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Navy Bird

1:72 Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B "Beta Tomcat" Part 2

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Navy Bird    8,824

I've long wanted an F-111B for my US Navy collection, and pretty much the only way to get one is a conversion of either the F-111C or F-111G (FB-111A) kit. As I work in the only scale that matters, it's a Hasegawa kit that will do the honours. Luckily, Britmodeller scheduled a Group Build for the F-111, and this provided the KUTA needed for me to start work on this project. Unfortunately, life intervened (again!) and I will not be able to finish the build in time. Therefore, I will continue it here.

 

But first, you simply must read what was accomplished during the F-111 Group Build. Why? Because I'm not going to repeat it all here, and I think a lot of the research information is especially interesting. There are a huge number of detail differences between the different F-111B prototypes and pre-production ships.

 

So here is Part 1 of my build. Go ahead and read it, taking your time to learn as much as you can about this oft-maligned bird. I'll wait until you've finished.

 

Back so soon? My, you're quite the speed reader. Well then, let's carry on!

 

F-111B 151972, the subject of my build, had what is known as a "translating cowl" intake. Rather than have suck-in doors that are either manually operated or powered, the front portion of the cowling slid forward to open up a "slot" that provided the same benefit. 

 

This photo shows the intake cowling closed:

 

vent covers resamp

 

And this shows the cowling after translating forward:

 

151970 underwing vent

 

The eagle-eyed among you will notice some detail differences in those last two shots with respect to the vents under the wing glove. More on that later!

 

The Hasegawa F-111C kit that I'm using for this conversion has a slightly different intake configuration that what was used on 151972, so I've made some changes to it. Of course, you know all about that because you read Part 1 over in the Group Build section. One additional change needs to be made now, and it concerns the area above the translating cowl. The kit intake has a gap in this area, which is shown well in this photo (I'm not sure which aircraft this is from - EF-111A perhaps?):

 

IN011a

 

On 151972, there was no gap here, as can be seen two photos ago. In my collection of F-111B photos, specifically those of 151972, the translating cowl is almost always open when on the ground. So that's the way we'll model her. 

 

F-111B 151972 at Hughes

 

I added some card stock to create a "lip" under the rear edge of the translating cowl, and also to fill in the gap. The shock cones will be added later, as I think it will be easier to paint them prior to assembly. The intake ramps were made from card stock, since those on 151972 were a different shape than those on the F-111C, and didn't have the kink when viewed from the front. Anyway, here is what I came up with - I think it will work.

 

IMG_1335

 

IMG_1336

 

IMG_1337

 

IMG_1338

 

Hopefully, I've got the angle of the landing gear correct as well. Both the main gear and the nose strut angle forward. Next up I think I'll add the vertical fin, as it just doesn't quite look like an F-111 without one. (Sorry, I can't call it an Aardvark etc. - I never fancied those unofficial nicknames. If the B had gone into production, I wonder what the Navy might have called it. Surely with Grumman's involvement it would have been some kind of cat...)

 

Cheers,

Bill

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hairystick    927
19 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

If the B had gone into production, I wonder what the Navy might have called it. Surely with Grumman's involvement it would have been some kind of cat...)

Really nice work on this kit!

I can't say the same about the actual aircraft though...

 

It was referred to as "The Deviant" and thank goodness it failed!

VADM Tom Connolly stated to the Senate hearing "Mr Chairman, all the thrust in Christendom couldn't make a Navy fighter out of that airplane".:D

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Navy Bird    8,824

I think everyone agrees that the USN was better off moving to the F-14. However, the F-111B was not as bad as is often stated in aviation literature. Certainly the F-14 was a better dogfighter than the F-111B was/could have been. Here are some interesting points raised by @Tailspin Turtle (Tommy Thomason) during Part 1 of this build:

 

I recommend that anyone with an interest in the F-111B should get a copy of Tommy's monograph. This is part of the Ginter series of books on USN and USAF subjects.

