Jump to content

1/72 Hasegawa F-110A Spectre -- Uphill All The Way...

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!


Back for another build, but this time quite unintentional, and sort of comically sad, at least in the beginning.


After quite a long time looking, I finely found the last missing piece of my Col. George E. Laven collection, the Hasegawa F-110A boxing of it's venerable F-4, released in many flavors over a few years. This particular variant had looked to be scare as hen's teeth, but I tracked one down after all. I never intended to do a build thread on this, but just to add it to the Laven collection.


As soon as it came in, I jumped  right to it and and started slathering the glue everywhere,  riding off wildly in all directions --- and that was my mistake...


Just for reference, this is the kit in question, this one in God's Own One True Scale.  (There is another boxing, but because children may lurk on this website, I shall NOT speak of it...):




As stated above, I jumped right in, starting with the cockpit. No big deal  here, as I couldn't find an aftermarket cockpit in this scale, I built it pretty much (but not quite) stock from the box, using the decals for instruments, etc, as there was no raised detail of any kind. I glued together the front gear bay, and the cockpit tub which sits on atop the other. There were no locating marks, but there was a step, indicating how far forward the cockpit went onto the gear bay.


I cruised right along, almost in a Snap-Tite sort of way, until suddenly, I noticed something was seriously wrong:




You will notice in the above photo that when the front of the lower wing is nestled correctly against the aircraft nose ("A"), that the is a really serious offset at the rear of the wing ("B").  "What The Flying Flapjacks!", I exclaimed (or words to that effect), "there are some serious errors in this kit"!   I thought it odd that no other builder or reviewers from yesteryear had mentioned this fault, but I started to investigate further:




Note the distance discrepancies between "A" and "B", side-to-side.  Well, I thought finally, if I cut out a little bit where shown at "C", I can glue the front, and when dry, skew the rear of the lower wing over to line up:




Well, THAT didn't work too well, referencing "A" and "B" above, but it did point out my other boo-boo, where I glued the lower base part of the rear instrument panel in backwards, which the necessitated shaving a little off the rear edge of the ledge between the seats (arrow) -- defiantly my mistake, but the kit's instructions are not really that informative either, as we shall see later on.


Anyway, using more liquid glue (in my case Weld-On #3), I dissolved the glue joint, taking things apart in the reverse order of how  I;d built them. When I got the fuse separated from the nose, all became clear:




In about the very first step, I'd glued the cockpit floor to the front gear bay against the step, but had allowed the rear of the cockpit to be mounted slightly askew, rather than parallel to, the gear bay. 1.5 mm off here, and suddenly the fuselage is mis-aligned 6 or 8mm at the rear of the wing!  (I forgot what what the "N" above was supposed to represent, but just note the side-to-side alignment).


As I said earlier, there are NO locating tabs or pins for these parts. Whether this is true for just this kit or all Hasegawa F-4 Phantoms, I don't know, as this is the first I've ever built. All can say I can say is anyone building one needs to assure that the gar bay, lower front fuselage and cockpit tub are all aligned the same, and then you won't look like a dufus like me!!  Also, on the dufus theme, I forgot to take a picture of the offending parts for you---Doh!


Anyway, at this point I decided to do the build thread, not only to warn others about doing really dumb things, but also to correct what I have found to be incorrect on previous builds and reviews of this model. This is NOT because the builders or reviewers were slackers --- it;s just that far more resources are available now on the internet than there were in 2004 or so. So, I'll share what I THINK I've learned, and if you have a differing opinion, please jump in -- I have VERY thick skin -- just ask my wife....kids....neighbors....dog....


Anyway come along if you dare, and not only will I show you the miraculously finessed (and better aligned) model, but I will deign to Share The Tribal Wisdom (or perhaps just my opinion) with you.


Until next time,






  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, TheRealMrEd said:

just ask my wife....kids....neighbors....dog....




