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The Other Tims 1/72 Trumpeter F105G Thunderchief 'Wild Weasel' - 41 Sqn RAF 1977 +++FINISHED+++


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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.

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Stolen Decals that have 41 Sqn markings:

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Edited by Tim Moff
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1/72 not my best scale I think even though my eyes are still good - just the lack of skill me thinks....will give it a go!

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Nice one Tim with a good back story. If memory serves me correctly, the F105G is a big old beast. Joe

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Model arrived from Evil Bay this morning. Just need to get the Tornado finished and I can crack on:

880340BE-1D13-478C-99A3-8CF0B0C4E2D7_zps

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I do fancy the Mig Killer 63 - 8320 ( a mistake by Trumpeter the kit has decals for 63 -8321), but with Sharks Teeth in UK service.

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The instructions would also have you painting Clear Blue into the inside of the canopies and windscreen - any comments?

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Model arrived from Evil Bay this morning. Just need to get the Tornado finished and I can crack on:

The instructions would also have you painting Clear Blue into the inside of the canopies and windscreen - any comments?

First off, yay!

Secondly, no! Don't do it. The blue effect Trumpeter thinks you should gain from a coat of clear blue paint is caused by the laminates of glass catching the light from certain angles and is rarely noticeable. I made the mistake of trying clear blue on a Phantom windscreen once and can tell you it looks awful.

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First off, yay!

Secondly, no! Don't do it. The blue effect Trumpeter thinks you should gain from a coat of clear blue paint is caused by the laminates of glass catching the light from certain angles and is rarely noticeable. I made the mistake of trying clear blue on a Phantom windscreen once and can tell you it looks awful.

I found it pretty noticeable on the QF-4E I saw last month, but only for the front windscreen. Doesn't seem present on period photos, so might have been a later retrofit when they were flying in New Mexico.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tornado Tribute STGB - DONE!

Very enjoyable too.

Got started on this today - first ever Trumpeter kit.

First impressions - a nice little detailed kit. May be a battle for a wheels up build though!

Started with the Pit and 2 x PJ Pilots I have had stashed away. Need a touch up and wash ( :tapedshut: )

Also got the wings build up, flaps in neutral etc. Also added some parts to the main body whilst on the sprue.

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After a Halfords primer, I used HUM 140 for the interior and pit area. Will now need to research the Pit/seat colours etc - nothing too much at 1/72 though!

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Get the pit decals on tomorrow.

Not much to show, but a start on my first WHIFF!

Also thinking I may surprise you all with my RAF Colour scheme........

Edited by Tim Moff
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Got some work done over the weekend.

Tackled the pit - now the decal sheet was confusing to say the least - only 2 decals were shown in the instructions, with 4 panels to cover, but 6 decals available, as well as the 2 IP's!

Made the best of a bad job on that one!

Now I repainted the helmets green, got the PJ pilots in the pit....

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Spot anything???

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These buggers were too tall - so out they came, bit of sanding of the derriere and a small bit of the bang seat was called for.

After lots of dry fitting of the fuselage and testing of canopies they were repaint (after all the handling!) and put back into their pit.

I then got the engine in, the undercarriage assembly, and joined the fuselage. There was a casualty whilst removing some plastic leftover from the sprue, the blood of which can be seen on the Scotch tape holding the nose together....whilst test fitting the wings, I have realised the Stbd intake is a bit wonky - will try to adjust, but its well glued on!

Done a bit of work on the seam (my nemesis!!) but as the detail is mostly raised I didn't want to remove too much.

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Next up to complete the undercarriage doors and get those wings on!

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Good start there Tim. Well done for persevering with the pilots.

Based on the battle I'm having with my Nighthawk I'd suggest fitting the u/c doors before attaching the wings to the fuselage. It will do wonders for your sanity.

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Lol - good advice - if you look at the last picture and the Stbd wing, you will see I have began in this fashion!

There are some funny side doors on the fuselage that will need the holes filling and careful dry fitting, may be some filler involved too!

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Lol - good advice - if you look at the last picture and the Stbd wing, you will see I have began in this fashion!

There are some funny side doors on the fuselage that will need the holes filling and careful dry fitting, may be some filler involved too!

I inferred that my sanity was suffering it appears my eyesight is as well. :hypnotised:

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Snatching the odd hour here and there, so some progress on the build.

Not going to lie, the rear end and particularly the exhaust petals were a mare, not brilliantly done, but on!

Same with the undercarriage doors, some, cutting, fettling and filling done! The last door will need to go on once the wings are on.

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Wings, tail planes net, get the canopie/Wind screen Kleared and masked to.

Soon be time for the primer!

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Final part of the build complete, save some Ae's etc.

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Some Black paint on the canopy frames for the inner.

The RAF decided to utilise AN/ALQ101 ECM pod over the earlier ALQ 87 pod. Normal stores would consist of a centreline fuel tank, inner station fuel tank, AGM 78 Stanard ARM on the other inner, with an AGM 45 Shrike and AN/ALQ101 on each outer station.

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Paint on next folks!

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