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Jay Chladek

F-4 Phantom guide for the masses

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Okay, seeing as how we've had a lot of Phantom questions lately in preparation for the GB, I thought I would create this new topic to try and be a catch all for Phantom subjects. Who knows, maybe if this gets good it can be pinned by one of the mods. As I understand it with my meager knowledge, here are the various production Phantom variants out there and a showcase of their major features from a model related standpoint. That way, somebody can theoretically glance at this list and get an idea of what they need to do a specific Phantom model from a kit and aftermarket resource standpoint. This initial list is just a gloss over and doesn't cover all the nitty gritty details for the Phantom (or all the antenna mount changes). One has to save something for later. :rolleyes:/>/>

US Navy Fighter Phantoms

F-4A: post 1962 designation given to the first 47 Phantoms produced originally as the F4H-1. These were essentially pre-production planes and prototypes with the later ones getting some features of the F-4B. The first 15 airframes retained the original F4H-1 cockpit shape and smaller radome nose while the remainder got the classic F-4 cockpit and radome. The earliest F4H-1s (first five or six I believe) also had intakes that swept back on the upper curve before going straight down on the sides just behind the intake ramp (shaped sort of like an oversized F-5A/B intake) while later ones utilized intakes that became standard on production Phantoms. The F4H-1 Phantoms were used to set and break the majority of aviation records in the early 1960s, although some Bs were used as well.

F-4B: First major production variant. Main features: thin wing with no bulges above and below, unslotted stabilizers until very late production batch (1966?), short burner cans, thin gear tires, IR seeker bulge below the nose. All Navy Phantoms mount a retractable NATO style fuel probe that folds cleanly into the right side of the nose next to the rear seat. Since some model kits use the same fuselage for USAF and Navy types, there might be fuel probe door lines that have to be removed/filled. Similarly for a Navy cockpit, there is a left side wall bulkhead that needs to be added to the rear pit (because the fuel probe mechanism sits behind it). Navy Phantoms also have a rectangular shaped bump on the top of each wing (represented in 1/48 Hasegawa kits, although a bit too pronounced, so they should be reduced or replaced) and catapult launch bridles. Inboard wing pylons on Navy Phantoms are straight edged, not curved like USAF pylons.

F-4G (Navy version): About a dozen F-4Bs were retrofitted with a two way data link system with automatic carrier landing mode. Equipment stored in a bay with room made by sizing down one of the fuel cells and creating an acess hatch on top of the fuselage to access the equipment. Aircraft converted back to F-4Bs, although the hatch still remained in them.

F-4J: Improved model with many refined features. Main changes from B was the inclusion of bulged wing to house larger size 11.5 inch tires, No IR seeker bulge under the nose (a couple VX-4 test birds mount them though), slotted stabilizers and longer burner cans. Aircraft also gained a pair of ECM antenna fairings on the intakes.

F-4N: Refit of F-4B to more closely match improvements of the F-4J. Slotted stabilizers fitted and ECM antenna fairings on intake sides. The ECM fairings on the N model are longer then those found on the F-4J. Aircraft retained thin wing, short burner cans and IR seeker housing under the nose.

F-4S: Refit of F-4J. Main difference was the incorporation of a slatted wing, similar (but not identical) to that found on F-4E. The very first F-4S airframes lacked wing slats, but were retrofitted with them later. The F-4S was also the ONLY Navy Phantom type to mount rectangular yellow Slime lights, like what USAF Phantoms in the 1970s received.

US Air Force Fighter Phantoms:

F-110A Spectre: Original designation for Air Force Phantom until USAF was mandated to standardize name and type designation with Navy type (becoming the F-4C). First couple dozen Phantoms (reports say 29) sent to the Air Force were essentially F-4Bs and used for training until the first F-4Cs came on line. These planes were identical to F-4Bs except for the USAF titles.

