Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
Lockheed TF-104G
D-5817, Training en Conversie Afdeling,
late 1960s

The extreme shape of the Starfighter earned it the first nickname of "The Missile with a
Man in it" and some USAF pilots also called it “Zipper” or “Zipper 104” because of it’s
tremendous speed. After it proved to be challenging to fly, with high fatal accident rates,
particularly in German service the plane was given many more nicknames because of its
high speed and ability to occassionally fly itself into the ground. In Germany they referred
to it as Witwenmacher ("widowmaker"), fliegender Sarg ("flying coffin") or Erdnagel
("ground nail", the official military term for a tent peg). Others were, Pakistan Badmash
“Hooligan”, Italy because of it’s spiked nose Spillone “Hatpin” and bara volante “Flying
Coffin”, Canada “Lawn Dart”.
Primarily powered by a single 15 800 lb thrust General Electric J79-GE11A turbojet
engine, equipped with afterburner, it was capable of high speeds (just under 1300 mph)
and high rates of climb. On December 14, 1959, an F-104C set a world altitude record of
103,395 ft (31.5 km). The Starfighter was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official
world records for speed, altitude, and time-to-climb.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Nederlandse Luchtmacht) was a major
operator of the Lockheed F-104G with 138 aircraft. Between 1962 and 1984 the KLu
used 3 variants, F-104G, TF-104G and the RF-104G.  The 138 aircraft consisted of 95 F-
104G/RF-104 built by Fokker, 25 F-104G built by FIAT and 18 TF-104G built by
Lockheed in California. The TF-104Gs were used by an operational conversion unit
known as the “Dutch Masters” and when this unit was decommissioned in January 1969
the aircraft went to “TCA”(Training en Conversie Afdeling) at Leeuwarden and “CAV”
(Conversie Afdeling Volkel), Volkel . In March 1978 “TCA” unit was decommissioned and
the remaining aircraft were assigned to the “CAV” at Volkel. When the F-104s were
completely retired in 1984 the “CAV” was decommissioned in November of that year. TF-
104G D-5187 was c/n 583A-5817 and was delivered on January 2, 1968. D-5187 served
with the KLu until it was sold to Turkey on November 30, 1983.

Specifications for the F-104G / TF-104G

Role – all-weather multi-role fighter-bomber
Production - 1,122
Crew – 1

Role - combat-capable trainer version of F-104G
Production - 220
Crew – 2

Engine – 1 x General Electric J-79 of 15,600 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Increased Internal Fuel Capacity
Maximum speed - 1,320 mph
Cruising Speed - 575 mph
Combat Radius – 420 mi
Ferry Range – 1,630 mi
Service Ceiling - 58,000 ft
Rate Of Climb – 48,000 ft/min

Span - 21 ft. 11 in
Length - 54 ft. 10 in
Height - 13 ft. 6 in

Empty – 14,000 lbs
Loaded – 20,640 lbs
Maximum Takeoff - 29,027 lbs

1 x M-61 20mm M61 Vulcan 6-barrel cannon
Hardpoints -
7 x capable of carrying a maximum 4,000 lbs of stores
Located -
2 x wing-tip launch rails for AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar missiles
4 x 2 under each wing
1 x under-fuselage center-line pylon

No cannon or centerline pylon
Reduced internal fuel
Die-cast metal.
Superb detailing in 1/72 scale.
Pilot figure
Pad applied markings.
Fully assembled.
Display stand included.
Option to display model with wheels up or down.
Minimum use of plastic.
Very collectable
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