Vietnam war plastic models

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Vietnam war plastic models

Airfix 1/72 scale Douglas A-26 Invader

Airfix 1/72 scale Douglas A-26 Invader

The Douglas A-26 Invader was a light bomber first used in World War 2, for which the Airfix 1/72 scale kit includes markings as well as for its use in Korea.

I modified the kit as best I could to look like the ‘remanufactured’ ones used in Vietnam, but I never got round to adding wing-tip fuel tanks. (I squared off the propellers at least.)

I took this photo in 1994 with a film camera.

35th Scale Huey

Charlie don’t surf

I am fairly sure this 1/35 scale Huey is the Academy kit.

1/35 scale UH-1B

1/35 scale UH-1B

Photo of 1/32nd scale figures of US Army soldiers in Vietnam

“I love the smell of napalm—in the morning.”

The four soldiers (by Dragon, if I recall right) constitute a real kit build; every frag and smoke grenade, canteen, insect repellant bottle, arms, legs, head, helmet/hat, is a separate part that must be glued in place and painted.

They are supposed to be 1/35th scale, like the Huey, but they are too large.

Photo of 1/35th scale Huey

One day this war is gonna end…

The UH-1 was originally designated HU-1, hence ‘Huey’.

1/35 scale UH-1


The standing crewman, unlike the other soldiers, is the correct scale.

Model soldiers and real spider

Starship Troopers

“Bug! Bug! Bug!”

And here is a guest appearance of Gary D’s huge radio controlled Huey flying at Roly’s place. Photos by Roly (who started hang gliding, like me, in 1974):

Circling the LZ

Circling the LZ

I cropped the photos, altered the colours, and added some graininess so they look more like they were taken with a film camera in the 1960s.

Nearly down

Nearly down

Smoke in the LZ

Smoke in the LZ

1/48 scale F-8


Photo of a 48th scale F-8

Last of the gunfighters

The single seat and single engine F-8 Crusader was known as the last of the gunfighters because its successor, the two seat and twin engine F-4 Phantom, was initially a missiles-only interceptor.

Photo of two F-8 jet fighters about to launch from an aircraft carrier

Official Navy photo of two F-8 jet fighters about to launch from an aircraft carrier

A bizarre feature of the F-8, not evident in my 1/48th scale model, was the way the wing tilted upwards (with the aid of a small piston jack) for takeoff and landing. I used that feature as an animation in my 1992 computer-based training program Aerodynamics & Propulsion in an attempt to test the user’s understanding of the relationship between lift and angle of attack. (Flogging dead horses is another of my hobbies…)

Photo of a 1/72nd scale Lockheed U-2

\”All out, all out, all out!\”

The Lockheed U-2 is basically a sailplane with a jet engine from an F-104 Starfighter. This is the 1/72nd scale Airfix kit, which apparently is the same as the Italeri kit. The figures (which do not come with the kit) are each one inch tall.

Photo of a 1/72nd scale OV-1 Mohawk

1/72nd scale OV-1 Mohawk

The Mohawk was a weird airplane in a weird war.

Photo of a 1/48th scale F-4

The inevitable F-4 Phantom

The F-4, initially developed as a navy interceptor, was so good it was also used by the US Air Force and the Marines as well as by the air forces many other countries including Britain. This 1/48th scale model is one of my best.

48th scale Hasegawa F-4C

This F-4C of the 58th TFTW is the 48th scale Hasegawa kit.

Unlike the Navy model, on this one the canopy is a poor fit. (Why are they different? Everything else is the same!) I will get round to making it better some time.

48th scale Hasegawa  F-4C

F-4C of the 58th TFTW

In this photo I Shopped out the hanging lines as best I could.

48th scale F-4 undersides

48th scale F-4 undersides

Here are the undersides of both models.

1/72 scale F-4

1/72 scale F-4

This is a 1/72 scale F-4 I bought in 1995, when my mother was still alive (I mentioned it to her) but she died before I completed it. Here it is at the back of my office/studio in February 2016. It is 9.5 inches long.

Photo of a 1/72nd scale Piasecki H-21

The Piasecki H-21 ‘flying banana’ in 1/72nd scale

The H-21 was soon replaced by the jet-engined UH-1.

1/72 scale Bell H-13

Bell H-13

This 1/72 scale Bell H-13 is a small model.

1/72 scale Martin B-57 Canberra

Martin B-57 Canberra

In contrast, this Airfix 1/72 scale Martin B-57 Canberra is fairly large. Originally a British design, the B-57 light bomber was used in Vietnam by the US Air Force and by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Mixed media image of a Lockheed SR-71 in flight

Mixed media image of a Lockheed SR-71 in flight

One of my internet friends combined a photo of my Revell 1/72nd scale SR-71 with this backdrop, putting it on the edge of space. Feel the heat from those exhausts!

Photo of a 1/72nd scale CH-54 Tarhe

CH-54 Tarhe (\’skycrane\’) in 1/72nd scale

I am almost certain this was a Revell kit.

72nd scale Skycrane

The original Thunderbird 2

Internal links

Phantom of the operator—my review of Phantom over Vietnam by John Trotti, 1984

Plastic models

Spring loaded to the freedom position, my review of Hammer from Above, Marine Air Combat over Iraq, by Jay Stout, 2007

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