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Jay Chladek

F-4 Phantom guide for the masses

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LES equipped F-4E in SEA War. Some 71 model F-4Es with LES and TISEO were sent to the 432nd TFRW (later 432nd TFW) under project Rivet Haste. They were assigned to the 555th TFW which had exchanged their F-4Ds for F-4Es either shortly before or during Linebacker II. The Rivet Hast F-4Es were uncoded and initially had RRRRIBIT in yellow on the tail, which was later painted out and just the fin cap was painted green. From Smoke Trails, Vol. 3 # 4, Tail Codes, 432 TFRW, by Harley Copic. By 1975, when Saigon fell, I'm sure that the F-4Es still flying in Thailand had the LES installed. Most of them were later sent to Clark and Korea.

Mike V had a very good comparison of the Monogram and Hasegawa F-4 kits on Hyperscale, I'll try to find the thread.

Best wishes,

Grant.

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My regards to all the Phantom maniacs in ARC. I don't want to upset you all, but.....only a few days ago (Sunday the 12th actually) there was a formation of four F-4E's flying extremelly low over my house due to a local national celebration (that's in Greece guys). What a sight...and noise. I wish you could all shared this with me.

I am building now an F-4E in greek markings of course, the usual suspect an F-4E 1/48 Hasegawa. It will be in Aegean Blue camo. I will post some pictures when I finish the model (and I have to admit I am not the greatest fan of the F-4).

If you all think you are crazy about F-4s you should see what is going on, in the Greek modelling clubs. Most probably is the most popular subject among Greek aircraft modellers.

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Hi there

Please allow me to edit this message

Hi there

In part because this forum and from other side always wanted to do I just got some of the early Phantoms molds so maybe I can help a little bit

Well one or two thing about the:

Early Hasegawa Phantom in 1/72 scale

US Navy F-4J (Showtime 100 decals that's the hook) very simple interior one part clear canopy, no bulges on the wing, no wing tanks so you better get add an IR bulge and replace the burner cans because is more close to a Early B model, already came with unslotted stabilators without middle reinforcement

US Navy F-4J new mold (late) you only can made the late J or and S version with slats (no hard wing) no weapons

Early USAF F-4E (Arkansas Traveler JJ 388TFW, JV 388 TFW, Israeli AF decals )

you got a simple interior, single piece clear canopy, both type of gun muzzle, hard wing no slats, lots of bombs well they look like M117, 3 fuel tanks, only kit with traveling pods/Falcons rails,

New mold F-4E (slat wing, AIM- rails, Photo BDA camaras, TISEO) no weapons,

For the Monogram kits

F-4D very nice interior only kits with extended air brakes, two types of ECM pods, SUU-16 gun pod, + 4 Sidewinders AIM-9B (for the decals suposed to be E type)+ 4 Sparrows AIM-7 + 2 wing tanks one seated pilot one standing (you can converted on C model sanding a little bit the IR under nose sensor or an early D model deleting it all Steve Ritchie 555 TFS OY only decal option

Wings correct for any unslated USAF sample other name hard wing

Horizontal Stavilators sloted kind with triangular reinformement

F-4J Early J very nice interior only kits with extended air brakes, hard wing, 3 fuel tanks, mid wings pylons with TER and 3 fuse extended MK 82 bombs + 4 Sidewinders AIM-9B (for the decals suposed to be D type)+ 4 Sparrows AIM-7 one seated pilot one standing more than one different decal release I got one with VFMA-333 Shamrocks at USS Nimitz

Wings correct for any US NAVY includes the small rectangular bump over the wing and hooks for catapult use

Horizontal stabilators unsloted type without triangular reinformement

For ESCI

F-4E/F you got both types of slotted and unslotted stabilators and stat wing, 2 wing tanks and 4 sidewinders AIM-9 (something close to L-P better not to use) and 4 Sparrows AIM-7

Decals from 3 TFW PN Philippines, German Luftwaffe Gost scheme and a SEA Turkey AF

RF-4C/E

you got both types of slotted and unslotted stabilators and stat wing, 3 external fuel tanks 2 different sets of afterburners short and large cans (need to be replace) and mid wing pylons (need to be replaced)

