Wednesday, 14 September 2011

1/600th Aircraft - CVW16 Project

CVW-16 Project. After doing the F-4s I looked back at the A-4s that I painted up when I first got into this scale. I think they needed a refresh so have decided (after conversation with others) to have a look at CVW-16 specifically on the USS Oriskany with AH tailcodes.

SquadronAir WingAircraftDates
VA-163CVW-16A-4E Apr - Dec 65
May - Nov 66
Jun 67 - Jan 68
VA-164CVW-16A-4E Apr - Dec 65
May - Nov 66
Jun 67 - Jan 68

Quick bit of digging shows the following sqns on the Oriskany during Vietnam. I am going to concentrate on VA-163 and VA-164. So starting off with 2 A-4Es one with, one without the "hump" I would need the following decals

  • AH as the airwing designator
  • Identical devices on the tail one blue the other red.
  • 300 series Modex numbers for VA-163
  • 400 series Modex numbers for VA-164
  • National Insignia at the rear of the aircraft (Dom's Decals)
  • NAVY (Small) at the base of the fin for both squadrons
  • Bu Nos (for at least VA-164) below the device
  • Possible aircraft names for VA-164 in red
  • USS ORISKANY as small as I can do it for the sides of VA-163
  • RESCUE for the nose on both.

I knocked out a test run of decals this morning (3 July 09) to test fit for 3 of VA-164's aircraft. The Tail devices look okay, I have scaled the next set down slightly. NAVY for the rear goes on fine but you need to trim as close as possible. Dom's national insignia go on as usual at the rear. Modex on the nose for 405, 406 and 407 (want to test out Lady Jessie).

Couple of Work in Progress Shots

As usual this led to more and more work and I have now done a test set for VF-111, VF-162, VA-163, VA-164 and VFP-63. I haven't done any of the support aircraft. The image below shows just the fighter element ready to go. I have matched BuNo and Modex to "real" aircraft where I have a reference. The decals are one large decal so you need to cut out carefully.


The couple of shots will be the work bringing my CVW-16 airwing into being (well at least the crusaders to start with). These are an early run and has the F-4 engine warnings on instead of the F-8 ones. As I said before these have been made up into aircraft sets and I am in progress of updating all the master sheets in the same way. (I now have a page of F-4s from VF-21, VF-92 and VF-96). I have no intention of doing these commercially though.


Couple of shots of first proper print run of VF-162 and VF-111 aircraft. The crusader on the left (VF-162) has a Dom's Decals NAVY while the VF-111 has one of mine on it looks closer to scale and isn't as black. The National Insignia are all Dom's Decals, I use the Middle sized one for the wing and the small one either side of the cockpit. You can see that I have taken off the TD moulded detail for the mounting racks to get the decal on.

You can see from these shots that the Tail Art isn't quite right so another run will be needed. For those of you who have a test run of these:

  • Before placing the VF-162 decal you need to paint the surface white (to let the yellow stars show up) then paint a black line down the control surface where it meets the rest of the fin as the decal is too small and the letters too large and there will be a white gap if you rely on the decal covering the whole surface.
  • The decal needs to be pushed as far to the rear as possible. (I will fix this over the weekend).
  • I need to reduce the AH and increase the size of the art on this one.
  • The VF-111 needs a good white background to show up (one of the problems using a clear decal.
  • The decal itself is too small and needs to be englarged slightly which I will try and do this weekend.
  • The AH is also too bold and needs thinning. I have a solution sorted out just need the time to get around to it.

The VF-111 bird is ready for the shark's mouth decal which I am working on at the moment. The Modex is pushed back enough so I can get the eye in. What I haven't decided yet is if this should be a single piece decal (bearing in mind that the decal will be about 2mm in size), or if I will just do the mouth as a decal and the eye freehand.

All said and done these are wargame models and look reasonable from a distance!!!

Fixed the problem with the decals and also had enough decal paper left over to do the Shark's mouth (VF-111) as a single decal with the eye (which you can only just make out) and jet intake warnings for the F-8s on another pair of aircraft. Useful that the A-7 can use the same decal so saved me a bit of time. Need to let these cure overnight and get them varnished tomorrow after doing the final touch ups (which will be adding a grey strip across the top of the fin and then adding the horizontal colour bars (red for VF-111 and Yellow on VF-162).

The shots below have the new bar, printed on white decal paper with a thick black surround. I cut as close to the yellow to keep the black border which is what was needed (I experimented with a thinner line before and the decal is a bit flimsy to take any handling)



I have just put the new decals on the old A-4s and I don't intend to do much more with this. It has been a useful exercise. I have one more fighter crusader to add (probably do a VF-162 bird) and then move onto the Tanker/ECM aircraft. I have a vigilante but they were only on the larger carriers so might have a look at one for the constellation (to go with the F-4s that I have done) I also have some USAF stuff that still needs work on.

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