Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Hasegawa
Kit ID JS-054/HAC11/714/HAS00341
Type F-106A 59-9081
Unit 49 FIS, Griffiss AFB
Date 1971
Aftermarket parts used Aeroclub ejection seats, landing gear and missile bay covers, PJ Productions pilot figures, new pitot probes
Other detail added Panel lines rescribed
Model built by Alex Hunger
Date Completed August 2009

I built my first Hasegawa F-106A in 1979 at the age of 15. Back then it was state of the art and I also had access to my first tin of reasonably accurate grey spray paint. Unfortunately no one had old me about sanding joint lines etc and the aircraft was starting to look a little dilapidated due to old age after countless moves and more than 30 years on the shelf.

Haydn also had 3 old F-106s in his Davis Monthan AMARC type storage area in his garage that a now missing SIG member had left behind eons ago. The paint and decals had gone quite yellow, and the decals were often from the less glamorous ANG squadrons rather than true USAF squadrons.

One new kit as well as the Airwaves/DB Productions two seater conversion were also purchased in 2002 in order to have at least one of this rare variant. The double stick version was built out of the box with just the Hasegawa front fuselage sawn off and replaced with the very solid resin unit. The vacuform canopy was marginally more fiddly to install, but otherwise, this conversion is nearly idiot proof. Otherwise, the aircraft had its panel lines recarved, received 1 PJ production pilot to complement the kit crew and the control surfaces of the AIM-4 Falcon missiles were improved a little. The cool kit 87th FIS “Red Bull” decals were used and the proper serial number was found in the Bert Kinzey F-106 book, which is excellent reference. The nose art “Bull head” decal was hand made by cutting up little bits of decals of the right colour and then applying on top of each other, which worked amazingly well.

The remaining 4 single seater F-106s were broken down to the basic airframes and components, which were then cleaned up. Some decals could be saved while soaking the hulk in warm soapy water. The first attempt to remove the paint from the first aircraft was problematic. Oven cleaner currently available in shops that meets the latest environmental regulations, no longer removes paint like it used to. This new stuff I found in my builders market, however, melted parts of the front fuselage. So the remainder of the paint had to be removed by sanding it off after having recarved all the panel lines. The damaged front fuselage, was sawn off and replaced with the one left over after the two seat conversion. The kit ejection seats and missile bay covers were binned and replaced with the Aeroclub units. The later allow a much smoother, curvaceous belly area and only require a little adjustment for the installation. Also any landing gears damaged by the dismantling process were replaced by Aeroclub units, though I mostly kept the injection moulded wheels. The PJ Production Pilot was installed on his throne and the canopy closed up. With the canopy masked, the kit was then resprayed in a nice new coat of Xtracolour ADC grey.

The remaining 3 aircraft were redone in much the same way, minus the chemical snafu. My old F-106 kept the open missile bay, new freshly adjusted and painted Aim-4 Falcons and received the left over 318th FIS Squadron decals, I had left over from the two seater, which left the old model in an as new condition with its old identity and the missile visible. The 3 reclaimed airframes all received decals from the Microscale decal sheet, which were much more interesting. As only 3 sets of stencils were provided in the decal sheet, I was glad to be able to use some of the reclaimed stencils as well as some left overs from an F-102 to complete all 4 airframes. All kits received new pitot tubes to replace the ones lost of the eons. The one from 27th FIS is yellow and black, to match the tail decals, while all the rest are in the standard white and red. One aircraft required a new tailhook, which was also made from sprue.

So, in total, I now have a completed fleet of 5 completely different F-106 Delta Darts, using what would politely be called 4 junk kits. While some would argue, that the Hasegawa Kit is long in the tooth, it’s simplicity and solidity make it a viable candidate for new builds and rebuilds, if super-detailing is not required, as only the panel lines need recarving. A clean paint job and nice decals are most effective for a colourful fleet of the Dagger. Repairing mouldy old kits is also a viable solution for generating nice new models for the collection.

Model, article and photographs by Alex Hunger