1/48 Academy F-86F-30 Sabre

Gallery Article by Carl Jarosz on July 8 2021



F-86F-30 Sabre 388th FBW, Wing C.O.
Regular devotees of the ARC website know that I’ve built several F86 Sabres to date; I recommend review of what I wrote on those previous submissions. This one is the late Korean War model ‘F’-30, which incorporated two important improvements to allow the F-86 to surpass the MiG-15 performance in air-to-air combat. Not only did this version have a more powerful General Electric engine with afterburner than earlier variants, but it also employed the “6-3” wing. This meant the wing width (chord) at the fuselage was lengthened by six inches, and the wing tip chord was increased by three inches, giving the Sabre more wing area, which translated into much better high speed performance at altitude, where the MiG-15 previously excelled.

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The Academy model may not have the adjustable parts, a la other high end model makers, but the price is hard to beat considering the amount of detail Academy designed into the kit. One flair Academy built in, however, was the removable gun bay covers on the fuselage sides. I only left the port side open to let one see the gun and feed belt parts detail; I left the gun bay cover on the “ground” of the artificial tarmac I employed. My finding Super Scale International’s decal sheet (48-962) for the 388th Fighter Bomber Wing commander’s Sabre compelled me to build this unique looking replica.

I added my usual enhancement of adding ultra shiny chrome Bare Metal Foil (BMF) to the wing leading edge; matte BMF to the aft flaps. I necessarily went easy on the weathering, since it was a wing commander’s reserved aircraft, which was virtually spotless (lest the offending airman suffer a demotion in rank!).

Carl Jarosz

Photos and text © by Carl Jarosz