The latest in my set of micro-scale (roughly 1:200) aircraft -- Vietnam-era carrier based aircraft.
About this creation
After having built the aircraft of a modern carrier air wing, I figured that I'd try to build a complete set of Vietnam-era carrier aircraft at the same micro (roughly 1:200) scale. This proved to be a somewhat more difficult task than I had originally planned, for two reasons: (1) the composition of carrier air wings underwent quite a bit of change from the during the 1960s and 1970s, and (2) Vietnam-era aircraft are more difficult to build than modern aircraft because they are smaller and/or they have swept wings.
Almost all of the fighter (VF) squadrons during the Vietnam era were equipped with either the F-4 Phantom II or the F-8 Crusader. Towards the end of the war, the Crusader squadrons were generally found only in those air wings assigned to the Essex class carriers. On dedicated ASW carriers, a small detachment of A-4 Skyhawks filled the self-defense fighter role. The F-14 Tomcat became operational just as the Vietnam War was ending, so I chose not to include it here.
While it was supposed to be replaced by the A-6 Intruder prior to the outbreak of the Vietnam War, several carriers on Yankee Station were still operating the A-1 Skyraider, a prop-driven medium attack aircraft. The A-1 was soon phased out. The A-4 Skyhawk served throughout much of the war in the light attack role, but it, too, was phased out by the end of the war as the A-7 Corsair II became operational.
At the outset of the war, the A-3 Skywarrior and A-5 Vigilante were still serving in the heavy attack role, but they were both transitioned to electronic warfare, tanker, and photo reconaissance roles during the war.
Most ASW and SAR helicopter detachments began the war equipped with the UH-2 Sea Sprite, but by the end of the war, the SH-3 Sea King had replaced it.
The aerial early warning role was filled by the E-1 Tracer and the E-2 Hawkeye. The E-1 equipped VAQ squadrons were generally assigned to the older, and significantly smaller, Essex-class carriers, while the newer and larger Midway, Forrestal, and Kitty Hawk-class carriers generally recieved E-2 equipped VAQ squadron detachments.
The picture below shows the two predominant Vietnam-era carrier based fighters, the F-4 Phantom II and F-8 Crusader. Both of these aircraft underwent a number of revisions during the war. Most Phantom equipped VF squadrons went from F-4Bs in 1965 to F-4Js or F-4Ns by the mid 1970s. The Crusader went from the F-8E model to the F-8J, and included the RF-8G photo reconaissance variant.
The next picture shows the two helicopters that were operated from carriers during the Vietnam era, the UH-2 Sea Sprite and the SH-3 Sea King.
In the following picture, we have the light/medium attack aircraft that were used by the USN in Vietnam: The A-1 Skyraider, the A-4 Skyhawk, the A-6 Intruder, and the A-7 Corsair II.
The next picture show the two carrier-based heavy attack aircraft that were used in the Vietnam War, the A-3 Skywarrior and the A-5 Vigilante. Although both of these aircraft were originally built with the role of strategic nuclear bomber in mind, they both fulfilled other roles admirably.
In the final picture, we have a close-up of the AEW/ASW support aircraft, the S-2 Tracker, the E-1 Tracer, and the E-2 Hawkeye, all of which served throughout the Vietnam era (although the S-2 and E-1 were retired soon after). You might notice that the Tracker and Tracer look very similar. They were based on the same platform. In fact, one of the Tracer's nicknames was "Stoof with a roof" -- a play on words using the Tracker's old designation, "S2F".
Hi Matt, thanks for your recent comment on my P-47D! For some reason this one escaped me. The series of carrier-based aircrafts are absolutely excellent. It's amazing that you can build so small models with such a high degree of recognizability. The only one lacking resemblance, is the A1 Skyraider, but it still looks great.
I love all of these! The level of detail on such a small scale is fantastic!!! I really like the Hawkeye. One of my favorite planes. I am posting a new creation that has my Humvee built in real Legos. I have one picture as of now, but more will soon be added. So now you can get a real demonstration of the suspension that I made that you asked for details on. :)