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Spangdahlem RB-66B decals question (Italeri 1375)


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I think this might be¬†a long shot, but I‚Äôve got another Spangdahlem puzzle that needs some help¬†solving. ūüėä

 

This weekend I’ve bought a 1:72 Italeri (1375) RB-66B Destroyer which has Spangdahlem decals included. 

 After studying the instructions and decals carefully, I think that Italeri messed up the decal instructions.

 

The instructions show that 4 versions that can be built:

-          1: USAF, 363rd TRW, 4417th CCTS, Langley-Eustis AFB, Virginia, USA, 1969 - serial BB415/30415

-          2: USAF, 1st TRS, 10th TRW, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, 1964 - serial BB415/30415

-          3: USAF, 19st TRS, 10th TRW, RAF Alconbury, UK, 1964 - serial BB543/40543

-          4: USAF, 363rd TRW, Yokota AB, Japan, 1968 (Vietnam War)

 

However, the images shown for version A and B (Picture 1) show exactly the same aircraft with the serial 53-0415/30415.

Option C is shown as 54-0543/40543 and option D is 0-44542 is in SEA camo. (Picture 2)

 

On the decal sheet (Picture 3) another serial set BB520/40520 can be found (Picture 4) that is not shown anywhere in the instructions.

 

The box art (Picture 5) does show the BB520/40520, but it is shown as the Alconbury version and the Spangdahlem version is now shown as being the BB543/40543!

 

I did manage to find pictures from all of the three planes:

- 40520 taken 23-5-1964 Alconbury (Picture 6)

- 40543 taken 14-5-1960, Bentwaters (Picture 7)

- 30415, date and location unknown (Picture 8 )

I'm assuming that the 30415 is the CONUS one, because of the TAC emblem on the tail.

 

The question is: Which serial does belong to the Spangdahlem version: 40520 or 40543?

And do the green stripes on the engines come with the Spangdahlem or Alconbury version?

 

Can anybody help me get a definite answer?

Thanks for any help!

 

Picture 1: 

image.thumb.png.e5788a9928b833b18f3244b1df70e3dc.png

Picture 2

image.thumb.png.c6b1c32647a0ed62fa230073d67dcee4.png

 

Picture 3:

image.png.458fc0713c2d44100d68934886179008.png

 

Picture 4:

image.png.290c9abdadb27cdb0a50f85e68e9122d.png

 

Picture 5:

image.png.e5807e738d97eece9eda2c64a4514389.png

 

Picture 6:

image.png.4de6b2b6d956fa76e54a40d30a8dcb3b.png

 

Picture 7:

image.png.89ecdd9ff62eeee34ddfc19b4a4022db.png

 

Picture 8:

image.thumb.png.7ab8c7a00a5822a6c753df3e2f27d89a.png

Edited by Susaschka
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Well, there is a difference between the box and Instruction sheet (the C version is missing on the instruction sheet) so I asked Italeri 3 years ago to clarify this.

The answer from Italeri was quick with attached pdf file. So finally the C version is 40520 as is figured on the box - see attached mentioned pdf file.1375 RB-66B versione C laterale + numeri-3.pdf

 

edited: preview of attachment was added

56824061_1375RB-66BversioneClateralenumeri-3.thumb.png.9ef744fa7b0a96a07cbbf0adb53527a6.png

Edited by Jan_CZ
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36 minutes ago, Jan_CZ said:

Well, there is a difference between the box and Instruction sheet (the C version is missing on the instruction sheet) so I asked Italeri 3 years ago to clarify this.

The answer from Italeri was quick with attached pdf file. So finally the C version is 40520 as is figured on the box - see attached mentioned pdf file.1375 RB-66B versione C laterale + numeri-3.pdf

 

Thanks!¬†Would indeed be great if you could post a scan from the Italeri answer here. ūüôā

 

Do I understand correctly that:

- 40520 is the Alconbury version?

- 40543 is the Spangdahlem version?

- The boxart is correct?

Edited by Susaschka
typo
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1. that is correct

2. I do not know, I suppose yes

3. at least for 40520 the boxart is correct

 

According to me, the instruction sheet should look like this: 

A version - 315 is correct

B version should be 543 (because this number is unused)

C version - should be 520 as it was confirmed by Italeri

 

It seems somebody during instruction sheet creation inserted the 315 twice (position 1 and 2) and consequently the 543 was moved to position 3 and replaced the 520

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The last picture, RB-66B 415 was taken at Tan Son Nhut SVN in 1965.