F-4C: First major USAF production variant. Main features: bulged wing top and bottom, unslotted stabilizers, short burner cans, larger main wheels and gear tires (from 7.7 inch Navy high pressure tires to 11.5 inch wider tires), IR seeker bulge below the nose (no IR seeker mounted though), short burner cans, flight controls for rear seat. In flight refuelling boom recepticle in spine of aircraft, resulting in a cover door being mounted there (standard to all USAF F-4 variants). USAF based Phantoms do not have the rectangular bulges on the wings found on Navy Phantoms (see Navy F-4B description) and they do not have catapult launch bridles either. Nose gear front door also equipped with different landing lights then Navy Phantoms, which featured colored lights as part of the carrier approach system for Navy jets. Rounded leading edge weapons pylons for the inboard wings also introduced on the F-4C around 1966 (RF-4C and Navy variants utilize straight leading edge pylons, as did C models prior to 1966-67 Nam deployments).

F-4C Wild Weasel: A small number of F-4Cs were equipped with special radar detection and jamming equipment for SAM hunting. Differences include RWR blisters mounted in the IR seeker bulge below the nose, two radar detection blisters just behind the nose at 10 and 2 o'clock positions, an additional pair of RWR antenna ports on the intakes just behind the leading edge of the wings, and two antenna blisters mounted on the dragchute door. Unofficial designation for the planes was EF-4C and it is referred as that in some publications.

F-4D: Second major USAF variant optimized for more capability and externally very similar to F-4C, hence most F-4C kits out there are designated F-4C/D. Bulge under nose different shaped to house elements of an ECM unit. Some early Ds were delivered without the bulge, but it was soon retrofitted. Iran also got F-4Ds without the bulges at all.

F-4E: Definative USAF variant. Nose profile changed extensively to fit internally mounted M61 Vulcan cannon and different from earlier Phantoms. Gun muzzle shape changed from early to late F-4E versions (to help prevent gun gas injestion during firing of the gun, most planes eventually retrofitted with late style). Early birds had same wing as F-4C and D versions (also known as the Hard Wing). Other feature difference included longer burner cans and slots on the horizontal stabilizers.

In June 1972, a slatted wing became standard on the F-4E with pretty much every early F-4E still flying being retrofitted to this configuration by the late 1970s (except for some dedicated test birds). Pretty much all birds that fought in Vietnam had the hard wing. Israeli Phantoms that fought the Yom Kippur war and engagements prior to this also had the hard wing and so did a few Iranian (IIAF) Phantoms delivered in the early 1970s. Other main external feature mounted from the mid 1970s and 80s was TISEO, an optical tracking camera port on the left wing root for visual ID of distant aircraft targets. USAF and IIAF (later IRIAF) F-4Es mounted TISEO, not sure about Israeli ones.

F-4G (USAF version): Based on the F-4E and optimized for Wild Weasel anti-SAM strikes. Major change was replacement of the internally mounted Vulcan cannon with special ECM and detection equipment giving the plane a very different looking nose. Tail also has a distinctive bulge antenna at the top. F-4Gs have slatted wings.

Recon Phantoms:

RF-4C: USAF Phantom variant with new nose design mounting recon cameras. Early RF-4s featured a squared off lower camera bay while later ones (with some intermeshing of noses during production) featured a lower nose with a slightly more rounded appearance. Main features: Short burner cans, flight controls for the aft cockpit, unslotted stabilizers and two enclosed bays on fuselage in front of tail for ejection of photo flash cartridges. All camera nose Phantoms have NO recesses in the fuselage for Sparrow missiles, meaning that any ECM pods mounted have to be carried on pylons and not sem-recessed in a Sparrow bay. RF-4C and B models use straight Navy style inboard wing weapon pylons.

RF-4B: US Navy Phantom variant ordered after success of the USAF version. All RF-4Bs flown by USMC units. Main distinguishing features are the short burner cans and slotted stabilizers along with carrier specific equipment (catapult bridles etc.). Most versions mounted the square nose lower camera bay and the thin wing of the F-4B. Last ten jets off the production line (with 157xxx numbers) featured the bulged hard wing found on the F-4E and J variants to house the larger main gear and tires. Last three jets also featured the more rounded RF-4 lower nose. Retrofitted RF-4Bs included bulges on the intakes for ECM equipment in a manner similar to those found on F-4Ns. Additional retrofit later included longer burner cans and slotted stabilizers. The late RF-4B with the J style wing is the version done by Hasegawa in 1/48 scale and requires wing mods to make it a thin winged RF-4B.

