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Wild Weasel V

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  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that there's potential for the J79 short nose versions to appear. A Spey powered jet is probably too much to dream for though. The way the parts are laid out surely indicates that they are considering expanding into the other marks. It's a good pointer that a lot of research has gone in when we finally have a near vertical aft bulkhead in the rear cockpit. If Fine Molds do do a full Phamily these could potentially be the definitive 1/72 F-4s. A little off-topic, but related, jump forward to about 2:15:30 in the video linked by Craing and Gene. There's a showing of Z-M's 1/48 kit with a discussion of the research into their F-4E. Is anyone able to provide a summary of the conversation? Gene, any chance of larger versions of the photos to the left of the tank & upper fuselage frame? Like Gabor I couldn't find these. Roll on August! Jonathan
  2. You may be on to something there Gene. I've done some sketching (although scribbling would be more accurate given my artistic abilities) of possible shapes and it looks like part 19 could indeed be a lower component of the intakes. There also appears to be two recesses which would be to clear the aft end of the Sparrow wells 🤔 If it is, the parts breakdown in the area could be, interesting... The pylons look fantastic considering they're 1/72. The general picture of the frame also seems to have knocked my theory of a one piece fuselage on the head. The large part to the right has the distinctive circular fuel tank access panels so it looks as if the fuselage may have a more conventional two halves layout with the upper section as a cover for the joint. The landing gear doors are also impressive, it looks like they've avoided having ejector pin marks where it'd be almost impossible to clean up without losing the rivet detail, so a major plus. Keep on posting the pictures. I'm really starting to look forward to this kit, to the point where for the first time, I've jumped in and pre-ordered two of each version. Jonathan
  3. I think the view of part 13 may be looking at the inner surface of the front cockpit coaming. The cut-out could be for the HUD for the Kai. I'm sure it's the part to the left of the outer wing below the rear IP in this picture : Part 19 is the big mystery for me - could it be a support for the fuselage, perhaps where the compressor faces attach or maybe a lower spreader for where the jetpipes locate to give the correct exhaust angle? Talking of the fuselage, I believe the kit may have a this as one piece, as in the Academy F-4 kits. The layout of the aft fuselage suggests this, as it looks like you join the two halves then slide it up into the rear of the main section. There appears to be an undercut forward of the stabilator hinge for positive location of the aft parts. If the main fuselage is in two halves this could lead to a fiddly joint between the four components. I also hope that the lower forward fuselage is integral with the lower wing piece, I find the join between these on the Hasegawa F-4 a real pain to deal with. For a $30+ kit, it'd be a shame if the speedbrakes aren't separate. Both these and deflected ailerons are a notable feature of 'at rest' Phantoms. It was more understandable on the now over 30 year Hasegawa F-4s, but as the even older Monogram and the more recent kits (such as the Academy F-4J & AIrfix FG.1/FGR.2) have these as separate you'd think a modern kit would have them as a standard feature too. Oh well, it's not as if we're not used to modifying these already and it's not going to stop me getting a few. Jonathan
  4. Hi Dutch, I'm certain it's from an Otaki Tristar. You can see the parts layout here: https://www.airlinercafe.com/photo_2845.details.large The numbers also match those on Frame C : https://www.airlinercafe.com/photo_4102.details.large The shapes of the landing gears are almost identical to those in the Eastern Express Tristar kit but the parts layout is different. HTH, Jonathan
  5. The best 1/144 L-1011 by far is the Authentic Airliners one: L1011-100. They are expensive though and only made in small batches so it's best if you request notification so Kurt can determine the demand and order a run to be manufactured. They can sell out fast so be quick if you want one when they become available. The same applies to their 727s: 727-200. I recommend their window and detail sets: A-A Decals even if you decide to build a different kit. As the A-A kits don't come with markings, Delta Widget liveries can be obtained from 26Decals. As an alternative to the Authentic Airliners Tristar, there is one by Eastern Express which is 'inspired' by the Otaki kit but is a short run kit which can be a challenge to build; one of the boxings comes with Delta markings. Welshmodels also make a vacform/resin kit, one of which (SL 231 P) includes Delta markings. Hasegawa made a Citation I in 1/48 many years ago along with a Learjet 35A. As you can imagine, you're pretty much on your own for markings outside those supplied in the kits. Good luck in your search! Jonathan
