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F-4F Phantom II

by David W. Aungst

 

F-4F Phantom II

 


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Background

 

Have you ever accomplished some major modeling task on a model, only to have some new release provide that detail right in the box? I have. It can be quite annoying. This model, however, is not an example of this.

Just after I learned that I was going to need to build this aircraft for the collector's toy company, I stopped at a hobby shop along the route home from my meeting. What should my wondering eyes behold on the shelves of that hobby shop -- Hasegawa coming to my rescue with a kit of exactly this aircraft. I immediately purchased the model.

 

 

Additionally, I had made contact on the HyperScale forum with someone that had the same kit and decals and was not planning to use the decals. This person (whose name eludes me right now) sent me his extra decals, giving me two sets of decals for the model. I was prepared to start (and even had back-up extras on the decals).

 

 

The Kit

 

This is Hasegawa's F-4F Phantom II kit. It is the second time I built this F-4F kit. The first time I built the kit in 1993, I built a JBG 35 Phantom in standard markings and the six-color "mod-81a" camouflage. The newly released kit had no changes in the plastic from the one I had built before.

The kit is built almost entirely out-of-the-box. The only changes I made were to carve off the inner weapons pylon sway braces. These are molded as part of the lower wing. I also filled in all the weapons pylon locator holes. As the model was to have no external stores, these all needed to be fixed.

The majority of the kit is engraved scribing. Notable exceptions are the weapons pylons, external fuel tanks, and horizontal tails. These items were raised scribing -- a throw-back to the older raised scribing linage of this kit. Of these items, only the horizontal tails were going to be used on the model. I chose to not rescribe the tails as the toy company would not even notice this detail if I had taken the time to fix it.

 

Cockpit Interior Cockpit Interior Cockpit Interior

 

The cockpit has raised detailing and, with a little careful painting, builds out-of-the-box into a fair representation of an F-4F cockpit. There is no sidewall detailing to mention, just a bit of raised relief. Particularly, the bulky circuit breaker panels found on the side walls of the rear cockpit are just slightly raised molded-on details. The ejection seats are simplistic, but adequate.

With no weapons to build up and detail, construction went quite fast and I was working on the aircraft's paint job in no time.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The "camouflage", if you want to call it that, is a one-of-a-kind specialty scheme that was applied to this aircraft in 1999 to commemorate the 40th anniversary JG 71, 25 years in F-4F Phantom II aircraft. It is basically a red and black pattern with white cheat lines running about in specific locations.

 

Actual Aircraft

 

I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints. The black portions are gloss black (F.S.17038). The pictures I had on hand showed the red to be darker than standard Insignia Red (F.S.31136). Hence, I chose to use Light Ghost Gray (F.S.36320) as an undercoating (instead of white) before painting the red. This darker undercoating gave the desired darkening effect to the red. The actual red I used was Model Master Chrysler Engine Red. I find this to be a good match to Insignia Red, only it is gloss.

The engine exhaust area is painted in three shades of metalizers. I started with a base coating of Steel, then applied Magnisium to the panels immediately behind the engine exhausts and to the center panels on the horizontal tails. The engine exhaust nozzles, themselves, are painted in Burnt Metal. After a consultation with the toy company, they relayed that no weathering should be done to the model. Hence, the exhaust area was not blackened.

 

 

After evaluating the Hasegawa decals, one of the two sheets I had on hand had white printing that looked too yellow-ish. The other was a little yellowed, but not unacceptable. As I really did not feel like creating these markings and printing my own decals, I used the less yellowed sheet to mark the aircraft.

I chose to mask the "tulip" pattern around the nose and paint both the black and red colors. I was afraid the red I used would not match the printed red on the Hasegawa sheet. I carefully cut out the red portions of the nose "tulip" and applied only the white striping. This was the toughest part of the painting and markings.

For weathering, as I mentioned earlier, the toy company had instructed me to not do any. Being a show-bird, the aircrfat was quite clean, anyhow. I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and only highlighted the edges of the control surfaces. I also applied a light black-wash to the landing gear. I left the rest of the model otherwise clean and un-weathered.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The production schedule with the toy company had me completing three Hasegawa Phantoms, all within the month of May. That makes for one busy month. This was the third one of the three. I was pleased with the outcome and happy to be done.

 

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

1 June, 2002

Total Building Time:

23.1

Research:

0.0

Construction:

6.0

Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):

12.1

Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):

5.0

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

0.0

 

 

 

 

 

Model, Description and Images Copyright 2003 by David Aungst
Page Created 28 October, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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