Combat Models 1/32 Scale F-102
By Frank Mitchell
Someone on LSP asked about the old Combat F-102 vacuum-formed kit it, so I thought I would add to the brief answer I gave on the discussion board. Please bear in mind that, as near as I can remember, this model was built in the mid-1980's, so that makes it and most of the photos about 20 years old (Yikes), and therefore subject to my rapidly failing memory.
While it is true that there was a lot of scratch building involved, the kit was (and is) buildable, if you are willing to spend some time. You get the basic shapes, which are not bad, but that is all you get. However, those basic outlines are good and the wings are not bad at all--the drooped leading edge is well done. The fuselage will require a bunch of work, but I have seen much worse. Perhaps the major problems are:
- The size of the thing means that you will spend a lot of time making fuselage formers and wing spars so that it will all hold together;
- The fact that the wheel wells are wide open means a fair amount of detail need to be added;
- With all that work, it made sense to make a new canopy (Think I even still have the molds); and,
- There was of course, always the problem of markings, but that is somewhat easier to solve today.
There is a detail set on the market for it, but it has its own problems. That means that nearly everything is scratchbuilt (seat, interior, gear, wheel wells, air brakes, etc.) and that is what took a lot of the time and what led to it being in and out of the box several times.
I also have had the F-106 kit for almost all those years, and I think it looks even better in the box. I have thought long and hard about that one--maybe a two-seater? Anyway, if you have any questions, email me, and I will answer anything I can. Again, sorry about the quality of some of the photos.
One final note: One of the IPMS'ers here in Atlanta was a F-102 pilot and has been, for many years, a master scratch builder and gunsmith. When I told him I was working on this model, he gave me an immediate answer to the problem of duplicating the IR sensor: use a ball bearing that has been heated to cherry red and allowed to cool. Perfect match.
© Frank Mitchell
This article was published on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016