PM Models F-86 White Swans “Uçan Kuğular”

The F-86 is an icon of the early jet age. Piercing the limits of traditional straight winged aviation, and speeding past performance expectations of the early post-war years. Built by North American the F-86 saw massive international success as one of the most attractive jets, achieving success in Korea.

Turkey, whose politics we won’t really get into, was one of the purchasers of this aircraft. These aircraft were not US aircraft however, and were actually Canadian examples. They were acquired in the mid-50s and would be used until the end of the 1960s. For many, this was a view of Turkey’s acceptance of the West and standards set by NATO.

For Turkey, the F-86 would also be the mount of one of their longest running display teams. Whilst looking online I found multiple translations of the display team, all addressing it as either Flying Swans or White Swans. Given the logo of the team and the boxing being of Turkish origin I’m inclined to believe it is White Swan.

They used a rotating number of aircraft – up to a maximum of 12. The team would neve fly outside of Turkey, however, meaning their distinctive white and red scheme would not be known to much of the outside world.

Flying Swans aerobatic team
Source: https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i188/Flying-Swans.html

This PM Models kit caught my eye in my local model store as a cheap and cheerful kit. It cost €6 – which may sound a lot for what it is, but please consider a modern Airfix kit generally starts at €10 – so this is a third less. For some people, that is a lot of money.

The kit is basic. Extremely basic. Take a Matchbox kit, combine even more of the parts in the moulding process…and boom. You have a PM Models kit. But again, this kit is really cheap. A consequence of this however is that the kit has few details (with any being present being raised) and no cockpit to speak off. For a girl like me? No problem. Cockpits are something I rarely explore one the model is built anyway.

I built this kit in no time at all, with painting being a similarly quick process. Undercoated in Citadel Corex White, before having a layer of Aluminium (in error), followed by a correction of Revell Aqua Color 90 Silber (Silver). A black section on the nose was painted after decals were applied too – I used 06 Teerschwarz (Tar Black) for this.

So…the decals. I’ve 2 points on this. The pigmentation was actually impressive – a white that is opaque over any other colours is always impressive in my opinion! The red was also bright, and the decals large enough to match on the leading edges of the wings/tails – no paint matching required here! As I said in the stream and video – I was shook by these decals. They just have no business being this good.

There isn’t really much more to add here! This was a very simple and straight forward model – so compared to my usual standards there wasn’t a lot to do. I added some mild weathering with Revell’s Weathering Power set – but I don’t think it added a lot. As it’s raised panel lines too I didn’t feel super comfy using inks.

Buy or Fly?

This is a difficult one. I genuinely enjoyed making the kit. I think for the casual model maker….the beginner…or a younger modeller this is a great entry. You get a pretty and vibrant model with a unique display scheme – but at pocket money prices.

As someone who has a hectic work life I can also see the benefit of such a quick and simple build. Rivet counters? They’ll hate it. But for someone wanting a fun and cute models? It’s pretty good honestly. To add to that it’s a really unique subject…so you could buy it for the decals alone and that would still be good value for money.

It’s for that reason that I give this model a buy as a budget friendly build!

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