Me.  :whistle:


Hiya Edweird.  Tagging along on this one since I too have a older Hasgawa Phabulous Phantom in the stash.  Along with an elusive set of Microscale decals for it for none other than my old squadron.  The 1st TFW/45th TFS at MacDill airplane patch.  Ahhh... the good old days!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm following this one too as I have this boxing in my stash along with at least one boxing of every other variant of the Hasegawa F-4 family in 1/72. When I got my copy of this kit it lacked the instructions for the decal sheet so I got the 1/48 boxing of this kit and copied the instructions before selling the kit to the leader of the IPMS F-4 SIG in the UK

It will be interesting to see what additions/corrections you do



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys! I welcome all followers, tag-a-longs, bindlestiffs, and ne'er-do-wells!   We'll be learning together, because as I said, this also my first Hasegawa Phantom.


Hi uncletommy, I'm surprised that you ever had time to SEE a Phantom -- I thought you were always flying the long way around the world in a B-52 jump seat, trying to get from New England back to Langley...


Anyway, inching along, pushing the boulder with my nose.


At this point, I have the fuselage back together, and am ready to start on some of the trickier painting bits, as well as some other details:




In the above photo, all the painted areas shown have been first primed with Alclad II white primer. "A" and "B" represent areas that need to be painted white on the intake side, and FS 16440 or 36440 grey on the opposite side.  Parts "G", the intake ramps, get painted the same grey on both sides, while the "G" on the fuselage means to paint the whole area of the intakes the same grey.  Area "W" may or may not also be painted white, should you assume someone will shine a light in there to see what color you've painted it. The frontal area, pointed to b y the arrow, I painted flat black, because I don't want anyone looking there, and I'm way to lazy to add engine fronts...  If you are otherwise inclined, God bless you my child...


Here, let me mention one of those things that mostly has been overlooked by earlier builders/reviewers: currently available photographs on line show that these birds, like the other Navy birds, have bare metal leading edges everywhere - a fact that earlier modelers would have had a hard time determining from Black and white magazine photos -- and which also complicates the painting process -- a fact which you Navy Phantom builders knew all along...


In further preparation, I masked off the thin metal leading edge of the intakes with some thin strips of Tamiya tape, masking off the other, non-bare-metal parts with Parafilm "M". Then, I painted the leading edges Alclad II Polished Aluminum. When that dried, I removed all the masking.


Next, as shown below, I masked most of the interior of the intakes with Parafim "M" (hereinafter to be called "PM" by me!), allowing enough to stick out through the front of the intake to fold around over the outside of the intake. Then the excess was trimmed along the bare metal line with a sharp #11 X-Acto blade, for now protecting both the edge and the interior from over spray, hopefully.  Note that the film doesn't extend right up to the gluing edge, else the film would not be re-moveable later!




Next, I glued together all the intake parts in their respective positions. I seem to recall that the kit call-outs have the numbers for these parts somewhat wrong, but it really doesn't matter, as they fit only one way, and are Not interchangeable.  Then I had to make a decision:




There were four little "bumps" on the kit, which due to their dissimilar shapes, I assumed were some kind of ECM or other sensors.  Since this was a pretty early F4-B (earlier FH-1) version from 1962, I elected to remove these items. If I'm wrong, someone please jump in and correct me!  Part of my decision was also based on the fact that a Fujimi F-4B, built years earlier, did not have them either.


Next item up was launch bridle attachment hooks:




The kit gives you two choices, and I chose the earlier ones. Bear in mind, these first two F-110A's were actually bone stock Navy F-4B's, for the Air Force to play with. These and the first batch of "F-4C's", were, I believe, all later returned to the Navy, as the actual USAF F-4C's with the Air Force's mods, came on line. So, the REAL later F-4C's had NO bridle hooks, but the early ones, as well as these "F-110a's", did. (Thank you Robert McNamara, for your kind help with naval nomenclature!).


There's yet another kit instruction that's wrong, but we'll go into that one next time.  Also, please remember that these detail changes I'm pointing only refer to the first two F-110A's -- and even THEY had differences between them! I make no warranty -- express or implied -- that any of this is accurate for any other Phantom variety -- or even Hasegawa variety, for that matter.


Bye for now,







  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Hi uncletommy, I'm surprised that you ever had time to SEE a Phantom -- I thought you were always flying the long way around the world in a B-52 jump seat


Nah, sometimes we'd go down to the flight line and hang around base ops just to watch the children sortie out to the land of Avon Park with their toys that went bang.  :pilot:


Kept them off the streets you know.