  6. Hi Everyone, If you're looking to buy this F4H-1 conversion be aware that Kevin, the owner of Brigade Models is very much one of the 'old school'; no website or electronic payments, selling via snail mail order or at shows. He does advertise in Scale Aircraft Modelling though (and maybe other modelling magazines) with a contact e-mail: brigademodels (at) btopenworld dot com . I got my pair at ScaleModelWorld when it was first released. I have heard that the main nose section is difficult to cast as the moulds only last a few sets, which could explain why Hannants rarely have stock. Be aware that it's intended to represent F4H-1 142259 at the time of its first flight so needs some changes such as a second McDonnell seat and the nose air conditioning intakes in order to do the later aircraft. In addition to Dutch's comments on the markings, the wing insignia are too small as they should be sized at 60 inches, not 45inches as provided. The Falcon set would help with the later configurations but lacks the McDonnell seats. I built 145310 in 1/72 about ten years ago using the equivalent Falcon set with a Hasegawa F-4B (actually the F-110A boxing) and had to modify a pair of Trumpeter Vigilante seats as well as the kits' vari-ramps to get close to the correct configuration. It was a fair bit of work, especially all the orange bombs, but it'a a nice contrast to its production siblings. As a suggestion for the sheet, how about the five Project LANA Phantoms from VF-101 & VF-121? They were all uniquely marked with red or yellow bands for identification during the race and would make a colourful line-up. The winning jet was even flown by a future Gemini & Apollo Astronaut, Dick Gordon. Apart from the intermediate intake configuration they were visually similar to early F-4Bs; given the references in Tommy's F4H book & blogs I don't think it'd be too hard to modify the vari-ramps & vents. Perhaps a more readily available decal sheet might sway someone to produce these as a complement to the markings. There's also a couple of rather plainly marked but historical USAF Phantoms that could maybe fit in a corner. Two F-4Cs from McDill AFB, 63-7477 and 63-7524, conducted an amazing mission during the launch of the Gemini GT-2 capsule in January 1965. They were tasked with filming the launch to capture the point at which 'Max Q' or the maximum mechanical stress is achieved. This was vital to establish the requirements for the later manned missions. The two Phantoms intercepted the Titan rocket formating on it then climbing vetically to over 68,000ft filming it with a pair of camera pods on each jet. There's some really high quality footage in an episode of 'Air Warriors' on the F-4 that has been shown on the Smithsonian Channel. This story is told about half an hour in but the programme is worth a watch for all the other history as well. See https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/air-warriors/f-4-phantom/1003487/3461834 for a teaser. For some reason the narrative refers to these flights being carried out during the Gemini IV mission, but I doubt they would have risked a potential collision between a manned spacecraft launch and a USAF jet, particularly with a critical objective like the first EVA in the mission flight plan. Thank you Kursad for considering these very early Phantoms. Along with the other two upcoming sheets it'll fill quite a few gaps in F-4 markings. Jonathan
  7. The EE and Fly kits are not the same, the Fly kit is a few years older and has been reboxed by several different companies. The EE kit is a brand new tooling, released last year. Here's an excellent comparison of these three 1/144 DC-9 kits on AirlinerCafe by Jodie Peeler: https://www.airlinercafe.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=10551 which shows the Fly kit is a bit longer than the others so you might have to account for this with the cheatlines and windows. The Airfix kit is still a decent option and although not currently available is probably the one that people have several in the stash and can be relatively easily obtained for not much outlay. The EE kit is also significantly more expensive than either of the others. I reckon you could probably build all 5 versions listed in Dutch's post using Airfix DC-9s for the price of two EE kits! The gold standard is of course the Authentic Airliners resin kit but this wouldn't be an option for the majority of us. Jonathan PS As the Liveries Unlimited sheet is long OOP I think it's still worth including a VC-9C. Also, how accurate are the Fly kit decals? If it doesn't hike the price significantly it may be worth having some of these markings for those who don't have (or want) the Fly kits. Whatever the final options it'll be great to have some more C-9 markings.
