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chuck540z3

1/32 Tamiya F-4E post-Vietnam- Kicked up a notch.

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After letting my last build sit on the shelf for all of about 24 hours, it's time to start another project! :)

Whenever I start a kit, I need inspiration of some kind to get me into the build and, more importantly, keep me into the build. I had that for my last 4 projects, so modeling was always fun, even though it was very challenging at times and parts almost hit the wall. :o

I’ve settled on the 1/32 Tamiya F-4E Phantom. I’ve made this kit before into an F-4J, but I really enjoyed doing a camo paintjob on a recent Lancaster build, so doing a Vietnam era “SEA†(SE Asia) Phantom with shark teeth HAS to be the ticket- or so I hope!

For those who followed my last build of the 1/32 CF-18B, you can probably expect more of the same in this WIP thread, such as fairly detailed photographs of each major step, attention to small details of the aircraft, lots of mistakes, a few saves along the way and a LOOOOONG build, maybe a year. Salt weathering, of course, will be an important step near the end and I have a few new ideas I’d like to try on this project.

Unlike the CF-18B build, however, I can't imagine how I will replicate the same level of accuracy in details, because the F-4 variations are so numerous there's no way I can get everything "correct". I’ll be lucky to get real close. For my last project I was able to personally climb all over real F-18's and photograph many features of the aircraft for reference and use them as guides, posting them within my WIP thread for all to see. For this build, all I have is the internet, Jake Melampy’s excellent book and YOU guys to keep me moving in the right direction. There’s lots of guys here who know way more about F-4’s than I do and there’s lots of guys here who have better modeling skills than I do. I really want your help!

Like all my models, I’m throwing about as much as you can in after-market stuff at the Tamiya kit as follows:

• DMold 32001 Seamless Intakes. These are way better than Seamless Suckers and they’re already white :thumbsup:

• Eduard Photo-Etch Everything, including:

1. 32079 (X2) Ejection Seat. I’m not sure how much I’ll use since the seats are already very good.

2. 32511 (X2) Ejection Seat. As above.

3. 32080 Exhaust. Maybe none of this, since I have the Aires exhausts. We’ll see.

4. 32503 Interior. Probably only a few parts, since I have the Avionix pit.

5. 32509 Placards. I historically use only about half.

6. 32531 Formation Light. I haven’t used one of these sets yet, because the kit lights are usually just as good.

7. 32073 Exterior. Again, maybe about half.

8. XL 517 Stencils. Painted “No Step†signs, etc., might be fun rather than using a decal.

9. JX 501 Masks. I may use a few. But my luck with them isn’t as good as good old Tamiya tape.

10. Leftovers from the Big Ed set I used from my last F-4J

• CAM R32-053, Mk 20 Rockeye Cluster Bombs (X6). I don’t even know what they are, but I know the F-4 carried them and the kit doesn’t supply them, so maybe I use them.

• Aires F-4E/J Exhaust Nozzles. Typical Aires. Beautiful details, but a bit too small. I have an idea that might “fix†this problem.

• Two Bobs SEA Heros Decals 32-022 (X2) Always great quality- and the source of those fierce shark teeth! I always buy 2 sets for the inevitable decal screw-up. I'm thinking I'll do 69-7551, because "Chico the Gunfighter" has been overdone a bit, just like "Showtime 100". Besides, the teeth look cooler for this version anyway! I also have a few sets of early F-4 stencil and placard decals to fill in the blanks.

• Avionix F-4E Cockpit, AV32019. I wish there was an Aires alternative, but I hear it’s not too bad.

• 1/32 Tamiya F-4EJ Phantom #60314 Kit. I'm hoping this is the same kit as the straight F-4E, except for the decals which I don't plan on using anyway. I noticed on the outside of the box this message: “Modeling skills helpful if under 10 years of ageâ€. I should be good to go at 56!

And, last but not least….

• The Modern Phantom Guide by Jake Melampy, Reid Air Publications. The must-have F-4 Bible.

I also have the Nautilus jig to get the wingtip angles correct at 12.5 degrees. I’ll probably pick up some more add-ons along the way and maybe delete a few of the above. You never know what you need or don’t need until you get right into it.