Now, build on sir, build on!

Edited by uncletommy
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, back again!


Next up, a little final filling and sanding here and there, and a slight bit of Perfect Plastic Putty along the top-wing-to-fuelage join:




Next the whole model is masked with Tamiya tape and Parafilm "M" -- which I use freely because I bought a large life-time roll (I think). Only the leading edges, bare metal tail surfaces  and the nose cone are left exposed:




Next, the bare metal areas and the nose have been sprayed:




After all the masking materials have been removed:




Next, all the now-painted bare metal surfaces, and the black nosecone  are masked with Parafilm "M":




Next, plugs  of hobby foam are inserted into the intakes, to protect the white paint, and to establish a firm line where the FS 16440 grey top color will end: 




Up next, figure "F" marks the flares door, which should be closed, as unless they were being service, were rarely open while on the ground.  The next thing to notice is the tail-cone or parachute housing cover. The kit instructions forget to mention this at all.  A study of the sprue diagrams on the instructions show that all options are are greyed out -- except one. Unfortunately, that is NOT the correct tail cone for this particular  aircraft. Instead, you should use the only two-piece part,  I believe #26  and  #27, which have the little parachute compartment vent hole at the rear tip; you'll have to remove the two molded-on sensors for this aircraft. I'll try and find a clearer picture of what this should look like later.




Well, that's it for next time, when the rest of the major painting should be done.







  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, back again.


Found a better picture of what the tailcones on the F-110A's are supposed to look like:




It should be noted that while the tailcone on 405 is bare metal, the tailcone on 406 is FS 16440 (or 36440) Aircraft grey, the same as the overall grey color.


At this time, when attempting to mask the bare metal leading edges on everything, I suddenly became afflicted with some malady that just would not let me cut the Parafilm "M" (PM) on a straight line, even with a ruler. So, I decided to try something I'd thought about trying for a long time, using decals to depict the bare metal leading edges on a U.S. Navy type color scheme. This is not unique -- I seem to remember many years ago some kind of F8F or F9F silver decals on a Blue Angels scheme -- but it is something I've not tried since. In preparation for that, the metal edges have all now been over-painted white or grey, as appropriate, and the upper white control surfaces have been masked with PM. Please note another area where most earlier builders got it wrong -- the white/grey demarcation is a soft edge wavy line, NOT a hard-edged straight line on the two F-110A's.




Prior to the decaling, the cockpit coaming area was painted flat black, and the cockpits glued in place, rear-to-front. Please note that the two opening canopy parts were glued with white glue, so that they could be removed later, but the windsreen and central part were permanently glued with Weldon #3, using a Touch-'N-Flow applicator. The masked cockpit parts were then sprayed flay black, with 16440 grey over the top. When the whole thing was dry, everything was unmasked, and two coats of Alclad II Aqua Gloss clear was sprayed over the whole model:






It should be noted that the Hasegawa canopies do not fit together in the closed position. If you build this kit, they're gonna be left open, unless you can find a substitute canopy!


The decal bare-metal trial will be using two types of aluminum-colored decals, shown below. The top one is an old set of Scale Master stripes, and the bottom is a sheet of Aero Master FB-08 Canopy Frames/Trims:




And of course, on the right above, the old stand-by Micro Set, and the Walthers Solvaset, which has more strength than the Micro Sol, normally used after the decal is applied. I still use the Sol on less troublesome applications than this.


The hardest part of the effort will be the intakes. The inside bare metal paint still looked good, but the outside --  not so much. I decided to do each intake with three pieces of decal: top,  then bottom, then lastly, the center piece connecting the others. First piece is applied like so:




by aligning the outer part where desired, and then allowing the decal to dry with the inner part left hanging out, not yet settled down.  After this had dried for a few minutes, a drop of the Solvaset is applied to the free-hanging part, and then after several seconds, I begin to tease it with a wet brush, trying to get the remainder of the decal to curl around to the inside of the intake and snuggle down.


In the next pic, the upper and lower decals have been teased into place, and the center piece is awaiting it's Solvaset.  A 1/8" (3mm) strip of the Aero Master decal sheet has been applied to the wing leading edge:




The Aero Master decal is a little tougher than the Scale Master strip, but then it's also much newer. It will be fine for the non-curny areas.  When all is said and done, I think they both  will look fine from normal viewing distance, although probably not quite as good as the Alclad II Aluminum would have.  We'll see.