RF-4E: Externally almost identical to RF-4C. Main distinguishing difference from the C are longer burner cans like those found on the F-4E. RF-4Es also utilize F-4E style inboard wing pylons with curved leading edge to mount ECM pods from time to time (depending on operator). All RF-4Es used by export countries.

Initial production batch (mostly delivered to West Germany) featured square shaped lower nose while most of the production run featured rounded nose bay. Most planes utilized hard wing, although very late production batch delivered to Turkey and Greece was done with slatted wings as the production line in St. Louis was set up for it. Turkey and Greece also flew hard wing Recon Phantoms as well, so check references. Israeli RF-4Es supposedly wired for Sidewinder missile capability, making them the only RF-4s equipped this way (although the USAF retrofitted a few RF-4Cs with this capability around Desert Storm).

"Phoreign" Phantoms:

F-4K (FG-1): Delivered to Royal Navy. Very similar in features to F-4J, except aircraft fitted with Spey turbofan engines in place of J79s, resulting in a different center fuselage profile. The intakes were larger and the fuselage around the engine exhausts was wider and deeper as well. Aircraft featured hard bulged wing and slotted stabilizers of F-4J. Unique feature on the K includes an extra long extending nose strut to raise nose by 40 inches for cat launches off of Royal Navy carriers, a folding radome and catapult bridles (like other Navy phantoms). Aircraft sent to RAF when RN got out of fixed wing operations (until Sea Harrier came on line anyway).

F-4M (FGR-2): Delivered to Royal Air Force. Very similar to F-4K, except for deletion of carrier specific equipment, such as the extra long extending nose strut. M model also had an unslotted stabilizer. Externally the K and M models are almost identical as both were used side by side in the RAF. The nose strut on the K model is the big giveaway. Many aircraft of both the K and M types (but not all) got a squared off RWR antenna housinng on the tip of the tail fin and this is one easy identifier for British Phantoms. British Phantoms utilize UK style harness and buckles on their cockpit ejection seats.

F-4J(UK): "Slightly" modified F-4Js (15 in number) sent to the UK to replace Spey engined Phantoms sent to the Falklands to beef up the island defenses there after the Falklands war. Externally almost identical to US Navy F-4Js in terms of equipment fit (down to the ECM pods on the engine intakes). Unlike the Spey engined Phantoms, the Js did not mount the square RWR antenna housing in the tail. From a modeling standpoint, the F-4J(UK) looks like a Navy Phantom in terms of external features with maybe an antenna mount or two changing.

F-4F: Detuned F-4E Phantom delivered to West Germany. Included slatted wing of the F-4E, but had an unslotted stabilizer. German F-4s also utilize the British style seat harnesses in the cockpit, not the US type.

Kurnass 2000: Israeli Phantom upgrade. Most changes internal and visible only in the cockpit (added CRTs I believe). IAF Phantoms prior to the 2000 refit also mounted a NATO style fixed refuelling probe on the right side of the fuselage just behind the cockpit (retrofit phased in during the 1980s). So having a probe doesn't necessarily mean that an IAF Phantom is a Kurnass 2000, but all Kurnass 2000's have the probe. Probe also fitted to IAF RF-4Es as well (not sure about the F-4E(S) models since they tended to favor low drag for high speed at altitude). Some Kurnass 2000 internal upgrades made available by Israel to other countries (such as Turkey which had some of its F-4E fleet updated). Turkish RF-4Es and Spanish RF-4Cs have also been seen with the Kurnass style refuelling probe on the fuselage.

F-4E(S): Israeli Phantom mounted with special nose containing high altitude camera equipment. Mostly used for overflights of threat countries. Nose profile is very different from all other Phantom versions and only a few resin/vac companies have done them.

F-4EJ: Japanese produced variant manufactured by Mitsubishi under license to MDD. Essentially a hard wing F-4E with slotted stabilizers and some equipment differences.

F-4EJ Kai: Upgraded Japanese variant with many internal changes to give Japan's aircraft more multi-mission capability. Main distinguishing features that can be seen are reinforcement strips on the composite radome and some RHAW antenna fairings on the edges of the wings (forming a double blister shape at the front edge) and two small antenna blisters on tail fin tip. There are additional antenna changes as well from earlier F-4EJs. Recent Japanese RF-4Es (the ones with the camera nose) also mount the RHAW wingtip fairings and tail antennas of the EJ Kai as well.

