Author Topic: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971  (Read 1576 times)

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Offline trickyrich

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Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« on: January 12, 2015, 08:10:14 am »
Ok it's been a while since I posted anything......or actually worked of one of my projects! So I had better pull my finger out, so here's the latest. (please note I'm running this thread on three different sites so there maybe a bit of cut-n-pasting as I am a bit lazy!)

This was inspired by one of or members amazing profile pictures, which after seeing I knew I just had to build. Plus it also fits in quite nicely with other GB's I have plans for this year. This is thread will start off with the planning but I hope to have the physical work started either in May or August to co-inside with a planned GB.......or I'll get too excited about it and start it and time permitting! 

As mentioned this project was inspired by some of Logan’s amazing profiles, specifically those of the B-51 (XB-51) shown below. The Israeli version was the one I found the most interesting, but the nose of the second one I liked as well. So the plan was hatched to combine them both and build a precision strike aircraft for the Israeli air force.

I also have another project that I’ve shown here (hmmmm maybe....) for a RAAF Skyshark operating in Vietnam. That really got me thinking these past couple of days and now I finally have a plan!!!  I’m chasing a 1/48 Collect-Aire XB-51, so I may get to do both eventually!

So a real “WhatIf” scenario.....

The Martin XB-51 was given the go ahead over the EE Canberra as the USAF’s new ground attack aircraft. The Australian government at this was also looking at a replacement for the Avro Lincoln bombers, and with strengthening ties to the US chose the B-51 over the Canberra. The contract also allowed for the aircraft to be built locally, with the first aircraft entering service in late 1953, initially seeing action in the Malayan Emergency.

In 1967 in response to the request of the US, 2 Sqn sent a detachment of aircraft to Vietnam, primarily for bombing missions over the southern region, where they were commended for their performance. No.2 Sqn were deployed again in 1971 again in bombing support missions as well as a new ground attack role. For this the RAAF were supplied under a lend-lease arrangement 6 new “Tropic Moon III” B-51G’s, which had a modified nose containing FLIR, LLTV and laser designator. Plus one special Pave Gat modified aircraft that was fitted with a single M61 20mm cannon mounted in an Emerson TAT-161 turret fitted to a modified bomb bay. These aircraft were deployed to help combat the movement of enemy troop and supplies along the Ho Chi Min trail and other areas. Though not 100% successful at this task when compared to the AC-130’s, these aircraft served the rest of their time in Vietnam in this role carrying out over 12000 sorties for the loss of only two aircraft.

On return to Australia they served with No’s 1 & 6Sqn until the last was retired in 1982, they were ultimately replaced by the North American A-5C & RA-5C Vigilante (can see another project here!).

So this one is going to be one of the Tropic Moon B-51G’s, maybe even the Pave Gat one. I’ll be using a Anigrand XB-51 as the base and pinching the nose and other bits off an old B-57G I have, plus whatever else I can find in the spares box or on Evilbay which will suit the build. The scheme will be standard USAF SEA colours, it’s a “lend-lease” aircraft with RAAF 2Sqn markings.

The only thing I felt that wasn’t quite right with the nose of the USAF B-51 was the angle of the radome and chin pod, they seem to be facing too far down. So a quick visit in Photoshop (hope you don’t mind Logan) and a nose job later......

So that's the plan, I have pretty much all I need but may get some extra bits along the way, now just need a starting date.......more like clear the bench of other projects!

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 08:39:01 am »
I look forward to this  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Vorcha

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 08:40:24 am »
wow, can't wait to see it become real! I always loved the B-51  :wub:
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 05:40:54 am »
Now that I like ! No, love ! Always even a sucker for lizard camo, a/c of that era and lumps and bumps. Perfect trio combined right here !

Awesome job.
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?

Offline Hman

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 06:01:13 am »
Like this a lot... :wub:

While we wait we can watch this...
"Lusaka Tower, this is Green Leader..."

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 06:20:27 am »
While we wait we can watch this...

The B-51 surely is one BIG mother of an aeroplane, for a single seater anyway.  :o

And would all and sundry be allowed so close to grople all over an aircraft these days like they did to the first Canberra pattern aircraft?  :o
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Project - "Tropic Moon III" B-51G - 2 Sqn. RAAF Vietnam 1971
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 07:08:27 am »
It was actually always a two-seater, it just had one guy stuffed down in the fuselage, like a Sea Vixen or Canberra PR9.