In any event, if we don't experiment, we never learn.  In the end, if I don't like the look, I'll take 'em off, mask and repaint the leading edges.  If they DO look acceptable, then I'll overcoat them with another layer or two of the Aqua Gloss, to protect them while apply the ton of other decals that will be needed.  As these two aircraft were actually just rolled off the assembly line, they had the full compliment of tiny makings!


Well, we'll see how all this works out. Will be back anon.





  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job, how old is that kit? It looks like a 2nd generation Hasegawa kit like

the old F-4E I once attempted. Sure doesn't look like the modern molds.---John


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may be right, Sturmovik, that's what I normally do. This is just an experiment, and may be useful for those using acrylics with paint adhesion problems.


John, the kit is from around 2002 -- just a pup...




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/28/2019 at 7:50 PM, Johnv said:

Nice job, how old is that kit? It looks like a 2nd generation Hasegawa kit like

the old F-4E I once attempted. Sure doesn't look like the modern molds.---John


The box lid shown above is older than the F-110A kit which is the same vintage as this https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/HAE36



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, all 2nd generation Hasegawa. Two piece fuselages, left and right halves, modern ones have

2 piece rear fuselage and 2 piece forward fuselage. Looks like a lot of the 80s and 90s kits made

it to the early 2000s.---John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, my understanding is that this was a rather late re-pop by Hasegawa, milking the old molds 'till the end. It's still a great kit (except for the canopy closed fit and the instructions!).


Moving along, the use of silver decal for the leading edge strips worked out okay. I over coated them with Alclad II Aqua Gloss and they seem presentable:




I next proceeded with the decals. Given that this was an old model, I first coated the entire kit decal sheet with Microscale Decal Film, just in case. This also meant that now each decal had to be cut to it's final shape by yours truly!


I laid the model on a folded up towel, and added all the underside decals first:




All of the star-and-bar decals on the Hasegawa sheet had started to depict yellow stars, so I replaced their U.S. national insignia with some same-sized decals from an old MicroScale set. Also had to come up with another number "5" to replace one erroneously printed as a "6" on one of the two FJ-405  buzz numbers, under the rear fuselage. There are quite a few little (mostly yellow) decals on the underside also.  When these had dried, I shot a coat of Alclad II Aqua Gloss Clear over them, to prevent damage from later handling.


Then, I added just the larger decals on the top and sides:




I started by adding the top red turbine warning stripe, aligning it carefully with the one applied to the underside of the model earlier. Then, I added the two two small red stripes also carefully aligned.  Next, I got the closely trimmed "U.S. Air Force" decals, and holding them up to the model, I determined how much to shorten the overlong top stripe, by means of trimming each end with a sharp # 11 X-Acto knife.  With the clearances from the red turbine warning stripe determined, only the fore-and-aft location of the "U.S. Air Force" decals had to be determined.  As before, these were allowed to dry, and then they also were over coated with the Aqua Gloss.


Next the myriad of tiny details were added to the top and sides:




This turned out pretty well. I thought for a while that Hasegawa had added every bit of writing on the model that existed on the real aircraft. Not true -- the real thing had tons more!






The last two photos (above) will be useful for those following this path later on. They also serve to point out another discrepancy -- that of the correct color for the anti-glare panel in front of the cockpit.  The Air Force calls for FS 34079 dark green, but to me it looks closer to FS 34092 European I Dark Green. I have noticed this same thing on other aircraft, particularly the F-104's, in some cases. Oh, well, maybe the Navy had their own way, as these two F-110A's are actually bone-stock F-4B's with pretty paint, on loan to the Air Force (along with I think, 69 others) to hold the USAF until their REAL F-4C's with fatter tires, wing and door gear bulges, other antenna, some rear seat controls and sometimes -- slotted stabilators.   Ya  pays ya nickel and ya makes ya choice...


