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mrvark

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About mrvark

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    Mr Vark
  • Birthday 04/18/1950

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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    F-111s, US Aircraft Ordnance from Vietnam to Present

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  1. I see kits, but not just the decals. If you're seeing the decals, can you post the link or what search term you used?
  2. If you have this kit, but don't plan on using the kit decals, I'd like to buy them. TIA
  3. Interesting to see the AN/ALQ-87 on the right outboard pylon in 1969. This was the same location used during Operation Bolo. Since this was between the end of Rolling Thunder (Oct 68) and beginning of Linebacker (May 72), they were going to Laos and used the pod to defeat radar directed AAA (e.g., Fire Can radar). This video clip is of the 433rd TFS, 8 TFW, based at Ubon RTAFB, coded FG. This was the unit that pioneered use of LGBs; they had green canopy markings edged in yellow and the numbers on the nose gear door appear to have been in black. Aircraft 66-8817 and -8823 were both modified with the AN/AVQ-9 PAVE Light designators and both carried 2,000-lb PAVE Way I high speed Mk 84 LGBs (eventually designated GBU-10/B in January 1973) on the inboard pylons, with -8823 fitted with a LAU-41/A Falcon launcher on the left inboard pylon. They each carried a 600-gallon centerline tank, a pair of AIM-7E Sparrows (not E-2s) in the aft wells, an empty front left well and a KB-18 camera in the front right well. On the left outboard station they carried a MER with a pair of 500-lb Mk 82 LDGP bombs on the bottom racks. On the right outboard stations. The AN/ALQ-87 pods were fitted with RATs, had red tail caps with a three-digit serial number on the conical part of the tail (402 in the case of 8817) and a CAAC antenna configuration, which is not covered in the official documentation on the pod (but seems to have been widely used during the war). Oh, and 8823's right LGB had "When you care enough to send the very best!" scrawled in chalk on its side! In the background of the video is 66-8765, which was a normal F-4D with no special LGB capabilities. At the end of the video 66-8814 taxies past to document the mission. It carried a pair of 370-gal wing tanks, an ANALQ-87 with a dummy (non-RAT) nose cone on the right inboard station and a TER-mounted AAVS Type IV camera pod on the left inboard pylon. Even more interesting is the LAU-41/A (left) and LAU-42/A (right) launchers mounted on the inboard faces of the pylons carrying AIM-4D Falcons! The centerline was clean and a single AIM-7E in the right aft well.The left wells appear to have been empty, but the front right well was fitted with a KB-18 strike camera.
  4. Here are some notes to help guide you in the use of these kits, which include a lot of antenna options that can be a bit overwhelming. AN/ALQ-71(V)-2 ECM Pod (Kit 648 491) These pods were used on F-105s and (later) F-4s: The QRC-160-1 was the pre-production variant of what became the AN/ALQ-71. It was used on three 45th TRS RF-101Cs flying out of Tan Soh Nhut AB (near Saigon) on 29 April 1965. Each jet carried four pods! They used two pylons with either one pod, or two using a dual adapter (the only published photograph of an RF-101C with a QRC-160-1 shows a single parent-mounted pod). The RF-101C was not designed with wing pylons and the jury-rigged installation had adverse effects on the aircraft and the aerodynamic vibrations damaged the pods. So, this poorly thought out experiment was quickly ended. The pods themselves were then made more physically robust (including the addition of two hardbacks on the top of the pods) and redesignated QRC-160A-1. (The Eduard kit already includes the hardbacks.) As losses of F-105D/Fs mounted during 1966, the idea of using ECM pods was revisited. Despite some initial misgivings, the 355th TFW at Takhli RTAFB began carrying QRC-160A-1 pods on 26 September 1966. The pods proved so successful that soon every 355th jet was carrying pods under both wings! However, there were a limited number of pods at the time (about 140), so half were given to the 388TFW F-105D/Fs at Korat RTAFB. By November 1966 all F-105D/Fs flying over North Vietnam were equipped with QRC-160A-1s. The most famous use of the QRC-160A-1s was during Operation Bolo in January 1967, when 8th TFW F-4Cs borrowed some pods and