Here is another picture taken of those aircraft. Note the distinctive fencing barely visible behind the roach coach.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/RB-66B_Destroyer_of_363rd_TRW_at_Ta_Son_Nhut_in_1965.jpg

 

The RB-66Bs and WB-66Ds were part of the 9th Recon Task Force but the aircraft came from 9th TRS, Shaw AFB which had RB-66Cs and WB-66Ds at that time. The RB-66B was a B model specially modified to have a side looking radar installed. This would be its only combat deployment, I believe and the regular RB-66B photo recon version wouldn't be used in the combat zone. This is the closest the WB-66D weather recon version got to a combat zone, too. Some aircraft still had the fuselage band from exercise Goldfire.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Combat_Operations_Squadron

 

The shooting star tail markings could be used to make a 19th TRS and 42nd TRS RB-66B, RB-66C and B-66B Brown Cradle EW aircraft of the 25th TRW, Chambley Air Base, France. The Brown Cradle B-66Bs were soon deployed to Thailand in 1965.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25th_Attack_Group

https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/b-66b.htm

Here is a B-66B Brown Cradle leading a flight of F-4Cs. Note the falling star, the antenna farm. The large blade antenna near the speed brake was placed higher than on the later EB-66Es.

http://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Crafts/Craft20745.htm

 

The camo EB-66E should be Det 001 363rd TRW, stationed at Itazuke AB, but was visiting Yokota AB. It was rushed to the Far East in response to the USS Pueblo seizure.

I don't think that the speed brakes were painted white.

 

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18 hours ago, Jan_CZ said:

edited: preview of attachment was added

56824061_1375RB-66BversioneClateralenumeri-3.thumb.png.9ef744fa7b0a96a07cbbf0adb53527a6.png

 

Thanks! Do you also have the preview from the B version?

Because that is the one I'm really looking for. ūüôā

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23 hours ago, Jan_CZ said:

Unfortunately that picture is everything what I received from Italeri.

 

I've sent an e-mail to Italeri for clarification and will post their reponse here when I get it.

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And Italeri manages to create an even bigger confusion... 

They replied to me today stating that the correct decals for the B (Spangdahlem) version is serial 40520!

They've sent me the exact same image that they've sent to Jan_CZ but now it is named "1375 RB-66B versione B laterale.jpg" instead of Jan_CZ's image named 1375 RB-66B versione C laterale + numer..."

 

This would mean that the instructions, boxart and picture sent to Jan_CZ are all wrong and:

- 40520 is the Spangdahlem version.

- 40543 is the Alconbury version.

- The boxart is incorrect.

 

I replied to Italeri informing them about the confusion they've created by sending two contradictory images and to inform me which version is which. 

To be continued...

 

image.thumb.png.90ca08fbe92a72a88b0e093097e2e674.png

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Im not to sure what the problem is here. The unit markings are in the decal options.

 

Both Spangdahlem and Alconbury jets were in the same wing so the unit markings on the tail would be the same, as would the markings on the fuselage below the empennage (with the red triangle in it)

Going by the book Ive been reading it was common to swap jets around the squadrons at the different bases they were stationed at

 

10th TRW, (B-66B, RB-66B/C and WB-66B/D in August 1959 to May 1965)

They initially wore their squadron colours as a diagonal strip on the engine pods, later they were fin tip with a black star.

 

Because the book only covers bases within the UK its not hard to imagine a jet that was part of the 1st TRS was moved to Spangdahlem and used by the 1st TRS there even though its covered in 19th TRS unit markings.

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The problem are unclear instructions included in this Italeri kit and their conflicting answers.

I just would like to know which is which to build the correct version¬†I'm looking for. It would be a bit silly to find out afterwards that I've built the Alconbury version for my Spangdahlem project. ūüėČ

 

But you could be right though: I've been in touch with someone that also told me these jets were from the same wing, went from Bitburg to Spangdahlem and later to Alconbury and were swapped around sometimes.

However, I would like to know if the green band on the engines were for the Alconbury or Spangdahlem examples. I haven't been able to find any pictures from Spangdahlem examples carrying these.

