Aircraft Versions

Aircraft Versions

RexTN
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RexTN
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007, 06:37

25 Jul 2009, 19:07 #1

okay, this is a simple topic, right?

I mean, we have F-8A's, and the much different F-8J's. Then we have F-4B's and the F-4S's. What is the deal with versions, it should be pretty cut and dried,,,,an F-4B is an F-4B, after all.

Well, here's what this post is all about. Okay, you build an F-4B from the Hasegawa kit,,,,cool,,,I like how it looks,,,,,but, um, which photo did you use, I can't find an F-4B photo with those parts choices, even though I have photos of those exact markings, right down to two different years with that same BuNo?

see, there are 6 different F-4B's, out of the 18 possible combinations of Hasegawa F-4B parts

there are 3 different nose fairings, 3 different tail tips, and 2 different stabilators,,,,each part is available in photographs, but only 6 of the combos of these 3 parts are ever seen together

"geeeez, this guy is strange",,,,,,lol

okay, here's the premise,,,,we build for some level of accuracy, so we don't just stick any parts onto any plane,,,,,or we would put an IR sensor on our F-4J, if we thought that would look cool (all of you that do this,,,,,,this discussion is NOT for you,,,,,keep doing it if you want, this is for the guys trying to achieve more accuracy)

I've "coded" the combinations of F-4's possible for each version,,,,,,and made a checkmark next to each version I see in the many books here at the Hangar Deck

that has created an "HD number" that comes after the Block Number assigned for each combo,,,,,,,as I said,,,,then I kept the ones that actually appear in photos in a smaller list

here's the Phantom B parts list,,,,,,there are the Early IR nose (same appearance as the late F-4A), I've named that the A nose
then, the Mid IR nose that I've named the B nose,,,,,it is the nose that has the addition on the bottom with a relieved area at the back of the addition
then, the nose I've named the C nose,,,it comes in C/D kits,,,,,and the one used on the B is sort of like a "shaved C"

I only picked these names for the purpose of the "type chart"

the tails are the A tail,,,,,the tail tip part with no ECM blisters
the B tail is the one with an ECM on the rear edge
the "N" tail is the one with ECM on both the front and the rear

then, we have early unslotted stabilators, I've named B
and the late slotted stabilators, I've named J

a B kit might have any of these parts in it (they all come with 5 different tail tip configs)

but, you wouldn't have a 1965 B on a deck with slotted stabs or the "N" tail tip (let's let things be invented before we fit them to our aircraft, shall we?)

the Stabilator and the different tail tips should bring no objections from fans of the F-4 that have more than 10 pages of F-4B photos in their book collections,,,
but the 3 noses? (this guy is nuts!!!!),,,,,well, that is covered on one page of one book, luckily,,,,,,,

actually, while looking for the page I meant to use, I found a better one,,,,on P 21 of Colors & Markings Vol 17, there are only 3 photos on that page,,,,,,all three nose types, and all three tail tips are shown in those 3 photos

so, if you ever see me mention an F-4B-21 or an F-4B-62,,,,,those aren't Block numbers, they are HD version numbers,,,,,I needed some way to label my bare outline drawings to know what one I was adding to a page

when I finish it, I will list the F-8's,,,,,they seem simple, too, but
the RF-8,,,,it "only comes in" RF-8A and RF-8G flavors,,,,,,,but,,,,,,there are multiple tail ECM's seen on those,,,,then, the early and late nosewheel,,,,,,and even the RF-8G had too versions,,,,,the afterburner scoops weren't added until the RF-8G was put through the SLEP rebuild in the late 1970's,,,,,,and I would list the 5 USMC RF-8A's with the Ventral Strakes as a seperate version, wouldn't you?

all of this only matters because I am building so many of each aircraft to do my collection, that knowing a bit about the different versions helps me have variety in the airframes, and not just in the markings,,,,,,,and I needed a coding scheme for the different drawings,,,,,calling up an F-4B and adding the variations each time didn't make much sense to me,,,,,so, I drew them all

I hope you are enjoying reading these "thoughts from the Hangar Deck" topics
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RexTN
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RexTN
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007, 06:37

