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Dual Build 906th TFG F-4D and F-16A DONE!


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A long time ago I was a weather observer in the AF stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB.  The weather station was located in the Base Operations building and my job required me to go out to the flightline to see what the weather was doing occasionally.  Right outside the building was all these pristine Phantoms sitting on the ramp in the in the sun.  Anyway the experience made me especially fond of the 906TFG and also the 178TFG at Springfield MAP just a few minutes away as we were assigned to provide them with weather support so I would be out there every other month.  Well here comes Speed Hunter Graphics issuing a set of decals with not just 5 Phantoms with cool nose art, but 6 F-16s that they eventually transitioned to toward the end of my time there.  Ordered those and now I have project. 

I will be using the Z-M F-4D and a Kinetic F-16AM.  It is the first time I have built either of these so I will be keeping it mostly simple with just the SHG decals for the F-4.  I will be modifying the F-16 back to the A version so I picked up a Wolfpack set to accomplish that and some Afterburner decals for stencils and other details.  Hope you like the WIP.

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1st thing I did was look at the radome parts.  The phantoms had just gone thru maintenance when the 906th got them and they had all been modified with the new RHAWS gear.  This changed the shape of the fairing under the radome.  That was not included in the Z-M kit.  I looked  thru the spares box to see if I had anything that would work and found a left over fairing from the Academy F-4B.  It just didn't look right so I figured it would be easier to fix the Z-M version than fiddle with the Academy version.  Here it is premod.

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Here is the Z-M nose with the beginning of the modification.  Once I was sure that was going to work I started reading the instructions.  Man are there a lot of instructions.  MLEz6La.jpg?3

I started with the cockpit and ejection seats.  I am not a super detailer and usually build everything buttoned up.  So I will make these look presentable under glass and move on.l8Tbw7K.jpg

While I was painting dark gray I got the F-16 cockpit ready to go also.  So far no everything is fitting like a glove.  Very well engineered.

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This where I am tonight.  Some basic work on the cockpits.  I am using the kit supplied decals for the phantom and they seem to be hunkering down pretty good and they are sized perfectly!.

 

More to come...

 

Geoff M

Edited by Geoff M
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I don’t get a chance to post much but I have to say this is my dream build! I’m planning on a similar build when I finish my home remodel hopefully this year. Keep posting and I will keep watching. Oh and I was the kid taking pics on the flight line if you were there in the mid 80’s. 😎

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Update today.  I have been working on this for a couple days and haven't progressed very far.  I feel sort of schizophrenic working on 2 at once.  I start doing something on the F-4 and then I switch and do something on the f-16 trying to keep them progressing evenly.  My work space is doubly crowded with all the sprues.  Lots of fun. On to the pictures.

 

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I found a set of Eduard photo etch for the F-16 in the stash and used that to dress up the seat and the instrument panel. I lost one of the seat belts in the carpet. 

 

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It was a little tough to get the cockpit into the fuselage with the Eduard parts on there.  Had to thin the coaming and trim the IP to get it all to fit nicely.

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There are some panel lines and vents that needed to be removed for the A version that is what is going on here.  I used Tamiya gray surface primer fill in and sand.YLMiXm9.jpg

Pretty good seam here where the upper fuselage join together. 

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Here are a couple shots of the F-4 cockpit progress.

 

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Much more to come.

 

Geoff M

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Thanks for that info.  The color call outs for Kinetic are all in Gunze codes (ie. H-3) with no reference to an actual color and I haven't been looking them up.  I think in that case I was using my (faulty) memory.

 

Geoff M

 

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I've had a chance to do some work on these two kits.  They are both very easy to build and have good fit overall with a couple exceptions.  I've built many Hasegawa F-4's over the years and each time I built one I would take it a little bit further with the detailing I would put into it.  The Z-M kit does all that for you out of the box.  In my case I am doing a later version of the F-4D so I have had to do some mods.  Hope you like the progress.

 

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I worked on the fuselage seam on the F-16.  It is probably the worst joint on the kit so far but nothing that can't be worked out.  The upper and lower fuselage went together no problems

 

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Different angle

 

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MLG bay installed and painted.

 

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Engines and intakes installed into the lower wings.  You could go to town detailing these never to be seen.  Upper and lower wing haves fit very well.  Very good wheel well detail. Didn't take a picture of that! : 0

 

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Test fitting the fuselage.  AC scoops and radome in place.

