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F-4F Phantom II

by David W. Aungst

 

F-4F Phantom II

 


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Background

 

Ever since I first saw this camouflage on German Phantoms, I've always thought it was a cool scheme. I wish they had not changed over to the dull grays they currently use, instead staying with this rather complex six-color camouflage. When X-tra Color released their line of paints that included all the needed RAL colors to do this Phantom camouflage, I decided it was time to build an F-4F and make use of the six paint tins I had ordered.

 

 

The Kit

 

High-Tech Hasgawa Phantom ItemsThe Hasegawa F-4 Phantom kits are quite nice on their own. They are mostly correct in shape and outline and include the proper pieces to make the versions that the box art claims are in the box. To make an F-4F, the biggest change from the F-4E is to include the unslotted horizontal tails as found on the F-4C/D. Hasegawa does this in the F-4F kit, but I wanted to do much more to the stock kit. I made the following changes and improvements to the kit:

  • I incorporated Hasegawa's high grade Phantom details. This includes the following.

    • Etched metal cockpit and canopy etchings.

    • Etched metal blade antennae.

    • White metal landing gear. I adding plumbing and electrical lines to the white metal pieces. I maintained the Hasegawa plastic wheels, though, as the True Details F-4E/F/G wheel set was not available when I built this model and the Hasegawa white metal wheels have the Naval spoke pattern and vinyl wheels.

  • I scratch-built the wiring details between and behind the cockpits.

  • I replaced the kit ejection seats with Verlinden products. I've since decided that I like the True Details seats better.

 

Model Picture

Model Picture

    

  • I opened the gun gas purge vent on top of the nose.

  • I replaced the kit engine exhausts with High Flight products.

  • I added the pitots inside the engine intakes and replaced the nose pitot with brass wire and styrene stock.

  • I re-scribed all the following items to obtain engraved scribing over the entire model:

    • Horizontal Tails

    • Inboard Weapons Pylons

    • Outboard Fuel Tanks

    • Forward Spine, just behind the Cockpits

  • I scratch built and cast my own MXU-648 Travel (luggage) pod using the back ends of two Monogram 20mm gun pods (the F-5E kit). This makes the earlier, rounded style used before the newer angled ones became vogue. I laminated 0.005" styrene on one side to make the door and used a short length of brass wire to represent the hinge.

  • I scratch built and cast my own ACMI Pod. This was done using an old Sidewinder missile with the fins stripped off.

 

Model Picture

Model Picture

    

  • I added sway bracing to the inboard weapons pylons and enhanced the detailing of the flare and chaff dispensers on the rear portions of the pylons.

  • I obtained (from a Hasegawa F-15C kit) the newer F-15 style fuel tank and modified the center fuselage to accept the different tank.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

For the camouflage is referred to by the Germans as "Norm81". I mentioned at the start of this writing, I used all X-tra Color enamel paints for the camouflage. The Norm81 camouflage for the F-4F uses six colors. Years after I finished the model, I found out that there are two variations on the scheme, Norm81A and Norm81B. I painted my model in the Norm81A scheme.

  • RAL 7009 - Green Gray (X-tra Color X256)

  • RAL 7012 - Basalt Gray (X-tra Color X245)

  • RAL 7030 - Stone Gray (X-tra Color X257)

  • RAL 7035 - Light Gray (X-tra Color X260)

  • RAL 7037 - Dust Gray (X-tra Color X258)

  • RAL 7039 - Quartz Gray (X-tra Color X259)

After painting the airframe once without scale effecting the colors, I found it to look way too "rich". So, I scale effected the paints 20% with white. This provided colors more in standing with the pictures I was seeing in books and magazines.

All the rest of the painting was done with Testor's Model Master enamel paints. The natural metal tail surfaces are done with various name brands of Metalizer paints (five shades, interspersed to give the effect of separate panels).

 

Model Picture

 

The travel pod was a challenge for painting. I wanted to capture the heavily weathered look that the fluorescent colors take on after some time in the sun. I started by painting the pod in Insignia Yellow. I then slowly misted on the Day-Glo red, heavier on the bottom areas, until I got the effect I wanted. I liked the way it turned out, but hidden in the shadows under the weapons pylon and Sidewinder missile rails, you really do not get a chance to see it too well.

The aircraft is from JBG 35 of the (then) West German Luftwaffe as seen when it visited Deci AB for an exercise in 1990. The primary decal markings are from the Hasegawa kit, except the serial numbering on the rear fuselage sides and the JBG 35 unit badge on the intake sides. I got the numbering from a SuperScale Modern German Codes decal sheet. The JBG 35 badges come from a 1/72nd scale SuperScale Gr-91 sheet.

Because I live for data markings on aircraft models, I could not resist applying the 207 decals needed to put all the access panel numbering all over the airframe. I created these on my PC and printed them on a laser printer. I used the SuperScale Phantom Data decal instructions and various photographic sources to get all the numbers mapped out. I could not just use the SuperScale Phantom Data decals because they are printed in two tone (black and gray). I needed them all in black. These numbers are now available from AeroMaster on their Luftwaffe Phantom Data decal sheet.

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".

 

 

Conclusion

 

There you have it -- another Phantom. You just can not have too many!

 

 

I hope the Fw 190 and Bf 109 population is not getting too nervous. I am pretty far from outnumbering them just yet. But, they might want to start worrying.

With the recent release of the RF-4 reconnaissance Phantoms from Hasegawa, I am only just getting warmed up on Phantom models.

 

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

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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
 
Modelling the F-4 Phantom II
Osprey Modelling 3
Author: Geoff Coughlin, Neil Ashby

US Price: $17.95
UK Price: 12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: September 25, 2003
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1841767468
 
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Model, Description and Images Copyright 2004 by David Aungst

Page Created 20 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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