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F-104S pylons and ordnance for Turkish Air Force airframes: looking for affordable/available and accurate options in 1/48 scale

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Hello all,

I am trying to figure out some options for F-104S pylons that I might still be able to find to build a Turkish example out of the Hasegawa F-104S. Looking at the pictures online, it seems like almost all pylons (inner and outer wing, center-line and intake/saddle/catamaran ones) were installed on these airframes at one point or another, even though there seems to be no consistency in the ordnance installed (except the fuel tanks in the inner wing pylons). I would like to see if a Sidewinder + some bomb load is possible.


I have mentioned affordable in the title because, it seems like around ~$60 to buy the full Daco F-104 set (https://www.dacoproducts.com/KDCC4802.php) from EU (I am in the States) or at least $30 to buy sprue D which only has the inner-wing pylon and the fuel tank. Sprue B, which would have all the other pylons, are no longer available. There is also one Cutting Edge F-104S set available on eBay for $110 that would solve most of my problems, if it had not been ridiculously expensive. The Kinetic kit is also $65+ usually. All of these are quite high for me to fix a $30 kit.

The next available option is the Eduard F-104 pylon set, which I think was built for German F-104Gs. My first question is whether it gives the correct inner-wing pylon and the Aero-3 catamaran pylons for a Turkish Air Force F-104S. I am especially curious about the catamaran/intake pylons, because I think I read they were different in the Italian F-104s. Of course, it doesn't have the outer wing pylon, which would need to be sourced, and it is around $15 for just 3 usable pylons - not planning on any Bundesmarine F-104Gs in the near future for the remaining Kormoran pylons, and the center one seems fine in plastic.

I was even thinking about buying the ESCI F-104G/S boxing (I think I can get the whole kit for $25), which seems to have all the pylons for an F-104S including the outer wing pylons, but not having seen the plastic before, I am not sure if they are accurate enough to be used as masters for any type of resin casting or not.

As far as weapons load, I have not seen any conclusive use of these pylons on Turkish F-104Ss, either. For example, while most of the pictures I found show the Aero-3 (?) catamaran pylons installed, I have not seen anything attached to them in any picture yet. Were these ever used to carry anything in Turkish F-104s (Gs and Ss)? Here is a picture showing a Sidewinder load on the outer pylons with Red Dog (?) adapters. I have also not found a real bomb-load on a F-104S yet. For example, is it possible to have a bomb on the inner-wing pylon and keep the Sidewinder on the outer pylon like below? Also, which bomb would that be?

According to multiple sources, all Turkish F-104S airframes kept their guns and were not Sparrow-capable. So, a Sparrow load is also not possible, but at least, I don't have to plug the gun in the Hasegawa kit.

All in all, are there any options I am missing? Can I buy the Kinetic sprues for cheap somehow?




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So, I found where I read about the saddle/catamaran launchers and the fact that there were 3 separate types: 
The Eduard set seems to be specifically for German ones and not suitable for F-104S. The shape of the part that attaches to the fuselage is completely different:
Also, the instructions for the Kinetic F-104G/S doesn't show the catamarans, but not sure if the kit comes with them or which version they might have if it does.
Finally, this leaves the ESCI kit with what looks like the correct shape for the catamaran pylons - at least according to the instructions, but there are no pictures of the pylon parts online.
Would anyone have pictures of the ESCI kit parts or any more details?
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The F-104S came in 2 versions; one for ground attack which retained the gun, and the other for A2A with sparrows and no gun. 


The DACO instructions are available at Scalemates; ACDSee Pro Sp\ˆ (scalemates.com)

Page 6 and 7 gives you answers to most of your questions. 


Have a look and I think you will find a lot of the details you are after. 

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From what I've understood, these specific fuselage pylons where only used during testing and never used operationally. Hence you shouldn't be blinded by them. 
From other photos, I've only seen these on the Italian AF test unit, and from your photos now also a Turkish version. 

