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DarkJester

EF-111 or F-111 or FB-111 anyone make one that's accurate

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Is there a decent EF-111A---F-111A?

I have been reading several posts, lengthy discussions, old news, and reviews on this, and the websites/boards, and I get the distinct feeling that nobody makes an accurate EF-111/F-111 model.

Am I correct here? I would like an EF-111 with markings from Mountain Home or Cannon. Hell, just an accurate EF or an F with the short wings and accurate cockpit (Box office/Flight Deck, your choice).

Anybody build one? Buy one? Bash one?

Thanks!

Jester

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1/72 would be okay. I think the 1/48 scale version usually works out to be about 19 or 20".

Hasegawa eh? Lemme look...

Jester

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They made all versions except for the cancelled Navy B version. Not sure they got all the particular differences correct; I recall they did a G model but had only the short wingtips in the kit. The G model was a repurposed FB-111 which had the longer wings. But they have different afterburners for the different versions and other details. They packaged A, C, E, F, G, FB, and EF. They go together well and feature separate flaps and slats. No swinging wings, though. You can mount the wings all the way swept back, but you have to modify the flaps and slats a bit to do so. Here are photos of my F and FB (yeah, I know, the six gas bags shouldn't swing, but it looks so cool that way!).

HasF-111Fweb.jpg

HasFB-111Aweb.jpg

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NICE!

Nice job on the flaps and slats.

I wonder if I could throw enough parts at one of those and turn it into an EF.

Probably more difficult than doing it to a real one.

Grumman had lots of money.

Jester.

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How about 1/48 scale? Is there any good kit?

I like the Academy Varks....they go together well. They are however a bit long in the tooth and lack somewhat in detail but the general shapes are there. They are dirt cheap so you can spend some on AM stuff without going bust.

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The short answer is, "No."

In 1:72 scale the Hasegawa kits are pretty nice, and the Monogram EF-111A is not bad either. The worst errors are:

  • The bulge in the fuselage for the weapoon bay hinge mechanism is missing.
  • There is no weapon bay. This may seem like a minor thing, except that the weapon bay was always open when the aircraft was parked (except at air shows).
  • The PAVE Tack pod depiction is a complete fiction. Too much trouble to go into here, but suffice to say it's inaccurate.

The 1:48th kits are all horrible, not to put to fine a point on it. In my opinion, the old Academy kits are still the best of this lot, but they still have numerous problems. In short, I can find a mistake in almost every part of all the 1:48 F-111 kits. In addition to all the above errors:

  • There is no difference in the fuselages between the original Triple Plow I (A, C & EF) and later Triple Plow II (D, E, F, FB/G). All the kits depict the former, while the inlets of the latter were located several inches outboard.
  • The aft main landing gear door is only depicted in the original configuration, which extended parallel to the bottom of the fuselage. In the mid 1970s (after Vietnam) the doors had 6" trimmed from the rear and bolted to the trunion making it extend perpenduclar to the fuselage. This also affected a couple of panels on the bottom of the fuselage.
  • The Hobby Boss kit has a weapons bay, but it is about 6" too short, inaccurate, and the doors are a complete abortion (either open or closed).
  • No attempt at all is made to depict the intakes, and the inlet spikes for the TP II inlets are 18" too short and too small to boot.
  • Wheel bays are problematic. The nose bay is underneath the cockpit and can cause challenges when fitting aftermarket cockpits. Academy essentially doesn't have a main landing gear bay; the Hobby Boss bay is a box that conflicts with the intakes. In the real airplane the intakes formed the outside walls of the bay (so were curved, not straight).
  • The very poor exhaust nozzles only depict (kind of) the original nozzles, ignoring the different nozzle of the F-111F. In addition, the Academy kit has no afterburner interior.
  • The dorsal strake should be sharply angled at the front and 6" high. In the kits, they're just kind of there, and only 3" high.
  • The cockpits are a mess. both companies got the basic geometry wrong and the mistakes cascaded from there.
  • I won't go into details about air-water heat exchangers, boat tails, speed bumps, weapon pylons or other relatively minor details.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, many of the aftermarket parts available fall short in one way or another. My poor ole jet is truly snakebit. If a company put out a Spitfire or Bf 109 model of the same quality as the available F-111 kits, they would be burned at the stake. :(/>/>

Edited to reflect corrections in posts 19 & 33 below.

Edited by mrvark

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Mrvark,

I'm sure that your assessments of the 1/48 scale kits may very well be true. But I'm a modeler, not an aircraft aficionado. To me if the finished model looks like the real aircraft, and there is no other viable alternative in my chosen scale (1/48), then I'll accept it for what it is, and I'm more then satisfied with my results. The alternative is not having a F-111 in my collection.

