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F-4G Wild Weasel Phantom II

by David W. Aungst

 

McDonnell-Douglas F-4G Wild Weasel Phantom II
 

 


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Background

 

I completed this kit in December of 1986. It was built a little by accident. Someone had asked for me to build an F-105F "Wild Weasel" Thunderchief (the forerunner to the F-105G), but in researching to build that model, I got myself really interested in building the replacement of the Wild Weasel THUD, an F-4G Phantom II. I was especially impressed with the war load that a Phantom could carry and decided to add a lot of weapons to this kit. Of course, it did not hurt that the then new Hasegawa F-4G Phantom kit had just been released.

The pictures in this posting were taken just this month of the model which still lives on my display shelves in the living room. This model is the second oldest model that still graces my display shelves. Before taking the pictures, I spent an evening cleaning the model from end to end using window cleaner (Windex) and a cotton swab. I found that the finish has held up quite well over the last sixteen years. I did note some age related things on the model, though.

The Hasegawa decals for some of the data markings have started to silver. Other decals, notably on the HARM missiles, have started to yellow. There was one aging spider nest woven inside the bomb cluster that I cleaned away after popping the bombs off the weapons pylon. This was the first model I ever used wire pins to attach the weapons. This proved a geat thing for cleaning as I could just pop off the weapons, clean them and the area under them, then pop them back on.

 

 

The Kit

 

This is Hasegawa's 1/48th scale F-4G "Wild Weasel" Phantom II (stock number 07104 / P004). The kit is very acurrate for the F-4G, externally, providing all the proper bumps and bulges to make the "Wild Weasel" verion of the F-4 Phantom. The scribing is all engraved and nicely done. The kit even includes weasel weapons! AGM-45 Shike and AGM-78 Standard ARM missiles (one each) are present in the kit along with an ALQ-119 ECM pod. These are in addition to the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles that come in all the Hasegawa Phantom kits.

The cockpit is the basic Phantom cockpit that most all the Hasegawa Phantom kits provide. The instrument layout and configuration is closest to being a basic F-4C Phantom. The F-4G kit provides a new rear cockpit main instrument panel in the correct configuration for the F-4G. Built out of the box, the cockpit is passable as an F-4G.

This was my second time building one of the Hasegawa Phantoms, I felt ready to start enhansing the kit with some better detailing. I made the following changes and improvements to the kit:

  • As the high-grade Phantom kits had not been released when I built this kit, I incorporated the Model Technologies etched metal Phantom cockpit and canopy etchings set. These were new and state-of-the-art at the time I built this model. Boy, have extra detail sets come a long way since then...

  • I scratch-built the wiring details between and behind the cockpits. This is done mostly with pre-colored wiring sold as ignition wires for 1/24th scale car model.

  • I enhanced the kit ejection seat detailing with styrene stock and fine wire. There were no resin ejection seats for the Phantom when I built this model..

  • I included the kit provided pilot figures in the cockpit which is unusual for me. I like my models to be unmanned to show off the cockpits, but since the cockpti was basically out of the box, I felt the pilots would help fill the space. Besides, I like painting helmets. I used thin sheet styrene to add the seat harnesses that strap the pilots to their seats and replace the oxygen hoses with Waldron oxygen hose.

 

Model Picture

 

 Model Picture

 

  • I added the pitots inside the engine intakes using brass wire and styrene stock.

  • I added plumbing and electrical lines to the kit landing gear.

  • I added sway bracing to all the weapons pylons, which I obtained from the Hasegawa weapons sets.

  • I enhanced the detailing of the flare and chaff dispensers on the rear portions of the pylons at weapon stations 2 and 8.

  • 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. The current Hasegawa F-4G kits include this tank and its needed attachment points in the box, but the first release which I was building did not yet include this item.

  • I incorporated weapons from the Hasegawa Weapons Sets as listed below. A friend that armed F-4's in the Air Force informed me when I first displayed the model at my modeling club that this is actually a "legal" load for the F-4. However, the unrefueled combat range of a Phantom with this weapons load would be just a little past the end of the runway ... ;o)

    • Two AIM-7E Sparrow Missiles

    • Two AIM-9J Sidewinder Missiles

    • Two AGM-88 High Speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARMs)

    • Three AGM-65B Maverick Missiles

    • Three Mk-20 Rockeye Cluster Bombs on a Triple Ejector Rack (TER)

    • One ALQ-119V ECM Pod

 

Model Picture

Model Picture

Model Picture

Model Picture

   

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

There were three choices for camouflage on the model when I built it -- standard S.E.Asian (light gray bottom), wrap around S.E.Asian (no light gray bottom), or European "lizzard". No manufacture made F-4G specific decals at that time, either. I searched through various sources to decide what camouflage and markings I wanted to build. I liked the S.E.Asian wrap around scheme, and decal availablility sealed the deal. I could get decals for a 3rd TFW F-4E from SuperScale (sheet 48-147). I could also get the unit badges for the 3rd TFS and 3rd TFW from a differnt SuperScale decal sheet (72-327). I found several pictures in old Koku-Fan magazines to provide the needed reference matterial.

For the camouflage, I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints. The camouflage is a wraparound S.E.Asian scheme with Tan (F.S.30219), Dark Green (F.S.34079), and Medium Green (F.S.34102). The natural metal tail surfaces are done with various name brands of Metalizer paints (six shades, interspersed to give the effect of separate panels).

The aircraft is from the 3rd TFS / 3rd TFW, based at Clark AFB in the Pillippines. Most of the decal markings are from various SuperScale decal sheets, pieced together to make this aircraft. While I have photographic proof that this aircraft (the serial number) was a member of the the 3rd TFS / 3rd TFW, the nose name "Mustang" is fictitious (and the canopy rails display my name). The rest of the markings conform to the way aircraft of the 3rd TFW were marked in the middle 1980s.

 

Model Picture

 

The aircraft name ("Mustang") and my name on the canopy rails was done in N-scale railroad lettering decals, one letter at a time. I had a method for applying these decals to get them all on the model fast enough so that I could position them before applying decal solvent. I barely remember the process, though, since I have been making my own custom decals on the computer for quite a while at this point.

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".

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

December 1986

Total Building Time:

60 (estimated)

Research:

2.0

Construction:

15.0

Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):

28.0

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

5.0

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

10.0

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

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