 

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The dorsal spine fits nicely and saves a lot of work over other F-4 kits cleaning up a seam and restoring panels.

 

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Overview

 

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Getting the nose ready to add the "herpes warts".  That's all for now hope you enjoy.  Feel free to jump in if you see something that needs fixing.

 

Thanks

 

Geoff M

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Both are looking great. I am especially interested in the F-4. Good to hear that it goes together nicely. As you go through the build, it would be great if you could document the good and the bad of the kit/build for all the rest of us to see how this Z/M -D shapes up.

 

Also, if one desires, could the middle section of the engines be cut out, thus separating the front compressor and the tail end of the exhaust pipe?  Or is the entire engine needed for structural support inside the fuselage?

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The compressor faces are separate pieces so they can be installed into the trunks without the whole engine.  At the other end the afterburner can would need to be cut off so there is  representation of that inside the nozzles. Z-M provides a basic stand to display an engine on if you want to do covers for the intake and nozzles.  I'll point out any pros and cons that I find.

 

Geoff M

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  • 2 weeks later...

Slow progress with these.  I ran into a snag with the F-16.  I was looking at the canopy and found a bubble in the plastic.  I requested a new canopy from Kinetic which they are sending but that will take a while to get here.  So I have been concentrating on the F-4.  Here are some of the joints that I have been working on.  The fit overall is very good on this kit.  The need for fillers is mostly my doing in not being patient.  The intake had a small seam that just needed some Tamiya primer brushed into it and smoothed out.

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Here are the leading edges in place.  The middle slat/flap fit perfectly, the inner one wanted to sit a little below the edge of the wing.  Again if I had been a little more

patient and fiddled with it I might have gotten it lined up better.  This was on both sides.

 

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Trailing edge flap fit very tight and lined up good.  The rear fuselage joint need some filler.  The upper fuselage seemed to be just a millimeter narrower than the lower fuselage.

This also created a gap at the wing to fuselage joint on both sides which I fixed by stretching tape across the wings to pull them in.  Unfortunately this created a slight dihedral in the wings that

shouldn't be there.  A better solution for the next time I do this would be to add a spreader to the fuselage to eliminate the gap all around.

 

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Outer wing joint.  Perfect fit and angle to the wings.

 

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Nose joint and Air intakes.  Good fit minimal filler need.  I installed the RHAWS bumps on the lower fairing.  I'll show you how I did that.

 

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Bottom of the wing,  Again the outer flaps fit very good, the inner flaps were just a touch too low.  Needed some sanding.  Another view of the intakes also.  Tamiya primer to fill

the seam.  Probably the worst fit is the rear section of the front sparrow bays.  These inserts are required if you don't put missiles in the bays.  They have a gap pretty much all the way around them.

 

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Outer wing from the bottom.  Good fit with good panel detail.

 

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Bottom of the radome with the RHAWS mod and a new antenna mounted right behind it.

 

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The 906th F-4s used F-15 style belly tanks.  This is mod to add that.  The piece at the rear is from a Hasegawa F-4 kit and the fuel tank will come from the same kit.  Added the posts to make a

secure fit.

 

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Probably nothing new here.  Stretched sprue held near a heat source will ball up on the end.  I had to make 8 of these and try to make them all the same size.

 

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Sorry for the blurry pic.  I-phone would nt focus on a small object like that.

 

That is all for now.

 

Geoff M

 

Edited by Geoff M
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Thanks to all of you for the nice comments.  Glad you appreciate them.

 

Bob,

The base comes from Academy.  I bought an F-4 that came with the base as a bonus feature and I tried it on some other models.  It worked so well I checked to see if they are sold separately and they are so I ordered a couple more from Sprue Bros.  I don't know if they are still available?  They come black or clear.  This one was clear.  I painted it overall black and masked it off to fill-in the orange checks.  It comes with three different posts of different lengths.  Having them on a stand takes up less room on the shelf and is visibly more commanding I believe.

Thanks for looking.  

 

Geoff M

 

 

 

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I've never done any photoshopping before.  i will look into it and see what I can do.  If it works out ok I will certainly post a picture.

 

Thanks for the comments.

 

Geoff M

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