Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Sword
Kit ID SW72054
Type Lockheed F-94B Starfire

Sword have continued to release kits of subjects which have either not been covered by the mainstream, or which can replace older kits. This kit is based on their earlier F-80 and T-33 releases and covers the F-94B Starfire. It is significantly more detailed than the old Heller kit, but unfortunately suffers from some issues which are covered below...


Overview of the kit

Box Art 1-72 Sword SW72054 Box
Moldings 2 grey sprues containing 60 parts with etched panel lines, 1 clear sprue containing a separate windscreen and canopy

Decals are printed by Eduard and provide options for 3 different airframes:-

  • F-94B-1-LO 50-0888 'FA-888' from the 61st FIS during 1951;
  • F-94B-1-LO 50-0829 'FA-829' from the 319th FIS based at Suwon AFB, South Korea during 1952;
  • F-94B-5-LO 51-5449 'FA-449' from the 319th FIS, again based at Suwon during 1953. This aircraft was flown by Capt Ben Fithian and Lt. Samuel Lyons and scored the first night victory in an F-94.

These are beautifully printed and are very thin and in perfect register. Stencil data are provided for one airframe.


1-72 Sword SW72054 Decals

Resin  None
Other Included is an etch-brass sheet, and this appears to be produced by Eduard.  It contains color etch parts for the cockpit instrument and side panels as well as seat belts, canopy rails and other details



Sword's kits are usually well produced, and this one is no exception.  The surface detail is quite fine and the parts look good on the sprues. Some flash is evident, although this is typical for short-run injection moulded kits. The kit provides no weapons other than 2 wingtip fuel tanks; these are designed to be butt-joined to the wingtips and will probably benefit from pinning to increase the strength of the joint.

1-72 Sword SW72054 F-94B 002

As noted above, a nice etch sheet is provided courtesy of Eduard - this will help to improve the details in the (relatively) basic cockpit.

The instructions are detailed, comprising 12 pages including one page of 4 view drawings for each airframe.

In order to try and assess accuracy, I compared the kit to drawings in both the Aerofax Minigraph and Detail & Scale books - and this identified some major shape issues.  Whilst the overall length is correct (being the scale equivalent of 40'1"), there appear to be major inaccuracies in the shape of the nose, canopy area, lower rear fuselage and fin and the photographs below depict these (note that the drawings used were from the Detail & Scale book and were scaled to 1/72).

The first photograph has the canopy rails aligned and shows that the nose is at the wrong angle - this is confirmed by the panel lines in front of and below the windshield which align with the plans:-

1-72 Sword SW72054 F-94B 003

The second photograph has the nose aligned, and confirms how far out of alignment it is when compared to the prototype:-

1-72 Sword SW72054 F-94B 004

The final photograph shows that the overall length is about right, but the fin and rear empennage are the wrong shape, being too small.

1-72 Sword SW72054 F-94B 005

All in all this is a mixed bag and a real pity - it is a nice kit apart from the (quite obvious) shape issues.  It might be possible to cut and reshape the nose, which would go a long way towards making it look more accurate.

Review and photographs by Chris St Clair.