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F-100F - the Super Sabre goes "Wild"***FINISHED***


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Oh, what the heck! Whilst I wait for some decs to dry for another GB I might as well set up my 2nd build.

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Years ago I built the Hasegawa F-100D and F-105D, but I have always fancied a Wild Weasel version and now I have a pair of Trumpeter kits released a few years back.

 

As this was perhaps the first true Weasel, then I will deal with it first, with my usual tedious informative background story on the F-100 aka the "Hun" - presumably an abbreviation for hundred?

 

The shooting down of Gary Powers' U2 over Russia in 1960 by a SA-2 Guideline AA missile came as a major shock to the Americans. Even so, when batteries of SA-2 were spotted in North Vietnam in early 1965, the American advisers felt that the Russians were simply keeping their client state happy, and would never authorise their actual use against the Americans, or so the Osprey Combat Aircraft book on the F-100 relates – unfortunately the advisors were wrong!

 

On July 24th 1965 “Leopard” flight of 4 F-4C were on a Combat Air Patrol over the North when their accompanying RB-66C spotted a missile launch and tried to warn them, but for some reason they had switched their radios from the Guard frequency. One of the Phantoms was shot down and the other 3 badly damaged – the air war over Vietnam had just become a lot more dangerous. On July 27th the Americans tried to take their revenge by sending 48 F-105 (aka Thuds) out on operation “Spring High” to attack 2 SAM sites their Recce aircraft had spotted. However, when they arrived they found that the missiles had been moved and flak traps set up – it cost 5 Thuds! Clearly something had to be done.

 

As a first “emergency” step they decided to convert a batch of 2 seat F-100F in what was known as “Modification 1778”, later code named Operation Mongoose, but later changed to Wild Weasel. This involved removing the Doppler navigation equipment and a few other boxes and installing what was then called Vector IV, later AN/APR 25 warning receivers and an IR-133 panoramic receiver and the first four aircraft including the one I am modelling were converted in 10 days. Others followed including a later batch wired for Shrike ARM, but the early ones had to make do with LAU-3 pods containing 2.75”target marking rockets and their built in 20mm cannon, reduced from 4 to 2. The idea was for them to find the SAM radar and mark it for a follow-up strike by Thuds. The F-100F did not have space onboard  for jammers, unlike the F-105G I will also be modelling, but could carry them under the wings at the expense of offensive armament and they also interfered with the onboard scanners, so were seldom used although Trumpeter appear to have included them in the kit instead of LAU-3!. More on that during the build.

 

Info from various Osprey books on the F-100 in Vietnam and the duel with  the SA-2 missiles.

 

More once the build starts.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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...and welcome with build #2 and another great choice.

 

I really do like F-100's in camo and should look really nice when finished.

 

So good luck with this one as well.

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Another great choice Pete.

This looks like a really nice kit ( I have the 1/48 version ) and will look great with your Thud. All you need now is an EF-4C to complete your Vietnam Weasels. :) 

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  • 4 weeks later...

With the B-57G finished and in the Gallery it is time to make a start on this. Trumpeter seem to provide a nice enough cockpit though mounting it on the engine air intake trunking is a first for me.

sabrepit

 

To conclude the history lesson, this plane, serial 581226 had originally been delivered in June 1959 to the 21st TFW at Misawa in Japan, later moving in 1964 to the 405 FW at Clark AFB, and after conversion the first 4 left for Korat, a Royal Thai Air Force base on November 21st. On December 1st 1965 they flew their first mission marking SAM sites for Thuds. Osprey say that this particular plane flew the first successful mission on December 22nd as part of “Spruce” flight. Flown by Captains Allen Lamb and Jack Donovan, they led 4 F-105D on a “Rolling Thunder” attack on Yen Bai railyard. They picked up the Fan Song radar 100 miles out and made a low level approach keeping to the left of the radar, popping up from time to time to check their position. When they reached the target they climbed and released their rockets which must have hit a fuel tanker as there was a large explosion. The Thuds then rolled in and fired their rockets, and Allen then went back and strafed the target which he noted was camouflaged to look like a village. Apparently a message was then cabled to the Chiefs of Staff saying “Weasel sighted SAM – killed same”. Donovan was an EWO operator on B-52's and when drafted to join the F-100F project was not too happy about sitting behind a “hot fighter pilot” attacking SAM's and is reputed to have said "You want me to fly in a two-seater behind a teenage killer, and we're gonna shoot a SAM site before it shoots us? You gotta be :poop: in' me!" - translated as YGBSM on some of the Wild Weasel badges adopted by the fliers,

800px-Wild_Weasels_patch

 

although one source says that the F-105D crew on that mission presented Allen and Donovan with one showing a weasel cutting a SAM in half with a sabre. Various variations soon followed.