25 Jul 2009, 19:23 #2

The reason I don't have full lists up with the above post is that I haven't finished the RF-4 part of it,,,,,and I stopped on the Air Force versions list when I saw a great book is coming out in August,,,,,I'll do the Air Force parts swapping after I have that book in hand. I also did not go into all the variations of ALQ on the lower wings, etc,,,,or do the parachute housing variations, yet

in the meantime,,,,y'all can cuss me out for this statement, lol

there were 6 versions of the F-4B, 3 of the F-4N (one without ALQ-126), 2 of the F-4J and 2 of the F-4S (one without slats)


********EDIT, that will teach me to talk absolutes, so far, I've found 11 versions of F-4B,,,,,and I'm only 1/3 through my pics,,,,,,I must have grouped two of the noses together when I ran this through the first time,,,,,,,,anyway, however it happened, I made a mistake,,,,,,sorry if this mislead anyone on their model

I should probably just stick to building, matching up to a pic,,,,,,,,but, no one else is attempting this for public use
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dancho
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dancho
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Joined: 03 Jan 2017, 12:56

22 Mar 2017, 13:41 #3

Makes sense to me. One of the reasons I go check out Hyperscale is that I like to have my blood pressure raised. It's not healthy, but I can guarantee that at least one thread over there will set my heart racing! What a rush!

The thread in question usually has to do with "what is accuracy?" and I usually don't agree with anything said in it. I'm a sick man. I just like to watch a good fight, I guess. Good thing for me I got myself banned. If I could actually post over there I'd have a stroke.

Let's take a typical case. Somebody says they want an "accurate" model of thus-and-so. Then somebody pulls out a "drawing" and tried to compare the "kit" to the "drawing" and then we go round and round and round (wheeeeeee). Nobody asks "what particular aircraft are you trying to replicate and what information do you have about it?" Instead, they say "This drawing shows what ALL aircraft like this were like, and so my model must match this magical drawing."

Then, they spend a few days arguing over the drawing. Or photo. Or model. All hope of referring back to a real airplane is lost. Nobody knows anything, but they show up with a bunch of images and claim to "know." I keep waiting for a video to show up showing a mysterious "sensor" on top of the wing tip of a war plane. Study...study....study....WHAT CAN IT BE!?!?

Then the video shows the crew chief walking past the wingtip and picking up the "sensor" as he walks by--and taking a drink out of it.
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RexTN
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RexTN
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007, 06:37

22 Mar 2017, 15:09 #4

Good to see you again, Dan.

The Phantom is always a great way to illustrate your point, Dan.

I've talked about "version lists" a bit before. And the fact that I find a photo that I want to build, and then gather the parts to do that aircraft.

The problem seems to to be (at least to me) that every variation is NOT on the internet, and for a few years now, "if it is not on the internet, it didn't exist."

So, an online version list usually just says "F-4B, F-4N, F-4J, etc." This completely ignores that there were more than one version of F-4N, or more than one F-4J appearance, or multiple versions of the F-4S. This gets complicated by the fact that "everyone knows" that "the F-4N had a unique nose different than the F-4B", when in fact that ECM fairing had been used on late F-4Bs first, before there even was a Project Bee-Line.

This still CAN be done, but, it all depends on who joins the conversation, and sadly, on which forum the convo takes place. Just a couple of weeks ago, in the course of an ARC convo, we identified multiple versions of the RF-8. Much more than just an RF-8A and an RF-8G. We talked about the RF-8As with F-8E wings, and with Ventral fins,,,,,,,,and the engine cooling scoops added to only the SLEPed RF-8Gs. By the time we got to the point of talking about the Vertical tail ECM fairings, we ended up with 10 or more RF-8 versions,,,,,when all "complete lists" only show TWO.

Another time, I was in a convo with just the right guy, and he posted a photo with the doors behind the canopy of the F-4G (and F-4B converted from F-4G.) That will allow me to finally build a MiG killer that was an F-4B (former F-4G) with the right parts on it.