 

IMG_1264

 

Well, Memsahib has me painting the living and dining rooms today (and probably tomorrow - I'm a slow painter) so no modelling unless I can get a bit in tonight. The rooms have needed painting since, well, a really long time ago. I tried to convince her that a two-tone affair using Dark Green and Dark Earth, with some Sky for the trim around the doors) would look great, but she opted for FS36375 Light Ghost Gray. I guess she prefers jets...

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Andre B    138

Also glad to se the continuation on your F-111B. I also have an Hasegawa F-111B waiting on the workingtable. My plan is to bild it as 974 with differs a bit to 972.

But still it helps a lot and clears some questions to me to se your build on the way again!

 

Cheers! / André

 

http://tailspintopics.blogspot.se/2009/10/grumman-f-111b.html

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Graeme H    557

So good to see this continue Bill, will be watching with great interest  :popcorn:

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Andre B    138

Mmm...

Concerning size of the main landing wheels... ...where they the same as on the A-6 Intruder or bigger?

 

Cheers / André

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2 hours ago, Andre B said:

Mmm...

Concerning size of the main landing wheels... ...where they the same as on the A-6 Intruder or bigger?

 

Cheers / André

They were bigger: 42x13 inches versus 36x11. Moreover, the early Bs had the A landing gear: different nose landing gear and bigger main landing gear tires (and one early B received a B nose landing gear when it was repaired following a crash landing).

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Andre B    138
3 hours ago, Tailspin Turtle said:

They were bigger: 42x13 inches versus 36x11. Moreover, the early Bs had the A landing gear: different nose landing gear and bigger main landing gear tires (and one early B received a B nose landing gear when it was repaired following a crash landing).

 

That's a rather big difference. I had an idea about using wheels from an Grumman Prowler kit but now that is out of question. So what alternatives is there in 1/72 scale?

Thank's for information...

 

Chhers / André

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5 hours ago, Andre B said:

 

That's a rather big difference. I had an idea about using wheels from an Grumman Prowler kit but now that is out of question. So what alternatives is there in 1/72 scale?

Thank's for information...

 

Chhers / André

I've just modified the USAF wheels. The hubs appear to be the same diameter. You just have to narrow the hub and tires and reduce the diameter of the tires. For the difference, see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/10/grumman-f-111b.html. Or build one of the early airplanes (970/971/972) with the F-111A tires.

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Andre B    138
14 hours ago, Tailspin Turtle said:

I've just modified the USAF wheels. The hubs appear to be the same diameter. You just have to narrow the hub and tires and reduce the diameter of the tires. For the difference, see http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/10/grumman-f-111b.html. Or build one of the early airplanes (970/971/972) with the F-111A tires.


Yes, I knew about that picture showing the difference. And I have been thinking of reducing the diameter or just cut of the wheels from the hubs. One problem is that most peopla here are talking inches where most of us in Europe talk millimeter. But it´s not an big problem and I will found out how to deal with the wheels wheen the time comes. When I started this build for over twenty years ago the only thing I had was the old Revell nose. For now I have three kits on the "table". Two old Revell kits and one Hasegawa kit and my plans are to do the Hasegawa kit as 972. It's ready for painting. In fact the "bottom white" are already painted. Maybe I do someting with the older Revell kits later...

Cheers / André

 

Ps. I have an mould to make new "noses" if someone want to build an F-111B...

