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It just so happens I started in on a Phantom over the weekend, so I decided to join in here.

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OY 463 is an F-4D that was piloted by Steve Ritchie (the first U.S. Air Force ace of the Vietnam war) during his 1st and 5th kills. This particular airplane also shot down four other Migs during it's tour making it the most prolific Mig killer of the conflict.

This is kinda my holy grail build. I've wanted to build this airframe in all out mode since I was a kid. I have a decal sheet from Microscale that I've been hoarding for several years waiting for both a new tooled F-4C/D kit and my skills to progress. I feel like I'm there, so here we go.

The kit:

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The aftermarket:

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Aires cockpit, Eduard Brassin exhaust, wheels and weapons sets, Eduard fabric belts and masks, DEF Models FOD covers, and Steel Beach slime lights.

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OY 463 is an F-4D that was piloted by Steve Ritchie (the first U.S. Air Force ace of the Vietnam war) during his 1st and 5th kills. This particular airplane also shot down four other Migs during it's tour making it the most prolific Mig killer of the conflict.

Point of order, Ritchie is the only USAF ace of the Vietnam War, unless you also count WSO back-seaters. And I kind of have my doubts about all of Cunningham's claims for the USN.

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A modest start has been made. It took a lot of work to get the tub and wheel bay to fit. A lot. I spent a fair amount of time thinning and trimming, and in the end things fit, but do so by the skin of their teeth. In the end I really don't think the Aires cockpit is worth the effort. On my next Academy Phantom I'll go with some resin seats and gussy things up with some PE and scratch wiring or something.

What you begin with:

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And the result

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You have to trim down the kit tub to be left with the ceiling of the nose gear bay

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You're left with this, but this pic was even before more thinning. It's nearly paper thin now to get the proper fit.

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I wanted to mock up and test the FOD covers. The intakes are a mess and fiddly. The real weakness of the kit. FODs are a must for me. I'm not even going to screw with installing the intake trunks.

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Finally got a base color on the tub. Detail painting is underway.

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Nice start. I haven't got this kit yet, but I'm planning on getting one each of Acadamy's finest. :D

Sean

Can't go wrong. I've got all three. Kinda half started the B, but I was really waiting for some Vf-114 decals to do a J as my first Navy bird. Furball seems to be answering that need :D So I suspect to build a J before long.

I'm just hoping they get to the long noses and do a G

Edited by jimmydel
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Looks like a great subject and an impressive array of accessories!

Point of order, Ritchie is the only USAF ace of the Vietnam War, unless you also count WSO back-seaters. And I kind of have my doubts about all of Cunningham's claims for the USN.

Especially in view of his subsequent political career. Suggests he may have begun his skills of misrepresentation earlier on.
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Looks like a great subject and an impressive array of accessories!

Especially in view of his subsequent political career. Suggests he may have begun his skills of misrepresentation earlier on.

I agree. Who really knows what the real story is...kinda sad really.

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Ok, took a couple of steps backwards. I got the Aires cockpit all done up and glued it into the fuselage. Despite my obssesive test fitting telling me it would, the fuselage wouldn't come close to sealing up with the gear bay in. Used 3 Aires sets fairly recently without any trouble. I guess I was due for a bad one. I can safely say to avoid it for this kit. I don't see any way to get it to work.

So...I almost shelved the kit, but I've invested too much, so I decided to poach my B kit for the fueslage and cockpit tub and move forwad with just the Aires seats and PE bits for the cockpit.

Cannibalized the cockpit tub out of the B kit. Having started that one already meant removing the B firewalls and installing the ones for the C/D.

The kit consoles aren't terribly bad, but they lack throttles. Used the ones from the Aires set, along with the control sticks. Still need to gloss and wash the tub.

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The seats are from the Aires set. To fit them I had to remove some location points in the bottom of the tub intended for the kit parts. A couple molded on handles were removed to be replaced by the Eduard PE. The belts are Eduard Fabric. They look nice, but man in 1/48 they are a pain. I'll probably stick to resin molded on belts in the future. (I see I need to fix on of the PE handles...oops.)


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I've also been working on the Eduard exhaust. Painted with Alclad "jet exhaust" and "exhaust manifold" and heat treated with Alclad transparent blue.

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It's always a massive disappointment when a resin tub won't fit. Good recovery from that setback.

One has to wonder if there's not a better approach that resin manufacturers could take such as creating drop in replacement instrument panels, side consoles that attach to the kit tub and drop in replacement bulkheads. Obviously that would require custom manufactured parts for each kit but it would avoid the almost constant complaint in respect of these replacement resin tubs that they don't fit without an unreasonable amount of effort.

The cockpit looks the business. The seat belts are particularly impressive, look very like the real thing.

Good to hear that this one will continue.

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It's always a massive disappointment when a resin tub won't fit. Good recovery from that setback.

