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    WWII, Vietnam-era U.S. Jets, Post-Vietnam to Present Day U.S. Jets

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  1. Hi Kev - Some fourteen years ago, Ironwing (Geoff) started a similar project, where he grafted the upper/aft Revell P-51B fuselage onto the Hasegawa kit, and then modified the Hasegawa forward wing roots to blend in with the Revell wing. Here's a link to his build log, with some incredibly helpful photos included, as well: I think the short version of the usable shapes from the Revell B-model are: generally, the fuselage is workable behind the firewall; but as that Bert Kinzey summary points out, above, the scoop and aft cooler vents aren't as good as the Hasegawa versions, so it's worth it to use most of the Hasegawa fuselage. The main wing outlines are generally accurate, and easier to adapt to the Hasegawa fuselage than it would be to completely rework the Hasegawa D-model leading edge extensions and wheel well outlines to match the smaller B-model wing root areas. But, the Revell wheel wells need significant re-work to look like a real Mustang; mainly the "open" nature of the wheel wells as they are framed by the wing spar and the wing formers and returns. Geoff was in the process of cutting the lower wing open and adding a thick styrene wing spar with an aluminum skin upper wing portion (i.e., the "roof" of the wheel wells). As Bert Kinzey points out, the landing gear and wheels are skinny, weak, and inaccurate: the Hasegawa parts, or after market versions, would be the better choice. The Revell canopy looks good, until you reach the windscreen. The angle of the front/center windscreen pane is too flat with respect to the fuselage, which forces the side and upper plexiglass panes to be too small and squished. If you can source a vacuformed or AM clear resin version, it would be a huge visual improvement as well (I think Ali release a resin canopy earlier this year?). I'd also mention the vertical tail: I think both the Revell and Hasegawa profiles are "too flat" on the top section. The real Mustang tails had a distinct crown-like taper from forward to aft; and I think both of those kits portray that profile as straight across/horizontal. Which leaves the real elephant in the room: the nose and prop. As Geoff/Ironwing, JayW, and Peter Castle/Airscale have wonderfully shown in their respective 1/18 Mustang build logs, the *real* Mustang nose can be an enigma, wrapped in a riddle...taken from just a casual sideview glance, the Hasegawa D-model nose profile looks good enough, and the propeller spinner and prop blades look large enough in profile to pass as a decent representation. On the other hand, the Revell B-model nose, even in straight-side profile, looks too small, and tapers too sharply into a too-narrow and too-small spinner (as Bert Kinzey also points out in his article, above)... But from a quartering-front angle or forward vantage point looking aft on either Mustang type (B or D), comes the enigma of the upper cowling shape: similar to the Spitfire (which go-figure, had the same basic engine type), the upper cowling actually has a more square cross section, to accommodate the large piston arrays underneath; and that squared cross section tapers to a fully circular cross section moving forward to the propeller mount in less than 12 scale inches. Neither the Revell nor the Hasegawa kit capture this dramatic profile shift (although the Tamiya P-51D does so very well, and the new Revell D-model represents that shape as well). All that to say, that since you already have the base-kit in the Hasegawa D-model, I think you can pretty easily adapt Ironwing's blueprint and build a very respectable looking B-model. I think the two main defining shapes to the Mustang (B- or D-model) are the big air scoop under the main wing, and the imposing prop spinner and broad-nose. From any forward vantage point, the Mustang looks like a wild beast, and the Revell B-model looks wimpy and small...but the respective parts from the Hasegawa model have passed the test of time to be credible. I think you could have a fun build with a great result. Good Hunting! Chris
  2. That is an awesome shot! That's the second production F-4D, Block-24, 64-0930, still in its original, McDonnell-factory SEA paint scheme with full factory stenciling. Later in life, 0930 served with the 179 FIS in the Duluth, Minnesota ANG, where we photographed it many times...so it's already one of my favorite jets.
  3. John, I love those tones for the tan variations. I would be interested in anything you can share on what portions of the color wheel you used to mix those? Would be especially useful for those that might be replicating McDonnell factory-applied camouflage, as well...
  4. Nope: although I agree that his cap looks similar to Marine uniform caps, that's definitely an Air Force Airman at Cam Ranh Bay in summer 1966...he posted a whole series of photos of CRB (12 TFW) F-4Cs in the short period between getting camouflage and adding tail codes. He had a buddy take his photo while sitting in the back seat of an F-4C. EDIT: Also, you can clearly see the control stick just in front of the radar scope...F-4Bs did not have a control stick, like USAF F-4s with dual controls in back. Some awesome reference photos of early camouflaged F-4Cs without tail codes (tail number presentation in 6" digits, USAF on top, and 5-digit below, e.g., "37598"). Also gloss white fuel tanks hung under camouflage on the upper surfaces (kept the original Navy-style white undersurfaces and painted out the oversized national insignia on the lower right wing and the "USAF" on the lower left wing). I'm not sure where I found that treasure trove several years ago, or I would post a URL.
