Revell 1:48 F-15E 87-0183 - 336th TFS "Rocketeers", 4th TFW(P)

The Story

The 335th TFS "Rocketeers" were part of the initial forces rushed to the Middle East to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraq. On 9 August 1990 the 'Rocketeers' departed Seymour Johnson AFB for Seeb. While en route, they landed at Dhahran where F-15Cs of the 1st TFW were based and soon took off for Thummrait, Oman. There, they used prepositioned stocks of weapons and sat alert with armed jets ready to meet any Iraqi invasion crossing into Saudi Arabia. While based at Thummrait, an F-15E crashed into the ground during training sortie on 30 September 1990. The crew, Major Peter S. Hook and Capt. James B. Poulet, were killed while attempting a stern conversion on a low flying RAF Jaguar. In preparation for offensive operations against Iraq, the 336th TFS were moved closer by being based at Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia on 18 December 1990. There, there were joined by the 335th TFS and their Strike Eagles, two F-16A squadrons, and a f-15C squadron, which composed the 4th TFW (Provisional). On the night of 17 January 1991, the 336th TFS participated in the initial assault on Iraq. The first night was an unqualified success as all 24 aircraft put their bombs on target and returned home safe and sound. On 18 January 1991, Iraqi air defenses shot down a Strike Eagle belonging to the 336th TFS with SA-2 missiles. The crew, Col. David Eberly and Maj. Thomas Griffith were captured after three days on the ground. By the end of Operation 'Desert Storm', the 336th TFS had flown a total of 1,088 combat sorties, logging more than 3,200 hours. The squadron dropped more than 6.5 million pounds of ordnance. The 336th TFS returned to Seymour Johnson AFB on 13 March 1991.

The Kit

The Revell F-15E kit is a simple straight forward build. Some slight modifications were done with he ailerons, horizontal stabilizers, and rudders being cut off and repositioned. The 335th TFS had the most time with the few LANTIRN AN/AAQ-14 targeting pods sent to the theatre so I used only the kit AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod for my 336th TFS jet. The kit fuel tanks were converted to look like WRM fuel tanks and painted light ghost gray. I opted to use twelve Mk20 Rockeyes and four AIM-9 Sidewinders for the weapons load. Painting was done with Model Master FS 36118 Gunship Gray. The radome was painted slightly darker gunship gray and a few other panels painted lighter. At the time of this build, there are no decals available in 1:48 for a 336th TFS Desert Storm aircraft. Therefore, the decals I used were from a variety of sources. I did not like the quality of the kit decals so many of the stencils were replaced with decals from a Two Bobs F-15E sheet. I chose to portray F-15E 87-0183 because reference pictures were available of the aircraft during Desert Shield and after Desert Storm; and because it had the 336th TFS squadron insignia on the CFT. With examining pictures available and referencing the book "Strike Eagle: Flying the F-15E in the Gulf War", the pilot name was determined to be "Capt John Croghan". With help of a friend, the name was done in "flash bold" font and printed on clear decal paper. No WSO name was painted onto this aircraft. No picture was available for the right side crew names so I took some liberties there.