Hobby Master HA1001 USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor - "Really George", 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, California, 1963 (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
Introduced to the world as "the missile with a man in it," the striking Lockheed F-104 Starfighter promised to be the ultimate interceptor. Small, light in weight and with stunning straight-line performance, the F-104 was never agile enough to become what its designers wanted.
FIAT produced 246 Italian versions known as the F-104S. One aircraft crashed prior to delivery and is often not included in the total number built. The F-104S was upgraded for the interception role having NASARR R-21G/H radar with moving-target indicator and continuous-wave illuminator for SARH missiles (initially AIM-7 Sparrow), two additional wing and two underbelly hardpoints (increasing the total to nine), more powerful J79-GE-19 engine with 11,870 lbf (53 kN) and 17,900 lbf (80 kN) thrust, and two additional ventral fins for increased stability. The M61 cannon was sacrificed to make room for the missile avionics in the interceptor version but retained for the fighter-bomber variants. Up to two Sparrow; and two, theoretically four or six Sidewinder missiles were carried on all the hardpoints except the central (underbelly), or seven 340 kg bombs (normally two-four 227-340 kg). The F-104S was cleared for a higher maximum takeoff weight, allowing it to carry up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) of stores; other Starfighters had a maximum external load of 4,000 lb (1,814 kg). Range was up to 1,250 km with four tanks.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor assigned to the 479th TFW, George AFB, California, 1963, and nicknamed "Really George." Sold Out!
Wingspan: 4 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: November 2006
Historical Account: "Of Mice and Men" - George Air Force Base (AFB) was located in Victorville, California, in the Mojave Desert approximately 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It covered 5,339 acres (21.6 km²) which included two runways (9,116 and 10,050 feet), 6.3 million square feet (580,000 m²) of ramp space and associated facilities; 1,641 units of housing; 14 dormitory buildings with 1,400 bed capacity; a hospital with a dental clinic; and various office and industrial structures.
Originally called the Victorville Army Airfield, the air base was constructed between 1941 and 1943 and used as a flight training school.
After World War II, the base was placed on standby status and used for surplus aircraft storage.
The base was reopened in 1950 under the command of the newly created US Air Force and renamed George Air Force Base. Flight training remained the primary mission of this base throughout its history and a number of bomber, glider, single engine, twin engine, and jet fighter aircraft were flown there. George AFB was a major training facility for the Air Force's F-4 Phantom and was the home of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. (courtesy: Wikipedia)