pretended to be F-105s. Carrying the pods on the right outboard wing pylons, they lured 11 North Vietnamese MiG-21s into a trap, shooting down seven. Based on the Keith Ferris painting of the event, these pods used the RAT nose (Part R16 with PE1 & 2) with the pointed tail cone (R18) and antennas EGGE. Production versions of the QRC-160A-1 pods, known as AN/ALQ-71(V)-2, began arriving in Thailand in December 1966. During this initial time period, the F-105D/Fs flew in carefully defined four-ship ‘pod’ formations to maximize jamming effectiveness. Lead (#1) carried a pod mounting EVEN antennas. Assistant flight lead (#3) carried a pod mounting ODD antennas. Their wingmen (#2 & #4) would carry at least one pod on an outboard station and, by the end of 1967, on both outboard pylons, one each EVEN and ODD, with the EVEN pods mounted on the wings on the outside of the formation. (Beginning in December 1966, Lead and three often carried an AERO 3B-mounted AIM-B Sidewinder on the opposite outboard pylon.) ‘Special’ Pods The so-called ‘SPECIAL’ pods were a slight modification of the original pods that used all four transmitters to block the SA-2 guidance (beacon) commands. Beginning in November 1967, 388th TFW Wild Weasel F-105Fs began using a configuration of two pods per aircraft: one standard (sometimes called ‘NORMAL’) and one beacon configured (almost always marked as ’SPECIAL’ on the side of the pod). Strike F-105D/Fs of the 355th and 388th TFWs adopted this practice the following month. AN/ALQ-71s were used as SPECIAL pods prior to April 1968, but gradually gave way to the more powerful AN/ALQ-87s for this task by July 1968. By 1968 all aircraft using ECM pods were modified to provide aircraft electrical power to the pods, so the ram air turbines (RAT—Part R16 with PE1 & 2) originally used were replaced by dummy nose cones (Part R17). As the number of AN/ALQ-71 pods increased, USAF F-4D/Es were also fitted with them beginning in April 1967. Initially the F-4s were modified to carry the pods on other pylons than the right outboard, but soon the strike aircraft began carrying them in the front Sparrow wells, freeing up the other stations for ordnance or fuel tanks. The first F-4D unit to receive ECM pods was apparently the Udorn RTAFB-based 432nd TRW. Prior to January 1968 they carried at least one AN/ALQ-71. From January through March 1968, they carried two AN/ALQ-71 pods, one standard and one SPECIAL. It is unclear which antennas the SPECIAL pods were configured with, but it MAY have been A & F. Beginning in April 1968, Da Nang-based 366th TFW F-4D/Es, which only flew in the southern part of North Vietnam where the only threat was (wrongly) assumed to be AAA, were fitted with a single AN/ALQ-71 pod. Since the pod formation was only needed to counter the SAM threat, these aircraft commonly flew in pairs. These pods continued to be used during Operation Linebacker in 1972. Captains Steve Ritchie and Chuck DeBellvue carried an AN/ALQ-71(V)-2 pod on the left inboard pylon configured with a dummy nose (R17), pointed tail cone (R18) and antennas FEFE. Other antenna configurations observed included FBFB, EAEA, AFFA, AFAF, FAFA, AAEE and EGEG. AN/ALQ-87 ECM Pod (Kit 648 493) Pre-production versions of what would become known as the AN/ALQ-87 were the QRC-160-8. Like the AN/ALQ-71 they were noise jammers, but the new pod was twice as powerful as the AN/ALQ-71. Unlike the AN/ALQ-71, which had a round cross section, the AN/ALQ-87 had a ridge running down both sides of the top half of the pod, to facilitate sway braces and a smaller ridge running down each side of the pod where it split in two for maintenance. Also, normally, (but not always) the AN/ALQ-87s used a more rounded tail cone than the AN/ALQ-71(V)-2. Three QRC-160-8 pods were tested by on Ubon RTAFB-based F-4Cs of the 8th TFW beginning mid-1967, but production AN/ALQ-87s didn’t arrive until October (so use of RATs soon became rare). During January and February 1968, each Ubon RTAFB-based 8th TFW strike F-4D carried two AN/ALQ-87 pods—one standard and one SPECIAL. From March through June they still carried one standard and one SPECIAL pod, but both AN/ALQ-71s and AN/ALQ-87s were used. From July 1968 until the bombing halt began, their F-4Ds carried only one standard-configured AN/ALQ-71 or AN/ALQ-87 pod. In addition to F-105D/Fs, AN/ALQ-87 pods were used on F-4C/D/Es, F-111As (both in 1968 and 1972) and AC-130As. The antenna options seem to have been more limited with these pods and the instructions cover them all.