A confusing thing is some of the F-4EJs not fully converted to EJ Kai standard are designated RF-4EJs, except they don't have the RF-4 nose and mount special recon camera pods on the centerline instead. Japanese RF-4Es are known as RF-4Es since they were built by MDD, not Mitsubishi in Japan like the EJs were. Another confusing thing is some publications call both the camera pod and camera nose equipped RF-4s the RF-4EJ Kai and make no distinction between the two types. When selecting a kit of a JASDF RF-4, look at the box art to make sure it is either a camera nose bird or one with a pod to avoid getting surprised.

Feel free to point out any mistakes or things I've missed and I will update this as needed.

Edited by Jay Chladek

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External refuelling probe was fitted to all variants of IAF Phantoms, not just the Kurnass 2000. Biggest giveaways were the Hebrew script Kurnass 2000 on the fuselage side and a large black rectangular shaped antenna under the nose gun fairing.

IAF Phantoms did still have the boom refuelling door on the spine, and the door actually raised even when the boom was fitted to allow the refuelling system to engage.

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F-4F: Detuned F-4E Phantom delivered to West Germany. Included hard wing and unslotted stabilizer (may have been retrofitted later, not sure though).

Japanese RF-4EJs (the ones with the camera nose) also mount the wingtip fairings of the EJ Kai as well.

Feel free to point out any mistakes or things I've missed and I will update this as needed.

The F-4F were delivered with slatted (soft) wings, and remained slotless stabs throughout.

The Japanese recce nose Phantoms were designated RF-4E, and were built by MDD, the later conversion of the F-4EJ to the recce role were designated RF-4EJ, a common misconception.

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RF-4B: US Navy Phantom variant ordered after success of the USAF version. All RF-4Bs flown by USMC units. Main distinguishing features are the short burner cans and unslotted stabilizers. Most versions mounted the square nose lower camera bay and the thin wing of the F-4B. Last twelve jets off the production line featured the bulged hard wing found on the F-4E and J variants to house the larger main gear and tires, some also featured the more rounded RF-4 lower nose. Retrofitted RF-4Bs included bulges on the intakes for ECM equipment in a manner similar to those found on F-4Ns. The late RF-4B is the version done by Hasegawa in 1/48 scale and requires wing mods to make it a thin winged RF-4B.

46 RF-4Bs were built, most of these with the tin/unbulged wings and square nose profile. Only the last TEN (not 12 as incorrectly quoted several places), i.e. the ones in the 1573xx BuNo series, had the bulged wings. The last three had the rounded nose profile.

Retrofits also included slotted stabs and longer burner cans.

HTH,

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I think this qualifies

F-4J (UK) The 15 F-4J with some British specific equipment, sent to replace FGR 2's sent to the Falkslands after the 82 war. Served until 1991

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How about the (E)F-4C, the Wild Weasel 4, of which 36 were produced (modified from standard F-4C's). 12 of these saw combat in the latter days of the Vietnam conflict with the 67th TFS, whilst 12 were stationed at Spangdahlem with the 81st TFS and the last 12 went to the 35th TFW at George AFB.

And then the were the 2 F-4D's converted to Wild Weasels under Project Wild Weasel IV-B, though neither of those made it to operational status.

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Here's my first attempt at a "suggested" kit listing for Phantom variants. Before I begin, please note there are A LOT of Phantom kits out there from the various manufacturers. Some are still in production while others are long gone. This is not intended to be an all inclusive list, but rather one that covers a few of the good ones (and a couple not so good ones when few alternatives are available) in the usual scales.

Everybody has different criteria for what they consider to be a "recommended" kit and in a lot of ways they can vary by quite a bit. One modeler who might not care about the stock cockpit in favour of resin may want something different from a modeler who prefers an OOB build. Plus in my own case, I have built only a couple of the Phantom models on the list. So I am going by my own meager experience and what others have reported on ARC, Modeling Madness and other sites (along with what I have read in Detail and Scale books). It is not my intent to provide reviews for the kits suggested, only point out specific areas that might need to be addressed if I feel a kit needs something.

