Rockwell F-15

Started by CammNut, April 19, 2020, 06:05:11 PM

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There is not much of a backstory to this model, but there is a backsaga the build. I have always thought the North American Rockwell's entry in the US Air Force's F-X fighter competition - the NA-335 - was better looking than McDonnell Douglas' winning design for the F-15. But I never thought I could model it.

Then, after a couple of surprisingly successful "hacking and hewing" whiffs, I happened across a half-completed 1/72 F-15 model looking forlorn in its box, shorn of its tail for another project. And I thought, why not? Well, here it is:

First step was to cut off the wings. Then partially separate the intake trunks from the airframe and, by brute force, push them down and together, extending them with plastic card to create the twinned chin inlets of the NA-335.

Meanwhile, the F-15's forward fuselage was moved up and a horizontal slice removed to reduce its height. Then the radome was trimmed to match the slimmer nose. Wings are from an Airfix Vigilante, resculpted with the NA-335's swoopily curved leading edges.

Then came the challenge – I seriously doubted I could capture the graceful blending of the NA-335's wings and fuselage. But with much plastic card, sections cut from the forward fuselage of a Heller Rafale A and lots of puttying and sanding, I was pleasantly surprised.

The Rafale also donated its fuselage spine and one wing to form the NA-335's vertical tail, while the Vigilante gave up its horizontal stabilators for reshaping. The tail booms were shortened and reshaped, large ventral fins and small nose strakes added and the F-15 canopy reframed. The color scheme and markings are for a US Air Force F-15C.

Unlike the McDonnell Douglas design, the NA-335 had only one fin. Instead it had two ventral fins for stability at Mach 2.5. These folded up under the fuselage for takeoff and landing. But as these fins are such a signature feature of the design I wanted to model them down (for flying round my den going whooosh!).

Now comes the twist in the story. Having completed the painting and decaling, I stumbled in my home office (sorry, modeling den), put out a hand to stop myself falling – crushing the near-complete NA-335. This was December 2019. I put the splintered model away for a few months, unable to look at it.

Then coronavirus lockdown and group-build paralysis kicked in – with my "In the navy" Convair P-7 build stalled awaiting decals, and the Martin P-6 complete, my attention drifted back to the crippled NA-335.

Oh, and one final admission. After I had completed, painted and decaled (but not yet shattered) the model, I realized the 3-view drawing I was following slavishly as reference – representing the NA-335 late in design – was the one and only image in which the aircraft did NOT have a swept tail.

The swept tails on other NA-335 technical drawings and artists' impressions look more elegant, and I was prepared to rip the fin off and start again, but I started to like the look of the unswept fin. To me, it made the "Rockwell F-15" more believable. So on it stayed.


Utterly brilliant


comrade harps

Kitbashed, PSR-d, broken and still so smooth! My hat's off to you, Sir.  :thumbsup:


Superb work, much more graceful and Eagle like that the McDD jobbie  :thumbsup:
Project Cancelled SIG Secretary, specialising in post war British RN warships, RN and RAF aircraft projects. Also USN and Russian warships


Will die without understanding this world.


Excellent work!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
With that chin intake, it looks like it's the F-16's older brother... :o ;D
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"


That is WONDERFUL! No other word does it justice.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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! :)



That's excellent, and a beautiful aircraft, too!  :thumbsup:


After all those trials and tribulations - it looks really good.  :)  Well done, sir!   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Thistle dew, Pig - thistle dew!

Where am I going?  And why am I in a handbasket?

It's dark in the dark when it's dark. Ancient Ogre Proverb

"All right, boyz - the plan iz 'Win.'  And if ya lose, it's yer own fault 'coz ya didn't follow the plan."


Thanks folks. I'm glad a moment of uncharacteristic zen calmness prevented me from scrapping this one



- 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..


Quote from: PR19_Kit on April 20, 2020, 02:18:57 AM
That is WONDERFUL! No other word does it justice.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Totally agree  :bow:
Decals my @r$e!


Quote from: PR19_Kit on April 20, 2020, 02:18:57 AM
That is WONDERFUL! No other word does it justice.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I agree, I think, while (as English is not my mother language) I try another word: GORGEOUS! :wub: :wub: :wub:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Ed S

Nice conversion. That is a sleek looking bird.
We don't just embrace insanity here.  We feel it up, french kiss it and then buy it a drink.