F-86D Sabre Dog Update

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The Sabre Dog (F-86D) was the basis of many of my childhood dreams–I would have given anything back then to fly one of those beasts. (Of course, when you’re seven years old, the likelihood of that happening is fairly slim.) My Dad always made sure we hit the annual Chanute AFB open house in the late ’50s, and I have pics of me with Illinois Air Guard Sabre Dogs taken during those years.

The old 1/48 Aurora F-86D model was one of the earliest I built, and that overall bright orange color scheme on the boxtop really caught my young eye! And there was just something about that big honkin’ nose that captured my imagination.

With the upcoming 1/48 (oops, just found out this kit is actually 1/32) Kitty Hawk F-86D coming anytime soon (and the ProModeler/Revell’s very nice offering that’s been around for a while), I’ve put together a page highlighting the Sabre Dog decal markings sets I have available now. For your convenience, I’ve also included my other F-86 decal sets for the non-radar versions (A/E/F models). If they’re listed, they’re available.

1/48 Sabre Dogs

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F-86D Sabre Dogs #4. My main memories of Sabres while I was growing up are of the Sabre Dog, which is why the jet holds such a special place in my heart. Growing up in small-town central Illinois, I well remember the "Dogs" flying down from O’Hare airport in Chicago to air shows in our area in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The bright unit markings and astonishing International Orange hi-viz markings stand out clearly in my mind. Therefore, the first jet in this set is a F-86L (essentially a D with an tiny antenna added) of the 108 FIS, Illinois Air National Guard. The second bird is the highly visible F-86D flown by Lt Col Joe Pelter, commander of the 4th FIS (not the 4th FIW!) at Misawa AB, Japan. Ahhhh, the heady days of our youth!

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F-86Ds Sabre Dogs #5. F-86D FU-007 94 FIS, The Flying Wetback; FU-782, 94 FIS Commander, Ol’ Rover (correct markings); FU-179, 343 Interceptor Sq, Greek AF.

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F-86D Sabre Dogs #2. The apogee of colorful USAF jets ws certainly attained with the mid-late 1950s interceptors. The 469 FIS Commander flew this extremely colorful jet, 1954. Did you note the fuselage "U. S. AIR FORCE" was applied AFTER the jet left the North American factory and was in the standard USAF 45° Insignia Blue lettering, and NOT the unique "curved" font used by North American? Therefore the U. S. AIR FORCE and the buzz number (FU-500) were in different type styles! The colorful red/white tail checkerboards and wingtip and fuselage striping make this an exceptionally eye-catching bird.
Only 22 sets still available.

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1/48 Non-Radar Sabre Versions (A/E/F)

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PYN-up Decals F-86 Sassy Sabres Part 1. Two enormously famous MiG-killing Sabres from the Korean War grace this set. Often misidentified as "flat" artwork, Col Walker Bud Mahurin’s F-86E-10-NA "Honest John" actually had shaded art that’s well represented here. The decals you get with this set trace the evolution of markings on this jet, also named "Stud," during the time Mahurin, then commander of the 4th FIG, flew it and carried his Korean War kill markings, and afterwards when it other pilots flew it once Mahurin was shot down in another jet. By that point Mahurin’s kill markings were removed and 336th FIS "Rocketeer" squadron markings applied to both sides. Note the thin white outline around the Honest John figure, which for some reason is missed by nearly all profile artists and decal companies. The second treasure in this set is usually known as the "Marilyn Monroe Sabre," since a beautiful representation of the Marilyn Monroe Playboy Magazine nude centerfold was painted on the left nose of this F-86E-5-NA. Flown by Col Ben Preston, Commander of the 4th FIS, the jet was actually named "Temptation," and flew from Kimpo (K-14), Korea. We’ve included the three kill stars Larry Davis, the world-famous Sabre expert, believes were painted under the canopy. This jet was eventually crashlanded. The wings were removed and she was shipped to Japan for rebuild. We can presume the Marilyn figure was also removed in Japan!

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F-86A/Es #1. F-86E-5, "Temptation" (Marilyn Monroe pinup artwork) and three MiG kill stars, 50-666, 334th FIS, K-14, Summer 1952; F-86A (Ace of Spades/Dagger emblem), 116th FIS, 81st FIW, USAFE; F-86A, 94th FIS (Hat in Ring insignia on yellow lightning bolt), George AFB, CA, early 1953, markings applied for fly-over at President Eisenhower’s inauguration.

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F-86 Sabres #3. When it comes to Sabres, I can’t help myself-I want to model them all! This set features a couple of early Korean War 4th FIG jets with the black/white ID stripes on the wings and fuselage (applicable to other early-war 4th jets as well, before all Sabre units went to the standard yellow ID stripes). The first jet was part of the fascinating Operation Stovepipe, weather reconnaissance flights over North Korea in 1951. The top surfaces were painted olive drab, but unfortunately reduced top speed by 20 MPH. The jet portrayed here is now displayed at the National Air & Space Museum’s Hazy Center at Dulles airport near Washington, DC. The second plane is Col Glenn Eagleston’s mount while he was commander of the 4 FIW. It’s worth noting the nose intake is confirmed by color photos to be brown fiberglass and not red as depicted in some profile paintings. The final jet is "Miss Kumsum Mo" (pronounce the syllables separately) of the 4th FIW after the yellow ID bands were adopted.

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Sassy Sabres Part 2. Previously thought to be completely sold out, I was able to find enough decals to assemble 23 more sets of this, my favorite Sabre markings of all time. Capt Chuck Owens’ F-86E-10-NA "El Diablo; early and late versions of Col Royal "King" Baker’s F-86E-10 "The King," all from 4th FIW, Korea

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(And here’s my tome on Korean War era Sabre markings)

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F-86 Sabre Markings Of The Korean War, by David H. Klaus. This special report on the marking systems used by Sabre units during the Korean War uses excellent photos to illustrate the various elements of these markings. Photos of interesting nose art are also discussed. If you missed getting this book as a bonus for purchasing decals during my introductory sale, it is identical to the one offered then , and is now available for purchase. It will be delivered electronically and requires a PC and internet connection (Windows or Linux; sorry about that, Macintosh users).

$16.97
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