One has to wonder if there's not a better approach that resin manufacturers could take such as creating drop in replacement instrument panels, side consoles that attach to the kit tub and drop in replacement bulkheads. Obviously that would require custom manufactured parts for each kit but it would avoid the almost constant complaint in respect of these replacement resin tubs that they don't fit without an unreasonable amount of effort.

The cockpit looks the business. The seat belts are particularly impressive, look very like the real thing.

Good to hear that this one will continue.

I was very much thinking the same thing. Actually, I've seen a few resin IPs and things like that but not many. I actually used a CMK one in my P-40

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I'm in the process of experiminting with the Aires sidewalls actually. I've sanded them down on the flip side to remove all the backing leaving the detail, and I'm going to see if I can get them to fit in there with the kit tub installed....looks promising, but I got drawn away from the bench in the middle of the work. Updates soon I hope.

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I'm in the process of experiminting with the Aires sidewalls actually. I've sanded them down on the flip side to remove all the backing leaving the detail, and I'm going to see if I can get them to fit in there with the kit tub installed....looks promising, but I got drawn away from the bench in the middle of the work. Updates soon I hope.

That is exactly what I did on one of my stalled builds. I found that the only way to fit the Aires cockpit and sidewall details into Hasegawa's 1/72 F-14A Tomcat was to completely remove the "sidewall" backing, leaving just the raised resin details and canopy rail. I then affixed it to the kits sidewall with CA. The problem I had in doing so was that you need to very carefully position the resin details, particularly if you have a canopy rail along the top. I cocked mine up a bit. Hope it comes off for you, the rest of the cockpit looks terrific.

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The sidewall idea didn't work out. The problem was the canopy railing...removing it just made too much of the detail break away and I didn't like the hacked up look of it. I moved on and finished up the body with no real issues. Fit is rather nice. Got her primed and headed to dealing with the heat shielding.

Spent the past couple of hours getting the heat shielding painted.

This really isn't photographing well at all. I'm hopeful when it's surrounded by paint and not grey primer it will show better. There's more variation to it and I think my light is just bleaching it out.

Base of Alclad Duraluminum followed by shading and streaking with Steel, Jet Exhaust, Pale Burnt Metal, and Magnesium. The cans are Jet Exhaust and Exhaust manifold treated with transparent blue.

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This photo is more representative, but still not the greatest.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the drought folks. I got dragged to Hawaii for 2 weeks. The horror. We got back Sunday, but all that bench time since has gone to an under the radar project with an upcoming deadline. But with that in the sit and wait stage I got some time on the (other, big ;)) Phantom today.

Totally forgot I had redone the heat shielding before I wrapped it up in tape, so I'll show that when the masking comes off I guess. Anyway, began work on the underside. I opted not to black base since I'm not really liking the way it darkens the colors. I intended to do a blending thing, but that didn't work well here since even white over the camo grey isn't light enough. I did a bit of preshading but will leave weathering to deal with things from here out.

Mr. Color

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Wanted to share a pic of the things that go boom. I planned to mask and spray the fuses of the bombs but found them needing more OD, so that will be tomorrow. I'll then shoot them with gloss for some decal work. The Brassin stuff is really nice. The Sidewinders are dainty, so use care with them. Fortunately, mine weren't blister packed, so no warping.

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More paint tonight. Some simple masking and off the the earth tone. Sprayed opaque base and then post-shaded with lighter and darker colors and finally blended it back in with the base color.

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cool effect - so you spray on the actual colour?

Let it dry?

then lighten the paint and shoot the middle panels - then again with darker paint?

I normally pre-shade, want to try post shade on my Euro 1 F4G....

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cool effect - so you spray on the actual colour?

Let it dry?

then lighten the paint and shoot the middle panels - then again with darker paint?

I normally pre-shade, want to try post shade on my Euro 1 F4G....

Yup. That's the gist of it. I spray the base color then I lighten the base. Actually I tint some white with the base and mottle it onto the surface. Then I darken the base and highlight panel lines. Finally I go back with the base color highly thinned and blend things in. I do all this in one sitting using Mr. Color.

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Thanks for checking in fellas. Glad to have you along for the ride.

Yesterday was awesome. Home alone so it was a marathon bench session. I got the medium green down. Same post-shading process as before.

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Worked on other fiddly things a bit and later last night I got to masking off for the dark green. Wanted to spray, but it was close to 2 AM and I decided to call it a nigh, but I got it on this morning.

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Did have a bit of an issue with Alclad. The Steel which was layered over the Aluminum pulled with the Tamiya tape. (I know it looks above as if it was masked with blue tape...that was over the Tamiya for overspray purposes. I'll have to fix this clearly.

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Next I need to handle the nose and some green ID band bits on the canopy and tail. Then I have to figure out how I'm going to handle the heat shielding. I don't like the streaking with Alclad thing...so I'm not sure how I'll address that....I'm open to ideas.


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Classic F-4 is SEA camo, looks superb. The detail on this kit is excellent, every post reveals some new area with fine surface detail, very nice. Very glad I picked up the Eduard 1/48 Good Evening Da Nang release that is based on this kit. Looking forward to seeing more of this one.

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