I’ve had help with this build already. “Finn†has supplied me with this link, which I thought I had already, but mine was for the F-4 C/D tweaks and not the F-4E….

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/Marketplace/Tweaks/F-4EJ.pdf

And “Marcel†has given me a method of creating better looking ejection hoops I’m dying to try.

So I’ll get started tomorrow and maybe have an update in a week or so. I know the beginning of the build is always the most boring to look at, but I’ll try to make it as interesting and informative as possible. Let’s have some fun! In the meantime, here's a pic of my target for inspiration. I can hardly wait to paint those touch-up patches on the fuselage...

http://sharpshooter-maj.com/Images/twtd02/f4027a.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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Oh man..I can't wait to see this one. :o

Will you be doing "Chico"? Or just a "generic" SEA-camo Phantom? :thumbsup:

-Awan

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Oh man..I can't wait to see this one.

Will you be doing "Chico"? Or just a "generic" SEA-camo Phantom? :huh:

-Awan

:o
• Two Bobs SEA Heros Decals 32-022 (X2) Always great quality- and the source of those fierce shark teeth! I always buy 2 sets for the inevitable decal screw-up. I'm thinking I'll do 69-7551, because "Chico the Gunfighter" has been overdone a bit, just like "Showtime 100". Besides, the teeth look cooler for this version anyway! I also have a few sets of early F-4 stencil and placard decals to fill in the blanks.

http://sharpshooter-maj.com/Images/twtd02/f4027a.jpg

Great choice of subject Chuck. Here's to your new project. :beer4:

Break a leg. :thumbsup:

:)

Edited by geedubelyer

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Ohhhh yyyaaaaaa,, boooooiiiiiiiii... this is gonna be great.

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cant wait to see what you do, chuck. i have done the same bird using the revell kit.

Edited by karl h

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Wow! Chuck, you are totally up for modeling! No respite, no delay, just keep on going! :thumbsup:

Good luck with your new "baby". Although I'm not a Phantom fan but I will follow your thread with keen interest that you could accomplish this time. :)

Cheers and happy modeling!

Alexander

:o

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This is going to be good! Just sit back and enjoy!

I'll wait with trepidation for coming updates...

/Kristian

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• Avionix F-4E Cockpit, AV32019. I wish there was an Aires alternative, but I hear it’s not too bad.

If you're looking for accuracy, trash this set. The seats are US Navy style, and the rest of the parts are not accurate for an F-4E. Lots of great detail, but mostly fictional. Compare the front instrument panel to pics of the F-4E and you'll see what I mean.

Looking forward to watching this come together. There can never be enough F-4s around here.

Jake

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Chuck, can't wait to see you get into this one... makes me want to start mine asap!

On the exhausts, how about just going with the CAM sets, they are correctly sized and have pretty good details. I have the set and it looks good.

Mk 20's... I believe only Chico carried these but I may be wrong.

I crawled all over an F-4S here a while back, I'll try to get those pics to you (PM).

:thumbsup:

Marcel

Edited by Marcel111

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If you're looking for accuracy, trash this set. The seats are US Navy style, and the rest of the parts are not accurate for an F-4E. Lots of great detail, but mostly fictional. Compare the front instrument panel to pics of the F-4E and you'll see what I mean.

Jake

SEE! This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for! As for the pit, I'll likely go with it anyway and use the Eduard interior set to tweak it back to semi-reality. For my last build I used the kit IP's instead of the Avionix ones for similar reasons. I was already aware of the seat problem, but I thought I could alter them or replace them with Quickboost or Verlinden seats, although I'm not sure if they're much better. Anybody know?

Also, it's great to have so much interest so early in the game. Hopefully I won't disappoint anyone.

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Chuck, can't wait to see you get into this one... makes me want to start mine asap!

On the exhausts, how about just going with the CAM sets, they are correctly sized and have pretty good details. I have the set and it looks good.

Mk 20's... I believe only Chico carried these but I may be wrong.

I crawled all over an F-4S here a while back, I'll try to get those pics to you (PM).

:thumbsup:

Marcel

Thanks for the tips Marcel, but where does a guy go about getting CAM exhausts? They are super hard to find and rarely show up on ebay- so they always go for big bucks. My plan for the Aires cans is to somehow shrink the surround where they go so that you can't detect the "shrinkage" (never a good thing!).

