Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 RF-101C/G/H Voodoo Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2018||Manufacturer||Kitty Hawk Models|
|Kit Number||80116||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||First injection-molded kit of this subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$54.95|
The RF-101C Voodoo first flew in 1957 and entered service the following year. Of all of the Voodoo variants, the RF-101C was the only one to see action from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the jungles of Vietnam. The RF-101C featured a new longer nose that was purpose-built for photo-reconnaissance and 166 examples were built. Among the early arrivals into Vietnam with the F-100 Super Sabre, the RF-101C was initially immune to MiGs due to its high speed. As the SA-2 was introduced into North Vietnam, the RF-101C was forced to carry ECM pods which created enough drag to make them vulnerable to MiG attacks. The type was eventually replaced with the RF-4C Phantom II. To offset combat losses, F-101A and F-101C airframes had their radars and guns removed and replaced by camera gear. The F-101A became the RF-101G while the F-101C became the RF-101H, and together with the RF-101B, these all retained the shorter, rounder noses from their former lives.
Four years ago, Kitty Hawk released the F-101A/C Voodoo kit and from the outset, it was clear that more variants were coming. More recently, Kitty Hawk released the F-101B Voodoo and here we have the latest release - the RF-101C/G/H. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees plus two trees of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched parts. Let's take a closer look. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed ejection seat with photo-etched crew restraints
- Detailed cockpit with choice of decal or photo-etched instrument panel and side console details
- Positionable canopy (two types provided)
- Choice of long-nosed RF-101C or short-nosed RF-101G/H
- Nicely detailed intake ducts with J57 compressor faces
- Detailed afterburner chambers
- Positionable air refueling probe (G/H only)
- Positionable speed brakes
- Positionable landing flaps
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable stabilator
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable landing gear
- 2 x external fuel tanks
Markings are provided for five subjects:
- RF-101C, 56-0166, Operation Sun-Run, 'Cin-Min'
- RF-101G, 54-1459, 165 TRS/165 TRW/KY ANG
- RF-101C, 56-0053, 29 TRS, Shaw AFB
- RF-101A, 54-1500, RoCAF
- RF-101C, 56-0168, 45 TRS/460 TRW, Tan Son Nhut AB
For some reason, the RF-101C nose doesn't have the positionable air refueling probe option, but the parts are there in the box for the G/H probe bay, doors and probe, and these can be grafted onto a modified RF-101C nose with little effort.
This is the first and only production kit of the RF-101C in this scale. Ditto on the G/H variants as well. Until now, the only option was to modify the Monogram F-101B/RF-101B kit with a C&H Aero RF-101C nose, make a choice on the raised panel lines, and reset the afterburner chambers down to the proper length of the F-101A/C engines. With this release, these details are addressed and the panel lines are scribed. The markings provide a nice selection of bare metal and camouflaged subjects to satisfy the variety of interests out there.
My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!