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chuck540z3

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

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So here is what I did. First I painted the bullet shaped fairing at the front of the engine fan on the left and Aires exhaust part on the right. The front part is slightly lighter in color, so I used Alclad stainless steel and for the exhaust part I used Alclad steel, followed by a dusting of the opposite color on both. Interestingly, I found in Jake’s book that this bullet fairing on the left with the 2 fins that point down is unique to USAF engines. The Navy one is just a single bullet with no fins….

Engine8.jpg

Make sure you don’t cut off those little tabs on the Aires screens. You need them to attach the screen to the exhaust tube. Don't ask me how I know!

Engine7.jpg

Here’s how they look from the front (OK back). Remember to get that “thingy†positioned on the bottom of each engine. The Aires instructions don't mention it (what a shocker)....

Engine11.jpg

Since there isn’t a honey comb texture to the Aires tube, I first painted the tube Burnt Sienna, then I sprayed a concoction of beige mixed with zinc chromate green. I followed with a light dusting of Metalizer jet exhaust to get a rougher looking surface. After struggling to cut the rear part off of the resin block as per the Aires instructions, I realized I didn't need to cut anything (duh!). Inside the fuselage, you can't see a thing, so who cares?...

Engine12.jpg

The base of the tube was masked off and sprayed with just Burnt Sienna, since there is some texture here already….

Engine13.jpg

Normally I'd be well into the cockpit by now, but it has yet to arrive. I have BIG plans for this very important step, that even Jake would approve of (Jake hates the Avionix pit :D )

Thanks for your continued interest!

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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

Hey Bud! Between you and Scott I have to be very careful to label anything. It's your job to tell us what the heck everything is, so my thanks to you and Scott!

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Just passing on info that's all. :D Check at the 1 min mark of this video:

and you'll see the flame in the holder on a German F-104 just before the burner lights up.

Jari

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Just passing on info that's all. B) Check at the 1 min mark of this video:

and you'll see the flame in the holder on a German F-104 just before the burner lights up.

Jari

Very cool Jari! When I was a kid, my father took me to a local air show with the CF-104 and CF-101 Voodoo that did a criss-cross in front of the crowd at what have must have been 600+ mph. Air show rules were fairly lax then, because there hadn't been any major accidents in front of crowds before. I remember both jets came from the east and west and were long gone before you heard any engine noise- then all he__ broke loose! I was about 8 or 9 years old and I got hooked on fighter jets in the process! I'm fairly sure all current so-called "high speed passes" are less than 500 MPH nowadays, so what we witnessed was extra special- and I suppose dangerous.

Edited by chuck540z3

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So here is what I did. First I painted the bullet shaped fairing at the front of the engine fan on the left and Aires exhaust part on the right. The front part is slightly lighter in color, so I used Alclad stainless steel and for the exhaust part I used Alclad steel, followed by a dusting of the opposite color on both. Interestingly, I found in Jake’s book that this bullet fairing on the left with the 2 fins that point down is unique to USAF engines. The Navy one is just a single bullet with no fins…. (snip) Thanks for your continued interest!

The bullet on the front of the USAF engine is the Constant Speed Drive (CSD), which contains the electrical generator and hydraulic pumps. On Navy versions the CSD drive is mounted on the bottom front of the engine, which is where the starter is on USAF engines. The Navy used a direct-impingement starting system where starter air from the "huffer" is directed on the face of the turbine inside the engine. They also had a cross-over valve so the huffer only had to be connected once through a single access panel on one of the engine bay doors and both engines were started from that same connection, much easier than USAF engine starts.

The USAF had the starters on the underside of the front of the engine, with the starters separate from each other. We used the bleed air hose from a AM32A-60 (commonly known as the Dash 60) to spin a small turbine in the starter which was geared through the accessory drive to the shaft that the compressor and turbine were mounted on. This accessory drive was used by Navy engines to turn their version of the CSD. We'd start engine #2 first, then pull the hose off and connect it to #1. The #1 utility hydraulic pump pressure is set just a tad higher than #2, and seeing the pressure rise a bit after #1 was started confirmed that both utility pumps were working. After start we had to close two doors per engine, each door having a multitude of airloc fasteners. My arms got quite tired every time, holding the screwdriver up over my head and turning all those fasteners, and it took a lot of time.