 

The F-100F did not last long as a Wild Weasel, starting to be replaced by the F-105F in mid 1966, to be followed by the improved F-105G, and this plane became a “Misty FAC” controller with the 614TFS/35TFW, eventually being abandoned over the Gulf of Tonkin on July 5th 1968 when an oil problem caused the engine to fail.

 

All info from the Osprey book I mentioned. It is probably one of the best documented kits I have ever built!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by Mike
Please don't use profanity even in quotes. Everyone oldd enough will realise what you mean.
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This looks like it could be a good build, but then again it will be fun getting the fuselage together - a lot of luck and the odd spare hand could be needed to trap everything inside!

 

Anyway I have made a start.

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I have painted and glued together the seats and the intake trunking which incidentally also has the nose wheel bay included. I was not impressed with the way Trumpeter attached the fuselage halves to the sprue - the "gate" was actually on the inside of the "rim" rather than the usual type attached to the outer surface. Ok, it does not leave any marks on the visible surface, but it does mean that I had to file away 8 lumps along the joining surface at the top and bottom of each half, and in one several of the stubs were right alongside the tiny locating pins so a steady hand was needed. It all seems to fit well at the moment, but I will also have to assemble the speed brake bay and jetpipe assembly, all of which need to be trapped when joining the fuselage together!

 

The keen eyed amongst you may have noted that whilst Trumpeter kindly give a colour readout for intake and the seats, they say nothing about the cockpit tub, IP, sticks etc. However pics in D&S show it to be a lightish grey so I have gone with that, I will put some varnish on shortly ready for the decals for the various consoles and IP. Once they are dry I can stick the tubs and other bits together including 2 very small bits which seem to be small panels mounted sticking up from the consoles. Just hope it all goes in without causing problems with the fuselage fit as it looks to be very tight like some of the newer Airfix kits. Alignment will be critical I suspect.

 

Incidentally there is no mention of any ballast weight and given the layout  of the undercarriage I suspect I will not need any, which is good as there is hardly any room with the trunking in - my Hasgawa F 100D does not seem to have needed any and this has a longer nose etc. Looking at my exisiting F-101, F-102, F-104, F-105, and my F-106 which went missing a few years back, it seems that the Century series all had their main gear a long way behind the nose so maybe none of them have a need for ballast - if anybody knows better, now would be a good time to mention it!

 

Bye for now.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Craig,

 

I will do that after a dry run if it looks like it needs it - likewise with the Thud!

 

Pete

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So far so good. The fit is very precise, in fact the tolerances are very tight as with the new Airfix kits, so I had to clean some paint off the sides of the lower frame of the ejection seats to get them in - the rear one took 2 attempts as it was fouling the canopy the first time. After that, and with careful checking at each stage, the whole thing just clicked together.

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The only real problem is that the instructions are a bit vague on placement, and in the end I left out the 4 small quadrant like things that seem to mount vertically on the side consoles, one on each side of both the front and rear cockpit - they would have been invisible anyway and I did not fancy gluing them over the decs. Speaking of which Trumpeter do not indicate which way round the "instrument" decs on the side panels are meant to go so they are probably wrong, but they look quite effective. The fuselage is now glued together and clamped, but first I put about 3g of lead strip into the rear of the intake trunking so it sits over the nose wheel well - I could always put more in from the front but I doubt I will need it. As you can see in the first pic I have painted and glued the various parts of the speed brake well and jet pipe and they have been added. You may notice that I have re-painted the headrests as well. Trumpeter said red but I thought a red/brown would be better, and then I saw a walk round and yes - it appears the ones in the F-100F were bright red!

 

There is one thing I could do with some help on - the strange contraption sitting on top of the coaming over the rear seat IP. I can't see anything like it in my pics of an ordinary F cockpit, so either it was unique to the G or else it folds down when not in use - simply put, what the heck is it! Trumpeter do not proved a dec so I am guessing it is not some sort of instrument panel - the only other thing that comes to mind is a blast deflector to protect the guy in the back if the pilot ejects. I know some two seaters such as the Lansen and Buccaneer have them but they use transparent glass. So if anybody knows what it is (and what colour it should be) please tell me ASAP - you have about a week before I put the canopy on. Speaking of canopies, the kit provides a windscreen and seperate canopy together with a 2 part boarding ladder, but although they provide support struts for the air brake and wheel doors, they provide nothing to hold the ruddy long canopy open - I presume it did have struts?

