The latest title in the “Spot On” series published by Mushroom Model Publications focuses on a variety of special camouflage schemes featured on F-104 Starfighters from around the world. The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was a single-engine, supersonic jet interceptor developed for the U.S. Air Force in the late 1950s. The plane was remarkable for its speed and set a number of word records; however, it was more notable for its controversial safety record and the Lockheed bribery scandal. Despite these misgivings, the F-104 family of planes was flown by U.S. pilots into the mid-70s, and with more than a dozen countries around the world until 2004, when Italy retired the last of their F-104S planes.
This book details the special camouflage patterns, and special paint schemes of 20 planes from a variety of countries. The color drawings are very well done, with a few planes displayed with four-sided drawings. Some of the most interesting schemes are featured on planes commemorating various countries “final flight” of their F-104 fleet during their retirement, or planes celebrating a unit’s 50th anniversary. The drawings feature planes from the U.S., Belgium, Japan, and Greece, but the real stars of the book are the German and Italian planes. It seemed that every German and Italian squadron was trying to outdo the next for the most exciting scheme.
Whether you’re an enthusiast of the F-104 Starfighter, or a modeler looking for an inspiration for finishing an F-104 in something other than bare metal finish, this book has plenty of options to enjoy.
Thank you Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy, and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.