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Navy Bird    8,824

I just measured the resin main wheels that came with the 1:72 conversion kit from Pete's Hangar (now out of production) - they measure 16.1 mm x 6.1 mm. If I've done the math correctly that works out to 46 x 17 inches. These are quite a bit larger than the 42 x 13 inch wheels on the B, and are almost as large as the wheels included with the Hasegawa F-111C/G kit that I'm using. Is this the approximate size of the USAF wheels used on the A model? I hope so, that way I can get away with using them as they are, since 151972 was occasionally shod with F-111A shoes. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Andre B    138
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

I just measured the resin main wheels that came with the 1:72 conversion kit from Pete's Hangar (now out of production) - they measure 16.1 mm x 6.1 mm. If I've done the math correctly that works out to 46 x 17 inches. These are quite a bit larger than the 42 x 13 inch wheels on the B, and are almost as large as the wheels included with the Hasegawa F-111C/G kit that I'm using. Is this the approximate size of the USAF wheels used on the A model? I hope so, that way I can get away with using them as they are, since 151972 was occasionally shod with F-111A shoes. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

That was information that I can relate to. I always felt that the resin main wheels looked a rather large. 42x13... ...that makes 11,9 mm (?).
Well, where are those A-6 wheels again?
Cheers / André

Edited by Andre B

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corsaircorp    2,173

Hello Bill,

Good to see you back on that rarely seen USN bird.

Very good job on the air intake !

My daughter has choosed Ocean Grey and Med Sea grey, but SWMBO did'nt know it:P

Note my daughter did'nt know either :rofl:

WP_20170515_17_53_34_Pro

Look good, I propose some Dark green blotches but to no avail, it would have looked great.....

Sincerely.

Corsaircorp

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Navy Bird    8,824
4 hours ago, Andre B said:

 

That was information that I can relate to. I always felt that the resin main wheels looked a rather large. 42x13... ...that makes 11,9 mm (?).

 

42 x 13 inches works out to 14.8 x 4.5 mm in 1:72 scale. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Navy Bird    8,824
3 hours ago, corsaircorp said:

Hello Bill,

Good to see you back on that rarely seen USN bird.

Very good job on the air intake !

My daughter has choosed Ocean Grey and Med Sea grey, but SWMBO did'nt know it:P

Note my daughter did'nt know either :rofl:

<snip>

Look good, I propose some Dark green blotches but to no avail, it would have looked great.....

Sincerely.

Corsaircorp

 

Looks great! I took my FS595 swatch book and compared to the colour my wife chose for the living room, and it really is close to FS36375 Light Ghost Gray. Too bad she didn't pick FS36440 Light Gull Gray, then I would have a scheme to match my nickname, especially since the baseboards and the mouldings around the doors and windows are white. Light Gull Gray and White - what more could your parlor want? Oh yeah, stars and bars. And maybe a BuNo and modex...

 

It's fascinating that the wives are picking aviation related colours for the home. Maybe it's all those air shows that we've dragged them to over the years. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Andre B    138
8 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

 

42 x 13 inches works out to 14.8 x 4.5 mm in 1:72 scale. 

 

Cheers,

Bill


Thanks Bill!
Wishfull mathematics doesn't take us to the moon... ; )
Let's see what I can dig out in my boxes of spareparts...

What I didn't have found out yet is if the F-111B sit lower to the ground compared to the F-111A.
Or was the landing gear built to compensate for those smaller wheels?

 

Cheers / André

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Andre B said:


Thanks Bill!
Wishfull mathematics doesn't take us to the moon... ; )
Let's see what I can dig out in my boxes of spareparts...

What I didn't have found out yet is if the F-111B sit lower to the ground compared to the F-111A.
Or was the landing gear built to compensate for those smaller wheels?

 

Cheers / André

According to published dimensioned drawings, the distance from the ground to the top of the F-111A tail was 17' 0.5". A corresponding number from the F-111B SAC was 16' 7.7", a difference of 4.8". The difference in main wheel diameter only accounts for 2.5". I don't think that the main landing gear was different so the F-111B belly would be 2.5 inches closer to the ground at the main landing gear. However, the F-111B nose gear for carrier operations was different and the F-111B may have sat very slightly nose up compared to the F-111A, which would reduce the height of the tail above the ground. Note that I haven't checked to see which tail-tip fairing was used in either drawing, which might affect the dimension. More importantly, the height depends on the empty weight (the A and B probably were different) and loading assumed for the drawing: fuel, crew, weapons, etc. (there is actually a Navy specification to be used when dimensioning the SAC drawing) as well as strut servicing and the tendency of some airplanes to retain a nose up or down "sit" as a result of how abruptly they were stopped when pushed backwards or taxied into into a parking space. Therefore, your model may vary.