Best day

Armando

PS still looking for the next ESCI batch arrival

Well the ESCI Phantoms just arrived so

ESCI F-4 C/ J

You got both sets of J-79 afterburners short for C and Large for J (early J without the Slats) 4 sidewinders that look very similar to P models and 4 Sparrows, 3 Fuel tanks, 2 different sets of stabilitors slotted and unslotted, two different sets of Mid wing pylons, IR sensor for C version (so that mean that you can also made an early D model)

Decals options depends on the boxing but some samples (SEA D 18 TFS Vampires & C Hawaii ANG), (SEA C Spanish AF Ejercito del Aire & Hi Vis US Marines)

Take notice Wings correct for any US NAVY includes the small rectangular bump over the wing and hooks for catapult use so no explanation on the instructions to fill them in case you choose for C version

Also posible to made a early D withot any infrared sensor under the nose

ESCI F-4S RAF

Well Here you find 4 sidewinders that look very similar to P models and 4 Sparrows, 2 Fuel tanks, 2 different sets of stabilitors slotted and unslotted, two different sets of Mid wing pylons, a SUU-16 Gun Pod, the intake ECM antenas (extra E model gun parts with both types of gun muzzle early and late)

Decals Options RAF Sqn 74 Tigers + Ghost Scheme US Marines

Monogram F-4C/D

Here You find 4 x AIM-9B, 4 x AIM-7E, a SUU-16 Gun Pod, 2 different ECM pods, Wing Tanks, towel rack antena for Loran navgation, Canopy open/closed Clear Parts, one pilot seated one walking Original decals for Steve Ritchie 555 TFS OY 1972 MiG killer

Monogram F-4J

Early J model no slatted wing or hard wing for armament: 4 x AIM-9B, 4 x AIM-7E, 2 TER mid wing pylon and 6 fuse extended 500 pound Mk82 HE, 3 Ext Fuel tanks Canopy open/closed Clear Parts, one pilot seated one walking decals for VF- USS Constalation other edition with VFMA-333 Shamrocks aboard USS Nimitz

Pending Italeri / Tamiya F-4 E/G/F kit

A totally diferent kit from ESCI its an original kit

Best day

Armando

:)

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There is a thread in Hyperscale jet forums where Mike V compares the Monogran and Hasegawa F-4 kits.

Hope that this is useful.

http://www.clubhyper.com/forums/jetageframe.htm

Use the search function and type F-4E

Question: 1/72 F-4J Monogram vs. Hasegawa??January 3 2009 at 1:15 PM

Best wishes,

Grant

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1/72nd scale kits:

The Italeri/Testor F-4E/F/G, RF-4C and F-4S are not really worth touching, nor are the old tool Hasegawa F-4E, F-4EJ and F-4K/M kits. All have shape issues and raised panel lines.

The Monogram F-4J and F-4C/D kits might be slightly better detailed than the new toll Hasegawa kit in a few areas, but the fit of parts is not very good, and the panel lines are raised.

The Esci/Ertl F-4 kits and Fujimi F-4 Kits (except the FG.1 and FGR.2) have very basic cockpits, but shape and fit are acceptable (although the F-4E/F kits are inaccurate). Panel lines are engraved. The Fujimi FG.1 and FGR.2 kits are very nice.

The new tool Revell F-4F and RF-4E have shape issues but are otherwise acceptable.

The new tool Hasegawa F-4 kits are the best on the market overall. All major variants can be built from these kits.

Regards,

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On a slightly related note, what might be the best book catering the US Navy Phantoms? I'm not looking for a pure modeling manual, but something that includes a lot of nice photos of older Navy F-4s but is not a pure photographic book either, in other words includes a good amount of technical/historical information as well. You see what I mean..?

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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. :)

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 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, all 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. 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.

Wow. This actually makes sense to the "non-Phreak." Well done.

-Brad :woot.gif:

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just a quick FYI on Falcon conversions,,,,they are not OOP

I just got a box of 5 Triple conversions in late May or early June from them, including the early F4H-1 conversion

http://www.falconmodels.co.nz/

hope this helps 1/72 and 1/48 early Phantom modelers

Rex

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Very interesting thread!

Just picked up the AMT/ERTL F-4G kit in 1:48 for a song (the desert storm box art), where does this one fit in the mix?

Charlie

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Here some notes on the grey schemes applied to USAF F-4C/D/E/G and RF-4Cs:

The "early Hill I" had 3 colors:

36118 Matt Gunship Grey (Uppersurfaces)

36270 Matt Mid Grey (Uppersurfaces)

36375 Matt Lt Compass Grey / Pale Grey (Radome and undersurfaces)

This last color varied considerably, as on some aircraft it was even similar to the Navy pale grey- you will see a radome painted in a much lighter shade, really contrasting with the other two greys.

