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chuck540z3

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

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Where does this part go on the airframe anyway? Would love to see if its on the Revell kit that I have!

Jeremy

That's the aerial refueling door. Look at Chuck's photo in a prevous posting in this thread, it's on the part he labeled in his photo as A3. It's about halfway between the upper TACAN antenna on the spine and the rear cockpit. I'm pretty darned sure Revell made the door symettrical, seeing as how their left and right fuselage halves are mirror images of each other if I remember correctly.

Here's a photo I took at Decimommannu in December 1985 of an F-4E (68-0442) in which you can see the door:

68-0442Dec1985DecimommannuScottRWilson.jpg

Scott Wilson

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That's a great photo! An excellent example of visable panel lines that some modelers want to think are invisable. I don't know what pics they look at.....but I certainly can see them. Go figure.

Jerry

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That's a great photo! An excellent example of visable panel lines that some modelers want to think are invisable. I don't know what pics they look at.....but I certainly can see them. Go figure.

Jerry

Agreed, thanks for posting these pictures Scott. That last one does a great job of illustrating the weathering and small details of the SEA paint scheme. I would definitely hit a finished bird with a black wash to highlight those rivets and panel lines.

I really enjoy threads like this. You get to see a great model build and also learn a great deal about the real thing.

Edited by 11bee

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Agreed, thanks for posting these pictures Scott. That last one does a great job of illustrating the weathering and small details of the SEA paint scheme. I would definitely hit a finished bird with a black wash to highlight those rivets and panel lines.

I really enjoy threads like this. You get a to see a great model build and also learn a great deal about the real thing.

You can see the panel lines on the removeable panels in my photo. Most of the panel lines for non-removeable skin pieces that butted up against each other didn't stand out like that, and from a scale distance would usually be all but invisible. Some you could see though, it's hard to say why that was, but do check your references. I see way too many models with the panel lines much too dark to appear realistic, imho. Same with rivets; rivets were close to invisible unless you were really close up to the jet; but panel fasteners on removeable panels were larger and the paint on them was often beat up on a jet that had been around for awhile and therefore they were more easily seen. When I took the photos of 68-0442, she was definitely due for a repaint. Here's some more photos I took of 442 that day in October, 1985:

68-0442DecimommannuOctober241985ScottRWilson.jpg

F-4ESEAleftwingScottWilson-1.jpg

F-4ESEArightwingScottWilson-1.jpg

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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Thanks again Scott for jumping in with excellent pics of the real deal. I'm saving them all for later when I paint. Luckily, I specialize in dirty birds!

Question. In the pic above there's a TACAN (??) aerial on the starboard side. Were those present in the Vietnam war? The few pics I have of 69-7551 don't show it, or at least I can't see it.

You are right about the fuel door on the Tamiya kit. It is perfectly symmetrical and I was going to leave it, but now that you've pointed it out, I had no choice but to alter it. :wierdo: The pics in Jake's book on page 119 show the starboard forward lobe of the door to be a bit wider, so I filled in the kit panel line and bulged it out a bit. In hindsight I wished I'd changed the angle of the panel line, but the asymmetrical look is still there. I also added a couple of refueling lights on that circular panel forward of the door. The pics I have show them to be a little aft of the center line of the panel. I also added a bunch of rivets, thanks to your great pic above of the top fuselage. The yellow tape has some foam underneath it to protect that remaining aerial...

Fueldoor1.jpg

I filled in all those little holes on the inside vari-ramps with putty, as per your suggestion. Man that was a LOT of work getting them all to disappear! I'm also avoiding painting within the forward ramp screen, which is very delicate so I want as little paint in those screens as possible...

Vari-ramp1.jpg

Since this build is supposedly "kicked up a notch", I thought I'd change those exhaust vents, just above the engine cans. At first I was just going to open them up, but after reviewing a number of pics, I find that they are way too tall. I also didn't know what the heck that square box was, thinking that it might be a vent. More on that later....

