Posted by Rick Tsujimura (via Matty) on December 19, 2009, 1:24:05
Message modified by board administrator December 20, 2009, 11:18:35
A Matt Stein Models customer, who I hereby designate "Rick-B" (as he is the second "Rick" to appear here in quick succession) writes: |
"...I have checked (ModelFleet) and as always (am) awestruck by other modellers. I'm just joe average or under, reliving my childhood with the stuff I had and blew up at new years as a kid. I just bought a (Revell 1/540) midway and wanted to do the boxart w/the (Matty's Models) savages.
(I'm also) trying to get one each of the (Revell 1/540) essex angle decks, so far got a wasp, bon homme richard and lexington, looking for/bidding on a hornet...
...do you know of any source for additional phantoms f-4b/n for 1/550 (scale carriers?)...Second, do you know if there are any suitable photoetch 1/550 crew for the revell essex/forrestal class carriers?..."
Matty here again. And Rick, let me take your second question (by far the easier one) first: the remarkable Gold Medal Models' Midway/Forrestal/Essex PE set is still in production and contains (as you can see in the linked pic) some roughly 70 (I counted 68) crewmen, in quite a variety of poses. It is a truly remarkable PE set for the money, with virtually every piece being useable on exactly the Revell carriers you mentioned.
And (at least) one other which you didn't, but which I am going to infer you are building: a Forrestal-class (or later) supercarrier. Because the Phantom came after your straight-decked Midway fit, and was never deployed operationally from any Essex-class CV (in any fit) - as the "Double-Ugly"'s afterburners were simply too hot (on takeoff, as I understand it) for the un-armored decks to sustain.
In this general scale (circa 1/500-600), there were never any aftermarket, accessory Phantom-IIs and, of the kits containing them, none are still in production, so I would go to eBay and search for such kits - or collections of planes stripped out of them. The question of just which kits to seek is an interesting one regarding Forrestal-class releases, of which there have been many over the years:
Click on Image to Enlarge The first in my recollection (though even earlier may have been the Revell Forrestal, below) was the Aurora 1/600 Forrestal, whose classic box-art is shown at left, on top. Too early to include Phantoms, its '50s-era complement of planes also were uniformly (except for the F11-F Tiger) lousy to the point of giving offense - no doubt the reason a later reissue by Monogram (left, at bottom) would replace them all with later-model aircraft of very high fidelity, including the F-4 shown at right. Based solely on length (wingspan cannot be used in these slightly off-side pics) as an F-4B it scales to 1/616. Note also at bottom-right, its nose and canopy are well-defined and look very good for a Phantom-II, as do its upturned wingtips and downturned tail "stabilator"s as well - the best F-4 in this (general) scale, marginally better than the Revell version (see below).
The excellent info site on classic-kits (and more), Rajendra's List, dates the first Monogram "re-issue (circa 1978)...", and lists boxings as Forrestal, Saratoga (as mine, above), and Independence. If you can find any of these with F-4s intact, Rick, snag 'em.
Yet a third 1/600 Forrestal - a completely different mold - was released by Airfix:
Click on Image to Enlarge However, like the Aurora it contained only earlier, '50s-era aircraft - although unlike the Aurora's, these are of rather high quality. Rajens' List notes for this kit: "...20 aircraft...for 1957 but, the funnel is of the rectangular post-1959 type...". Despite our own determination that Forrestal embarked F-4s immediately following this 1959 refit and - more to the point - the fact that this kit was subsequently re-issued numerous times, according to Rajendra's also by MPC and Heller, as late as 1990 - I still find no evidence that its aircraft were ever changed/modernized to include the Rhino.
Still, we're not (hardly) finished yet:
Click on Image to Enlarge At left are two boxings of Revell's 1/540 Forrestal, the one at top as early as 1956 (I know - but the copyright is molded right there on the hull!) - which, once again of course was before the Double Ugly even joined the fleet. However, somewhere in the course of many re-releases over the decades, this kit's aircraft were upgraded/modernized, as the most recent boxing, at bottom-left (which molds may even still be in production) contains F-14s, F-18s and their contemporaries. Again, Rajens' list points out numerous "...re-issues (including) Forrestal... Saratoga... Ranger...(and) Independence...up to the 1970s...", so like Mikey I was sure this kit must have at some point, been repopped with a set of '60s/'70s aircraft including the F-4 - particularly as Revell was known to have mastered one, as shown at right. However Rajens' goes on to suggest that Revell's Forrestal "refits" skipped this era entirely, saying "...In 1989, the mold was updated to represent the Forrestal & Saratoga after their SLEP refit...aircraft on the updated version include...Tomcats...Hornets...Vikings, and...Intruder/Prowlers...".
Again, Revell did in fact produce an F-4 in this scale, as shown at right - almost as good as the Monogram F-4, above, and scaling out to 1/581 (again by length, for an F-4B). However it did not come in a Forrestal-class release but in the following re-issue of their angled-deck Essex-class mold:
And only in this re-boxing, AFAIK: the Revell 1/540 Lexington training carrier (AVT). Even though this ship is 100% incorrect for the Rhino (and note a conspicuous absence of the latter in the box art, here) which did not operate from any Essex, ever! Still, this boxing is the only Revell release in which to look for the additional F-4s you're after - and not in your anti-submarine Essex (CVS) Wasp (nor Hornet), nor attack Essexes (CVAs) Bon Homme Richard and (earlier) Lexington, as you obviously must already have discovered, if you have them, Rick. IIRC Advent also released this kit - with different box art, but still Lexington ATV-16 and all else identical - just look for orange-marked (training) aircraft, in whatever graphic is on the box. And the even better news is these training-carrier Lexington AVT-16 re-issues were both numerous and, because some of the most recent, also the lowest-priced (generally speaking) of all the Revell Essex kits - particularly if snagging a boneyard model for (basically) just its F-4s.
And now you tell me you already know all this! Fine - but I will still lay it all out, including a couple more, much lower-quality options - though I'm running out of room here, so will post them in a "response", below.
One more thing, though:
Click on Image to Enlarge I noted this excellent little SkyWave (nominally) 1/700 scale F-4 - from their multi-kit "Scramble" boxings, depicting Cold War confrontations between aircraft and submarines - hoping their aircraft might actually be closer to 1/600 scale, as we had determined for some of their other (guns) accessories. However this little Rhino scales - again for the F-4B, by length, to 1/711 - so I guess at least some SkyWave 1/700 parts really are that small. But just look at how excellent it is (despite being horribly out of focus) you can see it even has delicate panel lines, and all shapes/angles/contours correct - actually better than either of the two larger ones, above! (And clearly suggesting what could be done in 1/550 scale, particularly in resin...)
Anyway Rick-B, Welcome Aboard ModelFleet, buddy - and (also for everybody) I hope the above helps.