1/48 & 1/50 scale

3 models of the YF-23 in 1/48 scale have been commercially released: 2 kits and 1 ready-made desktop display model. 1 kit was released by Collectaire and was made from resin. The price was astronomical, the fit of parts was crude, and the canopy was very shoddy. But the overall shape was accurate and the decals were comprehensive. Parts were only provided to depict the P&W engined PAV-1; if PAV-2 was to be modelled a small amount of scratch building was required. In April 2013, Hobby Boss announced a brand new kit in this scale, catalogue number 81722. Although the shape looked passable at first glance, closer inspection showed badly wrought fuselage contours, which means that the Collectaire kit would still be the most accurate. Alternative parts were provided to depict PAV-2's GE engine nozzle. The whole thing looked as if it was a 1st year CAD design student's failed assignment and even appeared to be copied from the Dragon 1/72 kit to some extent. The decals were very poor and depicted an entirely ficticious scheme. The lack of accuracy of this kit is unforgivable given the amount of information now available on the YF-23 prototypes. More pics of the tooling can be seen at the Britmodeller forum. In response to the poor quality of the decals, Caracal Models decided to release a new decal dedicated to the YF-23. This new sheet was the result of a direct request and was developed in conjunction with this site's consultation. It is very comprehensive, being far more complete than any sheet previously available in any scale. It is generally very accurate but there are some minor discrepencies. The red chosen for the TAC badges and the black widow underbelly marking is too dark and was a compromise between the brown required for the P&W logo eagle and the bright red needed for those other markings. The black ECS vent just behind the canopy is not correct and should have been treated a different way, as it is a perforation, not pure black. The intake boundary layer panels are nicely done, but the grey portion should have been left off as the real thing is copper coloured in this area. Some laser cut paint masks would have been better. The blue used for the AFFTC badges and stripes is slightly too light but is a good match in hue. The blue used for the center of the P&W logos is slightly too pale but this is nitpicking. Everything else is precisely correct. The greys used for the national insignia are spot on. Until someone makes a definitive 1/48 scale kit, these decals coupled with the Collectaire kit would be the best compromise.

The desktop model was a generic one made somewhere in China, and it turns up on Ebay from time to time. Its catalogue number is B6048F3R. The contours and shape of this model leave something to be desired, but it appears to be more accurate than the 1/50 scale model discussed below, although Collectaire's kit is far more accurate than this desktop model. This is the only desktop model that is genuinely 1/48 scale.


Caracal Models YF-23 decal sheet in all its glory. There are some minor innacuracies, but it is a huge step forward from what was previously on offer.

Last updated January 2015.

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