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Old 08-09-2015, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default USAF in UK (1980s)

Hi! Newbie here! I've recently fallen back in love with military aircraft after going to RIAT this year. It reminded me of all the amazing USAF airshows I went to as a boy at Ben****ers/Woodbridge, Lakenheath and Mildenhall. I have such fond memories of those times, I've decided to collect a small number of models of the most iconic aircraft from those bases. I only have 2 so far... HA1305 which is a Ben****ers A10 and HA3821 which is a Ben****ers F16.

I've done a bit of hunting and found another Ben****ers A10 (HA1313), a Lakenheath F15 (HA4551) and a Lakenheath F1-11 (HA3007), but I thought I'd ask the experts to see if there are any others I should be looking out for! Perhaps an F4? I've not found any Mildenhall aircraft either. I think it's just KC-135 stratotankers there these days, but I'm not sure what was based there in the 80s?

Anyway, any advice or info to help me build my little collection would be most appreciated! Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Smile Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Hobbymastercollector.com is a good place to start. All Hobbymaster's back catalogue will be on there. There is an Alconbury RF4C from 1986 (HA1958).
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Great! I will have a look! Just seen the Lakenheath F15 is from 1999, so not really ideal.
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Found another Lakenheath F-111F (HA3016)
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

HA3319
Northrop F-5E Tiger II
sn 74-1553, 527th Aggressor Sqn.
Alconbury AB, England 1976-1988

Very nice.

Then check the F-111s. There's 3 different LN ones and 2 F-111Es of Upper Heyford. One with the tiger tail that now sits in Duxford. Then there's an EF-111A of Upper Heyford which is quite hard to find these days.

Mildenhall in the 80s had transports on TDY, RC-135s and SR-71s on TDY (kind of locals for the frequent visitors).

There was one permanently based unit in the 80s, which was the 10th ACCS. They flew with the white EC-135H's.

I found one online in 1/200 scale:



SC158 Sky Classics 1:200 Boeing EC-135H US Air Force 10th ACCS 10285 (white top / grey undersides) is due: TBC - Aviation Retail Direct

In the 1990s various units moved in, the special operations HC-130s/MC-130s from RAF Woodbridge and the MH-53Js. No idea if they have ever been made into die cast.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Wow! Thanks so much Richard. Very helpful indeed!
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Any other non-Hobby Master models I should hunt down?! Think I'll wait to see if a LN F15E comes out. There's some beautiful WR F4s on the Ben****ers Cold War Museum website. Chances of a release?
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

I remember seeing a review by either SKF or Dan on a 1/200 KC-135R in Mildenhall's 100th ARW colors (with the large D on its tail). They became the resident tanker unit in the 1990s. No idea which brand it was though. Seem to remember it looks very good.

But I think that's about it. You might include a U-2 or rather a TR-1A as they were based at Alconbury with the 95th RS. I'm not sure if they have ever worn unit markings so any U-2 model with a 80-10.. serial would suffice.

Like this one:

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Old 08-10-2015, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Found a Woodbridge F4 by Corgi. They any good?

Corgi AA33218 - F-4 Phantom II Diecast Model, USAF 78th TFS, 81st TFW: The Flying Mule
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Also, funny how Ben****ers gets censored on here! Good job I don't live in S****horpe!
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

The Corgi F4's not usually considered to be up to Hobbymaster standards (or Air Commander), but i've owned a Corgi F4C in the past and it displayed just fine. If you like it and the price is right I say go for it.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Gemini for the KC135
The U2 is Dragon
Also in the UK at the time at Mildenhall was the MC130's and the refueling KC130's with the MH53's.
Also add the SR71's as the aircraft were permanent just the crews were temporary.
Same goes for the RJ135

Last edited by cbmick02; 08-11-2015 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Found a great LN F15E, although sold out...

Franklin Mint B11B243 - F-15 Eagle Diecast Model, USAF 48th TFW, RAF Lakenheath, England: The Flying Mule
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Didn't see anybody mention it yet, but there's also a Witty F-15 from Lakenheath that would be an alternative to the Hobby Master.

It's old, I would assume hard to find/expensive, gear down only, and has a slight bulge behind the canopy, but it has very nice greys rather than the HM blues, and is generally a very nice model.

Question for others: were there any BUFF operations out of Britain in the 80s? Like El Dorado Canyon maybe? Am asking because I'm pretty sure I remember some staging out of there in the "first" Gulf War...
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Thanks books! Any links?
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

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Originally Posted by Tactical20 View Post
Thanks books! Any links?
Poorer (because older) pics from the mule, at least as a starting point:

Witty WTW72005-01 - F-15 Eagle Diecast Model, USAF 48th FW, #84-0001, RAF Lakenheath, England: The Flying Mule
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

I'd say pass on the Witty F-15 for now and wait for a Hobby Master release of an LN Strike Eagle. Quality will be much better.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

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Question for others: were there any BUFF operations out of Britain in the 80s? Like El Dorado Canyon maybe? Am asking because I'm pretty sure I remember some staging out of there in the "first" Gulf War...
At RAF Fairford there would be revolving deployments of B-52s. El Dorado Canyon was done with F-111s only as far as I know.

B-52 missions during ODS were flown from both Fairford, Moron in Spain, Diego Garcia out in the Indian Ocean and even from the Gulf area.
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

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Originally Posted by Tactical20 View Post
Also, funny how Ben****ers gets censored on here! Good job I don't live in S****horpe!
you have to type it as Bentwaters- if you type one letter in another colour, it fools the censors.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Eldorado Canyon was Solely F-111's KC135/KC-10's from UK and Spain. RC135 from UK and USN from 6th fleet.
Post recce pics were from SR71's from UK
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Yeah, think I'll wait for a Hobby Master F-15E. I'm in no huge rush! Thanks again for everyones advice and knowledge!
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Just picked up HA3016, a stunning Lakenheath F-111!

I know there a few other A10/F-111s to collect if I was a completionist, but think I'll just stick to one example of each aircraft for now. Just waiting on that F-15E and possibly an F4 now!
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:36 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

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Originally Posted by Tactical20 View Post
but think I'll just stick to one example of each aircraft for now.
Nekk minnit.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: USAF in UK (1980s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical20 View Post
.....I've decided to collect a small number of models.....
Poor new boy! We all started with the holy intention at the beginning to collect just a "small number of models" !
And in couple of weeks / months we all got serious problem.... (YouŽll see for yourself....)
Anyway - welcome to the forum, Tactical!
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