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Navy Bird

1:72 Hasegawa Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B Conversion "Beta Tomcat"

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Hi mates,

 

Finally, I have an F-111B in my collection! This is a conversion of the 1:72 Hasegawa F-111C/G kit, with quite a few modifications necessary to represent F-111B BuNo 151972 as she appeared during Phoenix missile testing at Hughes Aircraft. As I'm sure you're aware, the F-111B was an attempt to develop a version of the USAF F-111 "TFX" to meet the US Navy's fleet defense requirement. If you don't know the story, I suggest you start here on the Tailhook Topics blog, maintained by @Tailspin Turtle. Tommy also literally wrote the book on the F-111B, which I've been keeping under my pillow each night, and who also was a tremendous help to me during this project. Thanks Tommy!

 

Only seven F-111Bs were built, and they differed from each other in many ways. The subject of my model also differed significantly from the Australian F-111C on which I based the conversion. Nevertheless, it was probably the easiest way to do it. Here is my usual executive summary (skip to the pictures if you don't want to read all this clag!)

 

Project: Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B

 

Kits: Hasegawa F-111C/G R.A.A.F. (kit number 00952) & Revell F-111 TFX (kit number H-208)
Scale: 1:72 (really, is there any other?)
Decals: Representing 151972 during Phoenix missile testing at Hughes. Phoenix Missile Testing logo and BuNo on vertical tail created in CorelDraw and printed on Canon ink jet printer. Stencils from Microscale 72-452 F-111 Stencil Data. National insignia, canopy seals, all red stripes, and other miscellaneous markings from the Island of Misfit Stickers

Photoetch: Eduard set 88175, and an occasional bit from the Drawer of Fiddly Stuff

Resin: Pavla S 72086 Escapac 1C-6 Ejection Seats; Pete's Hangar PHD 72001 F-111B Conversion Set

Paint: Gunze H315 FS36440 Light Gull Gray, H11 Flat White, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green, H12 Flat Black, H13 Flat Red, H77 Tire Black; Alclad 101 Aluminum, 111 Magnesium, 112 Steel, 314 Klear Kote Flat

Improvements/Corrections

 

  1. Modified cockpit to include Escapac ejection seats (151972 did not have an ejection capsule)
  2. Replaced kit nose with resin replacement from Pete's Hangar set (which needed to be extensively reshaped)
  3. Modified kit intakes to represent the early translating cowl type in the open position; replaced kit "kinked" intake ramps with straight ones made from sheet styrene
  4. Detailed cockpit with Eduard photoetched instrument panel and seat harnesses
  5. Filled in triangular vents on fuselage spine and used decals to represent the smaller vents on 151972
  6. Added vent covers made from sheet styrene immediately below the wing glove
  7. Shortened wing slats due to absence of rotating glove on 151972
  8. Modified main gear door and scratch built deployment mechanism to represent early type
  9. Added sculpted resin motion picture camera housing on top of vertical fin
  10. Replaced fuselage boat tail with knife edge version from old Revell kit
  11. Replaced blunt fuselage extension fairings with pointed ones from old Revell kit
  12. Modified resin tail hook fairing from Pete's Hangar conversion set and scratch built arresting hook
  13. Added numerous telemetry antennae used by Hughes
  14. Modified nose of Phoenix missile from Hasegawa Weapons Set; pylon from Hasegawa F-18

 

Build thread: Part 1 and Part 2


Pictures! First, here is what she really looked like (this is called "leading the witness"):

 

F-111B 151972 at Hughes

 

IMG_1400

 

IMG_1402

 

IMG_1404

 

IMG_1407

 

IMG_1409

 

IMG_1411

 

IMG_1420

 

IMG_1415

 

IMG_1413

 

IMG_1422

 

IMG_1412

 

IMG_1423

 

IMG_1425

 

IMG_1424

 

IMG_1417

 

IMG_1430

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

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16 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

 

"Only seven F-111Bs were built......"

 

 

IMG_1407

 

 

I don't know Bill............looks to me like eight! :winkgrin: 

 

Absolutely stunning.

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

 

 

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Lovely build. It looks rather neat in Navy uniform.

 

Trevor

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Absolutely and completely beautiful Bill, just superb!

 

Really enjoyed watching it come together in the w.i.p. thread and seeing it finished & photographed so well is the icing on  the cake!

 

Keith

 

 

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Followed this all the way, and with the amount of work you put into it, came out a real treat, one doesn't see F-111B's much in model form, and I doubt there will ever be a better model than this :penguin:

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That's a fantastic F-111. I really like the look of the shorter-nosed version (although I also have fond memories of very different looking RAAF F-111s going overhead).

 

Regards,

David

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6 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

skip to the pictures

Hello Bill,

it´s looking even better than at scalemates. The bigger the better!!! Wow again!

Thomas

 

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Another of your masterpieces Bill ! It's a fantastic model and the build thread will remain as one of the definitive guides on how to build this aircraft. Well done !

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Beautiful.  Really nice to see a rendition of this particular development phase of the 111.  Great conversion work.

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Super smooth, super clean, superb! :worthy:  :clap:  :clap:  Can you actually improve perfection? Looks like you can!

 

Ciao

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Now who needs 1:48 when you can build as well as this? Absolutely superb :) 

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A truly amazing build Bill. All subsequent F-111B models will be judged against this one.

 

Are you planning to sand some flat spots on the tyres? The plane sits sorta tail high compared to photos. You did put the smaller F-111B wheels on right?

 

Not trying to be critical here; just asking.

 

-d-

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Great model 👍 Great build 👍 As much a fan of the ‘Vark as I am. Im happy the navy never took this route. I dont think it would have worked as well as the Tomcat did for the navies needs.

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Brilliant Bill. Having followed this build from the start I do know what you have gone through to get this model built, but the wait was definitely worth it. Well done.

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Very beautiful indeed, nice project. 

 

This is an inspirational build, really.

 

Cheers

 

Eric B.

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