I followed Aigore's F-111 build with great interest, as he used AM parts, and a great deal of scratch building to produce what I thought was excellent representative model.

Joel

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That's pretty much what I have been reading.

MrVark: I can tell you spent many moons around your Aircraft, and I understand and appreciate that.

I spent some time around the EF at Mountain Bone AFB back in the 80's when Grumman was still there.

Being an F-16 ECM troop gave me certain freedoms around the Raven that weren't afforded to everyone.

Some of our Spark Chasers were old F-111 electricians.

I would have traded places with one of the Raven ECM guys.

I'm still going to bite the bullet and get one in 1:72 and 1:48. I'm going to do the best I can to fix what glares at me,

but like Joel_W, I would rather have one in my collection that is really close, than to not have one at all.

I appreciate everyone's responses!!!

I'll let everyone know how it comes out.

I'm still struggling with the 1:72 F-101B. Damn Panel lines....

Jester

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I've got both the Hobby Boss and Academy EF-111A kits. While I won't disagree that both kits have their fair share of faults, I can say that the Hobby Boss kit looks nice and "tapes" together quite well. The only glaring error I see is that the front part of theHorizontal tail fairing thingies are wrong in the HB kit. Academy has the correct ones in their boxing. The canopy is a fairly easy fix (in theory) by replacing it with the Squadron Vacuform for the Academy kit. If you want one with the flaps and slats out- go for the HB kit. If you want one with the wings swept- go with the Academy kit. I think I'm going to try to combine the best parts of both kits (and some AM exhausts and a Black Box EF-111 cockpit) to get the best possible Spark Vark.

HTH,

Dave

Edited by SR10user

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We're talking 1:48 scale here, right?

That sounds like a good way to go, bash the two and take the best of both worlds.

One of the things I liked about the old Monogram/Revell kit was that you could sweep the wings.

This is going to get expensive.

Jester

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if the finished model looks like the real aircraft

You have to define terms. If by "looks like" you mean somebody's not going to mistake it for a P-51, then they're fine.

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I have the Academy EF-111 on the go, I like the kit but I wish there was a greater choice of decals.

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[*]The cockpits are a mess. both companies got the basic geometry wrong and the mistakes cascaded from there.

Hi.

By basic geometry, you mean the inside or outside of the rescue module?

Also, which book/drawings do you reccomend? IS SAM Datafile any good?

TIA

Vedran

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; I recall they did a G model but had only the short wingtips in the kit. The G model was a repurposed FB-111 which had the longer wings.

I'm not sure if the stand alone G kit had the long wings. But the C/G combo does:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10083032

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The short answer is, "No."

In 1:72 scale the Hasegawa kits are pretty nice, and the Monogram EF-111A is not bad either. The worst errors are:

  • There is no difference in the fuselages between the original Triple Plow I (A, C & EF) and later Triple Plow II (D, E, F, FB/G). All the kits depict the former, while the inlets of the latter were located several inches outboard.
  • The bulge in the fuselage for the weapoon bay hinge mechanism is missing.
  • There is no weapon bay. This may seem like a minor thing, except that the weapon bay was always open when the aircraft was parked (except at air shows).
  • The PAVE Tack pod depiction is a complete fiction. Too much trouble to go into here, but suffice to say it's inaccurate.
  • The aft main landing gear door is only depicted in the original configuration, which extended parallel to the bottom of the fuselage. In the mid 1970s (after Vietnam) the doors had 6" trimmed from the rear and bolted to the trunion making it extend perpenduclar to the fuselage. This also affected a couple of panels on the bottom of the fuselage.

The 1:48th kits are all horrible, not to put to fine a point on it. In my opinion, the old Academy kits are still the best of this lot, but they still have numerous problems. In short, I can find a mistake in almost every part of all the 1:48 F-111 kits. In addition to all the above errors:

  • The Hobby Boss kit has a weapons bay, but it is about 6" too short, inaccurate, and the doors are a complete abortion (either open or closed).
  • No attempt at all is made to depict the intakes, and the inlet spikes for the TP II inlets are 18" too short and too small to boot.
  • Wheel bays are problematic. The nose bay is underneath the cockpit and can cause challenges when fitting aftermarket cockpits. Academy essentially doesn't have a main landing gear bay; the Hobby Boss bay is a box that conflicts with the intakes. In the real airplane the intakes formed the outside walls of the bay (so were curved, not straight).
  • The very poor exhaust nozzles only depict (kind of) the original nozzles, ignoring the different nozzle of the F-111F. In addition, the Academy kit has no afterburner interior.
  • The dorsal strake should be sharply angled at the front and 6" high. In the kits, they're just kind of there, and only 3" high.
  • The cockpits are a mess. both companies got the basic geometry wrong and the mistakes cascaded from there.
  • I won't go into details about air-water heat exchangers, boat tails, speed bumps, weapon pylons or other relatively minor details.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, many of the aftermarket parts available fall short in one way or another. My poor ole jet is truly snakebit. If a company put out a Spitfire or Bf 109 model of the same quality as the available F-111 kits, they would be burned at the stake. sad.gif/>

I would agree with all of that completely. even the much worshiped Haesgawa kit leaves a lot to be desired.