Exhaustvent1.jpg

With my new found aluminum soda can skillzzz, I made a complete replacement. To do this I cut out all the vent blades, replacing them with .010" X .030" Evergreen strips, then I made a panel cover with a better shaped opening out of aluminum can. I added a few rivets and presto! A new vent.....

Exhaustvent2.jpg

The other side before any panel reduction, re-scribing or vent replacement.....

Exhaustvent3.jpg

Now with a new vent. That multi-shaded look to the aluminum is due to light sanding. I may not paint this vent at all. We'll see....

Exhaustvent4.jpg

Another angle. I really like the bare metal look....

Exhaustvent5.jpg

Now back to that square "vent". It turns out that should be a glass door over a gauge. I have a so-so pic of it here, taken on a QF-4 at Nellis a few years ago....

Servicegauge2.jpg

Jake's book has it on page 123. The gauge is the "Air charge servicing gauge for the arrestor hook dashpot", whatever that is. The yellow servicing cap can barely be seen to the right within the window. Here's my attempt to replicate same, sort of. The yellow cap is a little too big, but I want it to show up when looking at it 6" away. I also cut a tiny window out of clear canopy plastic to cover the gauge, just like the real deal. Unfortunately I'm stuck with the kit panel lines, which are a little rough...

Servicegauge1.jpg

Now a pic with both mod's combined.....

Exhaustvent6.jpg

Please feel free to dump whatever Phantom info you want into this thread guys. We all benefit- especially me!

Edited by chuck540z3

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The antenna on the upper right side of the turtle back is the upper UHF antenna. The F-4E had only one UHF transceiver, but there were two UHF antennas selectable from the front cockpit, the lower antenna being on the rear nose gear door on the F-4E, F and G. Originally the upper UHF antenna was inside the fin cap on all F-4s, but around 1984 there was a TCTO moving it to the position you see in my photo of 442 on pretty much every USAF F-4, except on the Arnie birds. The reason they moved it was the upper UHF antenna had a history of causing squeals and static in the radio, and they thought moving it outside the fin cap would help. Prior to the early 80s that antenna wasn't there on the right side turtle back, that's why your photos of 7551 or any other Vietnam-era Phantoms don't have it. F-4s with the ARN-101 DMAS mod had the upper UHF antenna relocated to the centerline, just in front of the vertical tail.

The smaller blade antenna on the centerline of the turtleback is the upper TACAN antenna. Again, there was only one TACAN system. Originally it was part of the ASQ-19 integrated avionics system and consisted of the RT-547 receiver-transmitter and the KY-312 pulse decoder. By 1980 or 81 there was a TCTO replacing the set with the Collins ARN-118 TACAN, which was made up of the RT-1159 (inside the CNI bay at the rear of the nose wheel well) and a small unit called the MX-some-numbers-I-can't-recall digital to analog converter, which was inside Door 19. The ARN-118 automatically switched between the top antenna and the lower TACAN antenna on the front nose gear door, to whichever antenna received the strongest signal. The lower antenna was also shared by the RHAW system, and when the RHAW was in use the TACAN automatically went to the top antenna. I didn't work on the RT-547/KY-312 system long enough to remember if it worked the same way insofar as antenna switching. I know, trivia not necessarily pertinent to your model...

The tailhook dashpot was essentially an air charge that kept the hook pressed against the ground when it was lowered so it didn't skip over the barrier cables. The yellow cap covered the Schrader valve we used to put air into the system. It looked pretty much identical to the valve stem on your car tires, except that it was all metal. They used the yellow-painted metal cap instead of the little black plastic caps you usually find on your car. The pressure indicator needle pointed at numbers on a scale in the white top half of the gauge face, the bottom half was just solid black, no white tick marks. Sorry...

I recall the area around the gauge was dark interior green, but I'm not completely sure about that. It looks lighter than the green in your photo of the real jet. That was absolutely outstanding work you did on the vents above the exhaust. I wish I had even a hundredth of your skills and imagination.

