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1/32nd F-4C "Wolfpack" Phantom


11bravo
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I plan on using the awesome Fundekals "Operation Bolo and Beyond" to do this nasty looking F-4:

 

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Weathered paint, off the shelf OD used to do touchups, weird paintwork on the external tanks, what more could you ask for in a subject?  Here she is in real life, prior to the MiG kill markings and the "night owl":

 

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Intakes are the first order of business.  The kit intakes just don't work.  Aftermarket solutions are pricey and also have flaws.  I opted to do the corrections myself.  After a lot of putty, and even more sanding film, i got it to an acceptable point.

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Also used grey pastels to tone down the shiny gloss white that you never actually see inside the intakes. 

 

Next up are the ejection seats.   Early F-4's used the Martin Baker Mk5 seats.  These were quickly replaced by the Mk7's because the used an explosive charge which caused multiple back injuries while ejecting.  The later Mk7 was a zero-zero seat that used a rocket to egress.   Here's a nice picture of the Mk5.

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AMS Resin has a really nice set of Mk5's.   I added a few decals, from the Tamiya kit and the Aeroscale placard set, plus a few bits of added details.   

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That's it for now, thanks for looking!

 

Edited by 11bravo
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Good start.

 I have one of these, also destined to become a Wolfpack aircraft so I’ll be watching closely.

The seats look fantastic, I was hoping to convert a couple of Mk 7s for mine, but I’ve taken the easy way out on the intakes and invested in a resin set.

 

John

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  • 2 months later...

Just a quick update.   Made some progress on the cockpits.   Added the fabric covers on the console sides, some avionics boxes / map holder in the aft cockpit and a few minor mods to the instrument panels.   Weathering is still a work in progress.   Some areas need to be toned down, some need to be enhanced.     Much more work to do as far as adding details to this area.   

 

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Also a few other random bits:

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Thanks for looking!

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Just a few pics to show some progress on the cockpits.   Lots more work to do here.

 

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Thanks for looking and by the way - if anyone has some pictures that show the aft bulkhead areas of both pilot and WSO's cockpits, please feel free to post them.   Good pictures of these areas are surprisingly hard to locate. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 4:12 PM, 11bravo said:

if anyone has some pictures that show the aft bulkhead areas of both pilot and WSO's cockpits, please feel free to post them

There are a few shots of the aft cockpit of a QF-4S with the seat removed in the DACO naval Phantom book.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

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Quick update.   I added a very nice resin interior set to the aux intakes. 

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Also have the cockpit tub pretty much done.   I'll be adding more details to upper part of the aft bulkheads but I need to have the tub installed beforehand. 

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Lot of work invested in the cockpits, we'll see how much is visible when they are installed in the fuselage.  

 

 

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Oh, this is looking good!

I must admit to doing a double-take when I saw the tail code of the plane you plan to model. I'm pretty sure there weren't any Phantoms ordered in FY 1937...
Then I found out the initial 6 in 63-7859 could be dropped, resulting in 37 small and 859 large on the tail; the system not being designed for four-figure large codes. One lives and learns.

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Wow I thought your Mosquito was good but you've stepped it up with that cockpit 😮

 

What were the 'minor mods' to the instrument panels, because those look amazing. O2 hoses are very effective as well, one of the best fast jet cockpits I've seen 👏👏👏

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2022 at 1:31 AM, Alan P said:

Wow I thought your Mosquito was good but you've stepped it up with that cockpit 😮

 

What were the 'minor mods' to the instrument panels, because those look amazing. O2 hoses are very effective as well, one of the best fast jet cockpits I've seen 👏👏👏

Thanks very much for the compliments but - I cheated and used Quinta "decals" for the IP and consoles.   These things are game changers.   I don't know any other way to describe them.  The minor mods I added to the IP's were limited.   A base and cable attached to the drag chute handle in the pilot's left foot well, some wires hanging under the IP barely visible, an AirScale placard and some weathering.    The real work was all the details added to the side panels and bulkheads.    Between the avionics boxes, structural items and wires, I've probably got around 100 bits and pieces added.  The oxygen hoses were just a section of thin plastic rod, held in a pin vise and then rotated while I wrapped a spiral of thin lead wire around it.   The styrene was flexible enough so I could gently bend it.  After painting,  I loosely wrapped another strand of lead wire around the hose to represent the communications wire.     