The simplest way to see if a F-4 is painted in a Hill 1 camo is to look at her stabilizers. These were always painted in Mid Grey on Hill I but Gunship Grey on Hill II camouflaged F-4s.

Other features were (normally) the lack of an antiglare gunship grey surface around the canopy and a pale grey radome, but not always, as there were small modification at unit /airframe level.

Later, a "modified Hill I" camo appeared, with

36118 Matt Gunship Grey and

36270 Matt Mid Grey

being used for the uppersurfaces, the undersurfaces being now painted in Mid Grey 36270. Only the radome,and sometimes the underwing pylons and fuel tanks remained in Pale Grey.

Mid Grey stabilizators were still a "quick identifier"

Still later, the newer Hill II has been applied to the fleet.

The colors were now

26118 Semi Gloss Gunship Grey and

26270 Semi Gloss Mid Greywith a Gunship Grey pattern on the upper and lower surfaces of the fuselage and wings. The stabilizators were now Gunship Grey, and an standardized antiglare gunship grey surface around the canopy and, symetrically, under the forward fuselage, appeared.

The Cloud Grey scheme used the same semi gloss colors as Hill II, but with a more "disruptive" Gunship Grey pattern, the undersurfaces being Mid Grey only.

Greetings

Diego / HDL

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HI,

like the expert help of the Phantom is the kit is raised or recessed panel lines? :wub:

kit: #09807

HA09807.jpg

thank you and excuse to doubt beginner. :wave:

Edited by Style_Brazil

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HI,

like the expert help of the Phantom is the kit is sunken below (lower line) or not? :lol:

kit: #09807

HA09807.jpg

thank you and excuse to doubt beginner. :coolio:

Do you mean raised or recessed panel lines? If so, this kit has the recessed panellines on most parts, only on a few minor parts such as the pylons they are still raised.

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Do you mean raised or recessed panel lines? If so, this kit has the recessed panellines on most parts, only on a few minor parts such as the pylons they are still raised.

Thanks Pete was just that you're trying to ask ...

excuse to use translation as the translator of google ... :lol:

thanks for the clarification.

Regards, Fabiano.

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Jay,

Ex Weasel worker here adding to description of the F-4G differences from the E, with the addition of two blade antennas along RH side of spine, four horiz. antennas each side (Three aft of radome, one side of Vert. stab.). Rear cockpit Instrument panel with CRT's took over all forward view.

1/72 F-4G Italeri, then Testors. 1/48 F-4G AMT (modified ESCI/Italeri E. Great decal sheet).

HTH, Erik.

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Does anyone have any photos of the F-4N as landed on the Ark Royal, just been given the Hasegawa F-4N Ark Royal kit, also do I need to trim the extended ECM fairing on the leading edge of the vert stabilizer?

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DSC04017f.jpg

Great info guys,

I have ( all in 1/32), Black box cockpit for F-4C, and a Black box RF-4E Recon nose conversion.

What type of recon Phantom can I make from these.

I would like to make a Jap RF-4J as in photo. Is that possible. If so should I get the Tamiya F-4C, or E or F 4EJ??

I have a F-4J Marrines, but thats not going to help me much!!

Image of aircraft attached...I hope ( new to this)

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I posted this some time ago, and some folks thought it should be in this pinned subject. For those who don't know me, I was an avionics specialist (comm-nav to be specific) on F-4Cs and F-4Es from 1980 through 1986. Just going by some of the errors I've seen in print and on models I've seen, I thought that I could help clarify some things and help people do more accurate models. I'll write what I think might be helpful, focusing mostly on the F-4E and other USAF versions.

Starting from the front of the airplane, black radomes were from flat to glossy black and every sheen in between. Exceptionally weathered radomes were even a flat medium gray. The reason for this is that radomes back in the day weren't painted, they were coated with black neoprene rubber which started out very black and glossy and weathered ever flatter, ending up very flat gray if it was allowed to go that long. F-4Es and F-4G Weasels frequently had an additional "anti-erosion" rubber boot glued over the front 25 percent or so of the radome, which usually had a different sheen than the rest of the radome. When they went to the Hill Gray scheme and painted the radomes, many F-4Es and Gs still had the black anti-erosion boot installed.

