That Other Lockheed Fighter
It's been twice now, at least I think it's been two times, that I've ranted about the fact that nobody seems to be interested in molding a state-of-the-art F-80 for us in 1/48th scale. Since I'm already doing that Quixote Thing and tilting at windmills, it's only fair to add yet another Lockheed bird to the mix; the F-94 Starfire.
Early F-94s saw limited (and largely unsuccessful) combat in Korea, but the type spent most of its career in an unemployed mode, with service aircraft frequently wearing ANG markings. Consider the facts, if you will. The airplane was essentially a modified T-33 with radar, a primitive fire control system, and largely inadequate armament. It also boasted a primordial afterburner, probably the best Lockheed could engineer when it was built but not especially good. The Starfire looked neat, and it was arguably better than the F-89 in some regards, but it was pretty much a dud as an interceptor.
It was, however, highly colorful, and its final variant, the F-94C, was Revell's very first model airplane kit, which has to be worth something. Mark Morgan's been prowling the AMC files again and has come up with these Starfire images for our enjoyment:
Just Can't Get Enough of Those spADs!
So here are two more, taken by regular contributor Don Jay back in his Special Ops days. As for details, Don says: Both of these were taken at Udorn in Spring of 68 just before the 602 SOS moved to NKP. That's a lot of 'nape' ( BLU-1 & BLU-27) that they are carrying. More than likley, they are tasked for a sortie to the PDJ in North Central Laos.:
Some Unexpected Trojans
Everybody knows that the T-28 was used by several nations (that means "mostly by us but in somebody else's markings") during the Southeast Asia War Games, but these examples of the type may raise a few eyebrows. Here's Don Jay's explanation: Keeping with the theme of exotic and PROPS, here are a couple of shots of the Cambodian AF in the 73/74 timeframe. Many folks don't realise that a small contingent of airmen worked with the Khmer AF almost up to the end in April of 75. The air to air photo was taken by Marc Marchesseault who at the time belonged to Det 1, 56SOW. This photo (the ground shot. pf) was taken in 73, a flight of 3xAT-28Ds about 50NM N of PhnomPenh or as we called it 'PappaPappa".
Before we leave the T-28, it's worth noting that we've covered yet another aircraft that's poorly represented by existing kits. There's a 1/72nd scale Fennec by Heller which can be modified into an AT-28D with a fairly heavy amount of work, and the old Monogram kit which is far enough out of scale (1/51st, or something equally silly) to be useless, even though there are some nice resin detail sets available for it. Maybe the guys that make the kits could hold off on modeling Messerschmitts and Mitsubishis for a while and give us a good Trojan.....
Doin' What You'd Least Expect
It's a little known fact that Randolph AFB was once home to a TB-29 unit, and even less known that the municipal airport in New Braunfels, Texas, was a bounce field for same. I'd never seen a photo of one of the Randolph birds prior to a couple of days ago, which makes this shot quite a treat:
Gettin' All Graduated
It's back-to-school time again, which brings us to our next entry in The Ongoing RIS Fun-Fest. Yep, you guessed it, it's time to go to the Phantom Certificates! Both the Air Force and the Navy have a tradition of issuing special patches and certificates to mark certain milestones in a pilot, crewmember, or even an aircraft's career. Mark Nankivil came by a few F-4 certificates and shared them with us---enjoy!
Old French Stickies
So, how about some decals? Nowadays we never had it so good, in spite of all the lamenting and whining we read on the Internet about inaccurate decals, or unavailable decals, or we want 'em but we don't have 'em decals. The simple fact of the matter is that we've truly never had it so good, ever; there are decals in every scale and covering pretty much every subject. There's something for everybody, by golly, and it's all pretty much high quality stuff.
It wasn't, to steal a phrase, always so. Way way back in the 60s we had maybe a dozen companies catering to the plastic model airplane hobby, and a lot of their stuff wasn't all that great. One of the good ones was a French company named ABT and, back before MicroScale came on the scene in 1968, they were pretty much at the top of the food chain. Modern modelers would probably laugh at their stuff, but it was Great way back then. Here are a couple of sheets to show why:
Yep, they were thick, and they yellowed, and it took full-strength Solva-Set to get them to conform and stay put (and sometimes even that didn't help!), but they were as good as it got until those guys from California revolutionized the decal business in '68. All us old guys owe that little French company a huge vote of thanks for what they did. The hobby wouldn't have been the same without them.
And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbor and we'll talk again soon.