Jump to content

F-4B Phantom II, VF-31 "Tomcatters" USS Saratoga 1966 - painting completed


Recommended Posts

Ok this went for being a GB I was sort of interested into a OMG I must build GB and it’s all Tamiya’s fault with their beyond gorgeous and stunning new F-4B!!!!!

 

IMG_5941-L.jpg

 

I expect we might sea 1 or 2 of these in the build?  :hmmm:   So I won’t go into detail about the model, pictures will be the best way, but I looks amazing and worth ever penny/cent/lek….first born child.

 

IMG_5942-L.jpg

 

IMG_5943-L.jpg

 

Things of note though, first a warning, once you take it out of the box, you’ll never get it all back to fit properly in the box. Plus, the sprue tree for the clear parts!!!!  

 

IMG_6063-L.jpg

 

To get it to fit I ended up cutting all the bits off and placing them in separate bags for protection……. though not that they need them with that cage around each of them!

 

IMG_6064-L.jpg

 

Scheme, well no decision for me, a VF-31 bird. They only operated the F-4B for about 3 years (the F-4J model only for 2 years), and for some reason it just happens to be the least photographed aircraft they operated. Even the F2H-3 Banshee they used is more photographed (and yes, I have a 1/48th one in the stash in VF-31 colours).

 

Not helping too is the fact there are no decals available for their F-4B’s, luckily there is very little difference in scheme between the B & J versions so I can use the Galaxy Decals F-4J’s one for this build and mix-n-match these and kit decals for the correct numbers I need

 

IMG_5306-L.jpg

 

IMG_5307-L.jpg

 

I have only managed to find 6 photo’s of their F-4B’s, been searching everywhere (unfortunately there are a lot purporting to be F-4B’s but are actually F-4J’s when you check the detail) and there is 5 or 6 variations of the scheme. In this photo there are 3 variations!!

 

VF-31-Tomcatters-163-L.jpg

 

I'm not sure if that'll be a help or hinderance, it's going to be fun! 

 

…and finally… yes there will be AM!! :D

 

A new and correct early version Fin Cap from Flying Leatherheads…

 

IMG_6061-L.jpg

 

……. and correct early version Bang Seats (kit comes with the later Mk.7’s with no seatbelts) and seatbelts...... which I don't need now! :doh:

 

IMG_6065-L.jpg

 

Plus fingers crossed  :pray:   Quinta Studio 3D Decals for the cockpit, due for release this week!!  :yahoo:

 

Can’t wait to start, and the bench is almost clear of current projects too…….   :whistle:

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Dansk said:

…damn I failed 🙃 your fault rich.

looking forward to see this build!

 hahahaha.... :rofl2: I have a feeling sales of the Tamiya F-4B are going to go through the roof during and after this GB!! :thumbsup:

 

And rightly so, what a truly awesome model from them....... can't wait for the rest of the family...... well actually my wallet can! :whistle:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, trickyrich said:

I have only managed to find 6 photo’s of their F-4B’s, been searching everywhere (unfortunately there are a lot purporting to be F-4B’s but are actually F-4J’s when you check the detail) and there is 5 or 6 variations of the scheme. In this photo there are 3 variations!!

With so few photos and quite a few variations at least no one can say it's wrong. :like:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Retired Bob said:

With so few photos and quite a few variations at least no one can say it's wrong. :like:

 

I won't say that's the exact plan........ but am thinking along those lines! :D

 

I have managed to identify 10 F-4B's used by VF-31 and 3 possibles, and have matched up most of the bureau #'s to aircraft #'s, to scheme variations....... yea spreadsheets!!  :D

 

VF-31 only did 3 tours on USS Saratoga with the B's and all of those were Med. deployments. They kept the F-4J's for 12 years (not 2 as I mentioned at the start! :doh:), which included Vietnam deployments. Actually VF-31 and the Saratoga served together continiously for 24 years, the longest squadron carrier pairing in USN history.

 

Plus another interest fact, VF-31 is the only Navy squadron to achieve kills in all three major conflicts the USN was involved in. WWII as VF-3 (they changed to VF-31 in 1948) with F6F-5 Hellcats, then as VF-31 in Korea with F9F Panthers, and finally Vietnam with F-4J Phantoms.

