Jump to content

As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Recommended Posts

RA-5C Vigilante BuNo156633/NK603 of RVAH-13, USS Enterprise, Operation Linebacker II, December 1972

 

The last of the Vigilantes to be lost in the Vietnam war. It was hit by 'Atoll' missile fired by MiG-21 - unfortunately killing the navigator and pilot becoming a POW. This was in fact the only Vigilante lost in aerial combat.

 

At the time of it's introduction - Vigilante was the heaviest, fastest & most complicated plane to operate on carrier decks. But it was about to have very short career - as submarines took over it's job as a nuclear delivery platform in early 60's. But it got a second chance as a reconnaissance plane. A job where it peformed really well,  even if it wasn't originally designed for it.  Vigilante was big & fast - and highly sophisticated for it's age, having inertial navigation system, HUD, 'Fly-by'wire' and a unique 'linear bomb bay'. Instead of normal downwards opening bomb bay - Vigilante had a bomb chute that opened on the rear between the engines. This allowed dropping the bomb at high speeds. In practice, this never worked very well - but the space left over was used for additional fuel. Fuel that Vigilante used with great success, being able to perform their post-strike reconnaissance missions over hostile territory at supersonic speeds - often leaving it's escorts begging for the Vigilantes to slow down.

 

spacer.png

 

Vigilante is such a cool plane that gets very little attention - I thought that this GB would be perfect chance to build this plane.

 

spacer.png

 

Rough idea of the content I am working with. Quite a lot of plastic in the kit and it does look pretty decent. Only aftermarker is pitot tube - but I'm thinking about getting photo etch set too - as I will most likely build this wings up & canopy open.

 

The decals are by Micro Scale (many thanks to @PeterB!)

 

This might be a slow start as I'm quite deep in the Nordic GB builds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Reini,

 

 Thanks for that. I think the decs were actually by Print Scale, as I seem to remember the Micro ones I had were all land based. I hope they work as that company has a mixed reputation.

 

Good luck with the build.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a big bird.  I'm still picking my way through the 1/48 kit.  The 1/72 has a lot less fit issues from what I've seen.  Love the Recce & SEAD birds, so love seeing this being built here.  :cheers:

Side note: Those extra internal tanks were also notorious for being "jettisoned" out the tail during cat shots.....leaving a bunch of anxious deck crew scurrying about.  Fortunately they typically had enough forward momentum that the tanks just skipped down the deck and over the edge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know a great deal about the Vigilante. Certainly a striking looking aircraft will be interesting to see this progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, helios16v said:

Love the Recce & SEAD birds, so love seeing this being built here.  :cheers:

Speaking of recce birds - has there been a GB dedicated to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, reini said:

Speaking of recce birds - has there been a GB dedicated to them?

Not just Recce, but last year we had a Specialist GB that was a composite of 4 sub-catagories...1 of which was Recce/ECM.
https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/654-the-specialists-gb/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some nice info on a plane I don’t know much about, cheers! Hope the build goes well.

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, one build out of the way in the Nordic GB, so maybe I can spend little time with the Vigilante too. 

 

For starters, let's see what's in the box:

 

spacer.png

Main fuselage and couple other parts were separately packed.

 

 

spacer.png

 

Some Big Bombs. Not gonna use them here, but might come in handy for a future project.

 

 

spacer.png

 

In addition to folding wings - Vigilante had a folding tail fin. 

 

 

spacer.png

Even with the wings folded, Vigilante is pretty big aircraft.

 

 

spacer.png

 

Clear parts. Plane was a two-seater and I intend to build it canopies open so I can show some of the Eduard PE inside.

 

 

spacer.png

 

 

Kit decals, won't be using many of these, just few of the stencils - don't seem to be too many.

 

 

spacer.png

 

These are the decals I use - by Print Scale, not Micro Scale as I originally said. 

 

 

spacer.png

 

Aftermarket stuff. Eduard PE and brass pitot tube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, reini said:

Some Big Bombs.

I think they might be fuel tanks.

 

AW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Andwil said:

I think they might be fuel tanks.

