The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was affectionately known as the "Thud".  Rumor has it that it got that name because that is the sound it makes when it hits the ground!  It was also said that even a Frisbee could out turn a Thud.  Be that as it may, the Thud was a remarkable aircraft.  Down in the dirt nobody could keep up with a Thud.  They also carried a very heavy hammer, to the tune of a M-61 20mm Vulcan cannon plus 14,000 pounds of ordnance.

The F-105 was initially designed as a supersonic fighter bomber to replace the F-84F.  The intial design concept was actually a company-funded development of Republic known as Republic Advanced Project 63 or AP-63-FBX.  The original design was similar to an extended F-84 with an internal bomb bay, but the design was significantly changed for the production version of the F-105.  The first flight of the YF-105A prototype #54-0098 was on October 22, 1955.  The first combat-ready production aircraft, an F-105B-6 number 54-0111, was delivered to the Air Force on May 27, 1958.  In all, 833 aircraft were built before production ended in 1964.

This is a model of a Republic F-105D-31-RE Thunderchief, USAF serial number 62-4372 assigned to the 357 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355 Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base during 1969 and 1970.  The model is being built for a friend and is detailed to represent the aircraft as he flew it in Vietnam.

"372" had a long history with the USAF.  It was built and delivered to the Air Force in 1962 and flew until August 26, 1981 when it crashed at Tinker Air Force Base.  While it flew with the 357 TFS at Takhli RTAFB it was known as the "Supersonic Salamander".

Manufacturer: Trumpeter 1/32 scale F-105D Thunderchief

Aftermarket: Eduard 32513 F-105 Thunderchief Ejection Seat
Eduard 32514 F-105 Thunderchief Interior Set
Eduard 32208 F-105 Thunderchief Armament Set
BlackBox F-105 Thunderchief Cockpit Set
BlackBox F-105 Thunderchief Wheel Well Update Set
Legend Dimensions F-105 Ejection Seat
Cutting Edge CEC32154 Fuselage Correction Set #1
Cutting Edge CEC32150 Corrected Fin & Rudder
Cutting Edge CEC32014 M117 750 lb Bombs
Contact-Résine Weighted Resin Wheels
Scale Aircraft Conversions Metal Main Gear Struts
Custom Decals by Spare Time Hobbies

Note that there is a good bit of duplication in some of these aftermarket sets so some of the parts will not be used and others will be combined.  My goal is to use whatever makes the best appearaing combination of parts.  I never knew there were so many aftermarket parts for this kit until I got everything from the owner!

Finishing: The fuselage was painted in the standard "Southeast Asia" camouflage pattern common on F-105's of the era.  It was finished using a base of Testors Model Master enamel (blended to the owner's color choice) on the bottom and flat white enamel on top.  The camouflage pattern was then painted using PollyScale Tactical Tan (FS-30219), Testors Model Master Medium Green (FS-34102) and PollyScale Dark Green (FS-34079).  All of the camouflage colors used were acrylic over an enamel base.  Metallic areas were a combination of Testors Model Master Aluminum Metalizer (landing gear), Alclad II Stainless Steel (engine, speed brakes, gun blast plate, etc), and Alclad II Chrome (hydraulic piston rods, etc).  The cockpit is primarily Testors Model Master Dark Ghost Gray (FS-36320) which matched the pre-printed areas of the Eduard color photoetch cockpit set.  All but a few minor detail areas were airbrushed with a Thayer and Chandler Omni 4000 for general coverage and a Badger 100LG for fine detail areas.  Per the owner's request the panel lines on this model were not washed.

The decals from the kit were used in most places, however the tail number "RU-372", airplane name, and some other decals that contain the aircraft number were custom printed.  I did the artwork in CorelDRAW! and shipped it to Spare Time Hobbies for final printing.  The cost was reasonable and having the correct tail number on the airplane certainly increases the level of accuracy.  Per the owner's request many of the smaller decals were omitted.  He wanted only the larger decals shown so that's what he got.

After painting two coats of Future were sprayed to provide a smooth base for the decals.  Once the decals were complete two coats of Pollyscale Clear Flat were sprayed to give the model an overall flat finish.

Build Started: September 3, 2005
Build Completed: June 30, 2006

Click Here For Construction Notes and Information

All images above are links to larger photographs.  Click the thumbnail image to view the larger one.

The aircraft is finished per the owner's criteria.  Specifically, there is no panel line wash at all and no "Remove Before Flight" flags except on the pitot tube (the reason that one is there is because the pitot is steel and I kept poking myself with it!).

The owner picked it up on June 30, and I think he was pleased with the end result.  I know for certain that I had a lot of fun building this one, and consider it an honor to have built it for someone who actually flew them in combat.  Joe, buddy, it was a privilege builing this one and I really appreciate the opportunity.

Click Here For Construction Notes and Information
Aircraft Name: Republic Aviation F-105D-31-RE Thunderchief
Year of Construction:1962
Aircraft Category:Fighter Bomber / Nuclear Strike Fighter
Wing Span:34'-11"
Overall Length:64'-5"
Gross Weight:52,838 lbs
Engine:One Pratt & Whitney J75-P-19W with afterburner
Thrust:24,500 lbs. (with afterburner)
Speed:1,390 mph
Range:2,206 miles
Ceiling:51,000 ft
Date of First Flight:October 22, 1955 (YF-105A), June 9, 1959 (F-105D)

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