Also, a few issues with the decals given. The red circles with the white dot on both sides of the radome were given as little yellow circles; I found some correct ones in the spares box.  Some decals near the cockpit sill were depicted as switched, back-to-front, according to the photos. Decal #51 was not used on either F-110A, and there were a few other small things, some I ignored and some I fixed. They could not be noticed by a casual observer.


Then I started adding pieces to the build, first the Sparrow missiles (which don't fit great and also require their upper fins to be sawn off), and the landing gear:




It was right about here that I found my largest annoyance at these lame kit directions!  After all the painting and decals be added, only then, way back in the instructions, do I find out about two pieces #Q33, which happen to be the cheek intake extensions that are to be glued on the the existing stubs, just ahead of where the "A" in "F-110A" is, in the photo right above...


It would have been considerate of them to add these pieces long before the average person would have painted the aircraft!  Oh well, that;s where being old and not eternally vigilant comes back to haunt me.


While pondering this sad twist of fate, I will retreat to my private place with my trusty several fingers worth of Tullamore Dew  --  and wonder why the modeling gods have abandoned me...













  • Like 3
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, back again.


Next, a few detail items. Pictures exist of these aircraft with orange practice bombs, regular bombs, Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles, etc., but I wanted to try and get roll-out fresh, which meant the Navy-style pylons and no weapons.


I basically chopped the missile rails of the kit parts and attached them to the pylons, mostly to fill the giant holes in the pylons that these parts would fill. I also added some bomb shackles on the bottom, from a Trumpeter F-100:




Next, I added the missile pylons, fuel tanks, etc. to the bottom:




Here is where a lot of additional detail on these two aircraft comes to light.  "A" points to the fact that all the fuel tanks on the F-110A's had bare metal front ends, but oddly, both the wing tanks had an additional bare metal stripe just behind the ends, as shown.  "B" point to the small bare metal stripe that all three fuel tanks had near the rear end (for some reason), and figure "C" shows two additional bare metal stripes on the center-line tank, but only on the bottom -- not sure why. Anyway, the silver decal trick again helps out for all these stripes.  "D" points to the outer edges of the front fins on the two rear Sparrows that are painted with red tips for safety -- a feature found on many other F-4's as well.


The two pitot style tubes on the leading edge of the vertical tail were replaced by bits of hypodermic needle and wire. (These, along with the fuel dump at the back end of the tail, had been broken off long ago!  My recommendation, should you even build one one these, would be to trim off all three parts at the start, throw them in a plastic bag for safe-keeping, and reinstall at the end!):




Above right, since I forgot to do it before I mounted them, I had to also add the bare metal front edge to the weapons pylons -- again, silver decal strips to the rescue.


About then, I discovered that the kit ejection seats that I had finished and painted, then put up for safekeeping --- could not be found!  Fortunately I had a set of True Detail F-4 seats in the stash. I had not intended to use them, but oh well:




Above right -- I had cleverly tested the fit of these in the rear cockpit, unfortunately, I had NOT done the same with the FRONT cockpit!... I sanded off all I could on the bottom and lower sides, and even cut a notch in the back side, but the front seat still sits a little too tall. Luckily, having the cockpits open will help disguise this error....  One other interesting fact is that rather than the normal yellow-with-black-stripes on the ejection seat face-curtain loops, on these F-110A's, they were painted white with red stripes, as the pictures of the real thing that I posted above will show.


Last, I installed the stabilators, which are simply a press fit:




Well, except for installing the canopies, and painting a few light, and a topcoat of semi-gloss, she's about done. I should have a link and some RFI pics posted up in a day or two.  I need to paint the center panel of the windscreen a very slight blue, but everything I've tried ends up a bit too dark. Any suggestions on how best to hand this? Food coloring?  Anyway, see you all next time.


Thanks for stopping by:






  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, some of the problems were self-inflicted, other than the poor instruction set.  Anyway, she's done, and here's the teaser pic:




A few other pics over now up over in RFI:   RFI


Thanks for looking. As this completes my collection of aircraft associated with Col. George E. "Raven" Laven Jr, I'll post all those pics together, along with links, pretty soon.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Roger,


It was tougher than I thought it would be, basically building OOB  but you know what they say about A.S.S.U.M.E. ---


I'm just glad to have it in the collection. I was out modeling when it was new, or I would have snapped it up and built it way back then!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...