  5. mrvark

    Lau-128?s

    The original F-15 Sidewinder rail was the LAU-114, which used the ADU-407 adapter. The LAU-128 Sidewinder/AMRAAM rail uses the ADU-552 adapter. The LAU-127/8/9 launchers are physically compatible with all AIM-9 (although only the AIM-9M & -9X are currently used) and AIM-120 variants. The AIM-9 uses a 'T' configured hanger, where the top of the T slides into the C-shaped rails (note: I just using letters to explain how the missiles are carried, the launchers obviously aren't shaped exactly like that). The AIM-120 uses "U" shaped hangers were the top of the U slides over the T-shaped rail. So, the 'new' LAUs actually have two rails superimposed on each other (C on the inside and T on the outside) that allow them to carry either missile.
  6. If you look at the 4th post on this page (my first long post), it lists the different sets and which kits they're designed for--including the FBs. Jim
  7. Thanks, but as a former aircrew dude, the thought of that sends chills up my spine (or somewhere!). 😱
  8. Ironically, approached as I described, that part is a relative piece of cake!
  9. 😍 Great job! (brave man!!)
  10. Great question. You may be (probably are) right. HOWEVER, use EXTREME caution if you keep going as the teeth on the outside of the flame-holder are VERY fragile (don't ask me how I know!). From a practical standpoint, once the thing is installed, you aren't going to be able to tell how thick the part is (or isn't). Your nickel (or in this case 500 nickles, plus postage!)
  11. Fixed. Yeah, I should probably do that! 😁
  12. What Ive learned so far (Part 2) The F-111’s TF30 engines are similar to those used by the F-14A and when the jet is shut down, one set of nozzle petals close down while the other remains open. This option is not included—my guess is that it would be tricky to cast. However, the determined modeler may be able to cut between the petals and bend them down. I haven’t tried this—yet! ResKit F-111ACDEG FB & EF Petals https://www.dropbox.com/s/xerq0533b2yfn46/190817 ResKit RSU48-0025 ACA F-111ACDEG Exhaust Petals.jpg?dl=0 Actuator rods are included as part of the PE fret, although the instructions on how to place them aren't very good. This pic may help: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c1kt108vtlsi2pf/Actual F-111 Nozzles from rear.jpg?dl=0 ResKit F-111F Petals https://www.dropbox.com/s/p4rtroiumcsymw4/190817 ResKit RSU48-0026 ACA F-111F Exhaust Petals.jpg?dl=0 One last pic of the real things: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s3q2bdptl49yzj4/Actual F-111 Nozzles from side.jpg?dl=0 Removing the parts from their casting blocks was straight-forward for the most part. HOWEVER, two parts will present a real challenge. The large, gear-shaped flame holder and (on the “not F-model” sets only) the smaller flame holder can give you fits if not done carefully. What I STRONGLY recommend is DO NOT use a saw on these parts EVER! For the large gear (flame-holder) part, use a coarse grit Dremel grinder to cut away the casting block from behind. When you get it down to a half millimeter or so, switch to a sanding stick to remove the remainder. The little gears are VERY fragile, ESPECIALLY in 1:72ndscale! Once you get the main casting block removed, you’ll notice the ‘gear teeth’ flare outwards in cross section. Using sandpaper now, carefully continue to sand the flared area (about 1mm) away until the cross section is rectangular. In 1:48 scale, I was able to use 60 grit to get it down to the last 0.5 mm before switching to finer grits to finish. With 