|63-8301 F-105F-1-RE Thunderchief
|19 April 1967 while being flown by Maj. Leo Thorsness and EWO Harry Johnson during a raid on the
Xuan Mai barracks near Hanoi, '301' was credited with a Mig 17 kill. Maj. Thorsness was awarded the
Medal of Honor for that mission. Eleven days later, on his 93rd mission, he and Johnson were shot down
by an Atoll missile. They were soon captured and remained a guest in Hanoi for the next 6 years. He
received his Medal of Honor on 15 Oct. 1973. Maj. Thorsness died May 2, 2017. He was 85 years old.
'301' was later converted to full 'G' standards and survived the war. Stateside she was transferred to the
35 TFW and was slated for preservation at the Museum of the USAF upon retirement. Sadly, on 6 Dec.
1974 it crashed on the Cuddeback Range, CA. Details unknown.
There are things wrong with the Trumpeter kit. I correct what I could with available resin correction
sets. The kit is a 'G' model. '301' during this time period was an 'F' so I had to get the 'F' conversion side
panels. The main gear is also a problem. This kit is heavy and they are not very stable and prone to break.
Canopy hinge area another problem. I came up with a fix to improve both.
I wanted to do 'Jinkin Josie" so I got the Zotz decal set. Not very impressed with them. Tail Code and
Serial looked like crap no matter what I did so I removed them and I made my own along with the Data
Plate. I wound up using more of the kit decals for the data than the ones that came on the Zotz set. I
managed to get the nose art and Ejection Seat warnings on looking descent. Finished with Model Master
Model resides at the Hickory Aviation Museum, Hickory, NC.
|1/32 Scale Trumpeter
|CLICK ON A THUMBNAIL FOR LARGER
USE BROWSER BACK BUTTON TO
|357 TFS, 355 TFW, Takhli RTAFB 1968
|I replaced the Wheel Axle with aluminum tubing. Did the same with the Nose Gear.
|What it cost.
|The 'F' Conversion
|Hideous Ventral Fin removed with a rotary
saw in a Dremel tool.
|Correct 'F' Tail
|Correct Nose, Ventral
Fin and Cameras
|Fuselage side panels were cut out with rotary
saw and Dremel tool. Don't cut too close to the
kit panel lines. Use a file to get to the panel
lines. You'll have to file the resin replacement
panel too. Make small cuts and fit.
|The Resin/Photo Etch Cockpit Set- To glue
resin together or anything to resin, you have
to use CA glues. Once I had the pieces fit, I
used a small drop of Formula 560 Canopy
Glue #PT-56 made by Pacer to hold them in
place. Leave dry overnight. Then I used very
small amounts of thin CA glue to hold
everything together. I did not use the supplied
seats. I opted for the Quick Boost seats. The
molded in belts look better.
|The Resin Nose- Was a real project
to get it to fit. Had to squeeze the
fuselage with clamps to fit it to the
profile of the nose. I glued one
section at a time. Once that was
right, I glued on the camera.
|Canopy Frames- You have to remove the
tab molded on the canopy. The frames do not
fit the curves in the canopies very good. I
used a couple of applications of Formula 560
to glue them to the canopies leaving each one
overnight to dry.
Drill a hole in the Rear Canopy Frame the
diameter of the Large Paper Clip. Drill
3/32" diameter hole in the Rear Bulkheads of
the Cockpit. If you are not using the Resin
Frames, glue a short piece of 3/32" diameter
Plastic Tubing to the Canopy.
|The trailing tip of the Horizontal was molded with a small angle. I didn't notice it till I had them painted.
That has to be corrected. I filed it a little thicker and bigger so a piece of plastic sheet had something to
stick to. Cut a larger piece of the sheet and glued it to the tip. Filed/sanded and painted.
|I use a large wood dowel stuck up the tail pipe to hold it for painting.
|I previously painted Cockpit area and Canopies before
the Cockpit was installed and the Fuselage was glued
together so the Camo Pattern would line up. Used
Rubber Bands to hold the Fuselage together. I then
assembled and masked the Cockpit to complete the paint.
|Keep in mind, I'm using the Aires Resin Wheel Well Set. The mounting point of the Main Gear is
inadequate. It wobbles so bad and in a short time breaks the mounting socket in the wing. By eliminating
the majority of the Fore/Aft and Port/Starboard play it helps with the breakage problem. If you are an
experienced Modeler, you should be able to adopt this without the use of the Aires Set or the need for
Metal Landing Gear. This would work with all Manufacturers and Scales.