  8. Hi Luigi, Thanks for the clarification about your reference to the RF-4EJ 👍. Its incorrect use is just one of those seemingly self-perpetuating erroneous 'Phantom Phacts' from a long held assumption (another example is the one about there being 12 'thick wing' RF-4Bs built instead of the correct amount of 10), that I find frustrating. The slatted RF-4E is indeed a rare beast there were only 16 made, 8 for each Air Force. The Turkish jets are serial numbers 77-0309 to 77-0316 and the Greek ones 77-0357, 77-0358 and 77-1761 to 77-1766. Incidentally the Turkish Phantom lost over Syria in 2012 was one of these (77-0314) making it probably the last Phantom to be lost in a combat zone. Here's an interesting picture file of the TuAF RF-4Es http://www.ole-nikolajsen.com/TURKISH FORCES 2004/RF-4E fotos.pdf and a photo of 77-0313 with slats in the two tone grey scheme: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/7918976. Probably most of the ones you saw visiting Deci' from both countries were the ex-Luftwaffe jets acquired in the mid 1990s! Hi Andy, There aren't many pictures of Kurnasses carrying Mavericks, but in the ones I've seen they are all loaded on the triple rail LAU-88. So if Mavericks were carried, there wouldn't be enough clearance for the AIM-9 as the upper LAU-88 rails will clash with the Sidewinder fins; so it would be one or the other on the pylon. It's possible they carried a mixed load with a TER and iron bombs on the opposite side but without pictures it's only a guess. If you want 6 Mavericks, I'd probably go with three tanks, two AIM-7s in the rear wells and an ECM pod (ALQ-101 or -119) in the forward left well. The Maverick arrived right at the end of the YKW and was first used by Squadron 69 who operated most of the SEA camouflage Nickel Grass F-4s delivered direct from the USAF. After the war Squadron 107 also carried them, but I don't know if any other unit was operational with Mavericks. Late on, after the Sparrow was retired in 1983, they might have also used the AIM-9 rail and adapter pylon for the forward right well but again I've not seen a photo of this combination. HTH, Jonathan
  9. Hi Luigi, I agree that it's probable that some F-4E/EJ kits may mistakenly have had unslotted stabilators put in the box to confuse the issue. I think the belief that early F-4EJs had unslotted stabs might have come from pictures of the Photo Phantoms being mixed up with the fighters due to the similar paint schemes since the RF-4s retained the plain leading edge stabs and it's not the easiest thing to identify from most angles. Here's a link to the excellent Aviation Archives blog with an posting of an illustrated McAir report: F/RF-4 Phantom II Manufacturing Illustrations for Japan . If you look at page 31 (page 26 of the report) this shows the jigs for the slotted stabilator leading edges. I take this as definitive evidence that the F-4EJ had slotted stabs right from the beginning. Also, don't mix up the converted gun nose RF-4EJs and their camera nose RF-4E siblings. It appears that when the JASDF RF-4E order was being considered everyone (seemingly including McDonnell Douglas: RF-4EJ Phantom II for Japan Report) assumed they'd have a 'J' suffix, like the fighters, before they were built and delivered. Ever since then many publications have incorrectly referred to the JASDF camera nosed Phantoms as a 'RF-4EJ'. However since all JASDF RF-4Es were built in St Louis they have always been identified as a RF-4E by the Japanese. About slatted RF-4Es, you''ll only find Greek and Turkish Phantoms so equipped. The slatted RF-4Es were an 'end of run' order just before McAir production finished in 1979. Since the tooling was set up for the F-4E it was simpler to build them with slatted wings. The stabs remained unslotted though, like all preceding RF-4Cs and RF-4Es. If you want to build a Luftwaffe RF-4E unfortunately it'll have to have a 'hard wing' 😉 HTH. Jonathan
  10. Yes, you are correct, the stabilators will be slotted on an early Kurnass. All production F-4Es have slotted stabilators; only the YF-4E FSD jets converted from a F-4C and F-4D (63-7445 & 65-0713) retained their original solid stabs. In fact, if you see a 'USAF' gun nose F-4 without a slotted stabilator then it's either one of these two aircraft or a Luftwaffe F-4F being flown during training in the US as part of the 49th FW. On this subject there is also a myth that the F-4EJs were originally delivered to the JASDF without slotted stabilators, however there are several pictures of their first F-4s, 17-8301 & '302, over St Louis and on delivery to Japan clearly showing the fixed slat on the leading edge! HTH, Jonathan
