1/72 Hasegawa RF-101C Voodoo

by Dennis Brackett



I fondly remember the late 1950’s and early1960’s for the wonderful aircraft that made up the Century Series of jet aircraft.  These jets exemplified the quest for speed with supersonic performance to counter the perceived threat of incoming Soviet long range bombers.  This was also a heyday for competing nations to establish aircraft performance records. Breakthroughs in powerplants and airframes pushed altitude, time-to-climb and all-out speed records to new heights as the cold war raged. 



Operation Sun Run was an effort to use RF-101C Voodoos to establish new transcontinental speed records between Los Angeles and New York.  Four aircraft were involved including aircraft number three.  What was striking about Sun Run Voodoo #3 was the “day glo” orange panels that were added to the fuselage and flying surfaces.  I don’t know if the other aircraft sported these high visibility panels.  With only one photo of aircraft #3 that I could find on line I decided to attempt to model that specific aircraft. 


I have discovered briefing sticks ala “Top Gun” as a way to display models in flying condition with gear retracted.  My briefing stick models have evolved to emphasize the aspects of model building that I particularly enjoy.  I usually build my models without external stores except an occasional fuel tank.  I have eliminated worries about cockpit detail by painting over the canopy (desk top model) style. This elimination of cockpit, underwing stores and landing gear detail allows more time for assembly, surface preparation, masking, painting, decaling and weathering, all of which I thoroughly enjoy.  I use .065 carbon rod for the stick that usually runs up into the burner can of the jet engine.  This stick is installed pretty early in the assembly process and facilitates the hours of handling required to complete a model.  Following completion, briefing sticks are user friendly models that have few parts to knock off and are easy to keep clean.  I just rinse them off in the sink if they get dusty.  One of the best features of a briefing stick model is that you can pick them up and admire your work without fear of handling rash.  I store in-progress and completed models by plunging the stick into a block of white styrofoam packing clamped to a shelf.  



I used my dust covered Hasegawa RF-101C kit that I aquired years ago.  Even with raised panel lines, this vintage kit builds up into a nice model.  This model was built OOB adapting the kit decals with a few spares to approximate the markings on the Voodoo.  After tedious masking, the model was painted with Model Master Metalizer enamels and Metalizer day glo.  Wing walk areas were painted Gull Gray. I cooked the area aft of the engines with MM burnt iron and jet exhaust.  I used flat black for the nose cone, anti-glare panel and canopy.  The canopy was misted with metalizer for a reflective sheen.  Following decaling, the model was coated with Testor’s clear and slightly weathered with an oil wash.  One more clear coat was applied to complete the model.

Click on images below to see larger images




I am pleased with the completed Sun Run Voodoo.  Building briefing sticks is the only possible way I will ever hope to make a dent in the stash of kits I have accumulated over the years.  Even with the simplified assembly and many deviations from scale, briefing sticks are fun and challenging to build.  Oh and did I mention you can fly your completed models while sitting at your desk contemplating your next project?  I already have several cross country flights with my record-breaking Voodoo and never even left my chair.


Photos and text © by Dennis Brackett