The reason the USAF used the different starting system so far as I know was because the USAF also wanted a cartridge starting system so the jet could be started on battery power alone, without a Dash 60 or huffer. The cartridges were about the size of a coffee can, and fit in a breech adjacent to the starter. The Navy impingement starting system took a lot more airflow, and I don't think the cartridge would have worked for that. In fact the huffers put out more airflow than a Dash 60, and from what I've heard it took a lot longer for a Dash 60 to get a Navy engine up to the proper RPMs for lightoff than a USAF engine.

I have some photos of the open starter doors and I once climbed in an intake to try to get a better photo of a CSD. I don't have time just now to attach those photos, I'll get to it this afternoon when I get home from work.

The CSD bullet cover was bare aluminum, by the way.

Scott Wilson

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The CSD bullet cover was bare aluminum, by the way.

Scott Wilson

Thanks for that explanation Scott- and the true color. I initially had them that color, but they looked too new and shiny, so I darkened them. They are now Alclad aluminum in color and they show up nicely through the intakes.

Walkways. According to Scott and other experts, the USAF walkways on F-4's are rough, but not as rough as the Navy variants. Meanwhile, I'm hooked on a new method to create rough walkways from something Marcel discovered on his last F-18D build: Rustoleum Multi-textured Paint in a rattle can. I used it on my last CF-18B build and I found that that it worked perfectly for walkways of all textures and configurations, but you need to do the following to get it right. We'll call them "Marcel Walkways" and the Rustoleum product comes in a variety of colors. Dark Grey, I think, works the best for most applications.

First off, mask off everything!! This stuff comes flying out of the can with all sorts of little bits of grit that get everywhere. This is why I'm spraying it now, so there's less to mask off like a finely painted cockpit. You can't control the amount of spray hardly at all- it's all or nothing- so you need to hold your target some distance from the spray can and keep the can moving. I also recommend you do this outside. The paint is acetone based, so it stinks and you have to be careful not to let the paint puddle. It etches the plastic a bit, which is a good thing if it's sprayed where you want it but a pain if it gets on surfaces you don't. Simple paint thinner and a little rubbing, fortunately, will remove if you have to.

Here's the fuselage all masked up and ready to go. As cluttered as it looks, I spent a lot of time making those fine edges sharp as you will soon see. The big pieces of tape are "Shurtape" you can get fairly cheaply at your local paint store....

Walkway1.jpg

Now some results, with a caveat. The paint below looks much coarser and rough than it really is. This paint dries to the touch within 10 minutes and you can sand it in about 3-4 hours, so you can control just how rough you want the surface. Because the dark grit stands out so strongly, it appears too rough for scale. What you can't see is the clear carrier within the paint that smooths things out, especially after sanding, and when painted it looks very realistic.

Now the initial results....

Walkway2.jpg

A closer look. Note the panel lines still show through, although they are more subtle as they should be. Walkway patterns are all very similar, but they have subtle differences, so I used one from a Wild Weasel in Jake's book (page 114)....

Walkway3.jpg

From the front. Don't forget those walkways on the wings. I used the walkway decals as patterns to determine outline and size, so that the decal goes around the rough surface, not on top of it.....

Walkway4.jpg

A bit closer....

Walkway5.jpg

I also put some grit on the vari-ramps as per some pics I have. This makes the division on the moving parts more pronounced....

Walkway6.jpg

The side to show walkway outline at the back. Again, this exact pattern of length and angle of the rear triangle varies from aircraft to aircraft and on Navy F-4J's, the RAT doors (other, port side) aren't covered....

Walkway7.jpg

Here's a real close-up in an attempt to show the real texture after sanding. Running your finger over the surface feels slightly pebbly with no coarse grit....

Walkway8.jpg

Still think it's too rough? Here's an overhead pic of the walkways on my last CF-18 build, using the exact same method from the same rattle can of paint. You can even decal over it with no silvering, providing you use Microsol. After painting the final coat, you can re-sand the surface to create a dirty and worn look where there's extra traffic....

Finalcanopy3.jpg

There you have it. Marcel Walkways made easy. Thanks for checking in.

