Triple Nuts 1/144 F-111 Aardvarks
By Matt Bittner
I really don't think I need to say much about the F-111s. The first major swing-wing aircraft built first for the United States of America then purchased by the Royal Australian Air Force. While it was originally designed as a carrier-born aircraft, it found fame primarly flewing for the USAF as well as the RAAF. It was a very unique design and seeing one take off in full afterburner was a sight to behold, and one not quick forgetting. For the rest of its history I will leave the reader to their own devices.
I have reviewed Triple Nuts kits in the past and while a little on the pricey side, they are well worth it for parts break-down and detail. These are really fine kits! The 1/144 F-111C consists of 45 parts which includes a celar-resin canopy and two sets of wings: one with flaps and slats up, the other with flaps and slats deployed. No, there is no option to have actual "wings that swing" so you'll have to decide how you want to display your final model and decide on those wings. Naturally the 1/144 EF-111A "Spark Vark" contains different parts for the version and it comes with 42 parts, including a clear-resin canopy. The F-111C comes with decals for two Aussi Aardvarks (with the instructions being completely in Japenese, I apologize for not knowing which squadrons they're with) and the Raven comes with markings for a single "Spark Vark".
Construction won't be difficult nor long. You'll add the forward fuselage and cockpit pieces to the main fuselage, followed by whichever wings you decided on and other parts to the fuselage. Then tail parts are added to the main fuselage (although I would leave the exhuasts off until later) and after adding some pieces to the underside (strakes, etc.) then you're ready to paint, leaving off any stores (on the F-111C) and landing gear until after painting and decaling.
Once you're done with the painting and decaling then add the landing gear, external stores to the F-111C and you have a really nice 1/144 F-111 on your built-model shelves.
These are definitely worth tracking down, regardless of price, and can be considered the best-in-scale. The Triple Nuts F-111s definitely have all parts needed for whatever version you're building. Not only does Triple Nuts do the F-111C and EF-111A they also have the F-111B carrier version and F-111E so you can build a 'Nam bird. The only one missing is the FB-111 and that's my plan for the F-111C: use the OzMods FB-111 conversion with it because I have to have an FB-111 in my collection since I'm a former SAC Warrior.
My thanks to MAKO Models International for the review models. These are available on their eBay store.