 

So I've made some progress since the last update.   Cockpit tub is now installed in the upper fuselage section (a massive chunk of plastic for sure).    I couldn't resist placing the seats into the pit so I could get a feel for how she looked.

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Not bad I guess.   I have a lot of details to add to the upper sections of both aft bulkheads now that they are installed.    Also looking forward to the rats nest of wires behind the WSO's upper instrument panel.   Should be great fun!

 

I've also started painting.   As I mentioned above "589" has some serious color issues going on.   Due to the early non-spec SEA paintjob, heavy weathering from the harsh Thai climate and touchup work done with whatever paint could be scrounged up in the motor pool, she probably has at least 10 unique colors on her.   I posted it above but for handy reference, here is the real 589 (note also the grey serial numbers on the tail):

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Just note - the tones in this picture aren't very accurate, one of the drawbacks of wet film back in the day, regardless, they still give you an idea of how ratty she looked by the late summer of 67.

 

Using Blue-Tack and paper towels for masking, I was able to get satisfactory borders between the colors.   Like any paint job at this stage, I still have multiple touchups required.    Right now I'd say the paintwork is about 80% complete.

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Also note the colors in these pictures (especially the tans) are a bit lighter than how they look in RL.

 

Anyway, that's it for now.   As always thanks for looking and any / all comments, critiques and suggestions are most welcome.

 

John

 

 

Edited by 11bravo
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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2022 at 5:20 AM, pentel_5 said:

Hi,

Which colours and brand did you use?

Like very much the progress.

Regards,

R

Thanks very much.   Colors are all Model Master enamels (rapidly disappearing from shelves).    Standard SEA colors, Dark Tan, Dark Green, Medium Green.    The Dark Tan was too dark, I lighted it a bit.   The other colors are all versions of these basic paints with additional colors added to replicated faded or weathered paint.   The exception are the light green blotches which are Model Master SAC Bomber Green and the dark OD on the fin, which was a mix of black, dark green and Leather.    

 

Regards,

 

John

 

Edited by 11bravo
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Posted (edited)

A quick update.  Painting continues.    After that, additional work is required to correct overspray, adjust the borders that may not exactly match the original, etc, etc.   Time consuming but still enjoyable.   I'm struggling with matching the colors.    As mentioned in my last post, the color picture of the real 589 above isn't a good guide as many of the colors on the film have "shifted".   Best resource I'm using are the drawing provided by Jennings / Fundekals.   Here is where I'm currently at, the fin looks especially stark but once I complete the paintwork, add decals and tie it all together with a matt clearcoat, I think it will look OK. 

 

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That's it for now, thanks for checking in.

Edited by 11bravo
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On 3/13/2022 at 5:02 AM, Alan P said:

Those colours look very effective 👏👏👏

 

Following from what @Biggles87 said, have you test fitted the wings yet, because there might be some rocky roads ahead...😬

I am a bit apprehensive about fitting the lower fuselage.  Some people who have built the kit said it's a bear, others say that it goes fine. I'm going to do a test fit shortly.   I've accepted that I'll have to do some sanding / repainting, just hoping it won't be too much.  

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Hopefully you'll get the good version, on mine there was no connection at all between the upper wing and fuselage. I ended up having to use Tamiya tape to provide the join/seam filling 😬

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So I'm back.  Lost a couple of weeks of modeling due to a business trip down to SC.  Decided to take a break from the big tasks and work on something smaller.   So next up are the drop tanks.    The kit tanks are pretty decent.  They are moulded with integral pylons (as were the real things).  Only thing I added to the tanks themselves were a couple of Eduard PE filler caps and some rivets.  On the pylons, I drilled out the ejector cartridges and a few other openings, plus added some missing rivets. 

 

One thing I like about my subject is that during this stage of the war, all paintwork was in flux.  The original tanks were overall gloss white.   When the jets were camouflaged, you also saw a wide variation of painting to get the tanks somewhat more subdued.   This includes a quick green overspray (the green on these tanks seemed to mostly be a darker shade compared to what was used on the jets themselves) with a wide variety of demarcations between the colors, from simple straight lines, to wavy, irregular patterns.  Most of the work was pretty sloppy but for a tank that typically would only last a mission or two, I don't think neatness / uniformity was a concern.  Some tanks also had mix and matched parts to add even more bizarre schemes. 

