This is the next
part of my USS Nimitz project. As you can tell by the title, this is the
airwing; CVW-8. There isn't much more I can add about the airwing, so much
has already been written about it. The difference this version of the
airwing has, are the invasion stripes that the fighter and bomber squadrons
had applied to their upper and lower starboard wings for Operation Eagle Claw.
As a result of my
last submission, and the first part of my Nimitz project (see above), I received
a few emails about my efforts. One in particular peaked my interest.
After a few emails back and forth, I learned he was the Aircraft Maintenance
Material Control Officer for VF-41. At the time of the launching he
was standing in between cats 1 & 2. I couldn't believe it,
someone who was actually there! What an honor this was. This project
took on a whole new level of detail with the knowledge he possesses.
One of the major changes that was made was the arrangement of the RH-53's and
CVW-8 aircraft, which I had totally wrong in the other article. Although he
was busy with the launching of VF-41, he did know where most of the -53's
were sitting. I was also advised on where to put and not to put the other
aircraft. As a result, the deck won't be nearly as crowded and more
prototypical. Plus, I learned that there was an EA-3B that was taken
aboard before they arrived on station. No resources I found mentioned
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I didn't do the
complete airwing, but at least one aircraft from each squadron. Basically,
whatever came in the Nimitz box or an add-on box is all I did. The RF-8's
are aftermarket resin from Corsair Armada. You get 2 in a package and they
have outstanding casting, only a small amount of flash around the landing
gear. I know it's the most detailed aircraft on the deck. I'd
almost bet its more detailed than some other aircraft at a larger scale.
All others are Trumpeter made. I had to get the F-14 and EA-6 add on boxes
to complete the airwing, as the Nimitz boxing comes with the airwing of the
Nimitz's maiden cruise. I found out later that there are 2 versions of the
F-14 (A and D) by Trumpeter. Of course, I got the wrong one, but I was
able to modify the parts to make A version F-14's. The aircraft were
all hand painted. We won't go back to that repressed memory. (shudder)
My problem is at this scale, I can't use an airbrush successfully. The
decals are 100% aftermarket. Half of the squadron decals are
Yankee Modelworks (EA-6, E-2, SH-3, RF-8, and the S-3) The other squadron
decals are new from Starfighter (2xF-14, 2xA-7, and the A-6) They are
specially made for this operation's time frame, with the invasion stripes.
As always with Starfighter decals, perfection. Most of the decals were
made "together". Example; all the decals that go on the nose are
put together, instead of 5 decals there is 1. This was a drawback
with the Yankees. Everything was a separate decal. As you can tell,
the EA-3B wasn't finished by the time this article was written. The EA-3B
decals for that cruise didn't exist before this project and I had a set made.
that I made based on the knowledge of someone that was there, is the
"kneeling" of the F-14's that are on the cats. I learned that
they lower 2 to 3 degrees. After I broke out the protractors and other
such measuring tools, it came out to 1mm needed to be trimmed off
the nose gear. I cut off the wheels, trimmed the gear and attempted to
glue the wheels back on. What I found out is, black plastic doesn't like
model glue. When I went to paint the nose gear, the wheels flew off,
only the "frame" of glue held them on. The glue never melted the
plastic. I wrestled the carpet monster and won!! I reapplied a
"frame" of glue and I am hopeful that the glue and paint will hold the
wheels on until I get the F-14's mounted to the deck.
One last tidbit.
If you study pics of F-14's you might see that their mid-air refueling probe
doors are missing. (I missed it) This was done on purpose, you
wouldn't want your door to dislodge and tangle with the refueling basket
(bad, terrible things can happen). When this detail was pointed out,
I immediately painted a removed door on all the F-14's.
That's about it,
normal construction with aftermarket decals. The result is amazingly
realistic marked aircraft that only existed for about 2 weeks.
I would like to
thank my friend for his invaluable knowledge he posses on all things naval
aircraft. This model wouldn't be nearly as meaningful without your
technical assistance and personal knowledge.
THANK YOU JIM B.!!!!
Any comments or
questions are always welcomed. If wanted, more photos are available upon
Thanks for looking
and don't throw rotten tomatoes!
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