Photo Album 25 - Top Gun Air Show

About me
Photo Album 1 - The Road to Minsk
Photo Album 2- The Road to Minsk
Photo Album 3 - The Road to Minsk
Photo Album 4- OS2U Kingfisher
Photo Album 5 - Flakvierling
Photo Album 6 - Building the Flakvierling
Photo Album 7 - Dauntless SBD
Photo Album 8 - Dauntless SBD
Photo Album 9 - Channel Gazing
Photo Album 10 - Stuka and Matilda
Photo Album 11- ME-109 and Spitfire V
Photo Album 12 - Anzio
Photo Album 13 - Anzio
Photo Album 14 - Bastogne Aftermath
Photo Album 15 - Normandy Ambush & more
Photo Album 16 - The First Time I Saw Paris
Photo Album 17- Aachen 1944
Photo Album 18 - Aachen 1944
Photo Album 19 - PT109
Photo Album 20 - "Corner Kick" Curtiss P-40
Photo Album 21 - Building "Corner Kick"
Photo Album 22 - Black Widow
Photo Album 23 - Assorted models
Photo Album 24 - Somewhere in Saudi (A-10)
Photo Album 25 - Top Gun Air Show
Photo Album 26 - Top Gun Airshow 2
Photo Album 27 - The Mother of all Battles
Photo Album 28 - The First Night - F-111
Photo Album 29 - My kids are in on the action - Christian's Dioramas
Photo Album 30 - My kids are in on the action - Nicole's Dinosaurs
Photo Album 31 - Coming Soon - Operation Market Garden
Photo Album 32 - The War Room
Photo Album 33 - Antique Ships Restoration Project
Photo Album 34 - Restoration Project II
Photo Album 35 - Restoration Project III
Photo Album 36 - Restoration Project IV
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Top Gun Air Show


Above: An overview of the whole diorama. Inspired by the movie "Top Gun", this diorama has the major aircraft depicted in the movie. For "our side", the fabulous Grumman F-14A Tomcat. For the "opposition" in the war games, on the left is one of the most durable and adaptable aircraft designs in history, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk (to this day my favorite jet).  To the right, a Northrop F-5 Tiger II "Freedom Fighter", painted in Russian "Aggressor" squadron colors. Included in the diorama are various weapons systems carried by these aircraft, including the Phoenix missile (on the trailer behind the truck), AIM 9L Sidewinders (on the F-5 wingtips), and Sparrow AAMs on the lone trailer in front of the Skyhawk. The truck is a small metal toy I got at Wal-Mart and converted for this diorama; the winch and rear section of the truck are scratchbuilt. This diorama is dedicated to my family, as the Tomcat is named after me, the F-5 after my sister Rica, and the A-4 after my brother Jacques. MP's can be seen in front of the Skyhawk guarding the three aircraft. In the center foreground, Navy personnel prepare literature (the paper is real and has print) for the expected crowds of spectators. Posters in front of the tables describe the aircraft. The area is cordoned off using chain link neckchains painted yellow. The posts are pellets from a pellet gun with earring posts glued on top of them.

Air Show - F14A Overall View.jpg

Above: The F-14A Tomcat. The latest, but hopefully not last,  "cat" from the Grumman stable, this plane was the staple area defense aircraft for US Navy carrier groups until the recent advent of the F/A-18 Hornet. Fast, maneuverable and carrying a heavy payload, the Tomcat was the right plane at the right time for our country. Able to engage multiple targets at once, the Tomcat's Phoenix missles can engage and down aircraft at a range of 100 miles. This model was extensively modified from a Monogram 1/48 kit. I made so many mistakes, I had to buy 4 kits to get replacement parts. The leading edge slats in front of the wing were cut out from the original wing and added in the open position. The gun compartment did not exist in the original model, and I cut it out and built the General Electric rotary cannon from scratch. The nose section was cut off, and the Hughes radar built from scratch and added. The tailerons are mounted on metal rods inserted in a rubber tube lubricated with oil, and they rotate freely with hydraulic precision. To add to the detail on this aircraft and all my others, I trace the panel lines and rivets in pencil to make them stand out. Removable panels are painted a slightly different shade and small aluminum paint "nicks" are added to show normal wear and tear. Total time for just the F-14 was well over 100 hours.


Above: The scratchbuilt gun and gun compartment. The GE rotary gun was built with small metal tubing, wrapped around assorted parts made from sheet platic and junk plastic parts. I had good pictures to work from, but the assembly was tedious, and the fuselage had to be cut out just right to fit the homemade compartment. Hoses and control panels were made from dollhouse wiring and spare parts - I used the same to super detail the front landing gear compartment. The gun and fittings took about 15 hours, cutting out and sanding the fuselage for fitting took about 2-3 hours.


Above: The Hughes radar behind the nose section. This compartment is also scratchbuilt, as is the radar. The radar is mounted on a swivel from a lego toy, and it moves freely back and forth, as well as up and down. The swivel is mounted behind the wall. The nose cone is removeable, and held in place by a rubber band that was inserted around the compartment opening and painted. The nose cone fits snuggly in place over the rubber band and can be easily removed.