 

One reason I generally stick to giving English measurements is to avoid making a mistake in conversion even though there are readily available apps for that.

Edited by Tailspin Turtle

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corsaircorp    2,173
2 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

 

Looks great! I took my FS595 swatch book and compared to the colour my wife chose for the living room, and it really is close to FS36375 Light Ghost Gray. Too bad she didn't pick FS36440 Light Gull Gray, then I would have a scheme to match my nickname, especially since the baseboards and the mouldings around the doors and windows are white. Light Gull Gray and White - what more could your parlor want? Oh yeah, stars and bars. And maybe a BuNo and modex...

 

It's fascinating that the wives are picking aviation related colours for the home. Maybe it's all those air shows that we've dragged them to over the years. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

Don't you forget the red edges :guitar:

Sincerely.

Corsaircorp

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Navy Bird    8,824
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tailspin Turtle said:

According to published dimensioned drawings, the distance from the ground to the top of the F-111A tail was 17' 0.5". A corresponding number from the F-111B SAC was 16' 7.7", a difference of 4.8". The difference in main wheel diameter only accounts for 2.5". I don't think that the main landing gear was different so the F-111B belly would be 2.5 inches closer to the ground at the main landing gear. However, the F-111B nose gear for carrier operations was different and the F-111B may have sat very slightly nose up compared to the F-111B, which would reduce the height of the tail above the ground. Note that I haven't checked to see which tail-tip fairing was used in either drawing, which might affect the dimension. More importantly, the height depends on the empty weight (the A and B probably were different) and loading assumed for the drawing: fuel, crew, weapons, etc. (there is actually a Navy specification to be used when dimensioning the SAC drawing) as well as strut servicing and the tendency of some airplanes to retain a nose up or down "sit" as a result of how abruptly they were stopped when pushed backwards or taxied into into a parking space. Therefore, your model may vary.

 

One reason I generally stick to giving English measurements is to avoid making a mistake in conversion even though there are readily available apps for that.

 

Good stuff, Tommy. I hadn't even thought of that aspect of the difference between USN and USAF models. Do you know the size of the USAF F-111A main wheels?

 

EDIT: I just found an article by Jim Rotramel where it's stated the size of the F-111A main wheels are 47 x 18 inches. The resin wheels in the Pete's Hangar conversion set scale out to 46 x 17 inches, so reasonably close. The Hasegawa kit wheels are pretty much bang on to 47 x 18, so I'll most likely use them on 151972.

 

Cheers,

Bill

Edited by Navy Bird

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Navy Bird    8,824

Hey, remember me? I'm still here, but completely occupied at the moment. My wife's older brother passed away recently, leaving no will. My wife is next-of-kin and has been appointed administrator of the estate by the court. That means that she and I are are now in the process of settling the estate, selling the assets, etc.

 

First, though, is to review every piece of paper in his house looking for financial records and so on. Her brother did not keep very good records (filing cabinet, who needs a stinking file cabinet - I've got a closet!) We're finding bank statements and the like just about everywhere. What a huge mess - and then we have to try and figure out the status of his investments. I'm afraid we're going to miss something, but I suppose all we can do is go through everything we find and hope for the best.

 

I don't have much time for modelling right now, as I need to help wifey. On the good news side, the sinus surgery seems to have gone well, and I'm starting to actually breathe through my nose again. Ah, it's the little things that give the most pleasure!   :)

 

I hope to get back on the F-111B project soon. Can't let the airbrush get rusty.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Martian Hale    9,823

Sorry to hear your new Bill, you can only do your best. It is good to hear that your breathing is improving though. Take your time with things the usual suspects will still be hear!

