Jump to content

PK-412 Phantom FG1 - Phinished at last


Recommended Posts

spacer.png

So, having had my arm twisted by @Rabbit Leader (all I did was mention that I happened to have a Matchbox Phantom and then next thing I know, here I am… :huh:), here’s the start of what will undoubtedly turn out to be a long drawn-out build (although not as long as a certain pair of Airfix Hawks have taken…).

I originally purchased this kit from Beatties maybe 40 years ago – if you look closely at the box you’ll see I paid the princely sum of £4.50, reduced because the clear parts were missing.

 

 

Edited by Galligraphics
Typo...
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obligatory sprue shots etc…

spacer.pngspacer.png

This particular boxing  was missing its canopy (no great loss I hear you say), so at some stage I must’ve bought an Aeroclub vac-formed replacement, which is handy… (I've just realised that there's a canopy from my OTHER Matchbox Phantom lurking in those photos - it belongs in the other box and won't be used on this build).

spacer.png

Here’s a comparison shot of the two Matchbox Phantom noses – original stubby incorrect one on the right, much better version from this kit on the left. I’m still not sure it’s 100% accurate but it is close enough for this build.

spacer.png

The kit ejection seats are… let’s just say typical of kits of the period. In my spares box I found these Milliput moulded copies of an aftermarket (probably Aeroclub) Martin-Baker Mk7 which, with the canopy closed, should pass muster.

spacer.png

Edited by Galligraphics
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for interest, here’s one I made earlier – this is the venerable Frog/Hasegawa kit which I think I got as a schoolkid on a visit to the RAF Museum at Hendon in, oh, 1974-ish? I banged it together quickly and it sat on my shelf for a year or two until I decided to smarten it up and make it a bit more accurate. So it was stripped, rubbed down (reducing most of those huge rivets), had its flaps lowered and the auxiliary air intakes added to the engine flanks. I think the decals were from Modeldecal. It has been through the wars in the intervening years – the tail pitots and canopies have been knocked off on more than one occasion (you’ll note the replacement pitot on the tail hasn’t even been painted) – but it still looks like a Phantom from a reasonable distance.

spacer.png

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if I ever built this one. I know I have built 2 Airfix, 1 Frog (Hasegawa) and 7 Fujimi, and not have one of a pair of the latest Airfix building in the Kuta, but I think I might be getting confused a little by the fact that the Aeroclub update set I bought was supposedly for the Matchbox kit (u/c, seats, canopy and Spey exhausts) but I probably used it elsewhere - the u/c definitely went on my original Airfix F4H-1 aka F-4B, and the canopy might as well as the original was based on the early pre-production or prototypes and a bit shallow I believe. No idea what I did with the seats and exhausts but I suspect they went on the Frog kit. So as I probably never did build this particular kit I will watch with interest.

 

Pete

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John said:

Are the windows in the canopy arch a feature of the retool or have you opened them yourself? I remember them being moulded solid in the original kit.

They must be as retooled - I haven’t been near it with a knife yet. You’re right - the original kit has a solid arch.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about how much of this kit I leave as-is, and which bits would rankle if I did nothing about them... 

 

Must-fixes:

  • seats - already got the two replacements. Might try and add some wire grab handles.
  • the two auxiliary air intake doors below the fuselage - always open when the aircraft was parked.
  • the two flap/doors on the rear sides of the fuselage.
  • the airbrakes - these always seem to be drooping when the aircraft was parked and I'm surprised that so many kits ignore this when even the old Frog/Hasegawa model had them as separate items.
  • intake at the root of the tail - slim down and trim back the horizontal "wings" either side. 
  • drop the flaps
  • exhausts - at the very least drill them out. Don't know how feasible it would be to make resin copies of some more accurate ones (I've got Airfix and Fujimi kits in the stash...).

Might have a go at:

  • cockpit - try and make it look "busy" without going to town on aftermarket items.
  • the aircon vents either side of the nose wheel bay - either find a way of copying/moulding them from a more accurate kit, or perhaps add them as decals (a bit like Airfix did with the vents on top of the splitter plates).
  • the vents on top of the splitter plates - will have to see what the model looks like in that region before deciding what to do.
  • Strengthening strakes on the side of the underwing fuel tanks.

I also need to decide on the final scheme. I'll probably go with the FAA 892 Sqn in EDSG as per the kit - mainly because I have very fond memories of the BBC documentary "Sailor" which followed Ark Royal's final deployment - the clip of the sun coming up over the flight deck to the refrain of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" has never left me.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s interesting that a lot of people had and/or built the Frog (Hasegawa) RN/RAF Phantom but it’s very hard to find someone who had and/or built the 1975 Frog (their own tool that replaced it and rereleased many times by Russian brands) RN/RAF Phantom. 

 

Also strange that there was no review of this tool in any of the magazines of the time (at least that I could find!). 

 

  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Delighted Dave managed to twist your arm into joining the GB, it's normally me that gets to be bad cop !

Your Phantom looks the business,  hopefully with another 5 months of this group build remaining it will be enough time to fit the legendary number of decals that go on a Phantom :wink:

Best of luck with this one

Cheers Pat

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

Ah Ha… gotta… thanks so much for join us @Galligraphics, you won’t be disappointed. 
Its so good to see both PK-404 and the retooled PK-412 Spey Phantoms being built within the same Group Build. I knew of the differences to the canopy, however I’m amazed to see how much longer the new nose section is! That really surprised me. This is another new addition that fills a Build List blank so I’ll amend all and sundry when I get the chance. 
 

