Vietnam F-100

So while I’m waiting some glue to see on another project, thought I would dig this out of the stash.

It’s a rebox of the Italeri kit and looks like it should be a pretty simple and quick build. It’s going to be oob, mostly going to concentrate on the finish with this one. Probably swap ordnance too. Maybe napalm and snake eyes?

I’m planning on finishing it as Pretty Penny to have a break from painting cammo. So my first question is, where F-100’s painted aluminium or left in bare metal? I have very little in the way of references on these aircraft!
I’m also going to try my best at replicating the burnt metal on the rear fuselage. My LHS has some of the Tamiya weathering compounds in metallic blue and red shades that might work.

Anyway, made a start cleaning up the fuselage and cockpit this afternoon.

Thanks for looking and any tips would be very welcome.

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I don’t know whether you’ve seen this already but there’s a pretty interesting documentary called “Hun Pilots.” I saw it on Amazon Prime, I’m sure it’s available elsewhere. Mostly interviews with guys who flew the plane, some of which was during the War in Vietnam. It made me want to do a model of one. I haven’t bought one yet but will be watching your build.

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No, haven’t seen that but will have a look and see if it’s on Netflix. Never really got on with Amazon to be honest. Thought it was a bit expensive for what you got, most of the good stuff was pay-per-view (and a lot that was already included in the basic Netflix package) and don’t order anywhere near enough to justify the free shipping. I did enjoy The Tick while we had it. Thought that was a great series. Pity they cancelled it.

Likewise I’ve never built one before. It’s a bit bigger than I thought it would be, always thought the Super Sabre was quite a small plane.
I also spotted an F-104C lurking in the stash I might have a crack at once this one’s done. One of my modelling goals is to build at least one of every major type used during the Vietnam War.

Cockpit components assembled and painted.

Quick question, does anyone know what colour the interior of the wheel wells and airbrake were?
Instructions suggest aluminium, but would white or chromate green or yellow be likely? Most of the photographs I’m finding are b&w and don’t show those areas.


Pretty sure doors were silver and the interior was green, but someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Might depend on exact time/variant.


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Thanks Marty,

That’s a big help. Think I should have a green that shade.


Fuselage halves together.

Dry fitted the separate undernose panel. Think it will need a bit of work!

I ran the same question to an F100 pilot that did two tours. He knew of “Pretty Penny”, and flew out of the same air base on his first tour. It was painted silver. By the time he did his second tour: virtually all were camo’d

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Thanks Gary, that confirms what I was thinking going by the photos. Seems that most had filled to a slightly flat finish while they were over there.
I’m going to experiment with those paints over the weekend and see how they look.


Hi Stephen will be following with interest. Always liked the F-100 particularly the worn look that suited them so well. Sadly never built one.
tim :smiley:

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The reason the finish almost looks like it’s matte is the climate. That plane was stationed down near Saigon, and that area sea a lot of breezes off the ocean. Then you add the cloudless sky in the summer and 120 degree heat. You start out as a semi gloss and in four months looks like silver primer! By the way Pretty Penny is my favorite F100! Up north they paint held up a little better till the dry season rolled in. Then it was really taxed. The Marine F4’s started out as a light grey semi gloss and just looked faded grey primer in six months. Remember the fading always starts from the top and works it’s way down. Just a slight note: the Greens seemed to hold up better than the others (the newer paints) or else they were repainted every six months!

By the way, the basic weapons load out down south was 500lb. bombs and at least two napalm tanks. Pretty Penny may well be a little early for snakeyes, but it was also closer to the top of the food chain, so it might have got to use them. I doubt it.


Thanks @litespeed it’s a good looking aircraft and likewise have never done one before. I have a two seater F on the way I’m planning on converting to one of the early Wild Weasels.

Thanks @Gary_Totty1 I thought it might have been something to do with the climate. I might try and mist a matte clear over the upper surfaces and see if that gives me the effect I’m looking for. I was wondering about the Snake eyes. Was finding it tricky to pin down exactly when they started turning up. Most photos show they were common on the cammo F-100’s, whereas the earlier silver had M-117’s, LAU-3’s or those rear firing cluster dispensers. Can’t remember what they were called at the moment, but they looked a lot a like a MATRA pod fitted the wrong way around! Would be interesting to fit those if I could find some.

Incidentally, Ospreys book does a have a photo of Penny. It’s not the best quality, but she’s carrying a pair of Bullpups.