1/32 scale

F-4B/N: Tamiya F-4J with mods to make it a thin wing (shaving the bumps off, shortening the burner cans and de-slotting the stabs for an early B, CAM might have a resin conversion kit)

F-4J: Tamiya F-4J (can work for F-4J (UK) as well)

F-4S: Tamiya F-4J with a slotted wing conversion kit (CAM I believe, or CE, both potentially difficult to find today)

F-4C/D: Tamiya F-4C/D

F-4E: Tamiya F-4E (only version issued to date has Hard Wing, so CE kit needed to convert), Revell/Monogram F-4E, Revell of Germany F-4F with slotted stabs (these are the kits tooled up in the 1990s, not the 70s vintage kits. Both kits have slatted wing and later style gun muzzle fairing, nose supposedly has shape issues though)

F-4EJ: Tamiya F-4EJ (hard wing correct for all versions of the EJ). Not sure if EJ Kai conversion kit exists.

F-4F: Revell of Germany F-4F or RM F-4E with unslotted stabs.

F-4G (USAF): Revell or Tamiya with appropriate conversion bits (assuming they exist)

F-4K/M: Tamiya F-4J with Cutting Edge conversion (potentially very hard to find now that Meteor is no more)

RF-4C: Revell RF-4C (1990s tooling, features square nose only), Tamiya F-4C/D with Cutting Edge conversion kit for RF-4.

RF-4B: Revell RF-4C with appropriate changes (Navalized cockpit, slotted stabs, etc.), but can only be built as one of the last ten planes unless conversion work done to the wings.

RF-4E: Revell of Germany RF-4E (1990s tooling, features squared nose only), Tamiya F-4C/D or E with Cutting Edge conversion kit and longer burner cans from the E.

1/48 scale

F4H-1/F-4A: Hasegawa kit with Cutting Edge conversion for early aircraft, later aircraft can potentially be built from Hasegawa kits, but photo resources of F-4As are scarce.

F-4B/N: Hasegawa F-4B/N kit (raised panel lines), Hasegawa F-4J kit (recessed panel line kit with work done to shave the wing to thin configuration, smaller main wheels and de-slotting the stabs for early B model)

F-4J: Hasegawa F-4J (recessed panel line kit best, some raised panel kits still out there, so do your research as to the contents before buying), Italeri/Esci F-4J (more a C/D then a J though, so it needs a Navy cockpit and some other Navy specific bits, resin exhausts also good idea), Monogram/Revell/RoG F-4J (actually Monogram's F-4C/D mold with some minor tweaks to make it more J like, but not all changes made to kit and not all F-4C/D parts left in kit either). Kits will also work for F-4J(UK), beware that one Hasegawa issue of F-4J(UK) I've seen is the raised panel line kit, Italeri issue of Esci kit includes decals for the UK version.

F-4S: Hasegawa F-4S (various issues over the years, to my knowledge all are recessed panel lines, essentially a J kit with slatted wing sprues)

F-110 Spectre: Hasegawa F-4B or special limited issue F-110 kit which includes decals for one F-4B so marked as an F-110 (issued circa 2004 or so). An F-4J can also be converted if you don't like raised panel lines.

F-4C/D: Hasegawa F-4C/D (raised panels in only issues to date), Monogram/Revell/RoG F-4C/D (considered by many to be superior to Hasegawa kit in some areas, raised panel lines), Italeri/Esci F-4J (essentially reissue of Esci C/D kit and it has recessed panels, includes the C/D specific parts and short burner cans. Aftermarket cockpit and better burner cans from other sources would make good investments for Esci kit, remove slots from stabs or use ones from other source)

F-4E: Hasegawa F-4E (various issues of both hard and slatted wing), RM ProModeler F-4E (Hasegawa hard wing kit reboxed), RoG F-4F (Hasegawa kit reboxed)

F-4EJ: Hasegawa F-4EJ, Hasegawa F-4E or RM Promodeler F-4E (hard wing versions only, do not use a slatted wing for the EJs).

