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Navy Bird

1:72 Hasegawa F-104N Starfighter Joe Walker Tribute

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Hi mates,

 

The model was built for the F-104 Starfighter Single Type Group Build as a tribute to Joe Walker, who was one of the "Right Stuff" test pilots at Edwards during the 50s and 60s. Joe flew just about every rocket powered X-plane there was back then, including several flights in the X-15 that reached altitudes high enough to earn him his astronaut wings.

 

Joe unfortunately lost his life flying this F-104 in a mid-air collision with the XB-70 Valkyrie bomber in 1966. This occurred during, of all things, an unauthorised marketing photo shoot for General Electric. In an effort to maintain a tight formation with the XB-70 immediately to his port side, he encountered severe turbulence from the vortices off the Valkyrie's wingtip (that he couldn't see), which was a little-understood phenomenon at the time. The turbulence was so severe that it flipped the F-104 onto its back, and sent it rolling to port and into one of the vertical fins of the XB-70. Joe was killed instantly. He had radioed in when he first felt the turbulence, saying that he didn't support this mission as it had no scientific value. True words from a true hero. The XB-70 was also lost that day, and only one of its two crew members was able to eject. And all because the marketing guys wanted a nice picture for a shareholder's report. Joe left a wife and four young daughters.

 

Build thread here.

 

Project: Lockheed F-104N Starfighter Joe Walker tribute

 

Kits: Hasegawa F-104G (kit number 52514)
Scale: 1:72
Decals: Representing NASA supersonic chase plane 813, using the Rocketeer sheet 72007 and other miscellaneous markings from the Island of Misfit Stickers

Photoetch: CMK Detail Set 7214

Resin:  CMK Detail Set 7214

Paint: Alclad 101 Aluminum, 111 Magnesium, 103 Dark Aluminum, 112 Steel, 311 Klear Kote Light Sheen; Gunze H317 Dark Gull Gray, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green, H77 Tyre Black, H11 Flat White, H12 Flat Black, H57 Aircraft Gray; Testors 169 Flat Yellow, 2041 Fluorescent Red-Orange FS28913

Improvements/Corrections

 

  1. Resin cockpit and ejection seat, along with some nice photoetch from the CMK set
  2. Master turned brass nose probe (although I accidentally used the one for an F-105!)
  3. I painted the yellow and fluorescent red-orange areas instead of using the Rocketeer decals - the thin black stripes are decals from a Yellow Wing sheet

 

On with the pictures:

 

jaw

 

IMG_1627

 

IMG_1629

 

IMG_1635

 

IMG_1643

 

IMG_1647

 

IMG_1644

 

IMG_1642

 

IMG_1625

 

IMG_1634

 

IMG_1632

 

IMG_1637

 

In memory of all who have given their lives pursuing the stars,

Bill

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Bill,

 

Very nice build and a fitting tribute- a shame he died so young. Well done, sir!

Mike

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Thanks for the background story. How tragic....and finally the worst marketing outcome too.

 

To your model: As always - it is of outstanding quality and a just tribute to those men.

 

Ben

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Again,

great model, great theme, great story!!! Thank you!!

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Outstanding Starfighter!  Looks great in those NASA colours and a fine tribute to the man

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16 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Very nice build and a fitting tribute- a shame he died so young. Well done, sir!

 

Thanks - it really was a tragic loss. I think I was 12 years old at the time, and I read everything I could find on the X-planes (usually articles in Popular Science magazine) and the two pilots that stood out for me were Joe Walker and Scott Crossfield, both very instrumental in the X-15 project. The photo of Joe above was taken right after his first flight in the X-15. I love the exhilaration in his face. When the rocket engine fired, Joe felt the acceleration and said in the radio "Oh my God!" The flight director radioed back "Yes - you called?"   :)

 

6 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Great tribute and 104 :thumbsup: ... I have these markings in 1/48th  someday i will build his plane. 

 

Do it! I love these colourful schemes - who makes the decal sheet in 1:48 scale?

 

6 hours ago, bearmatt said:

Thanks for the background story. How tragic....and finally the worst marketing outcome too.

