Aeronvale Douglas F4D Skyray

Started by NARSES2, April 09, 2020, 07:09:23 AM

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Aeronvale Douglas F4D Skyray

In the early 1950's the French Navy had some huge investment plans which if they had come to fruition would have seen them gain the Mediterranean as a virtual French lake as well as seeing a large presence in the Eastern Atlantic. This new French Fleet was to be centred on two large nuclear aircraft carriers, the Bonaparte and the Foch, which were to provide the Fleet with its main strike assets.

One of the decisions that needed to be made fairly early on in the process was "what type of aircraft would the ships be provided with ?" Whilst the majority of types could be provided from a rejuvenated French aircraft industry it was obvious from early on in the process that this industry couldn't provide the pure interceptor that would not only be necessary to protect the carriers themselves, but would also be needed to protect the naval construction yards and naval bases. Therefore it was decided to purchase these "off the shelf" from the United States.

The type selected was the Douglas F4D Skyray and orders were placed towards the end of 1951 with deliveries commencing mid-1953. However by this time it was becoming fairly obvious to anyone who even vaguely thought about it that the French Navy (along with other European navies) was going to have to scale back its plans by quite a considerable degree. So in 1954 the Bonaparte's production timings were scaled back, they were already falling behind quite considerably, and the Foch was suspended. Deliveries of Skyray's were also scaled back, but those already delivered were sent to Flotilla's 12F and 14F and served to defend the shipyards where the Bonaparte continued under construction.

Eventually in early 1955 construction of the Bonaparte was also pulled and the French navy settled on two smaller, conventional carriers for its Fleet. The Skyray's already in service continued to see service defending the various French naval bases until the mid-1960's when they were gradually withdrawn from service and replaced by Mirage's of various types.

So, I wanted a fairly "relaxing" kit to tackle after a couple of more complicated ones and settled on a Tamiya Skyray I had in the stash. What can I say, other than it built as you would expect any Tamiya kit to build and was soon sitting there looking at me awaiting paint. As for paints I used Hataka for the main colours and here managed to make a little faux pas ! For some reason I used Dark Gull Grey on the upper surfaces rather than Light Gull Grey. No idea why, but I happen to think it looks quite good and any detailed back story will involve a cock up in the paint shop ! The rest of the colours were my usual mixed bag.

Transfers were a problem as I didn't have any to hand which would suit. However the site came to my aid as usual and a quick plea soon had a set of ESCI Aeronvale F8 Crusader transfers on their way from Gondor (Alistair). Thank you my friend.

So here we have a French Aeronvale F4D Skyray of Flottile 12F.

Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


VERY smart Chris.  :thumbsup:

I love the tri-colour wingtips and fin, tres Francais!  ;D
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)


The Rat

That looks lovely, and I'll second what Kit said about the markings, very nice!  :thumbsup:
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comrade harps

Quote from: PR19_Kit on April 09, 2020, 07:13:38 AM

I love the tri-colour wingtips and fin, tres Francais!  ;D

Yes, that is a nice touch!

Also, I like the darker grey: kind of suitable for Atlantic operations especially. :thumbsup:


Alle kunst ist umsunst wenn ein engel auf das zundloch brunzt!!

Sic biscuitus disintegratum!

Cats are not real. 
They are just physical manifestations of collisions between enigma & conundrum particles.

Any aircraft can be improved by giving it a SHARKMOUTH!


[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Absolutely gorgeous!!!  Gull Gray (light and dark both look great!) over white is one of my favorite aircraft schemes.   Seeing it with different national markings just makes me happy.   :wub: :thumbsup:
So I got that going for me...which is nice....



Very Cool :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: the Colors look Natural for the Skyray,the French Would have Loved the Plane i Think! the Was a Masterpiece Build,IMHO! Keep up the Superb Work :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: Dan


That looks absolutely  Bob on that does Chris  :thumbsup:
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!

Logan Hartke

I love the Skyray, and the French markings really suit it well.


I like that very much, great work, Chris! I also think the colors and markings suit it really well. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Old Wombat

Beautiful aircraft beautifully done! :wub:

Great job, Chris! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est



- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.