As for pics, I can't get enough of them, so thanks. My only caution is that many of the F-4 pics out there of any quality are of "gatekeeper" relics that have been freshly painted, usually with the wrong colors and schemes. Most of the Vietnam era pics are low resolution, so it's hard to pick up subtle details. I had the same problem when I built my Lancaster, so I went with a hybrid of both types of photographs.

It was also be great to have you building one of these beasts at the same time. When I was building my F-14B, there was 4 of us doing the same Tamiya kit at the same time, and it was cool to see how everyone attacked certain issues differently. I learned a lot from them and maybe they picked up on a few of my discoveries. Of course Guy (geedubelyer) put us all to shame (and still does), but that just made us try harder.

First task while I wait for the cockpit to arrive (I had to order one) is to shave down all those phony plates on the fuselage and maybe get those intakes installed. Hopefully I'll have some progress to report next week.

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Chuck,

I am using almost the same ingredients for my current build, so here are a couple of unsolicited suggestions. Hopefully they can help you along the way:

- When dry fitting the Avionix rear cockpit into the fuselage, make sure you dry fit it with the resin side walls temporarily attached because they have a big impact on the clearance you'd get between the kit's rear deck and the tub.

- I personally found the Eduard JX501 masks to be almost completely useless. The saving grace is they provide you with the masks for the leading edges on the horizontal stabs (ie the metallic leading edges). If you plan on painting those stab leading edges with Alclad BEFORE painting the SEA camo, then those masks appear useless. The trick is to use the tape surrounding those pieces the instructions (page 6 or 6, step 3 and 4) asks you to use, ie the negative "borders" that conform to the complex shape of the leading edges.

That's it. Good luck and have fun. I'll be watching this WIP with interest.

Cheers,

Terry

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- When dry fitting the Avionix rear cockpit into the fuselage, make sure you dry fit it with the resin side walls temporarily attached because they have a big impact on the clearance you'd get between the kit's rear deck and the tub.

- I personally found the Eduard JX501 masks to be almost completely useless. The saving grace is they provide you with the masks for the leading edges on the horizontal stabs (ie the metallic leading edges). If you plan on painting those stab leading edges with Alclad BEFORE painting the SEA camo, then those masks appear useless. The trick is to use the tape surrounding those pieces the instructions (page 6 or 6, step 3 and 4) asks you to use, ie the negative "borders" that conform to the complex shape of the leading edges.

That's it. Good luck and have fun. I'll be watching this WIP with interest.

Cheers,

Terry

Thanks Terry, I'll be sure to watch out for that, although it's a "normal course" thing for me to do anyway. The Avionix pit in the CF-18B had the same issues with the front too tight, but the rear needed card to fill gaps on the sides.

For the masking set, I'm not surprised. I have 2 sets of the masks, because I used one for my last F-4J build but only a couple of the masks were used, which means I probably didn't like them. I'll be sure to note your suggestions when I get to the rear stab's. My luck with getting Alclad to stick to bare plastic is poor, so I'll likely do it after the camo paint used as a primer.

Question: Did you remove the rear stab's to paint them? I've read that many do that trick, but I'm too afraid of getting them to fit properly and stay put if I cut the bases of them to do so. For my last F-4J I left them attached, which was a bit of a PITA to paint, but it turned out OK anyway.

Thanks again.

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Question: Did you remove the rear stab's to paint them? I've read that many do that trick, but I'm too afraid of getting them to fit properly and stay put if I cut the bases of them to do so. For my last F-4J I left them attached, which was a bit of a PITA to paint, but it turned out OK anyway.

I left the entire tail structure - stabs, tail cone and all - completely intact to paint. Then rotated the stabs a bit out of the way of the camo area and masked it. Yeah it was a PITA to mask that whole thing.

Terry

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Chuck,

WOW !!!I guess you answered MY inner thought as to when you would be building another and THIS IS just AWESOME..

I LOVE Phantoms... I cannot wait to see your magic on this beauty and the beautiful work and scratchbuilding...

{there will be some of that as well won't there ?}.

I am truly gonna enjopy this as I have done your other builds...