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

PS, just noticed that the box says this kit has 167 parts though I won't be using them all - the F-105G only has 144 - strange! Not bad for £12.65 though that might have been in a sale.

Edited by PeterB
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Annoyingly, in spite of the box art showing this plane as a Wild Weasel version, I have just realised that in all the 167 parts, there are none to produce a converted F-100F Weasel. Oh well, scratch building a few aerials should not be that difficult - Trumpeter need a slap on the wrist it seems!

 

Pete

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Pete, never mind the instructions that is a neat and busy pit. I’ve a few older kit Huns in the stash which are planned as shiny USAF or grubby RDAF.  

Chris

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Bit more progress.

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I have modified the RHAW aerial on the tail so it looks more like the ones I have seen in pics of the F in Vietnam. I will fit 3 extra aerials under the nose, and I have read something about aerials on the fuselage side under the cockpit but have yet to find a pic of them - oddly enough I do not have a great deal of info on the F-100.

 

When I saw the wings on the sprue I thought there was something wrong, but then I realised that the entire trailing edge was made up of 3 seperate parts.. Looking at pics, the control surfaces did not seem to droop on the ground, though the leading edge slats seem to have been slightly open. D&S says that the camo extended into the inside of the slats, so that is what I will do.

 

Pics of this particular machine as a Weasel show just USAF and the serial on the tail, both in black as in the kit decs - no tail code. Anybody know when the white codes came into use as the F-105F/G seems to have carried them and so do the F-100D - perhaps they were not on this machine as it was a special "rush job" and only a handful were converted?

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Lovely work thus far and sharing some of the history is always appreciated.  Unfortunately it seems despite its level of detail the Trumpeter F-100F kit has some rather substantial shape/accuracy problems, as discussed here:

 

Basically, the forward fuselage seems to have been lengthened too much compared to the single-seaters, with a resulting cockpit tub and canopy about 50% longer than they should be 😨

 

I have this kit in the stash myself, and have toyed with the idea of using the Falcon vacform F-100F conversion as a correction set.  Otherwise I don't know of any practical way to salvage something accurate from what's given.  The ESCI and Italeri F-100Fs are far more accurate "out of the box," but lack the level of detail Trumpeter gives, so a kitbash is another option.

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This is moving along nicely.

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Primed and ready for paint - this time I am going to use acrylics so it should not take as long as the B-57G. The fit has been very good with the odd exception - the main gear doors in the fuselage left a slight gap but that filled easily enough, and I had to do a bit of filing to get the Port wing on properly, but I think that was down to me not fitting the upper and lower halves together as precisely as I should. Both the wings and rear horizontal stabs align at exactly the correct angle, ie zero dihedral, so that was a great help.  Other than the slightly imprecise instructions and the lack of Weasel parts I am very impressed with this kit so far!

 

The kit painting scheme is not the same as the one in the Osprey book, but as that only shows one side I will stick with the kit 3 view. I will have to think about the rear fuselage colour scheme - as many of you will be aware, the entire fuselage from the front of the vertical tail discoloured badly due to heat in the NMF versions, and better painters than I have produced some beautiful tarnished metal effects. Once they were painted in camo, the paint soon began to wear off so I have to decide what state I want this in. Given that the modified Weasel version was only operational for a few months after the conversion, before being replaced by the F-105F and then G, and assuming it was actually repainted after the conversion, the wear should not be too bad - the Osprey illustration in December 1965 shows the metal just beginning to show through so I will probably go with that. Incidentally, one source I have read suggests tail codes came in at the end of 1966, though pics in the Osprey books suggest some aircraft did not have them until quite a bit later. Given that this machine was operating as a Weasel from late 1965 to the end of 1966 the lack of codes is probably correct.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Your Hun is looking great Pete.

Even if the Trumpeter kit has shape issues (nothing new for Trumpeter there then) it does have some nice detailing. I believe they are right about not having tail codes too as I have seen quite a few pics of them without them. It looks like a nice fitting kit too, excellent work mate.👍

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15 hours ago, modelling minion said:

Your Hun is looking great Pete.

Even if the Trumpeter kit has shape issues (nothing new for Trumpeter there then) it does have some nice detailing.

Now he ruddy well tells me!  I gather the canopy is too long and the wings too far back - oh b*gger:angry: Still, no great surprise  I guess as Trumpeter do have a habit of overlooking measurements at times it seems - maybe they need the laser scanner or whatever that Airfix now use! I suppose with their track record the Thud will also have something wrong with it - all answers on a postcard addressed to..........

