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Robert Bausch
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Republic F-105 Thunderchief, one of the greatest airplanes ever...

January 5, 2014 · in Aviation · · 24 · 4.6K

I always have liked the . Designed to do a clean, precision, tactical nuclear attack, back in the Cold War days. And then never doing that, but saddled with a grunt job of delivering conventional ordnance at low level in Vietnam, and doing it, but suffering horribly as a result. And in spite of everything thrown at it, emerging a victor in many ways, and to top it all off, it is one of the prettiest airplanes ever. I remember an author (sorry, I can't remember who!) said in the beginning of his F-105 book, something to the effect of “why did they hang bombs on such a beautiful aircraft?”

The beauty of the F-105 is due to a Russian aircraft designer, Alexander Kartveli, who emigrated to the US, following his fellow countryman, Alexander Seversky, who he went to work for. Their company evolved into Republic Aviation, on Long Island in New York. Of course Kartveli made his name with his design for the P-47 Thunderbolt, an airplane I have kind of a “like - dislike” relationship with, because of its size and proportions, compared to other WW2 fighters. I know the deep fuselage is due to the turbosupercharger being in the aft fuselage, and the necessary ducting, but it is a somewhat “whale like” fuselage (although pretty well streamlined). Even Kartveli said “it is too big”. But it went on to do a fantastic job in winning the air war against Germany.

Anyway, the F-105, in spite of its size, has always appealed to me from the aesthetic point of view. It really is a beautiful airplane, even though it is big. I can remember on one of my Air Force trips, to Eglin AFB, standing next to a F-105 in a hangar, and marveling at how huge this airplane is. I guess Kartveli was still designing big airplanes, but the 105 is to me always a beautiful one, and I don't have quite that same feeling about the P-47.

This model was built before the “Ferrari air racer” I showed earlier on iModeler. So, like the Ferrari, it was also done before had done the single seat version of the F-105. Using their initial 2 seater, I cut out the section of fuselage containing the second (aft) cockpit, and mated the front to the rear. Using all the info I could find at the time, I believe I did a pretty accurate job of this, and it gave me a bit of experience before doing the Ferrari. As a fitting footnote, Monogram came out with the single seater a month or so after I did the conversion! The model depicts F-105D “Daisy Mae” of the 357th TFS, 355th TFW in Vietnam. This was the 27th F-105D built.

Over the years, when you keep a model, things may happen to it. This model just survived one of those adventures. A couple of weeks ago I was dusting before vacuuming, and had taken the 105 off the top of a bookshelf to dust, and put it on the bed. Just like that, our new orange cat Fergus, was jumping up on the bed, landing on top of the 105, and we had a repair job on our agenda! As I was starting the repair a day or so later, I seemed to recall this happening once before to the same model, though I don't think that time it was due to one of our cats. F-105's are tough airplanes!

Reader reactions:
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11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Cracking model, Robert. Having read through your comments a couple of times, I didn't see a reference to the scale - is it 1/48?

    • Rob, thanks for your comment, and that was a silly omission of mine. Yes, it is the 1/48 Monogram kit. I think it is still available in the 2 seater, but could be wrong. I just checked Squadron, and guess I am wrong. Revell has a 1/48 F-105D single seater. It's the "T-stick II" version with the larger spine. Of course there is the Hobby Boss kit, a standard F-105D, don't know if there are any others in 1/48.

  2. You've done a great service to one of MY favorite airframes as well, Robert. Your paint job, attention to details, AND your excellent conversion (I'd have never known), your top-notch photography...well, hell - the general build as a whole is among the best I've seen. Great work - thanks for sharing the story/pics.

  3. Nice Thud Robert, one of the few planes which sadly gets little airing on the forums.
    Well done.

  4. I remember building Monogram's 105 when it was first released.I still have it in the display case. I always worried that the shaky landing gear would break someday, but it has somehow managed to stay intact after surviving several moves over the years a we went from job to job and state to state.Needless to say, one of my favorite books is Thud Ridge. You did a beautiful job on this model as usual.

  5. Very nice Robert. Thanks for the history of the plane and designer. I do not know much about this plane at all. The model has weathered well, repairs jobs and all.

  6. Nice clean build, great paint scheme.

  7. Oh yeah! That'sa one good lookin' Thud! Beautiful work Robert, just beautiful.

  8. Robert, that has to be one of the best F-105's I've seen done. It's just right !

  9. Lovely mate. I like the colour scheme. Most of my models when I was a kid fell victim to the cats!

    • Richard, it can be difficult, if a cat really does a major thing to a model, but we need to give them a bit of slack. I don't think they ever do it intentionally, it is just their "way"! And in return we have their unconditional love and companionship, beyond any value you can put on it!

      By the way, I see you are a motorcyclist. I am as well, and still have my first bike, a 1969 Norton 750 Commando Fastback, which I bought new. Had also a 1978 Ducati 900 SD Darmah, but had to sell that in 1988, when I got a Kawasaki Concours. Still have the Norton and Kawi, but I think age is catching up with me (75 years), and am not riding as much anymore. Maybe more time for models!

      • To be honest Robert, my Mother broke equally as many whilst dusting and decorating! Not a single one survived from my early days actually. I'm hoping for glass cabinets though when I buy a house, that should keep them safe...should!

        Good to see you are a biker also. They sound like some classic machines. I think it is something that runs in your blood when you are a biker, you can't ever really retire from it! I didn't get back on one for eight months mind after a near fatal accident. But that was only because I had to save up for a new one!

  10. Terrific paint. Perfect.

  11. Bob,
    This is indeed one of your best. To see it makes it even more impressive.

  12. Very nice, like the weathering. The Thud was a classic "needlenose", I understand she could do 900 Kts low level, that is smoking! With that big intake and a wheel well in the wing, how they made that thin wing strong enough I'll never know. Had the real classic coke bottle "area rule" shape to the fuselage aswell.

  13. Beautiful Thud, still a great kit those Monogram jets yep!

  14. the -105 has always been one of my favorite airplanes, yours came out wonderfully. extra points for the conversion - i would have never known if you had not mentioned it! great work!

  15. i hear you on the cat thing...i have 5 of them...i try and keep mine out of the way of their perches,etc.

    • Michael, cats can keep us guessing, can't they? I don't ever think they have intentional designs on destroying any of our models, or treasures, it's just that they are so into everything, they can't help it!

      This was Fergus' first Christmas, and we were worried about the tree (after he jumped on the 105), but other than several things he disturbed, and he would go back to again, after we had set them right again (they don't like to let go of an idea), he has been pretty mellow, at least for a one year old cat! Our 2 other cats ( 5 and 7 years old) are gradually training him to be a good kitty.

  16. Beautiful work on a Beautiful subject!

  17. You've really captured the look of this very powerful jet, Rob, it looks like it makes a lot of noise!

  18. Thanks to all for your kind comments. I really tried to do a nice job on the F-105. It really is a beautiful shape for an aircraft. Also, I feel it is one of the most "heroic" aircraft the US has ever sent to war, and deserved an extra effort from me on my model. Of course having to do the conversion to single seat made it more interesting!

  19. beautiful job on the SEA scheme

  20. Robert, you have done a masterpiece with that Monogram Thud. I had the two seater from Monogram too, and it was a great kit.
    I specially like the weathering on the paint, it looks like the real plane. Very well done.
    Congratulations for such a great model.

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