Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Even More Bravos, An Oddball Fairchild, Some Deuce Data, and Kudos to Badger

Those Bravo Furies; Redux Reload

We've run quite a bit of material since beginning this project way back in February of last year, and a fair amount of what we've offered has been unique, unusual, and sometimes esoteric. A fair amount of it has also involved one version or another of North American Aviation's FJ Fury series, and today I'm going to explain why.

The blog server we use for this ongoing missive keeps all sorts of statistics for us, one of which is the popularity of particular articles. One of the big winners, time and time again, is that FJ series. We get positive feedback every single time we run photographs of the Fury, and we inevitably receive correspondence asking for more. It's a popular subject and, fortunately, we still have some photography you may not have seen, which allows us to fill those requests. So, howzabout a few more FJs today? Right? RIGHT!

In its element. This FJ-4 sits tensioned on the cat preparatory to launch, looking like it's going at Mach something or other just sitting there. We're starting out with this particular photo because we'd like to draw your attention to those gun ports. Four 20-mm cannon live in there; nominally standard fit on every FJ-3 and FJ-4 variant built. This is the way it's supposed to look. Remember that part.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Here's an excellent study of an FJ-4B after a gunnery hop. It's a neat photo for any number of reasons, providing us with an excellent view of the pilot's flight gear, the interior of the gun bay (note the gun bay cover being used as a step, just like on every other F-86 or F-86 derivative ever built), and the rocket pod hanging off that inboard station. Oh yeah, and take a look at the gun ports. The staining is typical (modelers, please don't put long arcing streaks of nastiness behind those ports!), but there's more going on than just that. It looks like the gun panel of 307 has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to cop a phrase from that old British guy. There's a reason those airdales are grinning!  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Of course, you can avoid damaging your gun panels by the simple expedient of removing said guns and replacing the skin, as has been done to this VA-144 "Roadrunners" FJ-4B. The airplane is a relative Plain Jane, with minimal markings but is pretty nontheless. Note how scabbed-up that gasbag is, and also the "VA-144" stencil on the fin of same. Oh, and check out the Corvette in the right-hand background of the photo. What an evocative shot!  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

The Corps made extensive use of the Fury too. There's not a lot of color on display here, but we get an excellent view of the white-painted flaperons and elevators, both done in conformance with BuAer instructions for the Gull Grey over Gloss White scheme. There aren't any gun ports on this one either.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

A two-ship from VMF-451 provides our parting look at the FJ-4 for today. There's not all that much to talk about here; just a couple of really pretty airplanes flown by your typical Sierra Hotel Marine aviators. It's just another day at the office...  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Just Exactly What Is That, Anyway?

Life isn't fair, ya'll, and to illustrate that point I'd like to offer up a picture of an airplane for your consideration. It's relatively obscure, as you're about to discover, and I'll bet one of the major kit manufacturers produces a super-detailed model of it in each and every one of the popular scales long before we ever see a decent FJ-Anything kit! (Whine, whine, whine...)

It's pretty, it's obscure, and it's just screaming for a kit from one of the Czech short-run companies (but not until after we get a decent FJ-3 or -4!). So, what is it, you might rightfully ask yourself. Check out the name on the hangar; it's a Great Big Clue as to the identity of this rare bird. Give up? OK then, allow us to introduce you to the Fairchild JK-1. In its most basic form it's a Fairchild 45, but the Navy bought one for VIP transport in 1936, then added two more to the collection during 1942 via acquisition of a couple of civilian-owned aircraft. It could carry up to 5 passengers not very far and not very fast, but it was pretty in that late-30s sort of way. It was evidently pretty versatile too; check out the tires and you'll discover that this example's apparently been off-roading! Those were the days...   Friddell Collection

Some Data on the Deuce, and Some Pictures Too!

In today's installment of our ongoing Convair F-102 Delta Dagger saga, we're going to get serious (out of character, I know, but sometimes we have to do it) and look at some data and drawings. First up are a couple of pages from the unclassified basic reference on the "Deuce", the Standard Aircraft Characteristics:

OK, it's crooked. I know it's crooked, and you know it's crooked too; that's the down-side of using photocopies of things given to you by People in a Hurry. We're running this view because you can just make out the launch tubes for the 2.75-in FFARs in the deployed weapons bay doors, and because it shows an old short-tail as the cover illustration.  Nice...  US Air Force