Moving back a bit, the F-4E and F-4F have a "gun gas purge door" on top of the nose, to the right of the centerline. This door, or scoop, opened when the gun was fired to direct ram air into the gun bay. The door also opened when the hydraulic system depressurized. So for a parked F-4E or F without engines running or an external hydraulic cart connected to the utility hydraulics system, the door would ALWAYS be open. The door closed all by itself during engine start when the hydraulics began to pressurize. QF-4Es have the gun gas purge door deactivated and permanently closed. I believe they even scab a sheetmetal patch over it. F-4G Weasels likewise had the door deactivated.

On the lower sides of the nose are two intakes, those were for the air conditioning system. At lower engine RPM the air conditioning didn't work very well, so all of the cooled air was diverted to the avionics. That's why F-4s usually taxi with the canopies opened. The warm exhaust air from the air conditioning system exited from vents on either side of the nose wheel well.

At the base of the front windscreen there was a slot for hot engine bleed air, used for windscreen deice and rain removal. The center windscreen glass panel is not tinted green, but it was made of very thick laminated glass, while the two panels on either side as well as the canopies and center windows between the crew station were plexiglass. The thick glass of the center panel could take on a bit of a blue-green tint in certain lighting conditions just because of the thickness of the glass, but usually looked perfectly clear. I see lots of models with very heavily green tinted center windscreens, and that is just flat-out wrong. For some reason photos often show the blue-green darker than it looked in real life, but seldom or never as dark as some of the models I've seen. If you want to tint the center windscreen of your model, it should be very subtle. FWIW I never tint mine.

The little coils that attach inside the rear of both of the canopies were connected from the canopies to devices on the ejection seats (top rear) called "canopy interdictors". Those devices kept the seats from ejecting until their respective canopies were jettisoned. You can't blast through the canopy in an F-4.

The rear cockpit in most every F-4 model has a slanting rear bulkhead. In reality it was almost vertical. This is only important if you are going to fully detail your model's rear cockpit. With the slanting bulkhead there isn't room for the black boxes mounted alongside the rear seat.

Moving to the underside, I should mention that real F-4s have bias-ply tires with very strong sidewalls. Even when the jet was heavily loaded, the sidewalls didn't bulge. The flat area contacting the ground got flatter as the weight was increased, but I once looked hard from the front at a real F-4E fully fueled with three bags of fuel (three external tanks) to detect a bulge in the sidewalls after reading a model magazine article that told how to make "realistically" bulged tires, and I could not detect a bulge in the sidewalls. That was about as heavy as I ever saw an F-4 loaded in person.

The rear ends of the foward missile wells had a moveable door that streamlined the aft end of the wells when Sparrows weren't loaded. The "flipper doors" opened a bit when the airplane was parked with no hydraulic pressure on the utility system, but not quite to the position that would allow the rear of a Sparrow to fit. Weapons loaders opened the door fully to load a Sparrow. Without the missile installed, the flipper doors closed when the utility hydraulics pressurized. Monogram's 1/48 F-4C/D and J have the flipper doors molded closed with two Sparrows cut down at the rear to fit the well if you want to install them. Hasegawa's 1/48 kits don't have the flipper doors at all.

The intake ramps, properly called "vari-ramps" were smooth and flat on the inboard sides. Some kits need indentations in the ramps to be filled on the inboard sides. FWIW, I never, ever heard a Phantom maintainer call the vari-ramps "splitter plates". That term I believe was made up by someone with no real first-hand knowledge of the Phantom.

The operation of the leading edge slats, flaps and leading edge flaps on the "hard wing" versions seem to cause some modelers confusion. There is one switch on the left slide of the front cockpit normally used to control the flaps and slats together. With the landing gear and flaps up, the slats are controlled by angle of attack, deploying at a certain AOA and retracting at an AOA less than the deploy number so the slats don't chatter. There is a slats override switch on the left side of the front cockpit further back than the flaps switch, used to prevent the slats from deploying under any circumstances. The slats override switch is checked during pre-taxi checks. I saw this switch used for real only once, when we were deployed to Decimommannu and one of our F-4Es broke a slat actuator mounting bracket. They ferried the airplane back to Ramstein with the slats override switch selected. Other than for a few moments during the pretaxi checks and rare occasions like this one, the flaps would never been seen down without the slats extended. There are emergency blowdown handles for the flaps/slats in both cockpit, again one control for both flaps and slats in each cockpit. The slats inboard of the wingfold deploy by moving up and forward, and rotating leading edge down all in one smooth motion. The slats outboard the wingfold rotate leading edge down only. All of the slats move together, taking about one second to go from retracted to extended or vice-versa. Most F-4E, F or G models with slats have a stripe painted on the wing along the aft edge of the retracted slat to show where not to have your toes when the slats move. The leading edge flaps on the "hardwing" versions likewise lower when the flaps came down, i don't know if there was a leading edge flap override switch.

