VF-101 Grim Reapers Van

Gallery Article by Hal Elsberry on Jan 8 2010

Silly Week 2010


I purchased a Revell re-issue of the Deals Wheels Peace van.  I had so much fun building it that I had to go and get another.  There is a video on the internet of some guys that have modified a real van into an A-10 replica complete with a pilot in flight gear sitting on top of the van.  In the video they drive around desert throwing bombs at simulated targets.  At one point, they are engaged by a missile and must fire off chaff.  In their case, an old lawn chair and some empty beer cans are kicked out the back door.  This gave me the inspiration for my van.  I have a fairly large stash of decals for models that I plan to build, and amongst that stash are quite a few F-14 decals.  I tell myself that it doesnít matter that I have only built one F-14 in the 30+ years that I have been building models, they are there when I decide to build another.

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I decided to build a van that an F-14 enthusiast would like to have.   I modified the driver by adding a helmet made out of epoxy putty and some decals left over from past projects.  For emergencies, I added an ejection handle to the dash board.  I modified the aircraft paint scheme to fit the van with VF Decalís  VF-101 Grim Reapers decals.  They seemed to fit perfectly.

Building these caricatures of vans is a lot of fun.  They are a quick and easy build.  I have built 2 and will probably pick up at least one more.  Silly Week is a great chance to push the rivet counting aside and set the imagination free.  Thanks!

Hal Elsberry

Photos and text © by Hal Elsberry