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  1. Hi everyone, hope you're all well and behaving yourselves! Thought I'd post for your perusal, my third new Airfix release this year in the form of the mighty Phantom FGR.2 which should be available any time soon. I finished this one a few months ago in time for the November issue of AMW. The test shot arrived without decals which left the field wide open so we opted for the rather natty 6 squadron scheme of an FGR.2 based at Coningsby 1974, with Xtradecals providing the goodies along with their dedicated stencil set, which proved exhausting! With the editor being an ex-Phantom man he decided he wanted to tool the old thing up with a slightly unusual war load consisting of three Lepas flares and a pair of BL-755 cluster munitions duly purloined from various kits in his possession. The kit comes with four AIM-9's, four AIM-7Es, centreline SUU-23A gun pod, four 1,000lb bombs, strike camera and the EMI recon pod for anyone wanting to go down that route. Reference photos were provided from the Key publishing archive so things were as near realistic as possible, (in conjunction with a written account for the magazine by ex-Phantom driver Chris Bolton). As for the kit, well, if you've built Airfix's previous FG1 then you know what to expect. The fit of some parts was so-so, particularly the wing/fuselage joint and some details either missing or vague. I believe the decal sheet now carries representations of the missing louvres/vent details. Luckily my old mucka Ali Mclean came to the rescue by kindly sending a few of his lovely new Aeroscale upgrade sets designed for the kit. These included replacement intakes featuring the missing upper and lower louvres, new inserts for the reheat cooling vents, replacement wing pylons for the lacklustre kit parts and new correctly shaped Spey cans. The latter wasn't used though as Aires kindly provided a set of their sublime resin Spey cans which included an amazing amount of detail given the scale. Eduard also kindly provided the comprehensive PE sets for the cockpit, undercarriage bays, speed brakes/auxiliary air doors and nose gear doors. The model was painted using MRPs pre-thinned acrylic lacquers and weathered using AMMO of MIGs pastels and Abteilung, AK oil washes and UMP clay washes. A nice quick, and more importantly, fun build. For anyone interested the model will be on the Airfix stand at Telford at the weekend along with a few others I've finished for them this year, please pop over for a chat... Interestingly there's been a fair bit of speculation over the shape and width of the RWR fairing atop the fin on this kit. I've been assured by the design team that the kit part is accurate, taken using LIDAR of XV474 at Duxford. I haven't checked it myself but that's the info I received. Hope you like it Cheers Melchie
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