This was a very enjoyable kit and renewed my faith in HobbyBoss products.
One thing I learned in researching this project is that the first jet fighters (and the F-80 was America’s first active duty fighter) were real gas guzzlers! Of course, the F-80C “Saggin’ Dragon” was first based at Misawa AFB in Japan and was flying missions the length of the Korean Peninsula requiring some extra fuel load. Plus, it was often carrying a ton of bombs, not a light package for a single jet fighter.
The large tip tanks were dubbed “Misawa tanks” as they were produced locally from a field expedient design. They were unique to the F-80.
When it came time for weathering, I only weathered the wheel wells. This was not a matter of “end of the project laziness” (something I could rightly be accused of a time or two in the past). It was from looking at the photos of the F-80 fighters serving in Korea. There were no prominent panel lines, exhaust stains, etc. The surface of the aircraft appeared to be flat dull aluminum. I looked at mine which had been sprayed with Vallejo Satin Varnish (70.522), and I thought it looked quite like the actual aircraft.
In three years of war in Korea (1950 to 1953), the United States Armed Forces suffered 33,651 battle deaths, tens of thousands of wounded and thousands more who died of accident or disease serving there. The totals rival those of the ten year long Vietnam War. Yet, calling the Korean War the Forgotten War is accurate. I think it is time for me to do some studying and remembering.
I really like this model, and it will be the first of several Korean War models I intend to build next.