 

Martian

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Fritag    7,163
Posted (edited)

I've been good and read your group build thread first Bill :)  Wow.  You have so-much of a better reason than me to have been making slow progress on the modelling front for the past month or more......Good to hear your health is better tho'.

 

I've always liked all version of the F111.  Used to see them in the skies of 1980's Britain all the time.  Big powerful looking machines that made us feel like the jag was just a little toy.  They always seemed to do their low flying at 500' whilst we were scooting about at 250' looking up at em.  Which sort of added to the impression of looking up to a powerful big brother :)  Oh - and all the crews seemed to talk with drawling 'right-stuff' texas accents on the radio and we (p'raps I mean me) all sounded like squeaky schoolboys.......

 

PS.  For a long time I blamed the tight fitting RAF oxygen masks for the squeakiness - but later on - when I flew the F16 and wore the looser fitting US oxygen mask - I still squeaked.....

 

Looking forward to you having the time to get back to this one.

Edited by Fritag

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Hamden    1,083

 

Sorry to hear your news Bill.

Glad to hear your op: went well though.

As has been said we'll ALL be here when you get back!

 

  Roger 

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Navy Bird    8,824

As you may recall from earlier posts, the F-111B prototypes had a bewildering number of detail differences. As I morph the F-111C kit into one of the F-111B prototypes, I have to be careful to capture the unique features of the aircraft I'm modelling, specifically 151972. One area where she differed from production F-111 models, and from some of the other USN prototypes, were the intake vents.

 

The production birds had the easily distinguishable trapezoidal vents on the top of the fuselage near the wing pivot points. (For those of you who are mathematically-minded, they're right trapezoids, not be confused with acute or obtuse.) These were not present on 151972, as it had a different pattern on top, as well as three vents immediately under the wing glove. To refresh everyone's memory, here are the upper fuselage vents on 151971:

 

151971 Small top of fuselage  vents

 

Sorry for the small photo, but it's all I've found so far. I'm sure there is a nice big high-resolution photo waiting somewhere on the net for me to purloin reference. The three vents under the wing glove originally looked something like this photo of 151970:

 

151970 underwing vent 2of2

 

I'll be modelling 151972 as she appeared during Phoenix missile testing at Hughes Aircraft, when the front two vents were covered as follows:

 

vent covers resamp

 

No choice here but to get out the styrene card stock and the scalpel. I decided to copy those nice fold up photoetch pieces that you see everywhere, and made each vent cover from one piece of card stock, scoring the fold lines for the sides. Unfortunately, the scalpel didn't cut a nice v-shaped groove in the plastic so I had to fold the cover with the score line on the outside. This meant a small application of filler to hide the score line and provide a square edge. I think this will work out OK, and since it's underneath the wing glove nobody will see it anyway!   :)

 

IMG_1347

 

The trapezoidal vents have been filled, but I'm not quite happy with how they blend in with the fuselage. Having a look at a grazing angle of incidence shows me that the shape will still be discernible. Another round of filler methinks. I needed to fill two tiny sinkholes near the vents, too - I think these were right above the tab that the wings slide onto. You can also see that I've also added the vertical tail - she looks a lot more like an F-111 now! Speaking of the tail, during missile testing at Hughes, 151972 had a camera (I think that's what is was) on top as seen in this photo:

 

F-111B 151972 at Hughes

 

Some more work lies ahead - I'm thinking I may sculpt the camera out of some resin pour blocks. That's probably easier than using card stock. We'll see. 

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. It felt good to be back at the bench after all this medical nonsense. Wifey left me as a bachelor over the past weekend as she went on a girls trip to Rhode Island to have a fancy at the Vanderbuilt mansions. Unfortunately, she left me a honey-do list a mile long - but I figured out a way to work on the F-111. Finish the to-do list first and fast. Wifey will be so proud.    :) 

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