 

AW

 

They look a bit like fuel tanks but actually they are two different kinds nuclear bombs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My old Airfix kit has 4 large fuel drop tanks though it seems they were seldom used except perhaps for ferrying.  The Vig had enough range for Vietnam on internal fuel I expect. I seem to remember somebody complaining about manufacturers always including drops in their Vig kits, but this on does not seem to have them - they would be rather bigger than at least one which is in the above pic. However I do note that the kit appears to include wing pylons. The Cybermodel review says that the kit comes with 2 different types of "nuke" and also flash pods, which fits with Reini's comment.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, PeterB said:

My old Airfix kit has 4 large fuel drop tanks though it seems they were seldom used except perhaps for ferrying.  The Vig had enough range for Vietnam on internal fuel I expect. I seem to remember somebody complaining about manufacturers always including drops in their Vig kits, but this on does not seem to have them - they would be rather bigger than at least one which is in the above pic. However I do note that the kit appears to include wing pylons. The Cybermodel review says that the kit comes with 2 different types of "nuke" and also flash pods, which fits with Reini's comment.

 

Pete

Yes, true. Not many pictures around of Vigilante with fuel tanks. It could carry the nuke inside the rear opening bomb bay - but it was not the most accurate or reliable way of delivering the weapon - so I guess it could carry them externally too. Not sure why RA-5C kit comes with them though, maybe it retained nuclear capability? In any case, nice to have those weapons - there's plenty of nuke carriers out there you could model, but rarely the actual weapons are included. So welcomed addition to the 'bits box'.

 

spacer.png

 

Here's the page from the Trumpeter manual. Flash pod was used for night missions I would imagine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting subject of an aircraft I know little about, apart from its a bit of a looker! Saw this at a museum shop and was tempted, now I can follow along and see how it goes!

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spacer.png

 

Let's start with the cockpit! Quite a lot of parts. I thought laying down the parts needed would make things more clearer... but clearly it did not help :D 

 

 

spacer.png

 

To complicate things even further - I've got the PE to worry about. So need to be checking two manuals. I want to glue as many non-painted PE as possible before painting.

 

 

spacer.png

 

So let's take one step at a time, start with the bang seats. I was at a flea market today and two of these cool metal boxes for 2€ that double up as trays for modelling. Original use unknown - but they kinda seem like medical stuff to me.

 

 

spacer.png

 

Seats ready for painting. Once painted they will receive belts and some other painted bits. I left the seat cushions out as they are painted in different color.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks a lot of etch, I think it will pay off though.

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 6:11 AM, reini said:

Speaking of recce birds - has there been a GB dedicated to them?

yeap and I ran it! :D Was part of last years Specialists GB as @helios16v mentioned.

 

Hopefully this 1/72nd version isn't just a scaled down version of the 1/48th one....cause that one is a pile of :poop:. Besides the fit issues and collapsing fuselage (you need to build a support structure inside) there are accuracy issues. On the 1/48th version the whole front fuselage is too narrow, plus a couple of other things that escape me for the moment. I actually built the old Collect-Aire resin model for the last "Carriers Ahoy GB", strangely I hosted that one as well! :D  It probably wasn't that much more work than required to correct the Trumpie one (I even had full AM resin cockpit, how I found width issue and wheel wells as well). Did mine in an experimental SEA camouflage scheme.

 

You do need to check which version of the RA-5C you're build, one modified to RA-5C from the earlier A/B model (correction, they were actually referred to as A-5A (prev A-3J) & A-5B, the RA came about after there role changed) or a fresh manufactured one as there are minor differences. LEX on the wings, intake shape, vertical Stab (the kit one is for a RA-5A version). Just check the aircraft you're building 156633 was built as RA-5C right from the start, so kit parts are correct, just need to correct the Stab.

 

You're building the RA-5C so forget about those bombs, they could use them but never did. The drop tanks, again very rarely as they knocked back their top speed, which they needed for their Recon missions. The tanks fitted internally were more than enough for them, and yes they did fall out! Even those Flash Pods weren't a common fitment. She spent most of her life in a clean configuration.