Scott Wilson

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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What a great work you're doing - AGAIN!

It's really impressive to me how clean and tidy all your improvements are. All lines are straight and parallel and equidistant (when needed) and no glue is ever to be seen. It's a pleasure to follow this project!

/Kristian

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The pressure indicator needle pointed at numbers on a scale in the white top half of the gauge face, the bottom half was just solid black, no white tick marks. Sorry...

Thanks again Scott- for the tips and compliment! I made a gauge with nothing on the bottom other than black,. but it looked a bit boring. I think I'll keep the white ticks which would be super easy to cover with black, mostly because I think they still look interesting and add some relief, albeit inaccurate. ;)

I recall the area around the gauge was dark interior green, but I'm not completely sure about that. It looks lighter than the green in your photo of the real jet.

In Jake's book it's green more than it's grey, so I'm assuming legacy F-4's were green and later F-4's may have been grey. Who knows, but I'm going with green to go with the rest of the paint job.

Another question: Were there walkway rough surfaces under all that camo paint? It's hard to tell from pics. Navy F4-J's had them for sure, but for these land based F-4's , the walkways don't exactly jump out at you.

Next up is the intake gluing and resultant putty job to make sure there's no gaps. I know from experience this isn't going to be fun. :D

Edited by chuck540z3

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What a great work you're doing - AGAIN!

It's really impressive to me how clean and tidy all your improvements are. All lines are straight and parallel and equidistant (when needed) and no glue is ever to be seen. It's a pleasure to follow this project!

/Kristian

Hi Kristian! I notice from your sig. that you're building 5 models at roughly the same time. From a guy who can't chew gum and walk at the same time, how do you do it???

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The exhaust vents look fine now, but the panel is way too deep. Take a look at a F-4E exhaust here:

http://www.hyperscale.com/images/B-58_AiRes-Exhausts-C06.jpg

and here:

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/AWA1...es/Mvc-015s.jpg

And take a look at this aftermarket detail set here:

http://partsrparts.homestead.com/F4parts.html

When checking pictures remember that B/C/D/N/ and E/F/J/S differ somewhat in this area.

Edited by galfa

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The exhaust vents look fine now, but the panel is way too deep. Take a look at a F-4E exhaust here:

And take a look at this aftermarket detail set here:

http://partsrparts.homestead.com/F4parts.html

When checking pictures remember that B/C/D/N/ and E/F/J/S differ somewhat in this area.

For reference I used the pic below, which is a pic I took of an F-4E (QF-4 modified). Some of the titanium panels that blend into the vent are slightly raised and are obviously of a much different color than the rest of the fuselage, so after painting this "flaw" will become a nice feature. Even the kit vent is raised. The aftermarket one above, IMO, looks worse than the kit part. The shape of the vent is fine, but there's no depth or detail. Another thing to consider is that macro-photography is super close-up and it shows all the tiny details- and warts. From 6 inches away I can't see the depth of the panel line, so I think I'll stick with what I have.

Engine2.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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Another question: Were there walkway rough surfaces under all that camo paint? It's hard to tell from pics. Navy F4-J's had them for sure, but for these land based F-4's , the walkways don't exactly jump out at you.

Yes, there was anti-skid material in the walkway paint. The grit wasn't too large on USAF Phantoms, at least the birds I worked on/climbed on, so in 1/32 scale it would just seem a lot flatter than the surrounding paint. Plus the anti-skid often seemed to accumulate dirt more than the surrounding paint, so you'd likely want to make it dirtier. If you could mix the grit from 400 or 600 wet or dry sandpaper with your camouflage paint, I think that would look about right. By the way, coming fresh from repaint the paint was pretty flat (though different sheens with each color, see the attached photo of a relatively freshly painted F-4E in Euro-1 that I took just to show this effect), but the paint quickly wore to a fairly uniform semi-gloss or maybe satin finish. They weren't dead flat at all after they'd been in service awhile.

