Thursday, June 22, 2017

Model Profile - The Centuri F-104 Starfighter

The F-104 Starfighter was introduced in the 1977 Centuri catalog, the fourth model of the Fighter Fleet series. For variety, Centuri picked the West Germany motif
These jets had "fibre" fins, die-cut from a .050" thick card stock. While card stock made an easier assembly for a young modeler, older builders weren't too fond of the kits.
Many design compromises were made to the jets for vertical, stable flight.

This model isn't one of my builds. Lonnie Buchanon gave me some original Fighter Fleet rockets he found in Craig's list buy. An F-16 helped the design of my Odd'l Rockets kit.

The F-104 was 15" long and 1" in diameter. The tube was Centuri's heavier walled ST-10.

Here's some of the compromises -

For stability, the wings are set farther back. The intakes aren't round but long rectangle boxes formed from thinner card stock.
The bombs (or tanks depending on which model you were building) were the same used in all six of the Fighter Fleet series.
The missiles were also used on each model. They looked a little like a Sidewinder without the forward fins. The small nose and fin can were glued into a launch lug tube.

Notice the reinforcement pieces needed for the card stock wings and missile standoffs.

The model was 15" long, 5" of that was just the nose cone!
The cockpit decal is on but the clear canopy is missing. I don't know why the nose cone was never painted.

Why am I featuring this model? Stay tuned . . .


  1. See? I told you they would come in handy! :^)

    Glad to be of help, amigo.