Eddie "Grunticus" Wilson
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Today I present a 1/72 F-101A conversion, built from the antiquated
Hasegawa RF-101C kit. The nose was reconfigured back to the fighter
variant by grafting on the radome from Revell's ancient 1/48 F-4E, then
re-contouring the sides of the forward fuselage by building up the flat
areas with cyanoacrylic gel and sanding them flush. Likewise, the cannon
ports were added by adapting two pair of inner slat actuator fairings
from the Testors F-4G.
I replaced the kit's spartan interior parts with a cockpit tub and
instrument panel from Monogram's 1/72 A-10 but I retained the Voodoo
The pilot figure is also from the A-10, sparing me the chore of
further detailing the sparse accommodations within. Decals were used on
the instrument panel and side consoles then a suitable gun sight from my
spares box was glued to the coaming.
The wheels were all replaced with better substitutes and I scratch-built
new main gear struts using the outrigger wheels from Monogram's B-52D
kit as a basis. The plastic door actuators were deep-sixed in favor of
chrome steel wire and tiny lengths of tubing from Small Parts Inc. A
pair of small MV lenses up front for taxi/landing lights completed the
landing gear details.
Hasegawa thoughtfully provides a pair of 450-gallon drop tanks but the
mounting points are slightly mis-located. After moving them outboard I
scratch-built a centerline pylon and mounted a "special" surprise to
depict this aircraft's true mission during the heyday of the Cold War.
The bomb is actually the belly tank leftover from my previously-posted
Monogram A-1E project, for which I modified the tailfins to a cruciform
After fashioning a new pitot tube for the model and installing it
below the nose I made new navigation lights for the wingtips and fincap.
I had hoped to use this model as a "test mule" to try out some of the
new metallizer paints but the more I sanded and polished, the more flaws
in my construction I discovered.
Undeterred, I re-scribed the surface detail and removed as many
tooling marks as I could to achieve an acceptable foundation for paint.
Ultimately I ended up using tried-and-true Testor's Chrome Silver,
but I sprayed the model in sections, using Tamiya tape to give me hard
mask lines. This method produced some manner of multi-toning but less
than I had hoped for.
As marked, this model depicts the 81st TFW's wing commander's aircraft
at RAF Bentwaters, UK in early 1961. The decals came from Microscale's
72-223 but for the most part the sheet is woefully incorrect and
incomplete. The only usable items on it are the flashes for the fin and
rudder, and the unit insignia for the fuselage. I could not authenticate
the serial number given on this decal so I removed it and substituted a
photographically-confirmable) set. Also, the instruction sheet for this
decal would have the modeler apply the grossly-oversized "buzz numbers"
upside-down on the bottom of the fuselage -- the numbers should be right
side up when viewed from side elevation. All of the lettering and
numbers were replaced in any case with the correct Insignia Blue
equivalents from various Scalemaster sheets.
The national insignias came from Repliscale while the servicing data
and stencils are parolees from the "decal dungeon".
Truth told, I "inherited" this kit from a subordinate co-worker in
1981 who was separating from the service under less-than-amiable
conditions. The sudden nature of his departure resulted in my acquiring
most of the contents of his barracks room that would otherwise not fit
into his 1974 Dodge Dart sedan. Such items also included a Teac 4010SS
open-reel deck, several model kits (all armor save for this RF-101), and
the "infamous" marble coffee table -- a huge hideous monstrosity from
Germany, in Bavarian Green with a red-oak base (!).
The Voodoo languished in my garage for two decades when I
rediscovered it and decided to give it a go. My friend had thoughfully
purchased the Microscale decals when he originally bought this kit but
the years had taken their toll to the point that liquid decal film was
necessary to render them usable once more.
Nevertheless I would like to thank fellow HyperScalers Bill "Mr.
Widgeon" Bailey and Jonathan Primm for their encouragement and support
to help me completel this model. Thank you, Gentlemen (!).
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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2007
by Eddie "Grunticus" Wilson
Page Created 15 April, 2007
24 December, 2007
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