69-0249526TFSenginestartcScottWilso.jpg

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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Yes, there was anti-skid material in the walkway paint. The grit wasn't too large on USAF Phantoms, at least the birds I worked on/climbed on, so in 1/32 scale it would just seem a lot flatter than the surrounding paint. Plus the anti-skid often seemed to accumulate dirt more than the surrounding paint, so you'd likely want to make it dirtier. If you could mix the grit from 400 or 600 wet or dry sandpaper with your camouflage paint, I think that would look about right.

Thanks. What I'm contemplating is to use the "Marcel Rustoleum Treatment", which Marcel discovered by spraying rough Rustoleum paint on the walkway. I modified it a bit by sanding it down, painting over it, then re-sanding to get an effect like this....

Finalpic18.jpg

What color was the walkway material under the paint?

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The intakes are finally in. They were a lot of work, but much easier than the Seamless Suckers I've used before. I spent a lot of time with dry-fitting them before painting them, to make sure there were no serious issues when the time came to attach them with CA glue. If you want to find a flaw in this kit, this is where it will be, even with kit parts. Getting everything flush along the sides AND having those little ramp braces touch so that they can also be glued, is VERY tricky, but it can be done.

First, here's a pic of the front of the intake. Before assembly, attach those pitot tubes, which I've seen in all sorts of colors. I made mine steel gray so that they stood out....

Intake11.jpg

A view from the top. I'm glad the interior parts of the ramps are painted now......

Intake12.jpg

The intakes have really good detail, but they can be improved. Getting good pics of the top of them proved to be tough, but "Midway Sailer" came to my rescue in a Jet Forum post here:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....howtopic=224689

The join between the intake and fuselage takes a LOT of sanding to get it to fit flush. With the above pics in hand, I added a few more panel lines and deleted one major one. I added a little oil wash to make things stand out a little better....

Intake13.jpg

As you can see, the alignment of the kit and DMold panel lines isn't bad. I used CA glue along all the seams to not only glue the intake, but to create a hard surface that I could sand and re-scribe. If you use putty then try to re-scribe, it usually gives a ragged edge. That major join line has been deleted, but you can't tell with the clear CA glue....

Intake14.jpg

The starboard side didn't fit quite a well as the port side and many of the rivets were too shallow, so I had to re-scribe some panel lines and redo almost all the rivets....

Intake15.jpg

On the top of the front ramp are seam lines from where the kit parts fit together. I was going to fill these seams until I looked in Jake's book on page 113. Sure enough, they do exist, so I kept them....

Intake16.jpg

There won't be any modeling for a few days, since I about to have my knee scoped tomorrow (4th time on both knees), but I will be checking back for feedback and any further info you guys might want to throw my way. Thanks for your continued interest and input!

Edited by chuck540z3

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Chuck, good morning, it is morning here, awesome work so far my friend. I very much admire your persistence on the detail. Keep up your amazing work, it is a tutorial for all of us.

Good luck with your knee(s),

John

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Dang Chuck, I guess there is not time to be wasted with you my friend. From one built to another :) Super cool my friend. Also, I like the subject very much. It looks like you were at the same Airshow I was cause I have many photographs of that QF-4E as well. Funny, I might have even ran into you not knowing it was you. A buddy of mine is a retire SR pilot and we have been going there for past 10 years to sell his books and other SR related stuff. Our booth always ends up close to where they park all those fighter jets by the fire station. I believe its the south, south-west side.

Hey, just an idea...why not do a QF-4 since you have your own reference? Can't go wrong with that!! Beside, I think yours will be a 1st drone in 1/32. Anyway, keep up the good work ;)

Mike

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I've taken photos of the air data probe in the intakes a couple of times, and it seemed to me they were always painted. Here's one from inside the intake of a Hill Gray F-4F. I've got another photo of the probe inside a Euro-1painted jet, but I haven't scanned it yet.