The speed brakes under the wing droop open very soon after engine shutdown. Usually both extended the same, about 10 to 20 degrees as I recall. Likewise, the ailerons also tend to droop, though there was usually a difference between how much the left versus right aileron drooped. Some ailerons didn't droop at all to speak of. So you might have one side close to neutral with the other side hanging down 10 or 15 degrees or so, or any variation in between. The spoilers on the F-4 were used only for roll control with the ailerons, the pilot can't select both of the spoilers up at the same time like you see on transport aircraft. At high AOA, the pilot used the rudder for roll control, by the way. Each wing's spoilers were in two halves which moved simultaneously. The ailerons only move a few degrees up past neutral. So with full left stick, you'll see the right aileron down, right spoilers closed; left aileron slightly trailing edge up and left spoilers (both halves) full up. The spoilers could be pried up for inspections, and it might take a little while for the hydraulic fluid in the actuator to bleed out and let the spoiler settle back down flat, so rarely you might see the halves of a spoiler on a wing left up a few degrees, and usually not at the same angle. Like I said, that was very rare, almost always they were closed with the jet parked.

The only flight control you can move from the cockpit on an F-4 without hydraulic pressure is the rudder. The rudder is in no way connected to the nose wheel position, so for a jet parked in a stiff crosswind you'll see the rudder pushed over to one side with the nose wheels straight ahead (or in whatever position it was in when the jet was parked). The stick always was in the vertical neutral position without hydraulics applied.

The aux air doors on the belly of the aircraft were always open with the landing gear down. However, during engine shutdown when electrical power was lost with the hydraulics still pressurized, they'd snap closed. As soon as the engines had spooled down, we'd attach a grounding cable to one of the arcraft's several grounding points, put downlocks on the landing gear, pry open the aux air doors and put locks with long handles over the door actuators, put safety pins in the external tanks, pin the tail hook, and after the crew was out, put red-painted locks over the canopy actuator rods and then pin the seats. The landing gear downlocks were red painted clamshell devices that fastened over the actuator rods (the silver part). So the aux air doors on a parked Phantom or on an F-4 inflight with the gear down should be opened. If you have a model of a Phantom inflight with the wheels up the doors should be closed.

The exhaust nozzles on J79 powered versions always relaxed to full open when the engines shutdown. Some other aircraft engine types could have a shutdown engine with the nozzle closed, but not the J79. The dragchute door was left open after landing until a new chute was installed. We never closed the dragchute door with no chute inside.

Long nosed Phantoms had a single probe just above the red anticollision light on the leading edge of the tail, and a pitot probe on the front of the radome. The tail probe was for the artificial feel, and was called the "bellows probe". Short-nosed Phantoms had the pitot probe on the leading edge of the fin above the bellows probe.

For anyone into electronics who would like to put operating lights on their F-4 model, the wingtips had lights on the front and rear that burned steady, red on the left wingtip and blue-green on the right. There was a pair of white lights under the intakes, a white light on Door 19 just behind the rear cockpit, the red anti-collision beacon on the leading edge of the tail, and a white light on the trailing edge at the top of the fin cap that all flashed simultaneously, about once per second. The flash pattern was full bright then gradually dimming, suddenly full bright then gradually dimming, like a sawtooth waveform. Speaking of Door 19, several kits (Hasegawa 1/48, Revell 1/32) have the kind of oval, rounded panel behind the rear cockpit as a separate piece. I've seen a lot of models with the seam left as a panel line. That is incorrect, that seam should be filled. Here's a photo of yours-truly sitting on an F-4E with Door 19 opened, you can see there is no panel line around the blistered area that matches the rear canopy:

ScottWilsonon68-0517summer1985.jpg

I've seen models of USAF Phantoms with the inboard wheels painted white. While the Navy versions used different wheel and did have white wheel hubs, on USAF versions the inboard wheels hubs were bare steel which was very rusty and darkened by dirt and brake dust. The rims around the tires were bare metal, silver and not rusted but often dirty. The outboard hubs (which were mostly concealed by the main gear doors with the jet on the ground) were usually white but were also usually quite dirty.

