The model came molded in aluminum-colored plastic, and I originally planned on leaving it unpainted, but I decided against this in the end. Construction was not exceptionally difficult, but I was unsure exactly how to fit the instrument panel, and I just wedged it in without cement.
The model includes a clear plastic rod for keeping the plane from tipping backward, but I chose to add nose weight instead, placing about 4 brass tabs in the nose. The lesson I learned is the next time I add nose weight, I must secure the weights, as I simply tossed the tabs in, and the plane has to be tipped down so the weights rest in the nose. But once they are there, they do fulfill the purpose of keeping the plane from tipping onto its back end.
Recently, my CAP squadron went on a field trip to a aircraft museum, where I was able to see the F-86, as well as its arch-rival, the MiG-15 in person.
As you can see, the F-86 has a green seat cushion, and a red back and head rest, the stick has a canvas (or at least canvas colored) cover at the bottom, and the top of the instrument panel is black. I have changed all of these except for the stick cover which I plan on painting eventually. The instructions said to paint the seat black, and I think it might have varied anyway. Red, black, whatever.
Here is the model fitted with painter's tape in preparation for the spray can.
The landing gear taught me a valuable lesson, namely, that they should be left off till the last moment since they are easily broken and difficult to put back on, and to keep them in place thereafter.
Prior to this, I had painted the pilot figure, who is standing so he can be posed next to the plane, unlike many figures that are molded to fit in the cockpit. I really like 1/48th scale for figures, since they are a nice size and hold plenty of detail, but the face doesn't have to be all shaded and the eyes don't need to be painted in order for the figure to look good by my standards.
I made an error in my painting however, as I painted the pilot with a green, rather than tan, flight suit, since it appeared this way on the box, and I assumed that the flight suit would be green, since it that is the stereotypical color of jet pilot suits.
I painted the helmet's black trim with the help of a tooth pick, and added some shine to the belt buckles with a pencil. I painted the chute straps and helmet white as you can see, and painted the life vest yellow. I didn't change the flight suit since I liked it the way it was and didn't want to ruin anything by trying to correct it.
The instructions are pretty good and clear, better than some instructions that don't bother to explain much to the builder.
Here is the model after the spray can with yellow and black stripes that are brush painted. As well, as what I like to call the "puppy nose" the small black mark at the tip of the nose, which is the Sabre's radar housing. I plan on ditching the stripes (since they did not come out well) and repainting them with a spray can and making the black stripes from electrical tape. That's all for now,-Andrew