This is what I did.
|The Resin Wheel Well Set came with resin Main Gear mechanism. They are not strong enough either.
The Main Hydraulic Cylinder is made with 1/16" dia. Brass tubing and small Paper Clip. The rod coming
out of the Hinge is made with small Paper Clip. The Hinge is made with pieces of Evergreen #169 Strip
Styrene .080"x .250", the perfect thickness and width of the resin Hinge. Still plastic but much stronger
than the resin. Metal would be better but I have no way of machining it.
The Hinge- I use "Hinge" because I don't know the proper nomenclature. Cut pieces of the Strip Styrene
the length of the resin Hinge . I traced the outline and holes of the resin Hinge on the pieces I just cut. Cut
and filed the piece to the resin shape and drilled holes the diameter of the small paper clip. I think it looks
pretty good. Cut a piece of small Paper Clip longer than you think you'll need for the Rod.
The Hydraulic Cylinder- Cut the 1/16" diameter Brass tubing the length of the cylinder. I crimped the
end with a Vise Grip. Cut another piece of small Paper Clip longer than you think you need for the Rod.
|The Resin Wheel Wells- There is a pin molded in them to locate the end of the Hinge. Cut that off, drill a
hole the diameter of the small paper clip. Cut a piece of small Paper Clip and bend it at 90 degrees. One
end has to be just long enough to go through the Hinge. The bend allows more surface to glue the pin to
the Wheel Well. Insert pin from the outside of the Wheel Well. If you are not using the Wheel Well Set,
drill the hole in the side of the gear well where parts I1 I2 are glued. Leave a little room at the bottom of
the well for the Hinge. The hole in the Main Gear where parts I1 and I2 fit in needs to be drilled slightly
the diameter of the small Paper Clip Rod. Not too deep. Just enough to hold the Rod.
The Hydraulic Cylinder- If you are not using the Wheel Well Set, remove the locating pins in the bottom
of the Well. You may want to file a flat surface on the Brass Cylinder for more glue contact area.
Main Gear- The sides of the Main Gear where it fits in the Wheel Well need to be shimmed so there is
less Forward/Aft movement. I used plastic card stock and glued it to the Gear.
When all that's done, take the pieces of small Paper Clip (Rods) and bend one end 90 degrees. I used a
small Drill Press Vice and a small Finishing Hammer. Gives a nice tight bend. Cut the short end of the
bend so it fits tight in the Hinge and Main Gear. Insert the Rods into the Cylinder and Hinge as far as
they'll go, set it all up in the Wheel Well to see how much of the long end needs to be cut. If it's a little
short, that's okay. It'll slide in the Cylinder and Hinge. When your ready to install the Gear, set it up like
this. When you get it where it should be, a small drop of thin CA glue will hold it. Make sure everything
is where it should be. Once you apply the CA glue you won't be able to move anything without breaking
it. The photos below should help.
Once you get this F-105 done and you sit it on the gear, you'll see the difference.
|THE MAIN GEAR
|How I built this kit is for the experienced Modeler so I'm not going to go into detail
on how to work with resin or how to do the Correction or Detail Sets. I will focus on
how to make the Main Gear more stable and stronger.
I do not give diameter dimension on the Small and Large Paper Clips. That may be
different depending on the source. You should have a set of Number Drills.
Micrometer or Dial Calipers will help too.
I've never written anything like this so please bare with me. There are many photos
of the whole build I hope will help.
|Finishing the Exterior
|I had to fabricate the
|357 TFS, 355 TFW, Takhli RTAFB 1968
|At her new home. The Hickory Aviation Museum, Hickory, NC
|Wheel Well portion of the fuselage and all detail in the Wheel Well area of
the wings has to be removed for the Wheel Well Set.
I used a rotary mill in a Dremel tool at the lowest RPM. Too fast and
you'll melt the plastic.
|Correct Tail and
Ventral Fin installed.
Lots of filing/sanding
required on the Tail.
|I use Evergreen #223 Styrene Tubing. You have to drill the tubing the diameter of the Large Paper
Clip. Drill it before you cut the small pieces. Use a pin vise to drill. A Dremel tool will create heat and
melt the plastic to the bit. I used the Formula 560 Canopy Glue for the Windscreen.