Waldrop's Thud: 1/48th Monogram F-105D Thunderchief
Monogram released their F-105G Wild Weasel kit in 1982, and for its time, it was impressive. Detailed raised cockpit dials and switches, good ejection seats, nice recessed vents and control surfaces. While not fully up to today's standard, due to its raised panel lines and minor other issues, the kit can still be built into an impressive model of the Thunderchief.
Notable Kit Features (Note: This kit was purchased as a F-105G):
Excellent molded cockpit details with typical Monogram raised switches and dials
Nice Ejection seats with molded seatbelts (typical of Monogram)
Optional seated pilot figures
Recessed Vulcan gun muzzle vent details
Gear detail is good however due to the length of the plastic main gear, it will create stability problems and require bracing or main gear replacement with metal versions
Nicely detailed wheel wells
Main wing spar provided
Well thought out intakes resulting in smooth intake surfaces
Inclusion of the separate fuselage jamming pods (making a conversion to "F" model easy and a "D" conversion possible, however later you could just buy a D :)
4-separate speed brake petals (one posed in the dropped position
Lots of weapons stores (Mk.117, Mk.82, AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-78 Standard ARM - complete with launch rail & Tanks, depending on the kit
After reading a lot of material on the early air combat days in Vietnam, I had become a big fan of the "Thud", so when Monogram released their 1/48th scale F-105G kit, I immediately broke into my savings and picked up a couple... and then went back and got a couple more! Monogram initially released their kit as a double seat model (G / F) and I had built those, however I really wanted to build the single seat "D" version... maybe they would release the single seater but how long might that take..? As it turned out the "D" was released in 1985, however this was 1983 and I really wanted to build Dave Waldrop's MiG Killer Thud. I decided not to wait for a possible future release and instead opt to undergo yet another cut-down conversion of a two-seater version.
Heads-Up Report: (This kit was built a long time ago so my memory is limited, however I don't recall any real issues building this kit.)
Metal Main Gear replacements will be the best addition for this kit (if you can find any) as the plastic gear isn't stiff enough to hold its shape (the legs are long!)
This model kit has been released by Monogram, Revell, as well as Revell-Monogram / Hasegawa with different kit numbers and decal options over the years with the latest release in 2013 by Revell
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Raised panel lines were sanded off
Section behind pilot (containing second crew station) was cut out in a choice spot and the fuselage rejoined
Tail reduced in chord and reshaped to better represent a D tail
Custom markings used for Tail Codes and Dave Waldrop's markings
The paint scheme applied to this aircraft is TAC Jungle, the USAF standard for combat theater planes of the time. The colours consisted of FS 30219 Tan / 34079 Dark Green / 34102 Medium Green over the underside FS 36622 Light Gray. Weathering was kept minimal as I was painting museum example replicas at the time. I sourced some USAF stencil letters in white and black that allowed me to do the tail markings. MiG kill markings were used from a Monogram F-4 kit and Waldrop's name and aircraft name "Hanoi Special" were pieced together from individual letters.
The After-Build Report:
Overall I would still recommend this Monogram F-105 kit. Although some will find it outdated, it still provides excellent value for money, based on its good overall representation, reasonable price point and nice details. If you want more detail as well as recessed panel lines, you may find the Hobby Boss kit a better choice as it has options to build and display the engine, radome, gun bay and re-fueling probe (however this Hobby Boss kit depth is obviously offered at a much higher price point).
Completed build #25 - August 1987 using the 1/48th Monogram F-105G #5806 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge your skills if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers