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Some years ago I started building a F-105D as flown by one of the Air Force's most skilled pilots, the young Lt. Karl W. Richter. At the mere age of 23 he as "Ford 03" shot down a MiG-17 over North Vietnam. After his 100 'counters' he volunteered for another 100. Even so, this wasn't enough, he volunteered for another, third tour, as I believe as a fast FAC.. Officially credited with 198 missions he was hit on 28th of July 1967 by AAA and had to eject. Richter broke both legs during ejection and landed badly in enemy territory. He was picked up by Jolly Green 52 but died from his wounds on the flight back. Richter probably had flown in excess of the 200 missions. If he officially had, he would have been sent home. More on this page. One of my all time heroes.. So, here it is, a continuation of before using amongst others the Hobby Boss kit. It's been some years since I painted this Black Box pit, and I am still happy with it.. One of the reasons I paused before was the thinly shaped nose.. D-Molds agrees with a resin replacement.. on top of each other.. nosejob! pretty amazed by how good it seems to fit.. the ventral fin also needs some work (same D-molds set).. and that's how it fits.. fltr HobbyBoss, D-molds, Quickboost.. D-molds needs the missing parts of the HB kit, I could have done without this.. Aires wheelbay.. wing ready to accept.. should give me something like this.. the inside of the inlets have a variable duct plug. this is clearly visible.. something of an inlet channel.. made by.. splitter plates have mold release marks which are also visible.. my intakes from the top.. fttb.. Hobbyboss, Quickboost, Quickboost with a saw mark.. fttb.. Monogram, Hobbyboss, Brassin MER..
With a few builds to clear off the bench at the moment so I'm not getting straight on with this. However, here's the plan for thi very exciting GB. The kit: Trumpeter's 1/72 F105G Thunderchief. Extras: Eduard's "Big Ed" PE detailing set. Others: Hasegawa ground crew and equipment. CMK Vietnam era pilots (standing). In the group chat I heard the fin needs modifying to be accurate so if anyone knows how to go about doing this let me know and depending on how much time I have, I might give it a go.
Its 1965 and the USA is deeply engaged in the war in Vietnam. The F105D Thunderchief is one of its main strike aircraft, but the NVA is fighting back hard and the F105D is taking heavy casualties As well as the tenacious Mig pilots, the US Air was was dogged by the Soviet designed SA 2 'Guideline' Surface to Air Missile (SAM). This missile was supplied to North Vietnamese by the Soviets - the Vietnam War was the first modern war in which guided antiaircraft missiles seriously challenged highly advanced supersonic jet aircraft. It would also be the first and only time that the latest and most modern air defense technologies of the Soviet Union and the most modern jet fighter planes and bombers of the United States confronted each other in combat. Indeed, nearly 17,000 Soviet missile technicians, and operator/instructors would deploy to North Vietnam in 1965 to help defend Hanoi against American bombers, while North Vietnamese missilemen completed their six to nine months of SAM training in the Soviet Union. From 1965 through all of 1966, nearly all of the 48 U.S. jet aircraft shot down by SAMs over North Vietnam were downed by Soviet missile men. The Soviet Union supplied 7,658 SAMs to North Vietnam, and their defense forces conducted about 5,800 launches, usually in multiples of three. By the war's end, about 205 aircraft had been lost to North Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles. The USAF decided to counter the problem - initially with the 2 seat F105F Thunderchief 'Wild Weasel III' after a version of the F4C Phantom failed. The aircraft were armed with 2 x AGM45 Shrike ARMs and 1 x AGM78 Standard ARM for longer ranges. Eventually the USAF converted 61 F105F's to G standard. Meanwhile the RAF was going through its normal painful procurement process, whilst keeping an eye on the USAF and the ongoing war in Vietnam. Whilst eventually ordering the Harrier GR1, Phantom FGR2, Jaguar GR1, Buccaneer S2B and later the Tornado GR1, it became apparent that the Wild Weasel mission would be vital in any war against a Soviet backed foe. The RAF requested an order of 20 x F105G in late 1974, just before the Vietnam war was coming to its bitter end in 1976. However production had ceased - an agreement was made between the MoD and the Pentagon, where the RAF would send 20 crews to the USA to be converted to the F105G and trained by combat experienced pilots. As part of this agreement, the RAF would 'Lend/Lease' 16 F104G Thunderchiefs to equip 1 frontline RAF Squadron. 41 Sqn had been earmarked to move to RAF Coltishall and convert to the new Sepecat Jaguar. The decision was taken to assign 41 Sqn to the Thunderchief and the new challenge of the Wild Weasel role, based out of RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. The logic was that the aircraft should not be committed to RAF Germany, but rather held in UK ready to deploy as required. The Squadron utilised the overhauled ex USAF airframes, keeping most of the USAF equipment needed to fly them (much as the F4J UK purchase), however they were painted in the current RAF colours of DSG/DG over LAG. They operated in a similar fashion to the USAF, often working with other RAF strike aircraft; the Thuds were kept in service to cover this capability gap until 1986. But by then the airframes were worn out. The RAF lost the Wild Weasel capability, in 1990 the ALARM ARM was finally bought into service and equipped Tornado Sqns - however the RAF was never again to have a true Wild Weasel capability. For this Group Build I will build a 1/72 Trumpeter F105G Thunderchief (on its way via Evil Bay at a reasonable price), with some decals grabbed from various 1/72 RAF builds. Stencils will mostly reflect the USAF airframe. Stolen Decals that have 41 Sqn markings: