Red Lightning Crusaders

Two new F-8 Crusader profiles have been added. This time a F-8C Crusader of VF-91 "Red Lightnings" as they appeared in late 1962 and a F-8E Crusader of VF-194 "Red Lightnings" as this CAG bird appeared in 1967. VF-91 was redesignated to VF-194 on Aug. 1st, 1963, and would continue to operate the Crusader until 1976. The squadron would be among the very few Crusader equipped units to transfer to the Phantom after the Tomcat was introduced into fleet service. Below you can find both the VF-91 gallery and the VF-194 Gallery. Enjoy ! VF-91 "Red Lightnings" VF-194 "Red Lightnings"

By |2019-08-07T17:37:25+00:00August 7th, 2019|F-8 Crusader, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments

Jolly Roger on the Cat

As usual I don´t have a name for this piece...some of you might be able to help me with that. Please let me hear your suggestions in the comments below ;) This piece depicts a F-4J Phantom of VF-84 Jolly Rogers, putting the throttles to max just seconds before being shot of the deck of USS Roosevelt (CVA-42). The Shooter is giving the launch signal, and the steam catapult are ready to accelerate the Phantom to launch speed in a matter of seconds. I´ve been trying to capture the heat, noise and intensity of the moment, but let me know if you think i´ve nailed it ;) below is a few samples of the piece (not in full resolution, but about 2/3s the resolution of the original). [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By |2019-08-06T12:08:59+00:00August 6th, 2019|F-4 Phantom, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|4 Comments

Early Red Lightnings

For an upcoming project regarding the history of the Red Lightnings, these three profiles have been completed: The F9F-2 Panther, the F9F-8 Cougar and the FJ-3 Fury, covering their years from 1952 to 1958. At this time the squadrons designation was VF-91. The squadron would later be equipped with Crusaders and in 1963 be redesignated to VF-194 "Red Lightnings". The squadron would later fly both Phantoms and Tomcats, and those will of cause be covered too, but at a later date. Below is the three VF-91 profiles that have just been added to the VF section. Hope you like them !

Swordsmen Phantom

The Swordsmen operated the F-4 Phantom from 1966 to 1973 when the squadron transitioned to F-14 Tomcats, along with it´s sister squadron VF-14. This illustration depicts the very last paint scheme ever to have been worn by a Swordsmen Phantom. VF-32 were among the first squadrons to get the all new F-14 Tomcat and thus the squadron didn´t operate the F-4 for long. Perhaps thats why you don´t see as many photos of VF-32 Phantoms around the web...a bit of a shame, as they actually are both quite attractive and different from the style used on most other contemporary squadrons. What to read the CVW-1 article in its entirety ? Here´s a link (If you read it, make sure to let me know what you think) Here´s the VF-32 album in its entirety:

By |2019-07-07T17:43:06+00:00July 7th, 2019|F-4 Phantom, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments

Swordsmen Crusader

For the CVW-1 article recently completed, this F-8D Crusader was completed. Although the article deals with F-4 Phantom colors and markings, the last aircraft VF-32 flew before transitioning to the F-4 Phantom is also depicted. It seems that most squadron either transitioned from the Demon to the Phantom or from the Crusader to the Phantom, and naturally for the Swordsmen, the transition was made from the last gunfighter to the first (perhaps one of the first) multirole aircraft: The F-4 Phantom. Here´s the Crusader depicted as it looked in 1965 shortly before the transitioning took place. What to read the CVW-1 article in its entirety ? Here´s a link Here´s the VF-32 album as it looks at this point:

By |2019-07-07T17:46:07+00:00July 7th, 2019|F-8 Crusader, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments

CVW-1 Phantoms

It´s no secret that I´m currently working on a article about the colors and markings of F-4 Phantom in CVW-1 service. At the moment 15 illustrations have been made and 5 more will follow. Here´s a few teasers that will show you what to expect: Two profiles of VF-14 F-4B Phantoms (CAG bird from the 1965 and the 1971 deployements respectively), and a F-4B Phantom of VF-32 "Swordsmen" from the Vietnam war deployment in 1966. It´s been an interesting journey to delve into the paint schemes of the two squadrons, but also to keep track of the various updates that were given to the squadrons aircraft between and during the deployments. With the kind help of Peter Greengrass these illustrations have been made and will be made available to you in Smoke Trails magazine this summer (at a later date also on this site. Click the illustrations below to be taken to the VF-14 and VF-32 sections

By |2019-07-01T19:18:56+00:00July 1st, 2019|F-4 Phantom, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments

Tophatters Centennial, pt. 6

In order to proceed with the celebration of the Tophatters 100th anniversary, this aircraft had to be modeled from scratch. The F3D-2 Skyknight has a very sort career with the US navy frontline fighter squadrons, and managed only to serve with two squadrons (the other being VF-11 "Red Rippers"). However, the aircraft became one of only a handful to serve both in Korea and in Vietnam. In Korea as an accomplished night fighter, flying escort for B-29 bombing missions, and in Vietnam as a Electronic warfare platform. Make sure to click the image below, to view the other recently completed VF-14 "Tophatters" renditions.

By |2019-07-07T14:44:06+00:00May 25th, 2019|F3D Skyknight, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments

Tophatters Centennial, pt. 5

While the Skyknight is being modeled, the Corsair have been completed. This particular aircraft was operated from the deck of USS Wasp (CV-18) while the squadron was a part of CVG-1 in 1951. Notice the squadron Efficiency award and the unusual R,B and G between the Efficiency E and the insignia, those where awarded to the squadron for having excelled in Rocket firing, Bombing and Gunnery. But actually there´s something about this profile that im unsure of: Some sources claim the squadron was equipped with F4U-4s while other say F4U-5s. For the period I find it most likely to be F4U-5, but please let me know if you have any info on that. Click the image below to be directed to the VF-14 "Tophatters" Section.

By |2019-07-07T14:44:19+00:00May 12th, 2019|F4U Corsair, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|2 Comments

Tophatters Centennial pt. 4

Going backwards in time, The F3H-2 Demon came up as the next aircraft i had to depict. In the process i decided to rework the textures on the Demon basemodel, and this is the outcome. There´s something strangely alluring about this strange looking aircraft...perhaps it´s the design, that both have some destictive 3rd generation features, combined with 2nd generation layout. I´m not sure! But here it is: The F3H-2 Demon of VF-14 "Tophatters" as it appeared in 1961 while operating off the deck of USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). Click the image below to be directed to the VF-14 section, or click here to be directed to the Naval Fighter squadrons section

By |2019-07-21T14:49:40+00:00May 7th, 2019|F3H Demon, Squadrons of the US Navy, VF squadrons|0 Comments