Still crooked, but it provides specified dimensions, fuel and oil tank placement, and a useful if sparsely detailed inboard profile. Bet you didn't think the engine sat that far aft, did you?  US Air Force
There's all sorts of useful stuff on this page, and it ought to give you a pretty good idea of where all those aviation writers get their basic information for their articles! Some folks have made a career out of regurgitating this sort of thing!  US Air Force
This page is kind of neat because it shows the sort of performer the F-102 actually was (and this time the copy's almost straight!). It's rare that a production aircraft actually meets its performance specs, much less exceeds them, making this a telling document. The "Deuce" was a hot rod in its day but its performance was quickly overtaken by other fighters and its direct replacement, the F-106A, could give it religion. In spite of that , the F-102 could do the job.  US Air Force

Finally, here's an idea of a typical mission profile. Those of you who enjoy computerized flight simulator air-to-air combat might be impressed by the lack of endurance evident here. You go up, you squirt the missiles at the Bad Guy, and you come back down. There wasn't much room for gas in the F-102.  US Air Force

Spiffy Drawings Department, Parts 1 and 2: If you read this part of the blog back when I first published it you may be a little confused right now, because this paragraph wasn't in it. What was there was a note that I'd found the following drawings, didn't know where I'd gotten them, and wanted somebody to please ID them for me. Marty Isham came through like the trooper he's always been, reminding me that he'd sent them on to me with a package of F-102 stuff Way Back When, and that Mike Druzilowski had penned the drawings. You might want to spend a little time here, because Mike defined some things nobody else has caught, making these the drawings to have if you're a "Deuce" kind of guy. Thanks to Mike for the drawings, and to Marty for keeping me honest!

Here's a really useful general arrangement drawing of the F-102A fitted with the Case 10 wing. Check out the varying details and the approximate date they were added to the airframe; that sort of thing could have significant bearing on the overall accuracy of your model. A great many of the "Deuce's" mods are catered to between the two Monogram/ProModeler kits, the biggest one being the wing, but some details will still require scratch-building. If you're building in 1/72nd scale, you're stuck with the Case 10 wing unless your modeling skills are of a superior nature. You might want to be aware of that so you can match your paint and markings accordingly.  Mike Druzilowski Drawing
This side-view gives us a great explanation of the details of an F-102A with the Case 20 Wing. (If that whole Case thing confuses you, just remember that the Case 10 wing is upturned at the tip, while the Case 20 wing looks very much like an F-106 wing with fences instead of a slat. You'll need to know the difference if you plan to model the F-102!  Mike Druzilowski Drawing

Now that you've got some more information on the "Deuce", how about a couple of photographs for inspiration?9
56-1150, an F-102A-65-CO, launches out of Udorn during 1969. She was from the 590th FIS at the time, and we can honestly say that the SEA camouflage doesn't do much for her lines. Don Jay
The ANG flew "Deuces" for a number of years. 56-1111 was an F-102A-60-CO assigned to South Carolina's 157th FIS. Contrast the dull paint of her SEA warpaint against the ADC Grey worn by 56-1193 behind her. Both aircraft ended up as QF-102A drones.  Jim Sullivan

56-1223 looks like any other Delta Dagger, but that 3-digit number on the nose, coupled with conspicuity markings, identifies her as a QF-102A. It was a sad end for a great interceptor.  Rick Morgan

Here's how that QF scheme looks in color. 56-1401 was built as an F-102A-75-CO and was a little battered when this photo was taken, but it really didn't matter given the mission.  Rick Morgan

Boy do I like this photo! Aside from showing a 157th FIS F-102A in the process of manning up, it provides us with excellent detail of the IR ball, and a great view of the FFAR tubes in the weapons bay doors too. That deployed  (and inert)  Falcon hanging off the centerline ain't bad either...  Jim Sullivan

Lord knows why, but I've got a fondness for the TF-102A. Must be that goofy-looking nose; I don't know. Anyway, Don Jay was passing through Hickam during 1969 or so and shot this ramp of the 199th FIS/Hawaii ANG. Check out the red-painted wing fences, a touch often found on the F-102. Pretty! Don Jay

And finally, here's yet another crooked document you might find useful; it's the SEA camouflage instructions for the F-102A as defined in the April 1967 edition of TO 1-1-4. This time it wasn't a bad photocopy that got us, but those Great Big Honking Staples the USAF assembled the thing with. And yes; I'm too lazy to de-staple it and make a proper copy, so you'll have to take what you can get. Look on it as a personal failing, I suppose, but the drawings might help you with that SEA "Deuce" model some day!

