I just started building a Hasegawa 1/72 F/A-18C that I picked up last fall. One of the sets of decals included with the model is VMFA 232 “Red Devils”, which are based out of Miramar MCAS just down the road from where I live, so that will be the squadron I’m modeling. I’m looking for suggestions on fun and prototypical (for this squadron) A/G loadouts.
The kit comes with pretty limited ordanance:
3x Drop Tanks (2 wing, 1 centerline)
2x Dual Bomb Racks
AN/AAS-38 (manual calls it a “-83”, but I assume that’s a typo…)
I’m not 100% sure, but I believe both the pods needed to be mounted to designate targets and pick up the laser to guide bombs to said target, correct?
I think the laser/designator pods in the kits are the going to dictate what time period and possible conflicts this model would have served in. Can any guru’s tell me what that would be?
And then finally, based on that, what would typical A/G loadouts for a USMC squadron have looked like?
I was thinking of just going 2x AIM-9’s, 3x Fuel Tanks, both pods, and then putting a single GBU-12 on each wing (this is the loadout you see a lot of in pictures of this model on the internet). Or, I was thinking of using the double bomb racks for 4x MK83s, but then would the pods still have been mounted? Again, depending on what time period this would be in, I’m not sure if they were still using dumb bombs and using the fuselage stations for sparrows, or if they would always have the pods mounted even with dumb bombs, or if they would only mount the pods with GBU’s loaded.
And lastly, not sure if, based on the time frame for this model, asymmetrical loadouts were in play, or if that if a newer thing…
Your input is appreciated! Thanks.