Now that i have my Tomcat finished for John Lawler, i’m making my tentative steps into the next project: Paul Fisher’s 32nd scale RF-8G conversion for the Trumpeter kit. One of my pilot buddies, Doug Simpson flew RF-8s during the tail end of the Vietnam War, and continued to fly them in the postwar years right up to their retirement with the Reserve squadrons at Andrews.
I haven’t finalized the paint scheme just yet, but there’s a good chance it will be from VFP-206/-306 of VFP-63.
The Fisher Conversion kit is very complete, and addresses all the items that need to be undertaken for the conversion with the inclusion of very detailed instructions. The first step for me was to clean up the fit of the major parts and then thoroughly clean them prior to any paint work.
The conversion makes use of some rather large castings which had a little bit of distortion. One key feature of this conversion is the incorporation of an integrated nose/intake duct which doubles as a mount for some of the rear cameras. The installation of the integrated nose into the forward fuselage, along with some aggressive use of tape to hold everything together, muscles the major shapes into alignment.
I’d say that this is the most accurately-shaped RF-8 conversion i’ve seen so far. The plane is very different in profile and cross section from the main wheel well forward, and Paul has done a better job of capturing the shape of the Crusader front end than Trumpeter has.
Since these photos were taken, i’ve gone to work on the cockpit tub and the camera installation. Watch this space.