Sheet #

Aeromaster 48-445 for F-8 Crusaders





Review By:

Chris Ishmael


CAG Birds`


This is the third sheet in the four sheet series. This particular sheet covers 3 Crusader operators that saw combat during the Viet Nam Conflict.

The instructions consist of full color line drawings of each a/c, with smaller additional views to show decal placement. A brief description is given of each a/c, & all of them are in the gull gray over white scheme. The decals are on 2 sheets, with the major unit markings on one, and the other contains the common markings. The printing is sharp, & there is a minimum of carrier film. There are two sets of national insignias, with the one that goes over the left side-refueling blister cut along the door line. One set of aft walkway non-skid decals is provided, but all three a/c require it. Seeing as how they are just black rectangles, making them from black decal stock or painting them should not be too hard. No stabilator walkway or maintenance stenciling is provided, so check your reference sources. A resin fin tip with the late style ECM fairing is provided, but 2 of the 3 a/c require it. Choices, choices. The Monogram kit recommended.

The first a/c is an F-8J from VF-194 "Red Lightings", circa 1975. This unit made no less than 8 combat deployments between 1964 & 1973. Note the squared of tail ECM fairing, & gull gray rudder. The instructions mis-identify the unit as the Satan’s Kittens (VF-191), so do not use decals # 11a or 11b on the wing bulkhead. Save them for use with sheet # 48-450. This particular a/c had ECM fairings by the intake lip, so use the correct warning triangles (G1 & H1). All other markings are standard for the type.

The second offering is an early F-8E from VF-162 "Hunters", circa 1966-67. The Hunters scored 2 Mig kills during the conflict. Note the lack on any ECM fairings on the tail. The modeler has a choice of either one or two-piece rudder decals, with the colored stars being separate, or combined with the black rudder decal. Other markings of note are the unusual 2 digit modex & the style its painted in, the nose band that runs under the nose, & the caricature of Snoopy riding a missile on the fin cap.

The final a/c is a late F-8J from VF-24 "Checkertails" circa 1974. This squadron scored 4 Mig kills in 1967. This CAG aircraft has an attractive red/black barber poled radome. The instructions incorrectly state to paint the radome, rudder, & fin cap black. The radome and the fin cap need to be painted RED, as the decals that go on them are black. The decal for the rudder covers it, so there is no need to paint the rudder black before decal application. A spare decal for the radome is provided. Also note that, at this time period, the a/c does not have a Bureau number or type I.D under the stabilator, which concurs with the reference photo’s I have.

Today, none of these units are around. VF-162 decommissioned in 1970. VF-194 Flew the F-4 & F-14 for short periods of time before its final decommissioning. In 1975, VF-24 transitioned directly to the F-14A, without ever having operated the F-4. They transitioned to the F-14B in 1989, but fell victim to the budget ax in 1995.

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