Arjun wrote me, saying:
"I saw your 1/540 & 1/525 scale aircraft postings. I happen to have an Airfix USS Forrestal with some late-950's /early 1960s style aircraft on her deck; the Skywarrior, Fury, Skyraider, Demon, & Hup2 Retriever.
They don't look very exciting, compared to Phantoms & Vigilantes, or even Skyhawks. So my question is; did USS Forrestal carry any other aircraft apart from the ones already provided in the kit, when she had thin runway stripes running down her deck? (I'm not sure if her deck was modified later to accommodate faster jets, because I've seen later photos of her with double stripes and F-14s, etc..)
And if yes, where can I get some 1/600 Navy aircraft? I haven't come across any others, so any help would be most appreciated. Or if unavailable, can I stick on some 1/540 jets?
Thanking you in anticipation..."
OK, there's a couple issue contained in the above. Firstly, I don't know (near) enough about Forrestal to know when her deck markings changed, or even what they were before or after. To answer questions like this, I go first and most profitably to NavSource.org; plow through the pics and dates until you figure out the situation. IIRC the Airfix kit lacks any of Forrestal's later sponsons, so take a good look at everything - her fit, flight deck markings and what aircraft - to determine an accurate time period.
The answer to the second question - whether or not you can use 1/540 aircraft on a 1/600 build - is certainly "yes"; a 1/540 aircraft is only 11% larger than 1/600 scale - and many of your OOB planes are probably already over- or undersized by this amount! You'll never see the difference, trust me.
I, of course, sell some 1/550 aircraft - yet closer in scale for you - through Matty's Models. I don't (yet) carry the "sexy" Phantom-IIs and Skyhawks you're looking for, but (less detailed versions of) these abound from old Revell Saratoga/Forrestal kits, as well as from the old Revell angled-deck (SCB-125) Essex-class kits. The guys on the board here can probably help you track down some of those.
However make sure you know what you're looking for; the Furies and Demons of the Airfix kit are relatively early aircraft; it may well be that along with them Forrestal carried something(s) like F7U Cutlasses and F2H3 "Big Banjo"s, for example. And these are also available from early Revell carrier kits.
If there are any Forrestal buffs out there reading this, pipe up and help us out! It will be interesting to unravel this question fully - thanks, Arjun, for sending in the question buddy!