  5. Ah, tally-ho! I wondered what an SUU-21 *gunpod* was, as well (assumed that was a typo)...
  6. Awesome photo! But, I don't think the earlier shot of 7509 has a gunpod on the centerline: the diameter is too small and doesn't match the proportions of the gunpod in this shot.
  7. No LAU-17 inner pylons? As an early B-model, note the short chin pod nose cap, in place of a live IRST dome (pre-RHAW installation with the extended chin cap and the acorn on the trailing edge of the vertical fin cap); and it has the straight/narrow leading edge trim on the stabs, prior to the addition of the trapezoidal counter balance near the stab tip. Early Bs also had an active inner leading edge flap; those weren't pinned until after ~1966, when the mod was added to all new airframes in Block 26 and later; and modified (along with the addition of slotted stabs) on Bs/Ns as each aircraft went through phase or the B-Line mod. But it wasn't typical to have the leading and trailing edge flaps deployed while parked on the ramp.
  8. Nope. Factory-painted airframes (LGG/White and SEA camouflage) just had the small black walkway painted on the main wing at the forward portion of the chord/wing root; but there was no texture at that point. USAF depot-painted airframes did not typically have that walkway on the main wing root in the Rolling Thunder (1966-68) camouflage era.
  9. "Thanks Alfonso! Yes the fight for the inside is almost done, the fight for the outside is about to begin " Very Churchillian outlook. I love it.
  10. An apple. Deftly lifted from the chow hall early, early that morning.
  11. Nice! I don't have the Daco book; but I do have some references I can send you that show the access seams on the radome, as well as the exposed portion of the IRST. Basically a parallel cylinder housing, with a mirror-coated glass ball to house/protect the IR sensor which gimbals under the mirrored glass portion. I'll send you my contact info via direct message and I can send you some photos, etc. Cheers! Chris
  12. Can't wait to see this blue AT-38 parked next to Timmy!'s Shaguar...
  13. Mathieu - Meant to ask you earlier: notice in the color shots above of BuNo '1506 / Modex 200 (in the 'early' VF-84 scheme), it is equipped with the actual IRST sensor in the chin fairing on the radome; then on the B&W shot, in the later version of the VF-84 markings (black tail), it has the "short" dummy cap on the chin fairing. The common plastic molding on virtually every F-4B/C model (except maybe the 1960's version of the 1/72 Airfix kit) has the "long" APR-25 antenna cap on the chin fairing, including the 1/32 Tamiya kit. Are you planning to model the IRST sensor on your Tamiya model? I would really love to see someone catch that detail and bring it out on their model... Love how your model is going so far, enjoying watching it. Cheers! Chris
  14. Peter: you’re right-on about the CQ aspect of this photo. There are other shots from this series out there in the ether, and all of the VF-84 jets have their main gear doors removed… The missing gear doors was one of the first things I spotted first time I saw this picture a few years ago…asked on the Facebook Phantom forum if anyone had background. A former Navy Phantom pilot from that early era said the thin/high-pressure tires on the As and early Bs regularly burst during repeated CQ cycles; and the exploding tire debris damaged the gear doors. Easy fix was to just remove the doors during CQs. This guy followed up that McDonnell eventually sourced better quality tire sidewalls that didn’t explode on every hard landing and the phenomenon went away within a year or so after the first squadrons had deployed with Phantoms. That’s the most believable answer I think I’ve ever seen from a Facebook crowd… Cheers! Chris
  15. Thanks Tony - I think that adds clarity to a minimally-documented history...does that mean that the chin and fin cap antennas, when paired with the four quadrant nose antennas, were all part of the APS-107, and *not* APR-26 (or APR-25, depending on source) in the chin and fin cap; with the APS-107 in addition to that, as two non-integrated systems adjacent to each other? Since the APR-27 blade antenna was still present on the underside, just ahead of the nose gear door, I assume that was still an additional SAM guidance warning source... Like I said, the available literature on this is sparse, conflicting, and contradictory, since the Air Force and Navy were fairly desperate to solve the radar threat, and they seemed to be racing various manufacturers' systems to the field at nearly simultaneous times; then dropping some systems very quickly for "the next development" within months of fielding "the last thing."
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