by Scott Persons
The FB-111A, derived from the F-111A, was modified to perform the USAF Strategic Air Commandís nuclear deterrent mission.
Major differences between the F and FB models included the addition of the long span wing found on the F-111B and F-111C, Fuselage length increased by 2 ft, 1 in, additional mission avionics, ECM, AGM-69A SRAM capability, stronger main landing gear and uprated TF-30 turbofan engines.
The FB-111A entered service as a long range medium bomber with SAC in
1969 with the 340th Bomb Wing, then at Carswell AFB, Texas.
Although retired from SAC service in 1991, the FB was redesigned F-111G
and would remain in the USAF inventory a few more years and later, a number were
acquired by the RAAF.
Using the Academy 1/48 scale FB-111 as a basis, I proceeded to modify and detail the kit.
Starting with the cockpit, I totally discarded the kit provided parts and used the Verlinden F-111F cockpit, which I modified to FB standard. Modifications included the addition of FB specific console and main panel details and added the Combat Mission Folder (CMF) storage boxes located at the rear of both the Aircraft Commanderís and Radar-Navigatorís consoles. I cut the canopy open using a razor saw and added the appropriate latches and other small canopy details including the flash curtains.
Lastly, the canopy was tinted using Tamiya smoke.
I next turned my attention to the fuselage where I rebuilt and detailed the main and nose gear wells, detailed the gear struts with brake/hydraulic/electrical lines and added MV lenses for landing/taxi lights.
I also boxed in the intakes and added fan blade fronts to represent the intakes for the first stage engine compressors. To give my FB a more candid appearance, I decided to open the weapons bay.
Using photos and an actual FB-111 Technical Order as a guide, I cut the
bay area open, scratch built the bay and fabricated new doors and door hinges
from sheet styrene. Finally, numerous
small details were added such as antennas, dialectric panels, and the window for
the stellar navigation system was located on the raised area between the canopy
In keeping with my desire to create a more candid appearance, I decided to drop/extend the flaps and slats on my model. Since the FB-111 uses the extended span wing (3 Ĺ ft longer) of the B/C model), I was unable to use Paragonís exquisite flap/slat set which is appropriate for the A/D/E/F/EF models only.
I cut the flap/slat surfaces from the kit wings and scratch built new flaps, leading edge slats and fuselage glove vanes using sheet styrene once again. Maybe someone could convince Paragon to produce a long wing set too!
One final note. The wings and fuselage were assembled in a manner that
would allow me to slide them in position after final painting and decaling was
My model depicts a late 70ís SIOP EWO configured FB-111A from the 343BMS, 509BMW.
The configuration consist of four external tanks, two external AGM-69 SRAMís, and two B-61 nuclear gravity bombs in the weapons bay. The kit provided external tanks are inaccurate and I replaced them with four tanks taken from Monogramís A-10. The outboard tank and pylon are positioned to represent the 10 degree nose in angle with the wing at full forward sweep.
In addition to the tanks, the kit pylons are incorrect for the FB-111 and were replaced by two sets of Maintrack Models FB-111 pylons which were also modified to represent the differences between weapons and tank pylons. The AGM-69 SRAMs came form the Revell B-1B kit and were modified with the aerodynamic fairing that cover the rear of the missile when carried externally. The two B-61s in the weapons bay were taken from the Testorís/Italeri F-117 kit.
My FB-11A is finished in the standard 70ís SAC SIOP scheme consisting
of FS 34079 Green, FS 34159 Green,
FS 34201 Tan, with the standard white anti-flash bottom.
All colors were from Testorís Model Master line. (SAC used different
colors and pattern from the F-111s assigned to TAC and USAFE).
Click the thumbnail to view the
image full size.
and Article Copyright © 2000 by Scott