F-4EJ Kai: Hasegawa F-4EJ Kai (potentially hard to locate outside of Japan and limited production), Hasegawa hard winged F-4E or F with the wing sprue and tail fin tip swapped for the Kai parts in JASDF camera nosed RF-4E kits to get the proper double blister EJ Kai wing and front instrument panel for the Kai {not used by the RF-4E and you will still have an RF-4E that can be built with its normal wing as used by other air forces}).

IDF/AF late F-4E/Kurnass 2000: Only one kit to date has been issued by Hasegawa for this plane with the refuelling probe and it can be hard to find. Eagle Designs and a couple other resin firms have done the probe featured on IAF Phantoms and some other countries Phantoms (such as Turkey and Spain). Do yourself a favor though if you build the Hasegawa kit, replace the IAF insignia decals with aftermarket ones as Hasegawa printed these WAY too light cyan colored (same goes for their RF-4E and pretty much all their other IDF/AF kits)

F-4E(S): Hasegawa F-4E with appropriate resin or vac conversion pieces.

F-4F: Hasegawa F-4F or Revell of Germany rebox, Hasegawa F-4E kit with appropriate decals and unslotted stabs.

F-4G (USAF): Hasegawa F-4G

F-4K(FG-1): Hasegawa FG-1 (High Grade version best as it includes white metal parts and some photoetch)

F-4M (FGR-2): Hasegawa FGR-2 (High Grade version best), Revell of Germany FGR-2 (Hasegawa kit reboxed, but without any white metal, vinyl or photoetch bits, kit lower priced then Hasegawa versions).

RF-4B: Hasegawa RF-4B (can only be built as late airframe OOB unless changes made to wing, stabs and tires, kit has both square and rounded noses).

RF-4C: Hasegawa RF-4B (normal kit issue includes pretty much all F-4C specific parts including short burner cans, along with both square and rounded noses. Only item not included are the unslotted stabs), Hasegawa RF-4C (limited production issues only so far, could be tough to locate. It has unslotted stabs), Testors/Italeri RF-4B/C/E (a rather dated raised panel line kit by today's standards, but it can be acquired for extreme dirt cheap with some colorful decal options. Has bulged wing and squared nose only, cockpit very crude, long and short burner cans included)

RF-4E: Hasegawa RF-4E kit (JASDF issue most numerous, most versions include only the rounded nose although German ones usually include square camera nose, rare IDF/AF version includes refuelling probe as used by Israel and some other countries). Hasegawa RF-4B (includes longer burner cans and bulged C/E wing, rear instrument panel might be slightly different from most E variants though). If using JASDF RF-4E to do other versions, Kai bumps will need to be removed from the wing or wing swapped with one from another kit.

RF-4E Slatted Wing (Greece/Turkey): Hasegawa RF-4E with non-slatted wing swapped for slatted wing from late version Hasegawa F-4E kit. Use leftovers to make a hard wing F-4E or EJ.

1/72 scale

F4H-1/F-4A: Hasegawa kit with OOP Falcon or DB Productions conversion

F-4B/N: Hasegawa (best), Fujimi, Airfix (raised lines, but still has thin wing)

F-4J: Hasegawa (best), Fujimi (Fujimi also issued specific F-4J(UK) kit with appropriate decals as the Phantom F-3), Esci (recessed panels, fit not as good, some simplifications of J version as it was offered as a C/J kit),

F-4S: Hasegawa (best), Fujimi, Italeri (raised panel lines, not sure if they got slatted wing right)

F-110: Hasegawa F-4B or F-110 if a limited edition kit has been issued

F-4C/D: Hasegawa (best), Fujimi, Monogram (raised panel line, but still considered good, due to be reissued by Accurate Miniatures soon), Esci (same as J kit).