Edited by chuck540z3

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chuck,

what lense are you using for taking these great photos?

thanks,

mike

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I hope is not to late to make some improvements on afterburner cans? You can make imitation on blades in side using Trumpeter rivets maker and aluminium blade. Hope pictures help you what I mean [1/48 scale]

Cheers Marek

su_15tm_006_by_marek1101-d32v5lc.jpg

and the finally effect

mig_23_afterburner_chamber_by_marek1101-d30vpng.jpg

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I think your walkways will look good once they're painted over with the camouflage color. Don't forget the walkway on the top of the fuselage turtleback. I believe the panel fastener line along the walkway has a panel in inscribed on the Tamiya part alongside the fasteners; as you can see here the panel line there didn't exist.

F-4Ebackdetail23TFSZaragozaABSpainJune1984ScottRWilson.jpg

F-4E57FISADCgrayScottWilson.jpg

If you do decide to go with a slatted winged version, what markings will you put on the bird? There will be some panel changes to do as you all ready know. If you use the Revell outer wings, there are a few errors that should be corrected:

1-32scaleRevellF-4Ewings-1.jpg

Scan910.jpg

Scan902.jpg

Here's a photo I think by Pierre Greutert showing the differences in the Revell, Tamiya and Cutting Edge outer wings.

outer_wings_compared_s.jpg

And finally Pierre's great work at rescribing the correct panel lines:

wingtip_20030412_1.jpg

Scan899.jpg

Scan1084.jpg

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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Thanks guys!

Don't forget the walkway on the top of the fuselage turtleback. I believe the panel fastener line along the walkway has a panel in inscribed on the Tamiya part alongside the fasteners; as you can see here the panel line there didn't exist.

If you do decide to go with a slatted winged version, what markings will you put on the bird? There will be some panel changes to do as you all ready know. If you use the Revell outer wings, there are a few errors that should be corrected:

Thanks again Scott. Right after I painted the walkways I was thumbing through Jake's book and saw the same thing on the top and thought, Oh, Oh! Thankfully this is still a really easy fix at this stage.

Thanks also for the panel line pics. I found a few of my own but yours are much better, especially Pierre's. These will be a great reference when I alter the outer wings. For the inner wings, I compared some pics of the real deal with the Tamiya wing and they looked pretty close, so I don't think I need to do much there.

I notice that a lot of those panel lines look slightly raised. One idea I have is to use aluminum duct tape for these panels, much like I did before on the CF-18B for a missing raised panel. This might not be the best example because of the thick trim piece on the top of the panel, so refer to the bottom part of the panel where it's flush with the wing........

Panel1.jpg

After painting, they look pretty good....

FinalPic6.jpg

What do you think? Are they really raised or not?

For markings, I really don't know at this stage, so I may go with the Vietnam decals and another stencil set. They will be incorrect of course for a mid to late 70's time frame when 69-7551 was upgraded, but unless I can find a pic of this bird during that time (and get decals), I don't think it'll be too weird and very few would notice. At the end of the build, I want the following:

- Camo paint job

- Shark's mouth

- Slatted wings

- Ordnance for late 70's time period

Basically the same as the pic you posted earlier of 69-7551 at Osan on April 24, 1982 (photo by Don McGarry), but with dark stencils instead of white. Any suggestions out there for squadron decals? The rest of the decals will be OK (I think). Interestingly, 69-7551 was further upgraded to a Wild Weasel later in its life with the F-16 like paint job.

chuck,

what lense are you using for taking these great photos?

thanks,

mike

The lens I use the most is a Nikkor Micro (really macro) 60 mm/ f 2.8. I use it on an entry level Nikon SLR (D40X) on a tripod and I shoot a max'd out f-stop of 36 on timer for maximum depth of field. For more distant shots, I use the Nikon 18-200 zoom lens. I also shoot the maximum of 10 mp so that I can crop the images without too much deterioration of quality, edit them slightly for lighting and a touch of sharpening, then shrink them to a maximum width of 1200 pixels to accommodate most users of this forum. Hope this helps.

I hope is not to late to make some improvements on afterburner cans? You can make imitation on blades in side using Trumpeter rivets maker and aluminium blade. Hope pictures help you what I mean [1/48 scale]

Cheers Marek

Thanks Marek. It's never too late to offer tips, even when it is too late, because somebody else might benefit from them even if I can't. If I use the Aires exhausts within the Revell cans, I don't think I can use this technique because the resin is too brittle. The Aires cans look pretty good already on the inside and based upon my pics of the J-79 engine above, I don't think they have as many small rivets as your engine......