LeftMLG.jpg

Canopies on the F-4 were opened and closed pneumatically, so when you see movies with the whine of a motor accompanying the canopy movement, that's completely wrong. All you heard in reality was clunking of the canopy locks and air whooshing. Not really pertinent to models I know, but I thought you'd be interested. Same with flight controls, the hydraulics were pressurized by the engine driven pump or an external cart for maintenance, and when the surfaces moved there was no discernable noise, certainly no whining sound like you sometimes see in movies and TV shows. The canopies should be full opened or fully closed. If they were manually unlocked they'd still rest on the cockpit sills. There are lots of models out there that get the angles of the open canopies wrong, it's something to pay attention to on your models if you want them to look real.

F-4Ds, Es and Gs had a rendezvous beacon which was also used for SkySpot bombing missions in Vietnam. The beacon was called the SST-181X. You can see a big toggle switch for it on the outboard middle of the right console in the rear cockpit if you have photos or diagrams. The antenna for it was on Door 19, see the photo above. Looking at Door 19, immediately behind the rear canopy was the IFF antena, which was a flat circular plate. Behind the IFF antenna there was the upper fuselage nav light, and on the F-4D the SST-181's antenna on the centerline behind the light, near the panel hinge at the rear of the panel. On the F-4E and F-4G the beacon antenna was relocated to the right of the IFF antenna, mounted on a teardrop shaped plate toward the front of the teardrop. The SST-181 was not used on the F-4 after around 1982, and many of the F-4Es I worked on had the antenna removed and a plug screwed into the antenna base. There were quite a few jets that kept the antenna too, even though it wasn't used any more. I believe Tamiya has the beacon antenna on the centerline behind the light for both the F-4D and F-4E versions, so you'll need to relocate it on your F-4E. Hasegawa's 1/48 F-4E has a blade antenna in the F-4E's beacon antenna location. The SST-181 antenna was a little cylinder, not a blade. To model it correctly is easy. Cut off all but a sliver of the blade antenna. That last sliver will be the SST-181 antenna mount. Drill a tiny hole toward the front of the sliver, insert a short piece of stretched sprue, and you're good to go.

USAF F-4 fighter versions had only a single UHF radio for communications. They also had an auxillary UHF receiver with pre-programmed frequencies, but the crew couldn't transmit with it. The UHF radio had two antennas, selected from the front cockpit by the pilot. The upper antenna was orginally inside the fin cap, but around 1984 there was a modification to move the antenna to the right side of the aircraft fuselage top, mounted on a little pedestal. F-4Gs had the upper UHF antenna mounted there as part of the Weasel mod, and ARN-101 equipped F-4Es had the upper UHF antenna mounted on the fuselage centerline aft of the ARN-101's fuselage antenna, just in front of the vertical fin. F-4Fs got the little pedestal mounted on the fuselage, but for whatever reason the antenna itself was never mounted there.

Other than ARN-101 equipped F-4Es which never have it, F-4Es may or may not have the little pod-shaped antenna on the back of the fincap. That antenna was orginally for the APS-107 RHAW system, but that system was quickly replaced with a different system that used the little half-ping-pong ball shaped antennas on the drag chute door instead. When I worked on F-4Es in the 1980s, the pods on the fincaps of those F-4Es that had it, had nothing inside. The fin caps were interchangeable, and one F-4E may have the pod for awhile, then get a new fincap installed without the pod, and later still get a cap with it again. When it comes to model F-4Es, other than ARN-101 jets I don't concern myself with whether or not the fincap has the pod on it. Likewise, by the time I worked on F-4Es in the early 80s the dielectric panels on the wing leading edge above the inboard panels had nothing inside, they too were remnants of the old APS-107. Many of those panels were painted over, though many others were left with the black neoprene coating.

The wedge-shaped stabilator reinforcements were usually on top of the stabs, rarely just on the bottom, and sometimes on both the top and bottom. I don't know when exactly they started applying those, by the time I worked on Phantoms pretty much every USAF Phantom had them in one place or the other if not both. Whichever, I do recall that the left and right sides always matched. Stabilator changes weren't too rare, so I personally don't go to any effort to match my model to a photo, because who's to say that the week after the photo was taken the jet didn't have a stab change and get a different configuration? From what I've seen of QF-4s, the wedges are on the top and bottom of pretty much all of the stabs now.

