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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop The Aircraft of CVW-1 (circa 1988)
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The Aircraft of CVW-1 (circa 1988)
A complete Cold War-era carrier air wing, built at roughly 1:200 scale.
About this creation
If you have been following my micro-scale aircraft builds, you may have expected that I would eventually arrive at this point -- building all of the aircraft of a carrier air wing. What I have included in this picture are micro-scale (1:200) versions of the aircraft that would have been found in CVW-1 (stationed aboard CV-66 America) in the years leading up to the Gulf War. Starting with the back row, from left to right we have an E-2C Hawkeye, an SH-3H Sea King, and an EA-3B Skywarrior ELINT aircraft. In the front, from left to right, are an F-18C Hornet, an S-3A Viking, an F-14A Tomcat, and an A-6E Intruder.

Two of these aircraft are new (i.e. they haven't appeared in any of my builds so far) -- the EA-3B Skywarrior and the SH-3H Sea King. The Skywarrior served in many different roles since its introduction in the 1950s, including nuclear bomber, heavy bomber, tanker, and ELINT. In the ELINT configuration, the weapons bay is filled with electronic equipment operated by 4 EW specialists. Interesting fact: The Skywarrior is the heaviest aircraft to have ever operated from the deck of a carrier on a regular basis. Building its swept wing was a little bit of a challenge, but I reasonably happy with the result (just don't look too closely under the wings -- it's a little ugly there).

The SH-3H Sea King served primarily in the ASW role. It could carry a pair of Mk 44 or Mk 46 torpedoes and a number of sonobuoys. Like most ASW helicopters, it was also equipped with a dipping sonar. The 5-blade main rotor of the Sea King was definitely a pain in the neck to build at this scale, and I am still not entirely satisfied with the result. The Sea King also has a 5-blade tail rotor, but there was absolutely no way to duplicate it at this scale.

The composition of the CVW-1 in the late 1980s was something like this:

  • Two fighter squadrons of 12 F-14A Tomcats each (VF-102 Diamondbacks and VF-33 Starfighters)
  • Two strike fighter squadrons of 12 F-18C Hornets each (VF-82 Marauders and VF-86 Sidewinders)
  • One all-weather attack squadron of 10-12 A-6E Intruderss and 4 KA-6D tankers (VA-85 Black Falcons)
  • One early warning squadron of 4-6 E-2C Hawkeyes (VAW-123 Screwtops)
  • One ASW squadron of S-3A Vikings (VS-32 Maulers)
  • One Helicopter ASW squadron of SH-3H Sea Kings (HS-11 Dragon Slayers)
  • One tactical EW squadron of 4 EA-6B Prowlers (VMAQ-2 Playboys)
  • One ELINT detachment of 4 EA-3B Skywarriors (VQ-2 Batmen)



















Comments

 I like it 
  March 10, 2014
Each one of them is a little treasure! Excellent work!! Very inventive.
 I like it 
  March 6, 2014
Great work!
 I like it 
  March 5, 2014
Awesome! Esspecially the Sea King is great!
 I like it 
  March 4, 2014
It's true that a carrier would set them off, but they look great just as they are.
 I like it 
  March 3, 2014
An excellent collection
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Nice.
 I made it 
  March 2, 2014
Thanks again for your comments, everyone. I have to say that I'm not too surprised to see many suggest that I build a carrier to go along with these. The thought did occur to me, but I have already realized that there are a few obstacles in the way. First, I want to finish the Hamilton-class cutter, and that is going to take a little while. Next, a carrier built at 1:200 scale would be pretty big -- it would be almost as long as the 1:65 Hamilton I'm working on, but the beam would be almost double (48 studs vs. 25). The final problem is that I would probably have to build wings-folded versions of all of these aircraft to put them on a carrier deck, and I can tell right now that it wouldn't be a very straightforward conversion for some of them. We'll see, though, it's something I'd definitely like to do at some point.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
very polished and refined! I wonder if there could nt be a way to use swords instead of plates for the copter s rotor? just an idea that s occurred to me.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Oh boy. Matt, you've put me out of business... Nice work on all of these; all look instantly recognizable! Now, build a 1/200 scale USS Nimitz to have a place to park all these planes :-D
  March 2, 2014
Great job on these Matt!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
It's amazing how many detailes you have put into this small size! :)
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Ecxcellent collection of naval micro-aircrafts. But to complete it, you have to do the EA6B Prowler.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Brother awesome film reference the Final count down was awesome! I was so made when they got pulled back through the vortex before they could plaster the Japanese fleet!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Sweet selection of aircraft. The Tomcat is my favorite, but they all rock.
  March 2, 2014
Very, very, very well done!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Whoa paint brush missiles! A whole new level of deadly! Hhaha I love these! You always use great techniques and unusual pieces to make these vehicles perfect! Astonishing job! Keep On Brickin'!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Well, you know you have an awesome collection when I can't pick a favorite. These are all outstanding in their own right. Highly distinctive and recognizable for so few pieces. Amazing air wing that really need a place to land. ;) Yeah, I'm with everyone else. Time for a carrier. Nimitz would be my call, but that's just because I loved The Final Countdown. Kirk Douglas FTW! Impressive job Matt!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Excellent!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
I'm sat here in utter awe...and I sort of started this. Heh.
  March 2, 2014
Quite recognizable, clever job on the phoenix missiles under the F14.
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Aircraft carrier! Aircraft carrier! Aircraft carrier! Aircraft carrier! Aircraft carrier! An awesome time in our naval capability . Perfect Matt!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Yeah I think you have to build a carrier now ;) This collection is fantastic, all of the aircraft look brilliant, especially the Tomcat. Great stuff!
 I like it 
  March 2, 2014
Nice work Matt! The Sea King and Skywarrior are nice additions; amazing work on the helicopter rotors. How about an aircraft carrier for them?
 
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop The Aircraft of CVW-1 (circa 1988)


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