As for the walkways, on SEA painted jets they were painted the same colors as the rest of the pattern, just had the grit mixed in with the paint. The difference in the surface texture made the paint look a bit different from the surrounding paint depending on the angle you were looking at it from. I think the effect on your F-18 is a bit heavy for what I recall and can see in my photos of F-4s; I think the Navy used much coarser grit which makes sense considering how wet and slick the surfaces would be when they were out at sea, plowing through the weather on board the carriers. Not that us USAF types didn't work on the jets in the rain, snow, ice or whatever weather conditions there were!

Good luck with your surgery.

Scott Wilson

Scan1087.jpg

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It's interesting to see how thin the leading edge is on the vari-ramps. Also, the small sheet that overlaps the top for movement.

f-4j_14_of_24.jpg

Jerry

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Thanks for the encouragement guys! Knee surgery went like a breeze, now that they do scopes with local anesthetics instead of the dreaded GA's. I'm supposed to lie low for 3 days, so at least I can continue to read Jake's book and scheme on future modifications. More on that later.

Dang Chuck, I guess there is not time to be wasted with you my friend. From one built to another ;) Super cool my friend. Also, I like the subject very much. It looks like you were at the same Airshow I was cause I have many photographs of that QF-4E as well. Funny, I might have even ran into you not knowing it was you. A buddy of mine is a retire SR pilot and we have been going there for past 10 years to sell his books and other SR related stuff. Our booth always ends up close to where they park all those fighter jets by the fire station. I believe its the south, south-west side.

Hey, just an idea...why not do a QF-4 since you have your own reference? Can't go wrong with that!! Beside, I think yours will be a 1st drone in 1/32. Anyway, keep up the good work :thumbsup:

Mike

Hi again Mike,

We really should meet at the air show, maybe next year? I've been to 6 out of the last 7 shows at Nellis, and I've learned a valuable trick if you're only going out for one day: Go on SUNDAY! There's half as many people and you can get in and out of the air show with almost no hassle. Since I can't get enough of the fighters jets there, especially the F-22, I usually go both days to get my annual "fix" of kerosene and thunder.

As for the QF-4, I just can't get my head around building a shiny jet that is soon to be shot down. I also suspect that decals would also be a problem.

I've taken photos of the air data probe in the intakes a couple of times, and it seemed to me they were always painted. Here's one from inside the intake of a Hill Gray F-4F. I've got another photo of the probe inside a Euro-1painted jet, but I haven't scanned it yet.

Scott Wilson

Thanks again Scott. I think the paint I used looks very close to your pic, so I'll leave it at that. I'll also tone down those walkways so that they don't look too rough, especially at this scale.

Thanks Jerry as well for that excellent pic. I sanded those leading edges of the ramps earlier to get the "thin knife look", but with fragile plastic you can only go so far before you're asking for trouble. In hindsight I wished I hadn't sanded down the top of those ramps. That lip between the 2 parts is very real- so I see some more soda can edits thanks to your pic!

Now for some important modification decisions. My last F-4 build was a "J" model, so it didn't have formation lights. I've got 3 nice sets of Eduard lights for this build, but it would appear that 69-551 didn't have them in Vietnam, but 68-339 (Chico) did. Very odd that an older airframe had them, but the slightly newer jet didn't.

Scott supplied a pic above of 69-7551 in 1982 that shows the formation lights added, along with other modifications like the leading edge slats. The shark's mouth is still there (a MUST HAVE for this build), but the intakes show the camo paint only slightly into them, unlike my current plan to get them 3' inside like most F-4E's. It also has the newer stencils which are white instead of black, which stick out too much and I don't like the cluttered look. I also found out that my stashed leading edge slats from Paragon are for the inboard slats only. WHY they didn't include outboard slats is anybody's guess- they don't even sell them!

