Saturday, May 15, 2010

1/72 F-105D Thunderchief from HobbyMaster

The "Thud" was the first purpose-designed supersonic tactical fighter-bomber to be developed and was also the biggest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft in history. It was the backbone of USAF tactical air power in the Vietnam War and the D-model carried out more air strikes against North Vietnam than any other aircraft in the US aircraft inventory. By the end of war , the versatile F-105 was credited with 25 MIG kills, but was also found to have suffered more losses than any other US type. Over half of all the D-models built (610) were destroyed in the war, and F-105 pilots were thought to have only a 75 per cent chance of surviving 100 missions over North Vietnam.
(source: "Bombers" by Francis Crosby)

With over 20,000 F-105 missions flown in Vietnam the most famous F-105D action came
on August 2, 1967 when the 335th and 388th TFWs stationed at Korat AFB in Thailand
heavily damaged the Paul Doumer Bridge north of Hanoi. This was a major artery for re-supply between China and North Vietnam.

As part of the 388th TFW the 34th TFS flew F-105Ds from June 1966 until May 1969. On August 23, 1967 while flying an F-105D Lt. David B. Waldrop is credited with downing a MiG-17. Some say he actually shot down 2 aircraft.

The model: it looks great both on gear down position and with the stand. Assembly was easy, and although it's a heavy model, the plastic gear and stand are very stable.

The weapon set provided consists of four external tanks, an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, an ECM pod and six 750lb bombs (these cannot be displayed when using the stand).

Being the first Thud released by HobbyMaster it's now becoming a bit rare. I remember purchasing this almost a year ago in the UK when the vendor suggested: "I've got 7 available, get yours as soon as you can"...the next day, none were left! If they will plan a G wild weasel version, it will be on my wishlist, no doubt :) This is a great piece of diecast, a Vietnam war icon and a perfect addition to any aircraft collection.

And finally, a short note on the only F-105D survivor in Europe...

After 10 years of storage, F-105D serial number 59-1822 originally "The Polish Glider" and eventually "SuperHog"; will soon be leaving Duxford, due to lack of funds for the project.It was delivered to the USAF in 1961 and between 1965 and 1970, it served over Vietnam, based mainly in Thailand. From 1971 to 1981, it served with Air National Guard and was then put into storage. It will be shipped to Poland, were it will finally be restored and find its new home.

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