 

I opted for two different schemes to add a bit more visual interest to this already weirdly painted jet.   Note on the lower tank that the overspray was intentional (as was the very thin strip of white at the border between the front and rear sections.

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Not a lot of weathering added, with the exception of a light wash on the pylons to represent a bit of grime and to highlight a few of the panel lines. 

 

Regarding the overall dark OD tank - a few months after the famous Operation Bolo, the 497th TFS was assigned the night attack mission (it still fly daylight sorties as well).   Only reason I can think that they painted the tanks overall dark OD was to tone them down for night ops.   Not sure what the point was since the rest of the underside was still gloss white but if anyone else has a better idea, feel free to chime in.    By late '67, these OD tanks were actually pretty common in this squadron (later in the war, when the 497th started flying the F-4D in this role, you started to see the undersides of the jets painted black).   Here's a good example of a "Night Owls" jet with the subdued tanks (note the jet behind it has a tank with the original dark green uppers and just the underside was painted OD):

tuTbsbz.jpg

Also note that this jet is another great example of the multiple shades of paint seen on the upper surfaces.

 

That's going to do it for today, thanks for looking in! 

 

 

 

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Thanks very much for the kind words guys, your interest means a great deal.   I've been keeping myself occupied on some painting work.    Some of it is touchups to the camo scheme, some of it is replicating the weird paintwork on those early Phantoms.  For those that haven't been following from the beginning, keep in mind that these early F-4C's were originally deployed in their navy style Gull Grey uppers over gloss white undersides.  When the order came down to camouflage these jets, they painted the upper surfaces but left the lowers in gloss white.  These jets also came with Corroguard metalic coatings on the wing leading edges.   For whatever reason, the AF decided to wrap the top colors on the wings around the bottom to cover up the silverish Corroguard.   According to the Fundekals instructions, sometimes this was a soft edge spray, other times it was a hard edge.  I went for the latter.   Does make for an unusual looking underside.

You will also note some of my pre-shading on the aft fuselage.   These jets were filthy, I'm going to have my work cut out to accurately replicate all the crap that had stained the bottom of these planes. 

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You may ask what's up with the tape on the wings?   While reading through an epic 1/32nd Tamiya F-4E build over on ARC, I noted that the builder discovered the mounting points for the outboard pylons / wing tanks were too far outboard.   He determined that the locating holes for the pylons needed to be 6mm in from their existing location and 7mm forward.    Having a roll of 6mm Tamiya tape, it made it pretty easy to get my measurements.   Next step will be to drill holes for the new mounts and then fill and repaint the incorrect ones.   Wish I had caught this before painting the underside but it really isn't that big of a deal.  

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Also note - the grey squares are simply unpainted plastic, they replace the parts with the catapult hooks for the Naval versions.   Missed painting them originally, I'll get to them further down the road.   That's what happens when you rush! 

 

Thanks for checking in lads. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just adding some additional details to the aft areas of both cockpits.   Couldn't start this work until I had the cockpit installed into the upper fuselage.   Still have much to do in this area, will also be adjusting some of the weathering on the canopy sills. 

 

 

 

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Popped the WSO's seat in just to see how everything fits.  Never realized how cramped the WSO's cockpit was and how low he sat.   The canopy sill looks like it comes up above his shoulders. 

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Also completed the inner wing pylons.   Just added a few access openings and some missing rivets.   Also added a bit of grime to them as these typically got pretty dirty.   Much more to do in this area. 

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That's it for now, thanks for checking in. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the great feedback!   I'm now starting to work on the wheel wells.   First up is nose gear bay.   The Tamiya part is pretty basic.   I added a bunch of hydraulic lines and the red avionics cooling air cover (along with 4 tiny little wingnuts).   Once the nose gear is installed, I'll add more lines and it should look pretty "busy".   

 

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Also have some touchup painting to do, to clean up a few smudges that happened during the weathering process. 

 

Thanks for checking in!

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  • 1 month later...

More work to show.  Wings are now attached and I've added some details to the main landing gear bays.   More to do in this area.

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I'll fix the overspray in the AIM-7 well! 

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That's it for now, thanks for looking! 

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