1:72 scale, use finer grits. For the smaller flame-holder part (only with the non-F-111F nozzles), once you get the casting block removed to where the inner openings are open, you’re still not finished. At this point, switch to a finer grit Dremel bit and sand at about a 45° angle. I found using the little lip on the part a useful guide to the correct angle. You’ll soon get enough of the resin removed to see where the outer openings are and can finish opening them with an X-acto knife. One other minor thing to note. The two external parts of the nozzle are connected to each other with fairings. You can see from the photos, there are small holes in the base part fairings. As cast, there are tiny locating pins to go in those holes on the aft shroud part. You might be able to cut the shrouds free from their casting blocks, but I quickly gave up and just cut them free, pins and all—that’s the only way I can see to get a smooth surface to the part. I plan to insert wire pins in a couple of the holes and open up holes in the aft shrouds for alignment of the parts. This feature would have been great idea on an injection molded part, but a bridge to far in resin. On the not F-model engines, small PE parts are provided that the instructions seem to indicate should be attached to each petal. If so, that would appear to be a mistake or my misinterpretation of the instructions. Actuator arms actually came out of the ‘fairings’ (I don’t know what the correct term is) and connected to one corner of each petal. It looks to me like one might want to drill holes in the aft shroud and insert wire pins to simulate this feature for the ‘closed’ nozzle. I doubt that it would be worth the trouble on the open ones. Here is a picture of what I’m referring to: https://www.dropbox.com/s/msye757c0pl8qd1/110804-017 FB-111A TF30 Iris closed.jpg?dl=0
  13. What I've learned so far (Part 1): ResKit from the Ukraine (www.reskit.com.ua& www.fb.com/reskit.ukraine) has released a series of F-111 Exhaust Nozzle Kits: RSU48-0024 1:48 HB F-111A/B/C/D/E/G & FB/EF RSU48-0025 1:48 ACA F-111A/B/C/D/E/G & FB/EF RSU48-0026 1:48 ACA F-111F RSU72-0028 1:72 HAS F-111A/B/C/D/E/G & FB/EF RSU72-0029 1:72 HAS F-111F The 1/48 sets cost $25; the 1/72 sets $18. Hobby Boss didn’t release an F-111F, hence no HB F nozzles. I already checked to see if the 1/72 nozzles can be used with the Monogram EF-111A kit, but they won’t—the nozzle diameters are too different. I received one each of the above sets and have removed them from their casting blocks. As you can see from the accompanying pictures, they are extraordinarily detailed. (The “assembled” nozzles are dry fitted only.) For comparison, here's a pic showing the previous (for the most part pre-CAD) attempts to model 1/48 F-111 exhaust nozzles: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9azmwdljleu7n3c/130802 Previous F-111 Nozzle Sets.jpg?dl=0 ResKit F-111ACDEG FB & EF Nozzles https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5mz96fu4tobqw2/190817 ResKit RSU48-0025 ACA F-111ACDEG Exhaust Nozzles.jpg?dl=0 ResKit F-111F Nozzles https://www.dropbox.com/s/o1kqvaan176vdfz/190817 ResKit RSU48-0026 ACA F-111F Exhaust Nozzles.jpg?dl=0
  14. That's a great shot! ResKit DOES include the actuator rods on the PE fret--they're still pretty tiny and fiddly, but they are there. you can kind see them in this picture at the bottom of the fret: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5mz96fu4tobqw2/190817 ResKit RSU48-0025 ACA F-111ACDEG Exhaust Nozzles.jpg?dl=0
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