 

Incidentally, on the subject of errors I am also a little guilty. Having been building kits for over 60 years you might think I was sufficiently experienced to avoid silly mistakes - not so! Trumpeter provide a choice of speed brakes (but with no explanation) - an early one with a narrow centre cut out, and the later one with a wider opening to go round any stores on the centre pylon, and due to senile stupidity I fitted the wrong one.  Managed to sort it out eventually but the moral is clear - check references before deciding on optional parts, particularly the weapons which Trumpeter seem to have gone overboard with - 11 different pylons with individual sway braces and their Sidewinders are each made up of 5 parts - no wonder it has so many bits in the box!

 

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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12 hours ago, PeterB said:

Now he ruddy well tells me!  I gather the canopy is too long and the wings too far back - oh b*gger:angry: Still, no great surprise  I guess as Trumpeter do have a habit of overlooking measurements at times it seems - maybe they need the laser scanner or whatever that Airfix now use

 

 

Cheers

 

Pete

I’m confident you’ll finish this as a very nice looking Hun. (I’ve been stalled for a similar reason, the Airfix B-57 canopy and pit are undersized; but going to press on with the kit.)

 

Chris

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As expected, acrylic paint certainly does speed things up.

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First I painted the rear fuselage in a mix of Dural, black and red brown for a discoloured look - I will indulge in some more colourful tarnishing on the exposed back end and exhaust later. Then I put a couple of thin coats of topside paint on, and so far 3 thin coats of the underside gray which does not cover as well. I have put a coat of varnish on the metal colour and will leave it a couple of days to harden, as experience on earlier builds shows that putting heavily thinned paint over it can strip it if done too early. Looking at pics, the wear became progressively worse moving back towards the exhaust pipe, and seems to be in sort of vertical streaks - possibly something to do with the internal frames I suspect.  I will apply thinned camo paint slowly, using a wet brush to streak it as I go - should be fun! The pic on the box top is a bit more extreme with all the paint burned off but you can see what I mean about the vertical lines. Not sure what to do about the decs on the burnt section - leave them off or "degrade" them with a wash. I will have to see what they look like.

 

This buisiness about length is puzzling as according to the published dimensions in a couple of sources, the span is bang on but the fuselage length is about 1cm short, but then so is the Hasegawa F-100D kit if my measurements are correct - the Italeri one seems to be even shorter according to the figures in the build thread posted to me earlier. Also, the length from the forward wing root to the exhaust is the same on both the Trumpeter and Hasegawa kits. Time for me to do a "Nelson at Copenhagen" I think and just ignore it!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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4 hours ago, PeterB said:

Time for me to do a "Nelson at Copenhagen" I think and just ignore it!

Absolutely Pete! There isn't a single kit on the market that is 100% accurate and if we all just worried about inaccuracies then we would never build a thing. Crack on mate, you are doing a really good job.

There are lots of good pictures of the back end of the Hun and it's various colours on the net, they range from golden to being almost purple in places and with lots of other colours in between.

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10 hours ago, PeterB said:

Time for me to do a "Nelson at Copenhagen" I think and just ignore it!

I'll second what @modelling minion has said too. What I'm seeing above is looking very "right" to me, darn nice as well. Carry on regardless. :)

Steve.

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Hi Guys,

 

Don't worry, folks from my home county have a well deserved reputation for being stubborn! I have every intention of finishing it.

 

Pete

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That's looking very colourful Pete (and I enjoyed the earlier history lesson too).

 

Cheers

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I have made a start on "degrading" the paint at the back end. Bit more fiddling about to do but getting there. I don't want to overdo it as the plane had not been back in service that long in December 1965.

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Once I am happy I will have a go at a "tarnished" rear section and a burnt nozzle. I have looked a dozens of pics of Huns in camo and either the stencils on the rear fuselage were never put on, or they burned off pretty quickly so I won't bother with them - still thinking about the parallel red stripes near the front of the fin, but again can't see them on pics.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Over the year I have seen some really superb paint jobs representing the worn/tarnished/burnt back end of Super Sabres. Unfortunately my paint skills are not in that league so this will have to do.

DSC03616-crop

I will tidy up the camo paint now, and then I will put the underwing star on so that I can fit the wing pylons - I think it will miss them but better safe than sorry!. I have made a start on the undercarriage, pylons and tanks but they need a bit more work. I might dig out my Thud and start work on the interior.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to F-100F - the Super Sabre goes "Wild"***FINISHED***

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