A Class Act

That phrase would adequately describe the Badger Airbrush Company, to say the least. There are a whole lot of other brands out there, and you'll hear a lot, both pro and con, about everybody's favorite brand. Me, I'm an Old Guy, and I like the stuff I've used most of my life. For the past 20 years or so the airbrush part of That Stuff has been made by Badger. I like the product.
That said, I'm not a technician and have, over the years, managed in consequence to accumulate a small pile of various airbrushes in need of a little TLC. A pair of Badgers and an Omni (formerly Thayer and Chandler, if you're old enough to remember them) were until recently the primary residents of that pile, and it was time to get them fixed, so A Plan was made and last January (the first week in January, to be exact) the first of the three, my much-loved Badger 150M, got itself boxed and delivered into the tender mercies of the USPS who, in the finest of USPS traditions, promptly turned around and lost the thing!

Jenny, my Far Better and Sometimes More Patient Half, is a girl who never gives up, and she set out to find my missing airbrush after it had been out for some three weeks with no acknowledgement of receipt from Badger. It took an honest 3-1/2 months for the thing to turn up, but turn up it did, somewhere in the wilds of Illinois. (That's where Badger is located, coincidentally, but the place it went to wasn't the place we sent it to. Go figure!) Badger finally got it a week and a half ago, turned it around in 3 days, and sent it back to me. And they didn't charge anything for the repair, either.

I tried it out for the first time yesterday, and can honestly say that it functions even better than it did when it was new. Am I impressed? You bet! And I'm getting a straight-up 150 ready to go out next, but I think I'll probably send this one up in a purple and white airplane instead of using the mail...

So why am I telling you this? Simple: Badger makes an airbrush that's as good as any and better than most, at least in my world, and they stand behind their product in a manner we just don't see in this modern age. They're a Class Act, and we thought you ought to know.

Happy Snaps

Today's entry is another photo from Don Jay's late-60s tour in sunny Thailand:

Hi Phil. Here's an F-105D of the 355TFW in ‘70. hanging on the wing of its pre-strike tanker-either Cherry or Peach track-in Thailand. By the loadout, he is heading for a ‘soft’ tgt in either Laos or MR 1 in SVN. Enjoy. dj (And I think those just might be red stars under the windscreen... pf)

Thanks as always, Don. And, lest we forget, Replica is continually looking for material, both for our "Happy Snaps" section and for articles. If you've got anything you'd like to share, please scan and forward to replicainscale@yahoo.com . You won't get rich or famous from doing it, but a lot of people will enjoy seeing your contribution.

The Relief Tube

We've got no corrections this week, not a single one, but we did receive a couple of really nice messages from our readership. One of them was an inquiry about a photograph, which I've passed on to the contributor---seems that a couple of our folks may have been in the same place at the same time. That one we don't need to share.

Another of the messages is from a reader who remembers us from those halcyon days of long ago, and who has also sent along photos of a model for us to enjoy. We get pictures of models from time to time but rarely publish them, primarily because of space. It's been a while since we've completed or published anything in that regard, so this is as good a time as any to show off someone else's work. The kit is a subject near and dear to our (read "my" here) heart; Hasegawa's excellent 1/48th Scale "Pete". We've done this sort of thing once before via an included link, but this time we're showing the photos. If you like the idea let us know and maybe we'll do it more often.

Phil, as a long time admirer of your late, lamented Replica in Scale I was PLEASED to find out you had a blog where I am happy to see you are carrying on the work of the magazine. I have just spent a happy week of spare tine reading all your blogs up to and including the most recent post. Great stuff mitt many fine memories, loved the post on Floquil with the letter from Mr. Solotar ( got that my self just can't bring myself to toss all those old, not so accurate color chips. Mix 1 oz. of Floquil Reefer White and 4 drops of Reefer Gray--indeed!). Really enjoyed your Monogram recollections, I wish they would have stayed around and fought it out with the Japanese competition. Japan has made millions of yen redoing the old Monogram kits. I still think their swept wing F-84 was the bees knees.....

Anyhoo between you and, Roy Sutherland and Tommy Thomson's blogs there is hardly any need to go anywhere else. I liked your Pete it is a nice kit enclosed are some pics of mine that I finished last year.

Thanks for all the good reading and yes as I have said before NO ONE gets to borrow my Replica in Scale mags! Best regards, Pat Donahue
Many thanks, Pat. It's always great to hear from the folks who remember us from The Old Days!

I'm not so sure about the fish, but I like the model. Then again those fish do provide a certain degree of whimsy; Whimsy is right up our alley, I think!
Anyway, all we've got left is one lonely little minute, as The Bear used to say. Be good to your neighbor, and we'll meet again soon.

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