So here's my current options:

1) Continue with a Vietnam era 69-7551. Pretty straight forward, but I'll have to find some better AIM-9E (N?) sidewinders some place and make sure everything is Vietnam era. I hear there's some reinforcement plates on the lower wings I might need to get rid of. Is this true? Anything else?

2) Find some outboard slats (trash a Revell kit?) and build 69-7551 as a modernized jet. I'll still go with darker stencils and I won't worry about intake painting. This would be really cool, although maybe slightly inaccurate.

3) Build Chico instead. I have the Rockeye bombs already, the kit comes with an ALQ-87 ECM pod and I can get my hands on SUU-23/A gun pods. Centerline tank, however, might be a problem. I've tried to avoid joining the Chico lemmings, but maybe this is the best option.

What would you do?- and thanks!

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If you can find a Revell 1/32 F-4E, it comes with both types of c/l tanks, the older one and the F-15 type. It also has the slatted wings.

Jari

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I got lucky concerning the center line tank on mine. A club member gave me a vacform tank for the F4 which saved the day. I don't remember the manufacture but it's more than likely OOP. I believe the Tamiya J kit has the tank. Maybe you could steal one from that.

100_0616.jpg

Jerry

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Chuck,good news on your knee surgery.

On the centerline tank, I posted a request for on eon that part of the forum here a while back (in anticipation of my Chico build) and a kind soul immediately responded and sent me a leftover Revell tank.

Marcel

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For your options question, i'd go with #1. Checking the pics here:

http://sharpshooter-maj.com/html/twtd02.htm

you can see the lack of AIM-9s as they weren't required for most air to ground missions. They had the 2 AIM-7s and gun for self-defense, plus a/c assigned as escort so all you need to worry about is adding bombs.

Jari

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Today my knee hurts like crap, but I’m also bored sitting at home. What to do, what to do? How about MODEL!

Before I show you what I did today, thanks very much for the suggestions on where to acquire parts, etc. for my 3 options above. Right now I’m leaning towards #2, so I’ve ordered a Revell kit to get the wing slats, center line tank (just in case I go for #3) and the larger engine cans. These kits are fairly cheap and no more than a resin kit, so robbing parts from it shouldn’t be a big deal. Yes, I know the wings won’t fit, but I’ll cut out the slat parts and wingtips and modify them into the Tamiya wing. I’ll also change the panel lines, since they seem to be different for slatted F-4’s. This will be a BIG mod., but I think I can handle it without throwing the sucker against the wall. :D We’ll see.

Engines and engine cans. Like my last Tamiya F-4 project, I have the Aires cans which I wasn’t going to use because they’re too small. Here’s how they look on my F-4J….

F4J-17.jpg

It turns out these cans are slightly bigger than the Tamiya cans!....

Engine4.jpg

And they have WAY more detail within….

Engine5.jpg

So now that I’m getting the Revell kit, I can do what Karl suggested in post # 27. Thanks Karl for the great tip! I also have some larger cans I bought on ebay, so we’ll see which set I use when they all arrive.

Fortunately, the other parts of the Aires kit are way better than the kit parts as well. Here’s the exhaust parts, with the Aires parts on the left. Note the fine fin detail lacking on the kit part. The front screen kit part is also pretty basic....

Engine3.jpg

….and seamless exhaust tube, with some detail deeper within the tube and NO pin marks to fill…

Engine6.jpg

Now some pics of the real deal. Here’s the QF-4 exhaust pic I took in November, 2007. Note the chalk-like mark on the central bullet shaped part with “2006/12/11â€, which is probably a servicing date. That “chalk†must be VERY heat resistant!

Engine9.jpg

Another angle. Note the greenish tinge to the honeycomb outer part, the rust colored inner part and that “thingy†(sorry Scott!) on the bottom. Jake has many similar pics on page 182 and 183 in his book…..

Engine10.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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That thingy is the flame holder as we called it on the 104 which had the J-79. If you have ever seen a 104 from the back end with the engine running you'd see the flame at the bottom.

Jari

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