  11. I'm certain the F-4N didn't have a belly reinforcing strap installed. The primary reason for the strap was to compensate for the additional loads introduced by the slats on the F-4E and F-4S when so retrofitted. The only non-slatted variants I definitely know that received the belly strap were the F-4J(UK) and some FGR.2s late in service. The F-4J(UK) was effectively a slatless F-4S and the FGR.2s were modified to extend their service lives due to the delays in introduction of the Tornado F.3. I don't think this was needed to happen on the F-4N as they were probably replaced by the F-4S long before their fatigue life limits expired. You might find this interesting: http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2016/12/seven-wings-f-4-phantom-ii-has-flown.html However if anyone has definitive evidence that the F-4N was fitted with the strap, I too would be interested in seeing it. HTH, Jonathan
  12. Firstly apologies for the long post coming up. It's not easy to answer such a wide ranging query in a few words. 🙂 From your first post the shortest answer is, all of them would have had stencils in English at some point. To expand on this, Israel received both hard and soft (slatted) wing F-4Es direct from McDonnell Douglas. Delivery of 'soft winged' aircraft began in late 1972 as part of the Peace Echo IV contract so these (and all later) aircraft will have English stencils. The Hebrew stencils were introduced at a major depot maintenance from about 1980 so any IDF/AF Phantom up to this date should only be in English. Therefore many F-4s up to 1980 and probably most of those involved in the Lebanon conflict in 1982 would still have the original factory applied scheme (except those 'Karpada' (SEA camouflaged) repainted into the standard colours). So, if you find a picture of the jet you want to do and it's dated before 1980 I would say with certainty that it has English stencils. Note that aicraft '316', the last 'Karpada' Phantom wasn't repainted into standard Israeli camouflage until 1989! If a jet has the aircraft number repeated on the vari-ramps then it'll be after mid-1984 and most likely has Hebrew stencils. So, from 1984 on I'd say virtually all aircraft would have changed to Hebrew stencilling whether they were pre- or post-Kurnass 2000 standard. Any in-service pictures dated from the 1990s to mid 2000s would be of a Kurnass 2000. The IFR probe was introduced in 1970 but not all aircraft were equipped with it until about 1985! The probe could be removed so it may not be visible in some photos of aircraft fitted with it. For weapons, it's pretty much anything that the USAF carried although the IDF/AF seemed to prefer the M117 750lb bomb and the 1000lb Mk83 to the 500lb Mk82. Eduard make various versions of the M117 in 1/72, the 'late' type are the ones often seen: link to Eduard 1/72 M117 bombs Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) such as AGM-65, GBU-8, GBU-15 or the locally developed 'Tadmit' were introduced during the Yom Kippur War (YKW). AIM-7Es were carried until the early '80s and AIM-9Ds until supplanted by locally produced missiles such as the Python. Note that although modified late on, Israeli Phantoms didn't carry the F-15 style HPC tank on the centreline, they retained the original Royal Jet version. In the late '80s the aft tip cap was removed to improve the aerodynamics. The F-4E configurations we are looking at can be summarised as follows: Original delivery (1969) to mid 1972: Hard wing, English stencils. Initially coded with a two digit code (XX) then changed to 1xx or 6xx. The 6xx series were later reassigned to 1xx post-YKW. Late 1972 to final 1976 deliveries: Factory fitted slatted wings, English stencils. Coded as 2xx. Note that 24 also had TISEO installed. October-November 1973: Operation Nickel Grass delivered ex-USAF F-4Es in SEA camouflage, nicknamed Karpada (Toad). Mix of hard and soft wings, some of the latter had TISEO. All were coded 3xx. Last of these (316) was repainted in 1989. All aircraft were modified with IFR probes from 1970 to c1985. The probes were fitted to both hard and soft winged F-4Es. Modification to add slats to early aircraft introduced from 1972-73. Final aircraft was modified in 1978. The famous Kurnass 187 (with the extra-large sharkmouth) had fixed slats fitted in 1970 as part of trials to improve manoeuverability. Was later modified to the standard system, probably with the sharkmouth removed. Depot maintenance from 1980 introduced revised camouflage scheme with Hebrew stencils. Aircraft number repeated on the vari-ramp from mid-1984. Kurnass 2000 introduced from 1989. 52 aircraft were converted. Retired from service about 2008-09. Coded as 5xx, 6xx or 7xx depending on the original code (can be found by subtracting 400). For example 316 as mentioned above was re-coded as 716 after the upgrade. As you can see the changes to Israel's Phantoms have quite a complex history which is better covered by reading the recent books on the subject. The best references for Israeli Phantoms are the Double Ugly books "Israeli Phantoms - The Kurnass in IDF/AF Service" Volumes 1 & 2. If your budget can't stretch to these then look for Isradecal's Aircraft in Detail #4 "F-4E Phantom Kurnass in IAF Service" or, for aircraft up to and including the Lebanon war, Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces #60 'Israeli F-4 Phantom II Aces'. Having said all that, if you built a slatted 1xx (no TISEO) or 2xx (with/without TISEO) coded jet, with or without an IFR probe, carrying a pair of AIM-7Es, an AIM-9D on the port inner rail, 5 M117s on the inner pylons (two on the TER under the AIM-9), a 600gal centre tank (or a MER with 5 more M117s), two 370gal wing tanks and an ALQ-71/ALQ-87/ALQ-101 pod in the right forward Sparrow well you'd be okay for some point in it's history from the YKW up to the Lebanon conflict.😉 Good luck with the rest of your research and build. I hope the above helps with whichever aircraft you decide to do. Please show us the final result! Jonathan
