1/48 Monogram RF-8G Photo Crusader

Gallery Article by Shawn "phantom" Weiler on Sept 20 2019



I received this kit and conversion stuff from another modeller. During its time on the shelf I seem to have misplaced the instructions so I have no idea which company made the resin conversion. However, it was nicely cast and fits the old Monogram kit very well. As its a Crusader which is a pretty straight forward airframe the lack of instructions was not a major issue. Just looked at the builds all ready on my shelf to remember things like which way does the landing gear fit.

Click on images below to see larger images

The kit was missing a few parts. Such as the main wheels. Search as I could I had nothing in my spare parts bin that really worked. Except....for a pair of wheels from a trashed Hornet. The tires are way too thick, but the right circumference..More or less. With a little clean up they actually fit the Monogram landing gear pretty well.

The original plan was to do the airframe up in the colours of a 1978 cruise aboard Nimitz. Unfortunately my only reference was a copy of the movie "The Final Countdown". The scenes with the Crusader were very brief and really did not show what the airframe BuNumbers were. So using the old tried and true "library of old books" in the basement I found a Squadron Signals book which showed a nice colourful Crusader which served on USS Shangri-La around 1968. I also had some very colourful Albatross decals I picked up around 20 years ago with the stripes that fit the model. Combine the AJ from an unused VFA-87 Hornet Fightertown sheet and the tail markings looked good. Then it was just a matter of creating the correct BuNum from the spare bin from old Superscale sheets. I added a pilot and resin seat to fill out the no doubt in correct for a photo Crusader cockpit. The shark teeth intakes are just a simple hand painted job. The USS Shangri-La markings are from a 1/72 A-4 sheet which must have been in the stash at least 30 years. This is why you need to hold on to those old decals. You never know when they will come in handy.

Shawn "phantom" Weiler

Photos and text by Shawn "phantom" Weiler