F-4E: Hasegawa, Fujimi, Esci

IDF/AF F-4E/Kurnass 2000: Hasegawa kit #00297 (limited edition, hard to find, has white metal IFR probe), otherwise use F-4E for earlier versions. IFR probes made by Eagle Designs and Paragon

F-4E(S): Eagle Designs and Paragon both have done the E(S) noses (Paragon has some flaws though)

F-4EJ and EJ Kai: Hasegawa and Fujimi (only companies to do these birds)

F-4F: Hasegawa, Revell of Germany (unique tool, very well done for price), Fujimi

F-4G: Hasegawa, Fujimi

F-4K (FG-1): Fujimi (best by far), Hasegawa (raised panel lines), Matchbox (only other Spey kit in 1/72, best avoided though unless you are really hard up for a UK Phantom and can't find other two)

F-4M (FGR-2): Fujimi (best by far), Hasegawa (raised panel lines), Matchbox (see F-4K description)

RF-4B: Hasegawa (best), Revell of Germany RF-4E kit (with aftermarket short burners), Fujimi, Esci, Testors/Italeri (raised panel lines)

RF-4C: Hasegawa (best, includes flat and rounded noses), Revell of Germany RF-4E kit (with aftermarket short burners) Fujimi, Esci, Testors/Italeri (raised panel lines)

RF-4E: Hasegawa, Fujimi, Revell of Germany (unique tool), Esci, Testors/Italeri (raised panel lines)

RF-4E slatted wing (Turkey/Greece): Hasegawa RF-4E and do wing swap with slatted wing from Hasegawa F-4E (may also work with Revell of Germany offerings).

1/100 scale

F-4K: Tamiya (only Spey Phantom offered in this scale)

F-4EJ: Tamiya (Takara may have one as well from their Area 88 kit line, but I haven't seen one)

1/144 scale

F-4B: Arii/Entex (crude, but the only traditional Navy Phantom out there for many years)

F-4E/F/EJ: LS, Revell, Minicraft etc.. (all kits essentially LS reissues or copies based on that kit with some being better then others).

Platz in Japan is also churning out unbuilt versions of other 1/144 aircraft previously only available as pre-painted trading models. To date they have done a JASDF F-4EJ and it could be built as an E or an F. I have yet to see a short nose one although apparently there are some conversion bits out there.

Edited by Jay Chladek

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I would like to clarify if F-4Ds has that small, hump-shaped buldge on top of the wing - the one that Hasegawa asks us to sand away when doing F-4E, G, and EJ kits.

Here's a link from Gary Wickham's build of an F-4G to help visualize what I an referring to:

Bump

I plan to do an F-4D from the Esci/Italeri 1/48 F-4J.

Clarifications would be most appreciated. Thanks.

:crying2:

BT6

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I would like to clarify if F-4Ds has that small, hump-shaped buldge on top of the wing - the one that Hasegawa asks us to sand away when doing F-4E, G, and EJ kits.

Here's a link from Gary Wickham's build of an F-4G to help visualize what I an referring to:

Bump

I plan to do an F-4D from the Esci/Italeri 1/48 F-4J.

Clarifications would be most appreciated. Thanks.

:crying2:

BT6

That bump should be removed for a F-4D. Its there because the wing is also used for the F-4J kits, and the Navy birds had that bump.

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Okay, some updates have been made. As for the EF-4C, I need to know if they had any external changes from the standard F-4C. By that reckoning, the Navy F-4G is on the list since it does have an access door in the spine and that carried over when they were converted back to F-4Bs. As for test birds (such as F-4D Wild Weasels), I'm not planning to include them since there are more then a few out there that are one or two offs (such as the infamous YRF-4C prototype that became the YF-4E prototype with an M-61 gun mounted in what essentially was a recon nose).

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Okay, some updates have been made. As for the EF-4C, I need to know if they had any external changes from the standard F-4C. By that reckoning, the Navy F-4G is on the list since it does have an access door in the spine and that carried over when they were converted back to F-4Bs. As for test birds (such as F-4D Wild Weasels), I'm not planning to include them since there are more then a few out there that are one or two offs (such as the infamous YRF-4C prototype that became the YF-4E prototype with an M-61 gun mounted in what essentially was a recon nose).

Jay,here's a link to some discussions we had about the F-4C Wild Weasel awhile back,I can post some photo's if you wish of our display F-4C Wild Weasel we have on base,I can also dig up my notes on the EF-4C.

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....89&hl=EF-4C

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....howtopic=141862

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....howtopic=140436

I worked on former EF-4C's for a year or so before we converted to the F-4E.The rear cockpit instrurment panel had a bracket on the upper right side that once held WW specific gear but the gear was was removed when the EF-4C's trickled into the two Indiana ANG units.Also,the strike camera was still mounted in the forward left Sparrow bay until thier retirement.