F-4J-16.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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Chuck,

Just stumbled across this and read almost the entire thread. Excellent work so far; will definitely follow this. As far as your choice of markings is concerned, I am partial towards 69-7551 in 469th TFS livery. You may know about Don Logan's Book "The 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat AFB 1972"; it has several pics of 551 during the SEA conflict.

It also contains plenty of good reference. Typical loadouts for this area would be 2 wingtanks, 6 Mk82's (often with Daisy Cutters fuzes) on the inboard pylons (2 TER's), 6 regular Mk82's on the centerline (1 MER), 2 Sparrows in the rear wells and an ECM front left. No AIM-9's.

Anyway, if you prefer slatted wings instead, I'll be interested in your method to match the Revell outboards to the Tamiya inboards...want to do this myself some day and am still scratching my head about it.

Kai

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You may know about Don Logan's Book "The 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat AFB 1972"; it has several pics of 551 during the SEA conflict.

Kai

Thanks Kai. I sort of knew about it, but now that I know it has pics of 551 AND 1972 load-outs, I just have to have it. I just ordered a copy from Amazon.

Edited by chuck540z3

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Now for a re-do of the walkways, thanks to Scott's sharp eye and suggestions. He mentions above that Tamiya has incorrectly positioned a panel line on the turtleback where I missed another walkway. Looking at several pics, sure enough he's right (again). There is no true panel line here- only a line of rivets- and the goofy panel line at the back has to go. The walkway goes inside these rivets, so the panel line must be sanded off and the panel re-riveted....

Walkway9.jpg

To re-spray the walkway, here's a little trick I learned to protect the model and save a lot of tape. I mask off the edges of the walkway, cut a slit in a plastic bag, insert the model in the bag and mask the bag to the tape on the model. Not rocket science by any means and I'm sure I didn't invent a thing, but it may come in handy to others out there who may want to give it a try...

Walkway10.jpg

The results....

Walkway11.jpg

Note the rivets are now on the outside of the walkway "panel line", rather than within it like before....

Walkway12.jpg

While checking for other obvious errors, I found this little panel door, which is on both sides of the Tamya kit. I found it on page 123 of Jake's book, and I quote, "Door 106R is on the right side of the jet, just aft of the right stabilizer. This small door is removed to verify the drag chute is properly positioned. There is no corresponding panel on the left side of the jet."

The real deal...

Panels10.jpg

The model. This panel stays on the starboard side....

Panels8.jpg

Other side of real deal....

Panels11.jpg

Panel sanded off. I left the rivets because, if anything, I need to add more....

Panels9.jpg

Well boys, although I can still do a bunch of stuff, I'm still waiting for the cockpit (which I need before I seal everything up on the lower half), the Revell kit (to check out the slatted wings, center-line tank and burner nozzles) and now the book suggested by Kai before I commit to a configuration and time period for this wicked bird. It also turns out that today, a famous modeling magazine called me and asked if I would do a few articles on some of my recent work! :pray: Wow! Me!? :P

I won't go into any more details, just in case they hate my articles and I crash and burn and nothing becomes of it :( , but I'll need about a week to pull stuff together. All I know is that I'm going to give them the 4 articles which they want to review and see if any of them stick. Good thing I've been doing these WIP threads, because I'll need a lot of in progress pics. Wish me luck- and keep the info coming! I'll need it when this build resumes!

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Congrats on the magazine call up chuck! Loving this build and all the handy hints and tips that go with it.

It's making me want to do a 1/32 RAAF F-4 now! :pray:

Cheers,

John

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I wouldn't make the access panels on the outer wings raised; the closeups were of an F-4F on display at Oshkosh that the pilot kindly let me climb up on after I'd talked about the "good ol' days" long enough to let him know I'd been climbing around on F-4s for awhile and knew where not to step. The F-4F's panels sat slightly proud of the rest of the wing, I'm sure because someone had reapplied the seal under the panels a bit thicker that necessary. The jets I worked on weren't like that; the panels were absolutely flush.