Cheers, welcome aboard and best of luck.. Dave 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Rob S said:

That’s strange - the comparison photo isn’t showing up for me yet all the other photos are. 

Interesting… 🤔 that’s the one I edited after uploading to Flickr, so perhaps the link url changed. I’ll have a look when I can get at my pc next. In the meantime, the noses are visible in the other sprue shots, albeit a bit smaller 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

it will be enough time to fit the legendary number of decals that go on a Phantom :wink:

Luckily the Matchbox decals aren’t exactly comprehensive… 😉

spacer.png

...although I suppose I could see if there might be some spares from one of my Fujimi or Airfix Phantoms - or whether I have anything suitable in my decal collection (there are some old Modeldecal sheets in there...)

Edited by Galligraphics
added photo
  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sadly no progress to report yet - I've been redecorating the bathroom (plus it's recently been far too cold to spend time in my workshop...). However I have been musing further on what to do. The exhausts are shallower than the average reality tv "star"...

spacer.png

so they will have to be drilled out and some suitable tubing found to make them look a bit more like the real thing...(photo below taken from the walkaround shots on the rather brilliant Thunder and Lightnings website - hope it is okay to include here but if not, just let me know and I'll take it down). Or I could try moulding copies from a more accurate kit... 🤔

spacer.png

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the kit cockpit tub, with replacement seat test fitted. Not a lot of detail, but with the lid shut it won't show too much, so I'll probably just go with it - maybe see if I have some instrument panel decals in the spares box to add interest.

spacer.png

Nose wheel well - not very deep. I'm tempted to open this up, but will have to consider the implications for the nose wheel fit... we'll see how enthusiastic I get in due course.

spacer.png

Underside of wing. Many photos I've seen of parked Phantoms show the airbrakes drooping (and without the horizontal panel line across the middle). So I'll be trying to cut these (very carefully) out.

spacer.png

Ram air inlet at the root of the tail. I intend to cut the vertical triangle out and replace with thin plastic card, and will either cut/file the horizontal wing/thingback to a more accurate thickness/shape or replace it entirely, to look more like the real thing. Incidentally, this photo shows one of the few (only?) things that this kit does better than the new Airfix kit - the louvres just above the exhaust are moulded, which Airfix provide just as a decal...

spacer.png

Belly - I've already marked roughly the positions for the auxiliary air intake doors. Matchbox don't even get the panel lines right here 🙄. I'll be cutting these out (hopefully a bit squarer than the pencil marks) and adding card doors.

spacer.png

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick update. I had a spare hour or so today before heading out to watch my nephew play football, so FINALLY some plastic got bothered... Flaps and airbrakes cut out, and the holes for the belly auxiliary air intakes also roughly cut. Everything will need a bit of tidying up with the file, but that will have to be another day. 

spacer.png

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a go at doing something similar to this kit a few years ago, but just ended up just lowering the flaps and not bothering with the air brakes or auxiliary air intakes. I'm looking forward to the finished kit with these details added. I haven't seen which decal option you're going for. Have you decided yet?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent work cutting out the moving parts, no mean feat with Matchbox plastic!

The two parts cut out of the rear of the wing though are not flaps but the ailerons, the flaps are inboard of these. Unsure how your posing your model but both ailerons on FG.1s only droop a little when parked, so a good idea to cut out and pose anyway.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, 71chally said:

Excellent work cutting out the moving parts, no mean feat with Matchbox plastic!

The two parts cut out of the rear of the wing though are not flaps but the ailerons, the flaps are inboard of these. Unsure how your posing your model but both ailerons on FG.1s only droop a little when parked, so a good idea to cut out and pose anyway.

Thanks James. Ailerons - yes. Anyway, I’ll be posing the aircraft as parked on dry land, with the uppy-downy-flappy things drooped very slightly…:winkgrin:. Seriously, I think showing aircraft with control surfaces slightly dropped or off-centre adds tremendously to the realism. Which reminds me - must remember to ensure the stabilators are set at the typical angle for Phantoms at rest, rather than the straight and level attitude that the kit tabs provide for.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work so far with lots of cutting action and no doubt head scratching happening as well. I'm sure those panel lines are not that bad when viewed with the naked eye but the Matchbox trench cutter wasn't exactly asleep when this kit was being designed, was he? I've not long found one of these original Matchbox F-4 kits in my stash, so it's really interesting to see what can be done to improve the parts provided. 

Cheers.. Dave 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/8/2022 at 10:33 AM, Rabbit Leader said:

Great work so far with lots of cutting action and no doubt head scratching happening as well. I'm sure those panel lines are not that bad when viewed with the naked eye but the Matchbox trench cutter wasn't exactly asleep when this kit was being designed, was he? I've not long found one of these original Matchbox F-4 kits in my stash, so it's really interesting to see what can be done to improve the parts provided. 

Cheers.. Dave 

More head scratching than cutting so far :hmmm:😄. The only good use for those deep panel lines is to help guide the knife - as long as they’re in the right place…

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Galligraphics changed the title to PK-412 Phantom FG1 - Phinished at last

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...