 

Thanks, Ben. The accident got a lot of media coverage, I wouldn't have wanted to be GE's marketing director. I think I read somewhere that he got sacked.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Fab-u-lous!!!!! Its a '104! Its 1/72! Its a great build! All excellent!! :)

 

Martin

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13 minutes ago, RidgeRunner said:

Fab-u-lous!!!!! Its a '104! Its 1/72! Its a great build! All excellent!! :)

 

Martin

Why am I not surprised by your comments? Hi, Martin- happy new year!

Mike

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55 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

Do it! I love these colourful schemes - who makes the decal sheet in 1:48 scale?

I got them many years ago at the 2001 Chicago IPMS NAT’L’s. They’re Two Bob’s decals. They camevwith other Chicago sheets for F-86D’s from Orchard AFB( O’hare airport), and -5 Corsairs from NAS Glenview. Ive used the Corsair ones and i will likely have to give the 104 sheet a coat of liquid decal film to strengthen them. I’ve done two 104’s in the last 15 months so will space it out maybe later this year. 

 

Dennis

 

🔺 = to be honest i didnt realize the significance of the decals i had till i saw your model.  I never realized they were for Joe walkers plane. There are no descriptions with the 104 portion of the decal sheet. Time to see if he had a chicago connection. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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9 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Time to see if he had a chicago connection. 

 

Pretty sure he was from Pennsylvania. But maybe he went to college in Chicago?

 

Cheers,

Bill

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23 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

Why am I not surprised by your comments? Hi, Martin- happy new year!

Mike

 

Hi Mike! I hope yours has started well, and presuming so long may it continue!

 

All the best,

 

Martin

 

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That is one great looking Starfighter, great scheme and finish.

 

Robert

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Beautiful model, just reading about the accident in a kindle book about the XB70. What a waste of lives for no real good reason. 

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Beautiful build on that Bill & a fine tribute to a brave pioneer. I'd never seen the unofficial status of this flight mentioned before in all the times I've read of it so thanks for expanding my horizons yet again.

Steve.

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Absolutely sublimely stunning, and so perfectly excecuted too! I look forward to watching the progress on the TSR2

 

Cheers!

 

Andy.

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1 hour ago, stevehnz said:

Beautiful build on that Bill & a fine tribute to a brave pioneer. I'd never seen the unofficial status of this flight mentioned before in all the times I've read of it so thanks for expanding my horizons yet again.

 

This is one of the numerous pages you can find on the net about the crash. Some more information and such can be found there. Apparently, the wing vortex neutralized the horizontal stabilizer on the F-104, causing the aircraft to pitch up and contact the leading edge of the bomber's wingtip, which was in its down position.

 

8 minutes ago, ElectricLightAndy said:

Absolutely sublimely stunning, and so perfectly excecuted too! I look forward to watching the progress on the TSR2

 

Thanks Andy. The TSR2 looks to be a big project, but I've been wanting to do it for years. I hate painting white though.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

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A superb build and fitting tribute Bill,I've seen the footage of the accident but didn't realise the circumstances or those involved.

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Hi Bill,

 

What a brilliant build and finish

 

Outstanding.

 

Cheers

 

Bruce

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What a brilliant tribute Bill,.....I love the colour scheme too and it s done to your usual top standards mate,....well done,

 

Cheers

           Tony

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21 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I got them many years ago at the 2001 Chicago IPMS NAT’L’s. They’re Two Bob’s decals.

 

Was it this sheet?

 

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/197189-ipms-usa-2001a-ipms-usa-2001-national-convention-chicago-decal

 

I'm curious to know how well the fluorescent inks work on these when you get around to using them. Does the red-orange areas look fluorescent?

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Yes thats the sheet. I will let you know when i get around to it. I had planned on using a white base under the decals to see if that helps the color pop more. This scheme was in the running on my last 104 build last spring. It lost to the “69” scheme used by the Luftwaffe/USAF training plane i chose. To be honest had I known the significance of the markings I would have chosen them. If you are interested its about 1/2 way down in the photo’s. http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235030836-corsairffu-year-of-builds-added-photo’s/

I have used the corsair decals and they didnt all like water. So like i said earlier will have to use decal film with these. 

 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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