By the way, the "snowflake" white maintenance stencils (not an official term, just one a photographer buddy of mine uses) were only in use for a very short time, from I think the late 70s to about 1980. After that someone finally realized what a waste of time, effort and money it was to stencil all that garbage all over the jet that no one was going to bother reading anyway, and after that they dropped all the stenciled descriptions of what was inside each panel and went with panel numbers alone. It looks a lot cleaner, but with a model there is always the "wow!" factor of all that stenciling if you put all those decals on. AirDoc had a modern stenciling sheet in 1/32 with the panel numbers alone (along with all the usual no steps, warnings and cautions that they still used on the real jets later on), but I think that sheet is sold out. You still might be able to find it though.

If the subdued sharkmouth the 52 TFW was using at Spangdahlem interests you, or perhaps one of the two F-4Es we painted up at Ramstein for the 1983 International Air Tattoo, AirDoc has done the decals and I think you still might be able to find them. A few weeks ago I was on AirDoc's site and the 1/32 USAFE Phantoms decals were indeed still available directly from them. Here's a couple of the jets I'm talking about.

74-1630 at Zaragoza AB, Spain:

74-1630May171984ScottWilson-2.jpg

74-1630May1684ScottWilson.jpg

68-0506 at Zaragoza:

68-0506July131983ZaragozaABSpainSco.jpg

68-0480 at Ramstein the day she came out of the paint barn with the new "dragon mouth" June 4, 1983:

68-0480June41983RamsteinScottWilson-1.jpg

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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great reference work here mate!

dont want to highjach your post but what would you suggest to use to represent the fabric on the cockpit side walls?

and do you have any photos of the side walls?

cheers

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Hi Chuck,

Very comprehensive and thorough work as usual. :unsure:

Congrats on the magazine work too, richly deserved. <_<

great reference work here mate!

dont want to highjach your post but what would you suggest to use to represent the fabric on the cockpit side walls?

and do you have any photos of the side walls?

cheers

Sorry to butt in here but is the fabric the padded, stitched variety? If so, could you use the foil from around the neck of some sparkling wines/cheap champagnes? That has the diamond criss-cross pattern already pressed into the surface, it's maleable and it is easy to work with. Just a thought.

Keep up the great work Chuck. :huh:

:cheers:

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great reference work here mate!

dont want to highjach your post but what would you suggest to use to represent the fabric on the cockpit side walls?

and do you have any photos of the side walls?

cheers

There are some great cockpit photos in Jake Melampy's book (you really should just buy yourself a copy). I personally don't have any cockpit photos as I wasn't allowed to take any back when I worked on Phantoms, and I didn't want to jeopardize the photography I was allowed to do in our restricted areas by sneaking photos I was told not to take.

Scott W.

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There are some great cockpit photos in Jake Melampy's book (you really should just buy yourself a copy).

Scott W.

Agreed. His book is the ultimate source of F-4 information and photographs, although lack of F-4J info is a bit of a head scratcher, since he has every other Phantom documented. The Navy F-4's are quite different than the USAF jets.

For the fabric sides, I'm waiting for the Avionix/Black Box cockpit. I've used these pits on a few other (non-F-4) builds like the Tomcat, and they usually have resin pieces for the side walls that, after painting properly, look like the real deal. If not, I'll do what Guy (geedubelyer) has suggested. Jake has already warned that it isn't accurate for an F-4E, so I need to make a number of changes anyway.

I wouldn't make the access panels on the outer wings raised; the closeups were of an F-4F on display at Oshkosh that the pilot kindly let me climb up on after I'd talked about the "good ol' days" long enough to let him know I'd been climbing around on F-4s for awhile and knew where not to step. The F-4F's panels sat slightly proud of the rest of the wing, I'm sure because someone had reapplied the seal under the panels a bit thicker that necessary.

Thanks Scott. I'm glad I asked because I was tempted. As for the later F-4 pics, I like the overall camo-scheme of the first jet, but those shark mouths are a little too intense. I think my best overall option right now is something close to the pic you showed earlier of 69-7551 in 1982. It has the SEA paint scheme, good looking shark mouth like the Two Bobs decals, formation lights, slatted wings and I won't have to worry about removing any reinforcement plates because they likely were on that bird by then. If I can get decals for the appropriate squadron code on the tail (whatever that is), I could be laughing. With all the myriad of F-4 differences and subtle details, however, there's no way I'll get it perfect anyway.

Thanks again for the kind words everyone.

Edited by chuck540z3

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