One detail you might try putting on your models are scuffmarks from ground crew's boots on the sides of the fuselage. To get onto the wing, we walked on the walkway on top of the intake trunks, then slid down onto the wing. The older the paint job, the more scuffmarks you'd see in the paint. The light gray paint on F-4Fs used currently shows these marks most clearly, but those marks are on all F-4s to some degree except maybe Thunderbird or Blue Angel aircraft. Another detail to try is scraped paint in front of the air refuel receptacle. Refueling in turbulence meant the boom often scraped the top of the fuselage, and scratches in the paint were common. And finally, the tops of the left side vari-ramps were often worn, sometimes pretty much to bare metal from people walking on them to get to the rear cockpit or rear fuselage.

I recall a big discussion on RMS about how far into the intake ducts the external color went. I remembered it being about three feet, and was able to measure the paint inside an F-4C at Hardwood Bombing Range, Wisconsin to confirm it was exactly 36 inches from the intake lip. I've recently seen some photos from the Vietnam days that show the external camouflage color went into the intakes only a few inches. I don't know when they changed it. The rest of the duct was white.

Lots of books call the chin pod on F-4B, C, D and N models an "IR seeker". That was the original purpose way back in the beginning, but the Navy quicky decided the system was ineffective, and the chin pods were quicky adapted for RHAW antennas. I don't think the USAF ever flew an IR seeker in the pod. USAF maintainers called the chin pod a "donkey dick", by the way. The cap on the front of the pod was painted with the same neoprene as the rest of the radome. IR seeker inplies a lens of some sort, and for USAF and almost all Navy Phantoms that is incorrect.

The 370 gallon wing tanks were made in three sections, and the people that did maintenance on them never gave any thought to keeping the three sections together when they repaired the tanks. So it was very common for the paint on the front, middle and rear sections not to match each other.

USAF F-4s originally used a 600 gallon centerline tank we referred to as the Royal Jet tank, after one of the vendors that supplied them. What most modelers don't know was that at the rear of the Royal Jet tank there were two little fins. On the engine bay doors above the fins there were two little doors that were opened, and inside the doors were brackets that fit around the ends of the tank's fins. This assembly acted like sway braces.

sway03-1.jpg

Around 1981 the Royal Jet tanks were replaced on F-4Gs Weasels with a modified F-15 centerline. It was called the McDonnell High Performance Centerline. It was not interchangeable with the F-15's tank, there were several differences in the suspension lugs, and the fuel and pressurization hookups weren't compatible. The new tank had much better performance limits and better jettison limits, so was soon adopted throughout the USAF and Luftwaffe. We had them at Ramstein starting from around 1985. Once we got them, we never used Royal Jet tanks again, though we had them on base for war stocks. The Navy had a centerline tank that looked just like the Royal Jet, but was welded construction and stronger, so the Navy never felt the need to buy the High Performance Centerline. The HPC and Royal Jet tanks are shaped very differently, and sit differently on the airplane, so be sure you use the appropriate tank for you model and its time frame.

On the real Phantoms I saw, the edges of the flaps and ailerons were sometimes painted red, sometimes not. Do whichever way you like on your models, unless you've got a good photo showing how the particular airplane you're modeling was.

I never bought a Tamiya F-4 as they are outside my budget (I'm part owner of a real Cessna 172, so you know where my money goes!) But I've seen a few and seen reviews where people complain about "Battle Damage Repair" panels. Those raised panels are actually maintenance access panels. They shouldn't be altogether removed, but they should not be raised either! Up to you how to deal with that. Sand them flush and scribe around them, ideally.

Slatted winged F-4s had completely different panel lines on the tops of the wings outside the wingfold. No model company has ever gotten them correct on a model that I've seen, though the Testors/Italeri 1/48th kits are closest. The Revell 1/32 F-4E is about half right, and believe it or not, Cutting Edge copied Revell's errors! And the inboard edge of the outboard slats had a slot cut in it that fit around the wing fence, I've yet to see that correctly done on any model. Here's a drawing from a Japanese book that shows the slatted and non-slatted panel lines:

F-4EDRAW.jpg

I hope this was useful and not too long-winded.