 

Good old Felix is a tough kitty. :thumbsup:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Retired Bob said:

With so few photos and quite a few variations at least no one can say it's wrong. :like:

 

They can...but that doesn't mean they are right.  :rofl2:

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

Was meant to be working today but with all the lockdowns and restrictions in place the job I had at a hospital north of Sydney was canned. So an unexpected modelling day!!!  :thumbsup:

 

Ok before we go any further, after now spending 2 days playing with this model I am without doubt saying this IS the best model I’ve ever had the chance to build!!! Tamiya has been know to turn out some really nice models in the past that go together really nicely…… but this is in another league altogether! The joins are so good they just disappear, even when just sitting parts together without glue, the joins are better than most models when glued together!!

 

So yes I have started her in my usual way, not following instruction, just building up modules as I feel, an awful lot has been done so far, but here are some of the bits.

 

The fuselage has lots slots to fit different panels into for the various versions to come, the front RH section is the biggest one, this is for the Navy version with the built-in IFR probe. So for the Airforce versions they’ll just swap this one out rather than making a whole new fuselage side. These different panels fit perfectly and just “disappear” once fitted.

 

IMG_6080-L.jpg

 

The mount for the elevators is another module piece, not sure why they did this………

 

IMG_6081-L.jpg

 

…… but it slots in perfectly, even without glue the join is almost perfect.

 

IMG_6082-L.jpg

 

And speaking of the elevator, the F-4B I’m building is one of the early versions which didn’t have the slotted leading edge. The photos I have confirmed that, luckily the earlier elevators were included!  

 

IMG_6097-L.jpg

 

Not so with the rudder! It’s another modular unit with separate leading edge. Again I need the early version without the antennas in it, unfortunately this is not included. 

 

IMG_6084-L.jpg

 

So Flying Leathernecks to the rescue with a plain resin cast rudder tip for this model……….well not so!! The above photo shows it fitted, and while it fitted ok, the shape was not! It’s a bit too short and the trailing edge is at the wrong angle!!  Considering how much it cost I’m not very happy. The Zoukei-Mura F-4E has the correct tip in the kit, but while the shape is correct and it fits, it’s too thick. 

 

IMG_6087-L.jpg

          kit tip fitted                                                  Flying Leathernecks resin tip                              Zoukei-Mura tip

 

The easiest (not really) way to correct this is to cut the resin one in half and insert a resin block in between and reshape it. So be warned, I reckon the other two tip from them may suffer the same issues!

 

I was a bit suspect about how the exhaust cans would build up and look……. but they are very nice… no need for resin AM ones here!

 

IMG_6088-L.jpg

 

Tamiya gives you a choice of wings folded or not (you get to sets of outer wings to), unfortunately you can’t have it both ways by just swapping them over……. well not easily, micro magnets would do the trick (not this time). So up will be for me. The underside join is probably the worse join on the whole model…….. it’s perfectly flat, just a tiny gap….. so either a tiny spot of filler needed or some thin stretched sprue will do the trick.

 

IMG_6089-L.jpg

 

So lots of stuff lacquer painted white already for a wash and detail painting.

 

IMG_6091-L.jpg

 

It was too hard to take a photo but the way those intake trunks go together was amazing. The leftover gap is tiny but it is in such a spot it’s almost impossible to notice, so you really don’t have to worry about it. Very clever moulding.

 

And here she sits, just sitting there the wing/fuselage join is perfect (if I had taped the fuselage together you wouldn’t see that join at all), the way the spine fits and is done is amazing, a much better way of doing it than the spine insert Zoukei-Mura uses.

 

IMG_6095-L.jpg

 

IMG_6096-L.jpg

 

I have done lots of other bits on her…. I just couldn’t stop, plus it just falls together with no extra work required.

 

And yes I have bought the new Quinta Studio instrument panels for her :D , I’ve painted some of the cockpit but can’t do anything more until they arrive. Plus I’ll buy the Bullseye Fleet Phantoms set for the VF-31 CAG bird once The 48ers get their stock…… I refuse to buy them from those clowns at SprueBrothers!!! :fuyou_2:

 

Anyway I am absolutely loving this build :wub:  … I can see myself buying quite a few Tamiya F-4’s as the release the different versions…… and selling off my Academy and Zoukei-Mura ones!

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • trickyrich changed the title to F-4B Phantom II, VF-31 "Tomcatters" USS Saratoga 1966 - started

Wow, this is already lots of progress!!

And knowledge coming in!

Tomcaters are the way to go!

(Wonder when they will transition to the F-35C....)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, trickyrich said:

The joins are so good they just disappear, even when just sitting parts together without glue, the joins are better than most models when glued together!!

