended up like RLM02 yellow so I guess I could have just used that
  • Mr Color 73 Aircraft grey for the radome, dialectic panel on the tail and under the wings 
  • Tamiya AS12 for the main silver
  • A mix of AS 12 and SMS Steel for the darker metal areas
  • Mr Color Super Metallic Chrome for the shiny metal panel
  • Gunze GX 4 (Blue) for the Blue 
  • Mr Color FS3079 for the green
  • MS Camo black for the black
  • Mr Hobby FS11136 Thunderbirds Red for the red engine band
  • Mr Color Radome Tan for the radome

First step with painting was white for the wings and as an undercoat for the yellow. 

This was supposed to be a quick build... I really should have chosen a scheme with a few less colours and with less bare metal.


I always do some weathering prior to decaling and this build was no exception.  I applied a wash of thinned grey oil paint. 


  • Fundekals Mitsubishi  F-104JD/J Eiko
  • Fundekals  F-104J/DJ Eiko Stencil Set

Although the kit decals were printed by Cartogragh and look fantastic I chose to use the Fundekals sets  for the main marking and stencils. They were printed by Cartogragh and performed flawlessly.  

In fact the way they performed further reinforces my theory that there are different grades of Cartogragh decals. These were incredibly strong, don’t curl up but are also very thin with minimal carrier film.  I even managed to re activate and move a decal even after using Mircosol over a day later.   Even teh smallest text is legible under magnification 

The decals were applied over the surface as it was. Some parts were gloss, some semi gloss and some bare metal. 

Although there are a few issues with the instructions, decaling with decals like these is one of my favourite bits of a build. I estimate there are around 200 decals on this kit.

Finishing Steps 

I used some oils for some streaking.  But I'd lost interest in the build by now so it was time to move onto the finishing steps.

One issue I did strike was getting the main doors to sit flush with the fuselage.  From the instructions I assume this is possible but I couldn't get it to happen.  The instructions also note that the doors can also be posed slightly open.  I assume they droop a bit with no hydraulic pressure. 

I replaced the kit wheels, which are fine, with Reskit ones as I had them in the stash.  I also replaced the kit pitot probe with a master models metal one.

The drop tanks fit like a glove.  I used some white glue to attaching them in place.  I considered fitting the AIM-9B's from the kit, which (again) look really nice but decided I couldn't be bothered painting them so I just stuck with the two rails.


This is a very nice kit from Kinetic.  It is certainly better in build and finesse of detail than the Mirage and Sea Harrier.  Overall Fit is very good so the kit goes together quickly. Surface detail is also very nice.   

My only minor criticisms are the lack of an instrument panel decal and that the instructions, whilst clear enough, don't have colour pages for the options in the box (clearly this isn't a issue if you aren't doing the box scheme.  

In my opinion this is a better kit than Hasegawa's offering and I will defiantly be building more.  

The Photo's

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  1. Great looking Eiko! Do you mind if I nick the photos of the finished model for the gallery page on our F√ľndekals web site??