Now a pair of those I do have.

honestly; we didn’t even know what a snakeye was till late March of 68. I was on a hill top O.P overlooking Highway One out to the ocean. There was a cave complex used by the local VC to store whatever they used. A4’s from Chu Lai blew the place up out front of me with snakeyes. This was about a half mile south of the trash dump at the end of the run way in Chu Lai! How they missed it, I still can’t fathom! A month later I was on an OP with the 101st southwest of Quang Nghai, and got caught in no man’s land. Hid behind a large fallen tree (teak?) while the neighbors chewed up the tree with RPD’s. Top called a FAC and he said about thirty to forty minutes!!! Then he chimed back on and said he had two fast movers out of Pleiku with about two thirds of their weapon loads. The pilot came in on the fire push and asked us to pop smoke, and I think I used red while looking into the intake of a plane (yes he was that low). I heard Top tell him a hundred fifty yards past the smoke, and all he said was to get down low. He went back up and came around again, and that’s when I saw a second F100 about a quarter mile out. I actually hear the two bombs release as he came over me. I thought I was gonna be dead in another instant, but the bombs flew like the plane. The blast was rather ugly, and blew the plane sideways as he pulled up. I was sure I was dead and in a million pieces. Then I look up to see his buddy wearing sun glasses and the palm trees waving around. He let go either two or four of them and the tree rolled back a foot or so. Every inch of my body felt like it was on fire and stinging. Top told them the beer was on him, and then both made a north west to south east pass, and dropped napalm (four I think). Then said they were headed for the barn. Perhaps ninety seconds total time on target! After that, snakeyes were a common sight

P.S. I miss watching a daisy cutter rolling out the back of a C130!!


I can imagine watching one of those big daisy cutters must have been impressive sight! Don’t think I would’ve wanted to be anywhere near one at the time though!
I consider myself fortunate that I’ve never had to experience anything like that.

Thanks for all the help

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I saw two at the most roll out of C130’s from the air. The go off above the ground, and literally pick up large trees and move the two or three hundred yards. An hour later the Sea Bees or engineers are in there cleaning the place up. My favorite thing was watching the C130’s burn out trench lines. From the air it looks like a burning snake. Out west you used whatever you could find to get the job done. It’s not like you drove up and took the place over. once you went west of my base camp; it was all travel by air. East of me tracks moved all the time. I’ve seen lines of young and old men walking thru eight to twelve inches of mud with a 100lb projectile on their shoulders because they were running out of ammo. I once saw three infantry companies do that, and rank had no bearing on your place in line. Why? The fourth company was surrounded in the middle of nowhere. Same with aircraft. You call, and somebody will come unless it’s dark.


So what was the weight of explosives in those things?
Except for nuclear, I don’t think the RAF was carrying anything bigger than a thousand pounder post-war. And even those have gone now in favour of 500lb Paveways.

Besides from sanding back some filler I haven’t been able to do much this weekend.
I have however, tried out those Vallejo Metal paints and they worked brilliantly!

I airbrushed them with a cheapo single action airbrush (something I wasn’t too bothered about them clogging up if they didn’t work well) over both their mat and gloss black primers. Really nice finish and easy to work with. I think the satin aluminium and burnt metal will give me the finishes I’m looking for. Will have to test out the Tamiya weathering compounds on them, hopefully they’ll stick. If not I just found some transparent brown and blue inks I’ve had success with in the past replicating heat burnished metal.


Thats good to know how well the Vallejo natural metal paints perform Stephen. Maybe its time I changed over from Alclad II :smiley:
tim :smiley:

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I love the Vallejo Metal paints, not least because they brush really well.

@litespeed if you know how to handle Alclad there is stuff the Vallejo metals don’t really do. They don’t make a reflective color - their chrome really doesn’t produce something that shines like chrome, and I haven’t found any of their other paints with that kind of reflectivity.

I find the AK metals really easy to work with also.


Happy to share my results Tim. They worked surprisingly well with this cheap thing. Usually only use it for quick primer or clear coats. The proof of course will be in the final finish on the model, but they’re promising so far.

@phil2015 I haven’t tried brushing these yet, but will see how they look. I brush their modelair silver and aluminium quite a lot and they have a lovely finish and leave no brush marks. The silver is just as good as the old Humbrol silver enamel. Really wish I had kept a few tins of that before they changed the formula. I have one jar of Alclad Chrome, can’t remember from where or why I got it. Probably some long forgotten project. Have never tried using it. Do you need their own thinner and airbrush cleaner to clean up after?

It’s been a long time since I’ve used Alclad metallics. I still have them but would have to look up how to use them.