I don't know of any way to solve this problem,,,,,,one of the premier Skyhawk reference pages says that the A-4L had 5 pylons, even though they kept their wings and just had a spoiler kit installed on those. As long as that site says 5 pylons, that is the "truth because it is on the internet", and all other posts will continue to be "wrong." (it is a simple thing to "know", the spoiler kits were installed on 100 A-4Cs, which kept their wings, and then later, after serving in US units as A-4Ls, they were rebuilt to serve with another country, getting A-4F wings bolted on in the process,,,,,,,that is when they had 5 pylons,,,,,,but, not in US service) But, I can't recall the number of times I have read "but, Skyhawk.Org says,,,,,,,,,."

I have learned a lot from the "proper give and take guys" on the forums,,,,,and very little from the "this is the only way it was, here's a link" guys.

Speaking of versions,,,,,,,wait until some "big time modelers" see the "travel pods made from Napalm tanks" that I have photos of on one of my Phantoms. I can hear the howling already,,,,,,because those photos are physical, and NOT on the internet. But, one of my models will have one of these on it when I post the pics. It is unusual enough that there will be 15 posts that "Rex did it wrong" before I can post the locations of why I know I did it right.
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dancho
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dancho
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22 Mar 2017, 20:29 #5

I'm very sympathetic to your point of view because you are interested in the truth, and that's a fragile thing, What bothers me most about the "bigtime" forums is that they seem, in some weird way, to be "set" at a way of looking at the world that promotes certain kinds of reference books. The ones from Squadron or Osprey or one of those. I don't know why, but the bigtime forums just promote the idea that we have these "gurus" who know all (sometimes they know quite a lot, sometimes they don't) but the "guru" idea seems to override everything else. You practically have to bow and scrape to the "guru" or "expert" AND they never provide the source of their information. Why? What is this about? It's just strange. It's obvious to me that you know more about naval aviation of a certain era than 99.99 % of the world. You may qualify as a "guru," but you don't get the "star" treatment.

The assembled multitude doesn't stand up when you enter the room. I think the reason is that you 1) don't have a bunch of glossy books with your name on them and 2) you're not thinking about the problem in "the right way." The "right" way is to set up something as "correct" AND salable. In other words, it's no good to find out that Phantom NO. XXX on June 1, 1963 had this or that feature. We want a model kit of Phantom XXX that we can sell, and some decals that we can sell, and a book that we can sell, that all show us something about all Phantoms all the time, so that nobody can question our model and make us feel bad. It's a totally different way of looking at the world.

I think of a snapshot of an aircraft at a point in time as being the only "real" thing. Aircraft constantly change. Witness the discussion of Showtime 100. What did it look like at the time of the big dogfight? Exactly? When you start to dig, you find worms--a whole can of them. But that's not how to sell books. Instead of the questions asked by a legitimate researcher, we want ANSWERS so we can build a model. But it has to be ACCURATE. That's the fallacy. You can't have that, 100%. There's always doubt. The model builders seem to want to close doors, good and tight, so a perfect model can be constructed. Historians want to open doors. A model should be a starter for a conversation, not a way to end it. Questioning the decisions made by the builder should be part of the whole thing, not the "death knell" that announces a failure to the world. Building a model is a "best guess" followed by discussion. A model that is supposed to be the "end of the discussion" would have to be the actual thing, shrunk down using some kind of science fiction gizmo. Even then, the perfectionists would argue with the miniature pilot about scale molecules!
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RexTN
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RexTN
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007, 06:37

22 Mar 2017, 21:04 #6

I don't get the "star" treatment, but, that is mostly because I don't want the "guru", "star", or "expert" labels.

I am perfectly happy calling myself a "student of Navair", mostly because I do type mistakes now and then, and do recognize that there is always something more for me to learn on this subject.

My current project of overlapping the paint specs, the paint regs, air group assignments, the weapons intro date, and the aircraft features into one big timeline is proving to be almost as much fun as building models always was. And some pretty cool model ideas have popped out because of it.

"Showtime 100",,,,,,,,yeah, I am building one of those,,,,,,from the 1970 cruise on the USS America. (same aircraft, different year)
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