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USMC F-4B weapons loadouts


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Hi,

I received the Tamiya 1/48 F-4b for Christmas and am looking at loadout options for a Marine aircraft.

Also any aftermarket recommended for the kit?

 

I will be using a Quinta cockpit and Furball decals

 

Many Thanks

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Lou Drendel's old USMC Phantoms in Combat includes photographs with a variety of warloads, but some of the most common appear to involve Mk 82 with the snakeeyes retarder tails.  For example:

  • TERs on the inboard pylons, loaded with three Mk 82s apiece.  Two wing tanks.  Possibly, though perhaps not required, sparrows in the wells.
  • MER on the centerline with Mk 82s, and more Mk 82s or even rocket pods on TERs on the inboard pylons.  Two wing tanks, possibly sparrows in the wells.

Drendel notes (correctly?  Not sure) that while bombs may be seen on MERs on the outboard pylons, it wasn't common as it "restricted the aircraft's maneuverability." 

 

The MK 82/snakeeyes bombs can be had in Hasegawa's Weapons Set A (1/48th) and the old Revell A-6E kit which, if you can find it easily, is almost a weapons set in itself.*  

 

Also, read John Trotti's Phantom Over Vietnam.  Apart from being a good companion read to your project, I think Trotti is one source I've read that said iron bombs (Mk 80 series, or even pre-MK 80 models when in 1965-66 those were in limited supply) were most effective.  While ground crews relished the thought of their planes dropping napalm, it was tactically less effective than plain old HE.  

 

*EDIT: A correction to the above; just having compared the Revell A-6E snakeeyes bombs to Hasegawa's, I'd say the Revell items are rather closer to Mk 81/250lb bombs.  This is despite Revell's claim (in their 2011 directions) that they are Mk 82s.

Edited by Fishwelding
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Mk-82s on the inboard stations and centerline gunpod.  Or M117s on the centerline and inboard stations (with an AIM-9B).  Or napalm on the centerline and Mk-82 and twin Zuni rocket launchers on the inboard stations.  These are from the 1968ish timeframe.

 

Regards,

Murph

 

F-4B with gunpod.jpg

F-4B VMFA-122#3 with M117 and AIM-9B in 1967.jpg

F-4B with Zuni, napalm, and Mk-82.jpg

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AoA Decals has a comprehensive set of configurations on their 'Spooks From The Beach Part 1' sheet web page https://www.aoadecals.com/48014/home.htm (see the links about half way down). These were compiled using the actual squadron monthly reports so you can use a combination based on deployment dates for your chosen subject. Also look out for the Osprey Combat Aircraft vol 94 'US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War' which has some useful pictures of what was carried.

 

For aftermarket; depending on what time frame you plan to cover, Hypersonic Models (https://www.hypersonicmodels.com/products/1-48-resin/1/1/0) make Mk5 seats (as used on the F-4B before about 1970) and the McDonnell 370 gallon wing tanks often seen carried by USMC F-4s. Jeffery also has a plain fin cap and a centreline pylon if you want to install a MER in place of the 600gall tank specifically for the Tamiya F-4. Alternative fin caps are also available from Flying Leathernecks, CMK, Eduard and Quickboost which should cover all the variations used. For ordnance, Eduard, Flying Leathernecks and Aerobonus make most of what is listed in the AoA files but if you want a HIPEG gun pod like the one under the VMFA-334 F-4J above, the only one I know of is in Hasegawa Weapons set C (https://www.scalemates.com/kits/hasegawa-x48-3-aircraft-weapons-c--130519) As well as the bombs in Set A, Hasegawa also has a similar set for rocket pods (Set B) but the contents aren't as refined as the newer resin versions from the above manufacturers.

 

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59 minutes ago, Wild Weasel V said:

AoA Decals has a comprehensive set of configurations on their 'Spooks From The Beach Part 1' sheet web page https://www.aoadecals.com/48014/home.htm (see the links about half way down). These were compiled using the actual squadron monthly reports so you can use a combination based on deployment dates for your chosen subject. Also look out for the Osprey Combat Aircraft vol 94 'US Marine Corps F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War' which has some useful pictures of what was carried.

 

For aftermarket; depending on what time frame you plan to cover, Hypersonic Models (https://www.hypersonicmodels.com/products/1-48-resin/1/1/0) make Mk5 seats (as used on the F-4B before about 1970) and the McDonnell 370 gallon wing tanks often seen carried by USMC F-4s. Jeffery also has a plain fin cap and a centreline pylon if you want to install a MER in place of the 600gall tank specifically for the Tamiya F-4. Alternative fin caps are also available from Flying Leathernecks, CMK, Eduard and Quickboost which should cover all the variations used. For ordnance, Eduard, Flying Leathernecks and Aerobonus make most of what is listed in the AoA files but if you want a HIPEG gun pod like the one under the VMFA-334 F-4J above, the only one I know of is in Hasegawa Weapons set C (https://www.scalemates.com/kits/hasegawa-x48-3-aircraft-weapons-c--130519) As well as the bombs in Set A, Hasegawa also has a similar set for rocket pods (Set B) but the contents aren't as refined as the newer resin versions from the above manufacturers.

 

If your thinking Marines out of Chu Lai (they also flew out of DaNang), be careful of your time frame and mission. They really didn't go much north of the DMZ, but ran the slot next to it daily. Snakeyes didn't show up in I-Corp till the very end of Tet in 68 (perhaps DaNang had some?). F4's were big on napalm; as in really big! Dropping iron bombs was not their greatest forte, but still they got by. The A4 was better at bombing, but the A6 was supreme here. They used a lot of rocket pods, and I simply don't remember if they used bigger air to ground rockets. The Phantom leaving Chu Lai or DaNang carrying a big load out was good for twenty minutes on station when it got to Khe Sahn, and no way to refuel over there. Planes riding the fence often carried a couple air to air rockets, but once again not always. Cross the DMZ, and that was a must have. Not so much over Laos. Doing a Navy plane is a different concept. They mostly operated north of the DMZ (once in awhile we'd see a couple doing a strike). 

 

As for the gun pod. I saw exactly one using the gun pod south of the DMZ, and it was clean except for the pod. I'm sure others did, but only I saw one. I used to do an LP right across the road from the arming pit till mid Tet in 68, and it was always interesting looking down in there. (kept me awake). After the napalm dump was blown up (2/1/68) the napalm canisters you saw the most were the blunt nosed ones. They used mostly 500lb. and 750lb. dumb bombs all the way till at least March 69. Remember I-Corp was at the bottom of the food chain! So we were the last to see the new inventions.

gary

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