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  1. On 9 October 1966 Cdr. Richard M. Bellinger became the first Navy pilot to shoot down a MiG-21. He was flying an F-8E (149159 AH 210) leading three other “Hunter” F-8s as escorts for A-4s from the USS Intrepid. During the flight they were intercepted by a group of MiG-21s which were the newest communist aircraft and a real leap in technology. Using two Sidewinder missiles, Bellinger was able to nab one of the MiGs marking the first Navy kill over the new MiG-21. Back aboard Oriskany, Bellinger said, "I've waited 20 years for something like this. It was a tremendous feeling.". Cdr. Bellinger was awarded the Silver Star by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara aboard the Oriskany one week later. Now to the kit. Academy's F-8, eh... One of the best F-8 Crusader kit around, and the reputation is not without reason. I could go on and on about it, but I won't bore you guys since you can read all the reviews on the internet. Long story short, this is a build I really enjoy despite several complexities like the main landing gear. The reason why I decided to take 149159 as my build subject is because of the story of Cdr. Bellinger's kill that I read once when I was a little boy. As for the decal itself, Academy didn't actually provide decals for BuNo 149159, so I have to improvise by looting numbers from my friend's F-8C conversion build, and cut out the colourful stars on vertical tail plane decals and in place painted the rudder in yellow so I can get the normal all-yellow stars. Now some of you might notice that orange rusty panel on the gun ports, that was because I followed Academy's painting instruction a little too far and forgot to check my reference back so that's that. Enough banter, now for the (not-so-good) photos taken with my Sony Xperia Z1 phone camera. There will be more photos from my actual camera soon but for now this is what I got. Any comments and critiques would be more than welcomed.
  2. Hi folks, After checking with the Powers That Be it looks like I can join in with a big Crusader. This was a birthday present from my parents a year or two ago - I saw it discounted in the model shop and pointed it out to my dad who mumbled something. I looked a while later and it'd gone, so I asked if they could get another at that price. Mike said it was unlikely and so I gave up hope. Then it appeared wrapped in paper weeks later - result! They had both played it very cool and I was totally fooled. Anyway, it looks like a good kit, not over-complex although there are a lot of panels that probably won't fit that well if I close them up. Apparently the raised cooling vents on the nose should be faired in or sanded down and re-cut, but I think that might be more trouble than I want in such a visible area. Here are the bits, by the way: I'll be leaving out the invisible engine and all those etched fans, and I probably need to find some bombs since the armament seems a bit sophisticated for Vietnam? There are two schemes in the box - at the moment I'm leaning towards 400 NM Although there are some cool Marines schemes with the colourful strakes which look good, I currently only have the kit decals. Construction starts with the cockpit, which looks on the face of it quite good. I shall try and actually finish it - the generous deadline is great and I could do with actually building a model this year! Cheers, Will
  3. here's TRUMPETER's excellent 1/32 F-8E. Unlike some of their other kits, the shape on this is spot on, good fit (*) and looks impressive. I am currently working at my companies "Head Office" in NW London and picked this up at Hannants by chance. Even at Full price it is little more than the 1/48 benchmark Hasagawa version, yet offers ALL the extras you could want - that i chose to close the gun bays etc was my decision. As with ALL TRUMPETER kits, their decals are hopeless. you cannot even build the VF-162 version on the box art as some of the markins are missing. The "reds" are not even close to FS standards.........so it was to the spares box and scalpel to try and create my own markings. VF-51 were quite a famous sqn, 1st jet-to-Jet kill of Korea, Ens Neil Armstrong also flew panthers with them in the same conflict. The machine I have build here is from TICO's 1964 cruise. They carried both TICONDEROGA and CONSTELLATION markings as they flew from both decks (the CONNIE's F-4s were not cleared "Feet Dry" over Laos in this year). No RWR fitted at this stage of the war (which must of made flying against SAMs exciting!). Cdr Stockdale is now remembered for his leadership whilst as a captive later during the War (Medal of Honour), but it was his leadership in TICO's work up before this 1964 deployment that is also worthy of note. During this work up he foresaw the need for the fitting of the Zuni rockets that proved invaluable on what had been a Day only fighter - now able to seriously lay down some pain on the AAA sites etc. canopy was stood on during construction - so center section is clear plastic from a Terry's chocolate orange wrapping - sadly the Chocolate Orange didn't survive long enough to see the finished build! C'est la guerre [/url]
  4. Well... after finishing the Rafale M, I got carried away with the French Navy and decided to try my luck with the Revell F-8E Crusader, no updates just straight out the box! I will, hopefully, recreate a bird from 1987 aboard the Clemenceau! So first pics coming up and thanks for watching! See you soon! Iuri
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