However the part about the main gear bay doors is wrong, the kit has the late door and late mounting instructions, the AMT kit is the same.

Airfix and Academy 'E' however show to mount the old door in the old position, which on the Airfix kit (if using kit decals) is right, while on the Academy kit its wrong.because 078 had its door changed long before it got that nose art. I seem to remember the Academy EF has the new style door though.

Each kit gets it wrong in some awful ways, it makes you wonder if they looked at a real aircraft at all to make the master, the TP II intakes for instance, I can understand the spikes being to short but to short and in the wrong place in relation to the fuselage... the weapons bay doors for the Pave Tack pod again how if they looked at a real aircraft, exhausts gear bays, nose shape, fuselage aft of the nose cone and below the cockpit...

The list really is endless as to how inaccurate all of them really are, even the good ones aint that great really.

That being the case it all really depends on what you want to build how much detail you want to be already there how much detail you want to add how many errors you are willing to correct.

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I have the Academy EF-111 on the go, I like the kit but I wish there was a greater choice of decals.

Not all of the UH jets had nose art, there was a sheet made that had quite a few but at least 2 are already covered "let em eat crow" for instance Ive got on at least 3 different sheets.

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You have to define terms. If by "looks like" you mean somebody's not going to mistake it for a P-51, then they're fine.

Jennings,

Just about every kit has errors, omissions, and some compromises. The vast number of kits are more then acceptable, some aren't. I pick and choose based on reviews and builds here and on other sites from trusted modelers. Most of us follow that type of pattern.

I pointed out Aigore's build as an example. Personally, I thought it looked like a F-111, but I'm not an expert by any means, so the errors pointed out would have been surely missed by someone like me, who views models from a model builders perspective.

The alternative is to wait until there is a better option, or enough AM parts that one is willing to buy to make all the corrections.

Joel

Edited by Joel_W

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Ok. Which of you guys was a Crew Chief on a 111?

Y'all know way too much just to be casual observers.

Jester

(and yes, I'm allowed to use "Y'all". I live in the South).

Edited by DarkJester

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That sounds like a good way to go, bash the two and take the best of both worlds.

Jester

Jester,

Thanks for the inspiration. Until this post, this project sat on the back burner in the "someday when I have the time" pile. So last night I broke out the Academy and Hobbyboss 1/48 EF-111A Spark Vark kits to see what exactly I could do with them. As it turns out, it isn't too hard to cross kit them.

Let me start out by saying I'm in the "looks like" camp. No kits are without fault and by combining the two kits, I hope to mitigate the most serious flaws. The Hobby Boss's most serious flaws are the jacked up canopy (which may look much better with the panels opened up) and the open avionics bays which in my experience never seem to close just right for me. The most serious flaws of the Academy kit are the lack of flaps and slats (that's personal to me since there are tons of pictures of F-111's parked with the wings swept), the super shallow gear bays, and the lack of an open bomb bay (not this version though). My plan is to build a EF-111, a F-111D, and a F-111F eventually. I had always planned on starting with the EF-111 since in my mind it would be the simplest (once again, no open bomb bay). I purchase the majority of my kits on the second hand market and I bought the Academy kit for $20 and the HB kit for $40. Would I do the same if I had bought the kits at retail? Probably not. Judge for yourself.

005_zps926403c1.jpg

To get there you have to make a few cuts. I trimmed the top back slightly. As it turns out, I probably cut it back too far. On my next build, I make my cuts to the bottom fuselage and then gently sand the top piece back if needed.

025_zps475ae65c.jpg

Top cut back compared to an unmodified HB kit using the pins to align the parts. As you can see, I didn't cut the modified piece too much and even then it's about two times more than needed.

027_zps60478650.jpg

Some close ups of the joint. Even though the parts are taped up using Tamiya tape, it's not hard to tell that the parts match up pretty well. I would say that the parts match up better than using just the Academy kit alone.

011_zpsb919f937.jpg

009_zps8f4283da.jpg

007_zps7ce7ad6a.jpg

006_zpsa2f8b097.jpg

Continued............

Edited by SR10user

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