 

Sorry for all the waffling, I'm a huge fan of the Vigilante and would love to build another one.....thought not sure if I have the patience to do so. I wish someone else would release a good/correct one in 1/48th.

 

The scheme you're doing is a sister ship to the one I did, both RVAH-13, mines in the earlier experimental SEA scheme (your bird didn't have that temp scheme)....that was a failure.

 

Good luck with this one, I'll definitely be following it. :popcorn:

 

IMG_1609-L.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@trickyrich Thanks for the heads up. Just when I thought I had straightforward build in my hands... :D Need to check the tail.

 

That is a fine looking Vigilante btw! Looks good in SEA camo. But then again, most do :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Osprey book on the Vigilante which I really recommend, it was super helpful for me.

 

here a couple of links that really are a must for the Vigilante.....and after reading them you'll probably get the Vigilante bug as well! :D

 

This is a good basic with good links in it

 

https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/search?q=vigilante

 

..and this is the best!

 

http://www.bobjellison.com/RA5C_Vigilante.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links @trickyrich !

 

 

spacer.png

 

Cockpit details were shaven off - to be replaced with color PE parts later on.

 

 

spacer.png

 

Quite a lot of ejector pin marks around the cockpit needed to be sanded.

 

 

spacer.png

 

General fit is 'OK' but not great. Some parts fit bit loose - some are so tight that they crack...

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

 

Photoetch parts added around the cockpit.

 

 

spacer.png

 

With some paint on. Pretty much ready for the color PE parts now.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spacer.png

 

Seats with some color PE additions.

 

 

spacer.png

spacer.png

 

Color PE set for this plane was pretty expensive and I thought for a while before getting it - but I'm glad I did, it has quite a lot of stuff and it really brings the cockpit alive.

 

 

spacer.png

 

 

 

spacer.png

 

Next I can start thinking about closing the fuselage. But before that I need to come up with a support - as @trickyrich mentioned, the wide fuselage has no support on the middle so I'd rather not have a 'caved-in' look (Thanks for the heads up BTW!). As Trumpy plastics isn't the most rigid in the first place.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the bracing I was doing on the 1/48th version that has been an in-progress build for far too long.

DSC_0057.JPG

DSC_0059.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, reini said:

Next I can start thinking about closing the fuselage. But before that I need to come up with a support - as @trickyrich mentioned, the wide fuselage has no support on the middle so I'd rather not have a 'caved-in' look (Thanks for the heads up BTW!). As Trumpy plastics isn't the most rigid in the first place.

It shouldn't be too hard to rig up a structure inside, simple tabs won't work in this case. Maybe a box like structure from card or tubing is probably the best way to go. This issues is even worse on the 1/48th monster!

 

Lovely work on the cockpit!

 

4 hours ago, helios16v said:

Some of the bracing I was doing on the 1/48th version that has been an in-progress build for far too long.

hmmm yeah, what happened with this one?? That's some heavy duty framework you're building there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

hmmm yeah, what happened with this one?? That's some heavy duty framework you're building there!

Trying to get a couple smaller projects clear (RF-4E, F-8E, Opel DTM) before I tear back into that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cockpit looks great, can the canopies be posed open?  I should hate all that detail to be near invisible.

 

AW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great choice, the Fastest Ship in the Fleet is getting the proper treatment. Really good website HERE if you'd like to learn more about the aircraft and its role in Vietnam.

 

I built the 1/48 version shortly after it came out - this definitely looks like a downsized version with the same parts breakdown in the cockpit and same stores.

46513451235_c169c8fd03_b.jpg&key=459d727

This is the wooden bracing you could get for the interior of the 1/48 and boy does it need it!

 

Two things I decided to correct in the kit (which seem to be exactly the same in 1/72) - the distinctive hump (or lack of it in the kit) which was built out of Milliput, and the top profile of the fin, which was made again from Milliput:

46705426554_5b1e8ca3aa_z.jpg&key=ec09bcd

47375708082_30049c883a_z.jpg&key=4020a9e

 

On the plus side, whatever the scale it really builds up to be an impressive showpiece!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...