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.)
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.