Hasegawa 1/72nd P-3C Orion VP-1 US Navy
June 1, 2016 in Aviation
It is an early Sunday afternoon, as a VP-1 P-3 heads north just west of the Oregon coast, 12 miles out. The vast Pacific glistening as the sun starts to set. Cruising at angels 4 engines 1 and 4 are shut down, it has been a long day. With 2 hours still left on patrol, Lt Cdr Jay “Express” Ryan (after Nolan Ryan Major league pitcher the Ryan Express) and he was also the pitcher on the squadrons softball team. Lt Brett “Mac” McNeil were relaxed scanning the sea left to right. Their conversation about the upcoming change in hunting for drug smugglers instead of the submarine threat that some assume may be going away. One of the air crewmen calls out a sighting at 10 o’clock. Ryan reaches out for the binoculars and looks in that direction. Lt McNeil turns the Orion in that direction. Checking with the radar operators and marking the contact. Ryan asks for the ID manual to check and identify what he is looking at. Gosh boys we have a sub on the surface. It is 15 miles out so it is in international waters. Call it in, lets take a look. One of the boys says it’s a Victor, I think it’s an Akula. The pod on the tail definitely Russian. Flying over and I have positive ID as a Victor class III. What the hell, what is it sir? I swear one of the sailors just flashed me the bird. Didn’t know that they had a sense of humor. Ah what a life of a P-3 patrol. So as the story goes the P-3 just makes another pass and makes note and continues on home to NAS Whidbey Island. Who knows if this ever happened as the story is fictional as well as the pilots. I remember our resident P-3 squadron VP-65 out of NAS PT Mugu those boys can spin a yarn. NIce bunch of laid back sailors they were. Loved it when they did their annual lobster run to Maine every springtime.
This project started out back in the mid 90’s I had two of these kits. Started one of them at the time when the only decals around were of the tutone white/grey P-3 scheme. I wanted to do a tactical grey scheme as the VP squadrons were at the time converting to the overall grey. Until VM introduce a set of decals for the overall grey Orions. (Vince Maddox). I snatched a set as soon as I could get one. 72-001, just had a feeling they wouldn’t be around for long. Despite having the decals I sat on the project for a long time. It was an easy build as there were not many parts. Straight out of the box no AM bits other than the decals. At the start of the year I made a resolution to finally finish it this year. So dusting it off, finish decaling it. It has been in the glossy stage for about 4 years. Paint the props, mask the wings and do the wing walks. That took more time than the build itself. Painting it overall 36375 Lt Ghost Grey, 35375 Med Blue Grey for the anti-glare, Lt Grey for the wing walks. And finally got it done. And I have the room to display it. Thanks for viewing.
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