 

My joints usually get worse when I glue them. (The joints on the moddels I mean!)

 

1 hour ago, trickyrich said:

So Flying Leathernecks to the rescue with a plain resin cast rudder tip for this model……….well not so!!

 

I just cancelled mine, Thanks for the heads up. I'll make my own out of one of the Tamiya bits.

 

I'm almost feeling guilty that you and the others are trailblazing this build for me. Almost.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Great progress, Rich. 👍

 

I wonder when the Bullseye sheets will be available from the 48'ers.

I was really keen on the Bullseye A-4C sheets and waited months for the 48'ers to get them. In the end, I became worried that they might get sold out without ever getting to the 48'ers and ordered them from Spruebrothers.

 

Cheers, Stefan.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Gidge said:

Lockdowns suck but they're great for productivity

Lockdown with children sucks and is bad for productivity... :D

sorry...

 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t do 1/48 scale, but like Dansk earlier, I’m seriously tempted by this beast of a kit! Currently resisting…..

 

SD

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/15/2021 at 1:04 AM, trickyrich said:

Ok this went for being a GB I was sort of interested into a OMG I must build GB and it’s all Tamiya’s fault with their beyond gorgeous and stunning new F-4B!!!!!

 

IMG_5941-L.jpg

 

I expect we might sea 1 or 2 of these in the build?  :hmmm:   So I won’t go into detail about the model, pictures will be the best way, but I looks amazing and worth ever penny/cent/lek….first born child.

 

 

Scheme, well no decision for me, a VF-31 bird. They only operated the F-4B for about 3 years (the F-4J model only for 2 years), and for some reason it just happens to be the least photographed aircraft they operated. Even the F2H-3 Banshee they used is more photographed

 

Plus fingers crossed  :pray:   Quinta Studio 3D Decals for the cockpit, due for release this week!!  :yahoo:

 

Can’t wait to start, and the bench is almost clear of current projects too…….   :whistle:

Nice choice, my nephew brought one over last weekend for me to have a look at - awesome kit!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang it Rich!

You're not allowed to make a sentence containing "Tamiya", "F-4B" and "VF-31" together!

That makes my wavering resistance crumble to tiny tiny pieces!

 

Luckily my bench and modelling bench are scheduled for house move during the autumn so there is still time for Tamiya to announce a F-4J 😃

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

now just imagine how nice it would be the have a VF-31 F-4B & J together!!!!   :D  

 

I have 2 sets of of decals for 3 different birds, including the J bird that killed a MiG-21! That one will be next when Tamiya releases the F-4J, currently the marking are sitting in an Academy F-4J box.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Christer A said:

I just learned that fündekals is doing a new set:

http://www.hyperscale.com/2021/reviews/decals/fundekalsf4bpreview_2.htm

It has a rather nifty VF-31 option there...

 

Can I sell a kidney somewhere to afford the Tamiya wunderkit?

 

I really now wish this GB had been later in the year when all these new goodies were available!!! Once I get to the painted stage I may have to stall this build until either these or the Bullseye decals are available....i really don't want to stuff it up with the dodgy Chinese decals i have now! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

 

I really now wish this GB had been later in the year when all these new goodies were available!!! Once I get to the painted stage I may have to stall this build until either these or the Bullseye decals are available....i really don't want to stuff it up with the dodgy Chinese decals i have now! 

Next time in the future when Tamiya release a kit its such a big deal that we should do a Single Kit Group Build around it some months after, when all the AM is flooding in to the market

Only downside is that it takes a while (over a year often) to suggest it, vote for it, win the bunfight etc 

Maybe our gratious leader @Enzo Matrix could have his arm twisted if we promise he can build three of them in a potential ‘urgent’ SKGB and we’re nice to him :kissing2:

 

Edited by Dansk
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Dansk said:

Next time in the future when Tamiya release a kit its such a big deal that we should do a Single Kit Group Build around it some months after, when all the AM is flooding in to the market

Only downside is that it takes a while (over a year often) to suggest it, vote for it, win the bunfight etc 

Maybe our gratious leader @Enzo Matrix could have his arm twisted if we promise he can build three of them in a potential ‘urgent’ SKGB and we’re nice to him :kissing2:

 

A provisional "New Tamiya Kit Group Build" would probably get votes

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

  • trickyrich changed the title to F-4B Phantom II, VF-31 "Tomcatters" USS Saratoga 1966 - painting completed

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...