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  1. Back in the mists of time (1979 in fact) at the age of 17 ½ I left the family home and Joined the RAF. My bedroom was the small room our three bed semi, which my mum rapidly tuned into her sewing room (she was a seamstress by trade). When I visited on weekends/leave I graduated to the second bedroom so that wasn’t a problem anyway. Fast forward forty years to 2020, after a long illness mum died leaving me the family home (Dad had died in 2005), and I moved in that year. Since then I have been progressively clearing the house and recently hit the biggie, clearing out the loft! To my great surprise I found a box full of my stuff that Mum had packed up when she converted the bedroom, and in the box I found a small stash of kits that I had long forgot I had. One of the kits was the very very old Airfix Phantom. Scalemates tells me its the 1963 mould, and the boxing is from 1973, and according to the box top I had purchased it from Woolworths for the astronomical sum of 55P! Revelling in nostalgia I decided that I just had to build it! Now I do remember building this kit as a schoolboy, as the Israeli F4E version, So this time it had to be the US F4B. Assessing the kit, it was all there, flash free, decals were another thing, being incredibly yellowed and curly, and well past their sell by date, So it was a deep breath and a deep dive into the decal stash for a suitable replacement, which was found on an old Modeldecal sheet 2, A US Marines F4B of VFMA-531 base at MCAS El Toro California in 1968. Very fitting, a 1960’s kit with a 1960’s scheme. Below is the result. I went with the kit supplied all AIM7E weapons load, don’t know if it was a correct config for this aircraft but hey ho. Is it my best build? Hell No! Is it an accurate F4B? Hell no! Was it a filler monster? surprisingly not! Did I have a lot of fun building it? Hell yes! Many thanks to my wonderful mum for packing it away so carefully back in 79. Selwyn
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