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That was the weird part with the Turkish F-104S airframes. I would say ~75% of the Turkish F-104S pictures I found had that pylon attached (including the museum examples, like the one in Istanbul), but I have yet to find a single photo of anything else (even an empty launcher) attached to that pylon on a Turkish F-104S. All the pictures of something hanging off of that pylon (all Sidewinders) are Italian - from what I believe are trial or airshow examples. The inner wing pylon with an external tank attached seems to be also quite common on Turkish F-104S, while the outer wing pylon is also very rare, and I only have one picture with a Sidewinder attached so far.

Below are my photos from this summer in Istanbul:




This is the Sidewinder picture.


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Thanks for starting this interesting thread, Deniz.


I've had a look at my Kinetic F-104S and (unless I've overlooked it) that particular catamaran part is not in there.

It looks like a stronger structure than the Sidewinder catamarans. I would guess that it was only used for bombs. The scene at the museum also seems to hint at that.


I do not have an Esci F-104S. I have an Esci F-104C with a sprue which I think is common to other Esci F-104 kits. The part is not in there. The kit shows its age and even if the part was in the F-104S box, it would be of lesser quality than the Hasegawa kit.


Best regards, Stefan.




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To be honest, I wasn't super impressed with the accuracy of the museum in general (paint schemes, some of the repaint jobs etc.), so I am not sure if the Mk.82 set up and the F-104S really went together. With that, that pylon looked really sturdy and always with "bomb shackles", but I don't know if anyone would want to land back with 2 Mk. 82s hanging so low under an F-104.

I ended up getting the ESCI F-104S and will update the thread for closure with what I get. If this instruction sheet is correct, I am assuming the parts 62-65 is the pylon in question. The kit also seems to have all of the other wing pylons as well, so hope they are usable. 


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Hi Deniz,


The project seems to be interesting. I am curiously expecting it to be finished soon.

I am afraid the S style pylons for the fuselage are not included based on the photograph of the section you provided. It might be the generic pylon that could be used by all models.

But still another point where I hope to be helpful. There is a group on Facebook where ex-TuAF personnel are members. If I am not wrong the group is called ‘F-104’culer’ May be you can have spot on answers as the members are either the maintenance personel or pilots (and a few modellers) 

I will check and correst the name as necessary. 

PS. Here is the edit for the FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/110673812334373  The name is "ESKİ F-104'ÇÜLER"

İyi maketler!


All the best,


Edited by clumsy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Deniz,


There are definitely a few photos of Turkish Starfighters carrying dual AIM-9 (*) in the "catamaran" launchers in display/inspection setups. So I am pretty sure the configuration was used operationally, but actual photos with live or training missiles are very rare.  Most of the time the aircraft carried the homegrown "Tumbas" training bomb/rocket launcher on these pylons. 





(*) For whatever reason Turkish Starfighter pilots kept using the historic "GAR-8" designation for the missile until the day the aircraft were retired - I think the training materials were never updated with the new name.

Edited by KursadA
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Apologies, I missed the latest responses on this. Here are some updates; I ended up getting the old ESCI F-104G/S kit, but unfortunately, the instruction sheet copy on Scalemates was cropped at the wrong spot. It actually only includes the fuselage pylons for F-104G, so it is a lot skinnier and shape is not correct. However, there are 4 usable (with a little work) wing pylons, so I'll try some scratchbuilding and mix-and-match for the weapons on the 2 F-104Ss I have now.

I also found some new photos from the Steve Pace book, an F-104S in the original "Beast" mode with 7 M117s. I can only hope the airplane made it to the end of the runway. There was also a German prototype with a similar load attempt.







Edited by denizp
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And finally, the Cutting Edge set seems to be the only one with a "correct" fuselage pylon and even their instruction set is a great resource for the differences in F-104Ss, but they are currently at "Holy Grail" prices on eBay, and I don't think anybody is going to reissue a similar set at an affordable price any time soon.



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