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F-8E Crusader VMF(AW)-312: Done 2014.11.1 Summary Posted

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What I have so far, with more on the way.  AMS seat, Rhino intake (re-posted on ebay recently), Master Model pitot and the SAC landing gear.



Some of my references.  A couple more on the way including the Schiffer book Crusader!  Also have the Ginter series in pdf.



I've really been wanting to do these markings for quite awhile- seems like a good opportunity now to finally get around to it.  VMF-312 was at Da Nang for about 6 weeks, from Dec '65 to Jan '66 for 718 sorties.


Right now, looks like I'll be doing the wings straight, up, flaps and slats down, refueling probe out, brakes open, but everything else closed up.  In typical Marine style, will hang Mk82's and Zuni's.


Will follow up with open box and more pics later



Edited by EmperorKai
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Kai! Welcome!  Very glad to have you join us.  :) I have added your name and what you're building to the "Who's building what" list, and we cant wait to watch you bring your Crusader to life while we all watch! :popcorn:

 All the best to you and your build,


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Thanks guys!


Okay, so I've officially cleaned up after the Sturmovik project and diving into this one.



The open box.  Still waiting on the AMS seat, pitot tube and just realized today that I need to order the Zuni kit from Fisher (more on that below).


After following along with John's F-8 build and his experiences, I think I'm going to bug out on the Rhino intake, so that's out.  I also decided to scrutinize the aftermarket much more closely before committing.  For the most part, everything else looks good with one exception.  Here's how it looks so far:

  • Eduard Exterior set- will use about 75% of it.  Some good stuff in there
  • Eduard Weapon set- will only use about 25% of this set (rails and pylon details).
  • Eduard Wing Central Section- almost all of it, though I will run my own wires
  • Aires everything set- absolutely gorgeous set.  Will use everything except the seat.  Some minor mod'ing and Eduard PE where appropriate
  • SAC Landing gear- toss up there...


The SAC landing gear is soft on the details compared to the kit parts.  It also has a rough texture that will need to be buffed out, which potentially could soften edges even more.  It's also evident here that the SAC gear will sit differently.  The strut on the left side is longer, which means the aircraft will sit a bit lower (if I am visualizing it correctly).  The kit strut also doesn't look right where it connects to the main gear stem.



The smaller strut from the kit is a bit heavy compared to the SAC piece.  It's subtle here, but the SAC piece is also slightly shorter to accommodate the piece above.



The front gear on the SAC piece is better on the representation of the details, but the kit part is better on execution.  



The exterior side of the front wheel "cradle".  Here, the details on the SAC piece are especially soft.  The kit part on the other hand has those horrendous punch marks.  It's also interesting that the SAC piece is shorter on the horn side.  Will have to check to see which one looks more accurate though I don't think it will be all that noticeable.



The back side of the "cradle".  Won't be all that visible, though I do like the gist of the idea on the SAC piece in general.  The kit part will lock in at a specific orientation whereas the SAC piece will articulate and need to be fixed at the desired angle.  Initially I thought this would be a good thing (and showing it strapped in on a catapult, it probably helps), but now I'm not so sure- just one more thing to keep track of.


At this point, I am leaning towards dolling up the kit gear.  At most, I might build both and pick the best one.



One of the other challenges are the Zuni rockets.  The kit comes with 2 LAU-33 launchers.  First problem is I need 4, so I will need to acquire or build the difference.  The rocket warheads also seem heavy on the details, so they'll need some work or replacement.  In my case, I'm just going to order the Zuni kit from Fisher and use those.



Lastly, and to be nitpicky, the edges of the center section of the launcher run that along the top of the barrels should extend out more, as on the upper LAU-33 Zuni launcher here (picture contrast adjusted so it can be seen easier).  Also of note is that the 2 launchers on the opposite side and the upper launcher seen here are LAU-33's.  The bottom launcher in this photo is the LAU-35, which is a slightly different version that was always used on this lower station only.    The Y launcher on the sides of the F-8 were different on each side.  In regards to the portside Y launcher, and from what I get from the flight manual, the folding fins of the Zuni rocket are longer than the distance between the barrel and the side of the fuselage, so the LAU-35 is offset(?) further outboard for better clearance.  I have no detail shots of this to confirm how exactly the LAU-35 accomplishes this, but there you have it.  I also found some indication on a French website that the LAU-35 is 1.2 inches shorter (hey, we all know the interwebs never lie, right?).


I could easily live with the LAU-33's as is, but bottom line is I need another one and an LAU-35.  So I'm in for building a couple no matter what and will probably build out all 4 so they are all the same.


The final note is that the Victory Production decals have some great info.  It mentions (new to me, sorry if this is old news) that the Y launchers in the kit are identical, when they should in fact be different.  I'll be digging into that next to see what is involved.


Anyway, I'm off to the races!  I'm no expert, so any input/clarification/comments/criticisms are appreciated!


Thanks for looking!



Edited by EmperorKai
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I've gotten a couple of SAC sets, and you're right- they're all pretty much the same story.  G-Factors are nicer but that's not an option here.  


I sent along a PM- THANK YOU!  I can put this little issue to rest :)

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Shawn, nice comparisons review between the kit LG and SAC LG. Even though they are not better in detail then what's already in the kit, but I think they still might be better off, at least for the main LG, because of the resin sets you will be adding. They sure will increase the weight and I don't know if the kits plastic LG will be able to handle the job. Also, no expert here, so just thinking out loud :whistle: 

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I've gotten a couple of SAC sets, and you're right- they're all pretty much the same story.  G-Factors are nicer but that's not an option here.  


I sent along a PM- THANK YOU!  I can put this little issue to rest :)


I think a combination of both is a great idea. Great job!

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Brass would be stronger, but white metal is not very strong at all. And worse, it can slowly creep under load, so it will hold the minute you finish the model, come back two weeks latter and it will be sitting on its belly. If weight is an issue, reinforcing the kit plastic legs with metal wire might be a better option, if they can be drilled out.  Plastics are usually pretty good though.



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