1/72 Meng F-102 Delta Dagger Vermont ANG part 8

Gallery Article by Andrew Desautels  (a.k.a. "Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy") on Nov 30 2020

 

      

The Vermont Air National Guard was founded in 1947 as the 134th Fighter Squadron. Based in Burlington, Vermont, they were tasked with the air defense of the Northeastern United States, and a secondary mission of ground attack. 

In 2015 I decided to undertake the building of their entire aircraft history in 1/72, as they are based in my birth city. This was ambitious since no decals exist for most of their aircraft as of this writing, leaving me to test the limits of my resourcefulness. 

In 1965 the Green Mountain Boys finally went supersonic with F-102 Delta Daggers. At last, they had a mount with enough speed to easily intercept incoming bomber formations. It was during this period that I was born in Burlington within earshot of their powerful afterburner takeoffs. My father would often watch and photograph the Vermont Deuces coming and going from the runway fence. It was in this setting that the first seeds of my lifelong passion for aircraft would be sown. 

The F-102 would have an unusually long tenure with the 134th, from 1965-74. This was far longer than any of its predecessors, and longer than its successors until the arrival of the F-16Cís. 

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The Meng 1/72 kit is a wonderful addition to the Century series, as the venerable Hasegawa kit has become quite long in the tooth. I replaced the pitot tube with a metal aftermarket example. Otherwise it is a marvelous build for a first-time Deuce-builder. 

Model Master enamels were used throughout, with Alclad polished aluminum for the tips of the drop tanks. And, finally, this was one of the very few Vermont aircraft for which decals exist in 1/72. The accuracy and quality of the Wolfpak decals is superb. They represent their appearance at the 1972 William Tell competition. These were supplemented with kit decals and data stenciling from a Superscale sheet. Extra attention was put into marking the AIM-4 missiles as accurately as possible without actually having adequate decals for them. 

Next time is Vermont ANG part 9: EB-57 Canberra.

Andrew Desautels

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Photos and text © by Andrew Desautels