Guess this is the only remaining mystery left that needs solving.

 

 

Edited by Susaschka
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16 hours ago, Susaschka said:

The problem are unclear instructions included in this Italeri kit and their conflicting answers.

I just would like to know which is which to build the correct version¬†I'm looking for. It would be a bit silly to find out afterwards that I've built the Alconbury version for my Spangdahlem project. ūüėČ

 

But you could be right though: I've been in touch with someone that also told me these jets were from the same wing, went from Bitburg to Spangdahlem and later to Alconbury and were swapped around sometimes.

However, I would like to know if the green band on the engines were for the Alconbury or Spangdahlem examples. I haven't been able to find any pictures from Spangdahlem examples carrying these.

Guess this is the only remaining mystery left that needs solving.

 

 

As of August 1959 until May 1965

The band on the engine pod was initially worn but then later replaced with a fin stripe.

The green band of the 19th TRS, as of the dates above was based at Bruntingthorpe. However 54-543 isnt one of the jets listed as being at Bruntingthorpe at the time, it was somewhere else.

 

The 1st TRS was based at Alconbury, squadron colour was blue, and as of the dates above had 54-420, 54-421, 54-443, 54-446, 54-449, 54-508, 54-509, 54-512, 54-513, 54-514, 54-516, 54-518, 54-519, 54-423, 54-427.

 

The 19th TRS was based at Bruntingthorpe, squadron colour was green, and as of the dates above had 54-443, 54-416, 53-430, 54-440, 54-420, 54-424, 54-426A, 54-429, 54-430, 54-434, 54-435, 54-438, 54-439, 54-441, 54-442, 54-445, 54-447, 54-506, 54-510, 54-511

 

30th TRS was based at Alconbury, squadron colour was yellow, as of the dates above had 53-498, 53-485, 54-462, 54-525, 54-526, 54-528A, 54-495, 54-515, 54-525, 54-530, 54-532, 54-442, 54-446

 

42nd TRS was based at Chelveston, squadron colour was red, but flew the RB-66C (I do have the numbers if you want them)

 

But like I said the jets got moved around, and being as how my records are made by plane spotters not official USAF records they can only record what they actually see at the base at the time they are there to record the information, given that the jets got moved around and the fact that some of them are missing, 543 being one of those that are missing its not beyond the realms of possibility to suppose that 543 was at Spangdahlem AB at the time... So its based at Alconbury but flown from Spangdahlem because no squadron was based there, they only flew from there. At least not the squadrons and time frame we are talking about.

 

I would say this is one of those cases where you have to build to your reference photos, but you arent in possession of the original material.

 

Picture 7 above carries the stripe on the engine pod.
If we can discover the number of the transport behind it I might be able to tell you if that plane was ever seen in the UK... Which might or might not help to know where the photo was taken.

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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Great info, but I'm unable to find the both 54-520 and 54-543 in your listing?

The number of the transport behind looks like 15209 and the caption with the picture says: Bentwaters 14-5-60. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhitworth/5797030778/)

 

image.png.db5aa60e02d41a5f1e08acc101606d8f.png

 

Also found this picture with caption: "19th TRS (Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron), 66th TRW - Douglas RB-66B-DL Destroyer - 54-511 - at Spangdahlem AB, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany, 1958."

 

 

image.png

Edited by Susaschka
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6 minutes ago, Susaschka said:

Great info, but I'm unable to find the both 54-520 and 54-520 in your listing?

The number of the transport behind looks like 15209 and the caption with the picture says: Bentwaters 14-5-60. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhitworth/5797030778/)

 

image.png.db5aa60e02d41a5f1e08acc101606d8f.png

 

Humm...

Could have been a supply visit, but going by the photo its more likely an airshow, which explains why the RB-66B is there and the date also tells why the engine pod has the colours on it and not the tail.

 

There is no mention of it having been based here in the UK.

In 1960 Bentwaters housed the 81st TFW (78th TFS, 91st TFS, 92nd TFS) all of which flew the F-101A or C and there was a single T-39A (24469)

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Looking at the decal sheet

The Alconbury based jet is version B, the unit markings (white stripe with a red diamond and the unit commendation markings (white outlined strip with blue lines and red dashes) mark it as the version at Alconbury, while the TAC badge mark make 415 the cover version and version c the one with the green band was seen in Spangdahlem.

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