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The ECM fairings on F-4Ns were for the Sanders ALQ-126 deceptive jammer. It was more than a noise jammer, it could analyze the incoming radar signal and develop a return signal that would fool the receiver of the attacker's radar and break its lock by returning false range data. There were also antennae for the system on the bottom of the fuselage.

The IR fairing under the radome hadn't contained the AAA-4 IR seeker for eons by the time of the N upgrade. It contained the forward RHAWS antennae for the ALE-45 and the antenna for a radar beacon system.

I think the N upgrade also changed the search radar from the APA-157 to the APA-170. I'm not sure about the missile guidance radar, it might have been the APQ-72 in Bs too.

Another addition to Ns during the upgrade was the VTAS/SEAM system. Visual Target Aquisition System/Sidewinder Expanded Aquisition Mode. It was made by Honeywell I think. It had a computer that mounted on the floor between the RIO's boots, an IR transmitter on each side of the front canopy sills, four IR receivers and a target reticle projector in the pilot's helmet and controls. When it was turned on, a reticle was projected on the inside of the pilot's visor in front his right eye. The reticle would be calibrated to the pilot's line of site and his head motion tracked via the IR receiver/transmitter set. Either the radar antenna (VTAS) or the Sidewinder's seeker head (SEAM) could be slaved to the pilot's line of site. It was pretty cool, the radar would be in a normal scan and the pilot could look at a target anywhere inside a 120 degree cone and push the PLM switch on the stick and the antenna would instantly track to his line of sight. Pulling the PLM switch to the second detent would cause the radar's range gate to sweep in or out, depending on the position of a switch on the instrument panel, and lock on to the first target it detected.

SEAM could also act independently of the helmet sighting system. It allowed the Sidewinder seeker head to be scanned like a little radar dish. It scanned in a figure eight pattern of around 20 degrees I think. If it detected a heat source it would lock on and track it up to a wider off boresite angle. I don't know how far, but probably as far as they can now.

Edited by Grey Ghost 531

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I believe the F-4K/M also had enlarged intakes due to the Spey engines ...

Great info here guys, especially Dave !

Gregg

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Could someone do a recommended kit match to the different versions in this thread?

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Could someone do a recommended kit match to the different versions in this thread?

Only thing about that is there are SOOO many Phantom kits out there that it would be tough to pin down. Plus, everyone has a different set of criteria as to what they "recommend" as some modelers have access to aftermarket resin bits to potentially widen their kit selection while others do not. This is an international site afterall.

I might be able to put together a short list though as at least in 1/32 and 1/48 the pickings are somewhat small and standardized on a couple brands today. A 1/72 list would cover A LOT of subjects though as there are at least five companies that did what many modelers consider to be "good" Phantom kits. Some of those are still available while others are not.

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Made minor tweaks to the list and also edited one of my other posts to include a list of "suggested" kits in the various scales as opposed to recommended ones. I didn't want to get too specific in the kits listing as I feel that is something for dedicated reviews of the said kits to do. Hopefully it will keep you guys happy. :thumbsup:

Enjoy!

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About the Japanese Phantoms:

-F-4EJ: still a few in service with the ADTW testwing at Gifu (about 5).

-F-4EJ Kai: also has double blisters at the aft end of the tailfin. In use with operational sqns.

-RF-4E Kai: see F-4EJ Kai.

-RF-4EJ (Kai): of the 17 F-4EJ aircraft converted to non-recce nose RF-4EJ, most were upgraded to RF-4EJ Kai. But not all! Check references when building one.

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The Paragon nose cannot be used for a Peace Jack aircraft as it is incorrect. There is only a single window on the underside, where there should be 2 and the shape is wrong.

Edited by CraigSargent

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Got some more tweaks done. As for the QF-4s, except for the associated bits for their use as drones, they are pretty much the same feature-wise as their original versions. So I don't think there is really a need to include them unless there are some obvious external differences that one can key in on. Only one I am aware of are the QF-4Ns that mounted camera ports in the IRST bulge and the instructions I've seen for appropriate decal sets mention it. I am trying to find some more drone information as I want to do a QF-4N model myself. So if I find anything obvious for the chart, I will let you guys know.

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