Hobby Master HA1023 Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Interceptor - 207th Fighter Squadron, 83rd Air Group, Southwestern Air Defense Force, Naha Airbase, Okinawa, March 1986 (1:72 Scale)
"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam."
- Marshal McLuhan
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was an American single-engined, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1958 until 1967. One of the Century Series of aircraft, it continued in service with Air National Guard units until it was phased out in 1975. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flew a small mixed fleet of F-104 types in supersonic flight tests and spaceflight programs until they were retired in 1994. Several two-seat trainer versions were produced, the most numerous being the TF-104G.
USAF F-104Cs saw service during the Vietnam War, and F-104A aircraft were deployed by Pakistan briefly during the Indo-Pakistani wars. Republic of China Air Force F-104s also engaged the People's Liberation Army Air Force over the disputed island of Kinmen. A set of modifications produced the F-104G model, which won a NATO competition for a new fighter-bomber.
The ultimate F-104 version was the F-104S all-weather interceptor equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, designed for the Italian Air Force. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, did not proceed. The project was cancelled at the mock-up stage in favor of other lightweight fighters such as the F-16. A total of 2,535 Starfighters were eventually produced. The F-104 served with the air forces of over a dozen nations until the summer of 2004, some 46 years after its introduction in 1958 by the USAF.
The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in Luftwaffe service. The subsequent Lockheed bribery scandals surrounding the original purchase contracts caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Japanese Aviation Self-Defense Force Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Interceptor that was assigned to the 207th Squadron, 83rd Air Group, then deployed to the Southwestern Air Defense Force, Naha Airbase, Okinawa, during March 1986. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 4 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: June 2007
Historical Account: "A New Nippon" - The JASDF (Japan Aviation Self Defense Force) was formed in 1954 with the F-86F. In 1959 the F-104J was chosen as the replacement aircraft and at the end of manufacturing in December 1967 Japan had received 210. These aircraft equipped seven squadrons (Hikoutai) with the 207th Sq. 83rd Air Group assigned to the Southwestern Air Defense Force, Naha Airbase, Okinawa. In March 1986 the 207th who were referred to as “F-104 Brothers” were the last to retire the Starfighters for the F-15J. Over the years, 15% of the F-104s were lost to accidents. (courtesy: Hobby Master Collector)