Scott Wilson

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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I have a couple of the new tool 32nd Revell F-4Es. I planned on using the Two Bobs "SEA Heroes" for one of the, but apperently the Revell kit is late config with a slatted wing so it would be unacceptable for a SEA era Rhino....What work needs to be done to change the kit to a F-4EJ?

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I have a couple of the new tool 32nd Revell F-4Es. I planned on using the Two Bobs "SEA Heroes" for one of the, but apperently the Revell kit is late config with a slatted wing so it would be unacceptable for a SEA era Rhino....What work needs to be done to change the kit to a F-4EJ?

Although the majority of F-4Es over Vietnam had the 'hard wings' there were some slatted-wing birds later in the campaign. You will need to change the stabs to the slatted type though.

All F-4EJs had/have the 'hard wings' and slatted stabs, so that's a no-go to unless you're into converting/scratchbuilding.

Regards,

Jens

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Great post Scott. As these are THE best jets ever I love reading first hand accounts about them. Some really great info there mate. Cheers Paul

Edited by hrtpaul

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I have a question about J79.

Internal part of afterburner section has green color. What is it? Result of metal oxidation or a special heat resisting covering?

Dmitriy

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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, all 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. 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.

I've seen a picture of an Israeli F-4E with TISEO.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_ge...nass_223_tieso/

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).

For anyone interested in an armed RF-4C, here's an RF-4C with Aim-9's:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA---Air/M...b1490818dce8bbb

And a second:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/USA---Air/M...b1490818dce8bbb

I also heard a few RF-4C's were armed and used as pathfinder aircraft during Vietnam. Anybody have any information about that?

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.

The F-4ES did have the refueling probe and did have Sparrow missile bays, though the aft two on this one seem to be filled with chaff/flare dispensers and the front bays have rack adapters.

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_gershman/f-4es_498/

I'm told they were built from hard wing F-4E, which had the ability to fly AIM-9's on the wing pylons, though I don't have any pictures of an F-4E(s) carrying one.

However, the Israelis did have an adapter that used that rack adapter you see in the forward bays on that E(s) above and that adapter allowed them to fly an AIM-9 in one of the front sparrow bays as shown on this F-4E.

http://data3.primeportal.net/hangar/isaac_...27_32_of_49.jpg

I do not have a picture of an E(s) with this adapter or rail, so I don't know if they ever actually flew it or not. Can anybody clarify? Were the racks used for AIM-9's or something else like an ECM pod?

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Do you have pics? I have shots of Gull Gray and white F-4Cs at MacDill in 1964 with rounded pylons. Never seen a bona fide F-4C production bird with Squid pylons on it.

Not sure if this was ever answered but check out Drendel's Squadron Signal (#6010) Phantom II book. Page 39 center left photo shows a trio of F-4C's heading into North Vietnam loaded with 750 lb bombs. If you look at the port pylon of the nearest ship (37656) you'll see it is a straight pylon like the Navy. On page 41, the top photo of F-4C 'FG 683' also shows the straight pylons.

Another of Drendels Squadron Signal books (#6351), USAF Phantoms in Combat, on page 4, shows 40686 heading out with straight pylons carrying a pair of sidwinders.

These were the only books I checked but there are probably others.

dpw

Edited by Drifterdon

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Hi There

Well after reading about the thread of Chico the Gunfighter, I went to my stash and started to looking for the Phantom Gun ods of Vietnam War in 1/72 scale

Also interesting is that only Fujime USAF kits include center fuselaje weapon pylon so is this one accurate but also interesting is where to install it

So for Phantom use here comes the debrief

The SUU-16/A Ram Air Turbine driven pod this one is the early type (late '60)

Only one available Monogram / Acuratte Miniatures F-4D

The SUU-23/A gun pod, electric driven an improvement of the one mentioned before (early '70)

Fujimi RAF Phantom

ESCI F-4C/J RAF Phantom (this one come with flat end) accuracy ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

also included in Hasegawa weapon set III PGM

Also used by IIAF/IRIAF, South Korea & Spanish AF

Well 1/48 I remember 2 different gun pod sources both of them coming in Monogram kits one of course in the F-4D (one pod) and F-5E (two pods) but not sure witch one if SUU-16/A or SUU-23/A

Best day

Armando

PS Not sure if Iranians Phantoms also use some Mk20 cluster bombs also :deadhorse1:

Edited by RAGATIGER

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