  13. Hi Don, Pictures of JASDF F-4s carrying Falcons seem to be exceptionally rare. It looks as though the Japanese decided that, like the USAF, the AIM-4 wasn't a practical weapon and quickly discarded it in favour of the Sidewinder. The rails (especially the lower ones) seemed to serve some purpose as they can be seen being carried into at least the early '80s. Smoke Trails Vol 17, No.4 has a picture of the very last Phantom 17-8440, which was built in 1981, with them installed. I've had look through my library of Phantom books and the only picture I could find of a F--4EJ carrying AIM-4s was in the Bunrindo Famous Airplanes of the World No.82 (black cover series) on Export Phantoms. It's on page 82 and is 27-8304 of 301 Squadron; this aircraft crashed on 1st May 1973 being the first Phantom to be lost by the JASDF. Interestingly this airframe was the second assembled using the Knockdown Kits supplied to Mitsubishi from St Louis and so was technically a F-4E-45-MC. So it wouldn't be out of place to have AIM-4Ds installed, but probably only on a Grey over White jet and almost certainly not on a Kai! HTH, Jonathan
  14. Thanks Ben and Gene, Yes, I mean the slots in the missile bays; Darknight compare the forward bays to the rear ones, you'll see the larger rectangular slots for the forward fins visible in the aft bays are blanked off. Here's a picture with all four blanking panels installed: http://www.irishairpics.com/photo/1046396/L/McDonnell-Douglas-F-4F-ICE-Phantom-II/3824/Luftwaffe/ The dark lines you can see between the speedbrakes and the aft well would be unpainted reinforcing strips. If you have a copy, there's some fantastic close-up photos on page 202 of Jake Melampy's Modern Phantom Guide of both the panels and the launchers. Compare it to this shot of an Iranian F-4E (look at the area inboard of the boundary layer vents on the intakes): https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/8380360 HTH, Jonathan P.S. Ben, thanks for reminding me about Royale Resin's F-4 stabilators, I'd forgotten about the other fantastic stuff that Doug makes.
  15. Hi Robert, It's a fairly short list; starting off with a slatted F-4E, off the top of my head: 1) Use a non-slotted Stabilator. This is the major external difference to the F-4E. Either remove or fill in the fixed slat or use a non-slotted one from another kit; in 1/48 my preferred option would be the Hypersonic set but this may be a little hard to obtain until Jeffrey is fully established in his new place. Watch out for the Academy ones, the demarcation for the outer panels is in the wrong place (too far inboard). 2) Use a plain fin cap (no RWR 'football'). 3) Change the rear instrument panel. The F-4F has a different lay-out. This is the original http://f4phantomparts.com/fotos/COCKPITS/f-4f-rear.jpg. The ICE version has some detail differences such as a screen for the new navigation system behind the radar control joystick on the right hand console. You can see it in this walk around set from Large Scale Planes: https://www.largescaleplanes.com/walkaround/wk.php?wid=21 4) Fill in the forward fin slots of the missile bays. Because the F-4F wasn't AIM-7 capable the German Air Force installed a cover panel to reduce drag, the aft slots were left open. When the ICE/KWS upgrades added the AIM-120 capability a new launcher was installed. However these were only used when the jet was on Alert. Here's an example of the forward bays with covers and the AIM-120 launchers in the rear bays: http://www.aereo.jor.br/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/f-4f-phantom-ii-ice-1.jpg . Jets with the ICE upgrade can be identified by the grey radome; non-ICE aircraft retained the black version. Except for the test aircraft, all were painted in the Norm 90 scheme. 5) To be fully representative, the leading edge slats and the flaps should be shown as deployed/down on a parked jet. The GAF are unique in doing this. There were sets from Paragon Resin for this configuration but these are long OOP and I don't know of an alternative. I wouldn't be surprised to see extended slats on the Zoukei Mura long nose variants given they did this on their F-4S. 6) The Mk7 seats are also of a slightly different configuration. These are highlighted here: http://www.ejectionsite.com/gh7aseat.htm That's pretty much it. As with any other aircraft there are different aerial configurations which these vary over time. The usual advice of finding a photo of your intended subject applies. HTH, Jonathan
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