Let the Drum Roll begin.... :monkeydance::shoot:

HOLMES :wave:

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Chuck the Eduard color PE sets for the seats look great when installed. I used them on my F-4D. They are a bit of a PITA to install with lots of small parts and the metal is a little stiff but once they are in they look very good.

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Oh yeahh!!

Nice choice for the camo :jaw-dropping:

have fun!

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As always, I will follow your updates closely. (Have been pondering the Tamiya Phantom myself...)

Good luck with this project, Chuck!

Cheers,

Anders

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this must cost an ipad or two

i'm building one F-4 as well, but D version and in 1/72 scale

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As mentioned above and according to the info here:

http://www.ozarkairfieldartworks.com/chicothegunfighter.html

it seems "Chico" was the only AF F-4 to carry the Mk-20 Rockeye during the war.

Jari

"I believe, and the body of evidence suggests, that Chico was likely the only USAF Phantom to employ Mk 20 Rockeye IIs in Vietnam."

Dang! Good catch Jari!

I guess those Rockeyes will have to go back in the stash. I could always do "Chico" instead, but that bird is reserved for Marcel, who called on it first. Who said there was no honor in modeling? :D

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Thanks for the tips Marcel, but where does a guy go about getting CAM exhausts? They are super hard to find and rarely show up on ebay- so they always go for big bucks. My plan for the Aires cans is to somehow shrink the surround where they go so that you can't detect the "shrinkage" (never a good thing!).

As for pics, I can't get enough of them, so thanks. My only caution is that many of the F-4 pics out there of any quality are of "gatekeeper" relics that have been freshly painted, usually with the wrong colors and schemes. Most of the Vietnam era pics are low resolution, so it's hard to pick up subtle details. I had the same problem when I built my Lancaster, so I went with a hybrid of both types of photographs.

It was also be great to have you building one of these beasts at the same time. When I was building my F-14B, there was 4 of us doing the same Tamiya kit at the same time, and it was cool to see how everyone attacked certain issues differently. I learned a lot from them and maybe they picked up on a few of my discoveries. Of course Guy (geedubelyer) put us all to shame (and still does), but that just made us try harder.

First task while I wait for the cockpit to arrive (I had to order one) is to shave down all those phony plates on the fuselage and maybe get those intakes installed. Hopefully I'll have some progress to report next week.

I went to town on a Phantom standing here at the museum in Charlotte... it has not been painted after retiring, so still good to use as a weathering reference, which was my main motivation when taking pics. Need to try to recover the pics from an old PC, may take some time.

Parrallel builds: Love the idea, which made me think you and I should maybe do a joint thread some time. Can't join you this time around, need to get hands on plastic first, at the rate at which this home selling stuff is going, that will be later in the year. And then it's Flanker finish time. However, maybe we should do a joint build some time next year, I'm thinking an easy kit so that our tempos will be roughly matched: Tamiya F-16!? Here's the Viper I would build Blue Aggressor

Anyhow, just day dreaming...

Here's what the ejection pull handle trick ends up looking like... it get's a little tricky but the result is worthwhile.

MirageIIIR2ZFinished015.jpg

Cheers,

Marcel

PS The model above reveals where I'm originally from although that was a long time ago.

Edited by Marcel111

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I could always do "Chico" instead, but that bird is reserved for Marcel, who called on it first. Who said there was no honor in modeling? :wave:

Thx Chuck... but seriously, Chico is my second-in-line Phantom, so I'm fine with you leading the way on that bad boy.

Marcel

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Got the same kit, going to do RAAF version, so will be looking to see how you do yours!!! chuckles....on all the warning decals , ( which are in japanese on mine) did your aftermarket decals come with all necessary warning decals in english? thats my only annoyance....that and a fella i have been chatting to was saying that the aussie variant didnt have the "gatling" type cannon but was instead twin barrells? im unsure on this and cant find any relevant info....one thing i liked about this aircraft was in the book " G Suit" on the israeli 6 day war... if i remeber correctly the quote was that if you shut down the engines in flight it will " physically throw you against the seat straps, stop flying and start falling..." my brother thinks they are hideous... calls 'em bricks with wings... and.... "proof that if you put enough power behind a brick it will fly" ..... i dont care i love the phantom!!!! good luck with it all looking forward to seeing how it all goes....

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