1/48 Revell Monogram/ Koster RF-101C Voodoo

Gallery Article by Steve Negley on Nov 11 2013



1/48 Revell Monogram/ Koster Conversion McDonnell Douglas RF-101C Voodoo

When Monogram first released this kit I have to say I was a little disappointed it wasn't the single seat version of the Voodoo. I picked this kit up some time ago at an IPMS sanctioned event in hope of finally building an F-101 in the photo recon version. I found two conversion kits online, one in resin and the other in a Vacu-form. I decided to go with the Koster vacu-form kit because it seemed like less work and the Koster conversion used more of the kit parts for the conversion. Had there been a cockpit set available I would have used one but I couldn't find any. After starting the converting and cutting, the Koster choice seemed like the right one.

The Koster Conversion Kit
This conversion kit comes complete with directions which I followed with a few alterations. The main components of the vacu-formed parts really did fit excellent. I left a bit of a plastic outline around the fuselage and exhaust sections to have something to sand after all the fitting. A very important part of the directions is to add some plastic strips to the vacu-formed parts of the forward fuselage section to help with the alignment of the fuselage when it comes time to cement them into place. The strips of plastic also add some strength to the thinner vacu-formed plastic parts. The area around the nose gear bay of the conversion needs some re-enforcing so I added some plastic around the kit nose gear bay and to the sides of the conversion kit. The nose gear bay relief on the conversion is a little wide so I added some .020 plastic sheet to the outside of the kit nose gear bay and added some .050 plastic to the inside of the conversion gear bay cutout for something to cement to. Doing this also added some strength to nose gear bay. Next came fitting the cockpit interior to the conversion. The Koster kit supplies an instrument panel but the kit panel was a little better detailed so I used it. I made a minor modification to the kit panel by filing a relief for the radar screen. There is nothing in the way of aftermarket resin for the Voodoo that I could find, thankfully the kit seats are pretty decent. Since you only need one for the conversion you have two to play with from the Monogram kit.

The main fuselage parts of the conversion fit nicely to the kit fuselage with hardly any kind of a seam.  The lower part of the wing also mated very nice to the conversion kit. The other part of the conversion involved removing the rear exhaust section and replacing it with the one supplied in the conversion kit. Some care and patience with this step is essential but the conversion parts fit nicely just by following the instructions. The correct resin exhaust cones are included in the conversion kit. After all the converting was done the model was looking pretty impressive.


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Panting and Decaling
I decided to go with the early NMF finish that the RF-101's had, apparently there was a corrosion problem with the F-101 in general and the USAF eventually painted all F-101's with the ADC grey then went to SEA camouflage. I painted the entire model with Alclad Duraluminum after giving it a generous coat of grey primer polished with 0000 steel wool. I let the model sit for a couple of days before starting the decaling. Since there are no decals for the RF-101 in this scale I had to be somewhat creative and clever to come up with the markings to finish this one up. For the tail marking I used Testors Modelmaster Insignia yellow and flat black then sprayed some Testors Glosscoat over the checker boards and let them dry. I drew the lightning bolt from scratch onto some printer paper then cut the master out with an x-acto knife, transferred the bolt onto some 3/4 inch masking tape and transferred that to some insignia red decal paper. I did the same process for the NMF background for serial numbers. The technique worked very well and I came out with some very nice tail markings for doing it from scratch. The letters and serial numbers as well as the USAF and US Air Force markings are from Aeromaster. National Insignia are from Supercale International. A lot of decal bashing! 

To finish off the decaling I had to make the walkways from scratch also. Using a six inch scale, I took the dimensions of the walkway outlines from the decal sheet supplied in the Monogram kit and drew these onto a regular sheet of white printer paper. I transferred this to a thin sheet of cardboard and cut out a jig with an x-acto knife for both walkways. I put the jig over a sheet of printer paper and sprayed the base color ( Dark Gull Gray) for the walkway. When the color had dried I applied the black outline with a regular black pen and scanned the finished walkways into my computer then printed the walkways on some clear decal paper.

This Rf-101C Voodoo flew with the 15th Tactical Recon Squadron, 67th Tactical Recon Wing, PACAF, Kadena AFB, Japan. Circa 1966-1967. Always a pleasure as a modeler to submit these articles to ARC. 

Steve Negley

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Photos and text by Steve Negley