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The F-4D Phantom

RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

September 24th, 2017, 11:22 pm #1

I found a started Fujimi F-4D Phantom II kit on the shelf of doom. I've decided to build it as a laser bomber in the 1972 Linebacker campaign in the final throws of US involvement in Vietnam.

I'll build this Phantom along side the EC-121R aircraft. When I paint, most of the time goes to mixing and thinning the paint and cleaning the airbrush. Once the paint is thinned, it's shelf life is finite, so it’s either used or tossed in a few weeks! Time spent actually blowing paint was minuscule compared to the prep and clean up. This way, I get twice as much done in one painting session. This is really efficient for the small paint jobs like cockpit colors, gear wells, landing gear, bombs, etc. When one model’s sub-assembly is setting or drying, I work on the other one. I split the projects when it comes time to decal and final assembly. Works for me!

When Fujimi released their British Phantoms, they updated the cockpit making it a gem. IMO, it's just behind the Monogram Phantoms in detail; inexplicably, Fujimi didn't update the US versions with the better cockpit. So, I made a resin copy of the cockpit from the Fujimi F-4K kit.


I cut the combing off the fuselage just ahead of the pilot. I'll add a better rendition from a Hasegawa kit. The aft canopy will cover the gaps behind the WSO.


The ejection seats are Verlinden F-4 seats. They're a little undersized, but so are the kit seats. The face curtain handles are painted wire.


Some of the paint has been rubbed off testing the fit. So like the real thing, it's tight.


Up next is painting all the white parts on this kit & the EC-121R sharing the work bench.







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Sky Keg
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Joined: June 1st, 2013, 11:28 am

September 26th, 2017, 1:55 am #2

EXCELLENT RJ!!!!!! One can NEVER have enough Phantoms!!!! Keep me / us updated on your progress.
Sky Keg

Mr Dorfman??..Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.
-Dean Wormer
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

October 8th, 2017, 11:13 pm #3

Not much progress to report on this kit. I got the white painted, and I'm working the fuselage seams. (AGH!)

The issue with gloss paints on small scale models is the "toy" like appearance a really shinny finish has. So my favorite technique for painting gloss colors on small scale models is:

- paint the area with light coats in the flat color until the surface is completely covered.

- thin the gloss paint with 50% -60% thinner. It will be water thin and translucent.

- Spray over the flat coverage until the color looks damp.

When dry, if the finish isn't shinny enough for you, add another light coat: repeat until you're happy with it. The finish will be a soft gloss/satin look that's not too shinny avoiding the toy appearance.




Workin' on it; fill...sand; rinse...repeat.
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RJ Tucker
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Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

October 15th, 2017, 10:06 pm #4

Logged some modeling time this week-end. I got the intakes, wings & bottom glued to the fuselage.



As you can see below, some pretty bad gaps around the bottom the fuselage where the intakes, center fuselage & wings come together. That gap behind the missile wells is common to every Fujimi Phantom I've ever built.



I'll place styrene strips in the gaps & sand them smooth. Much filling and sanding in my immediate future me thinks.

RJ

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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

October 30th, 2017, 12:09 am #5

Just like the EC-121R; but with twice the pix!*

Filling....and sanding..... filling...... sanding..... filling.......UGH!

Pix when I've accomplished something interesting.


* just think about it; it'll come to ya'.
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RJ Tucker
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Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

November 6th, 2017, 10:59 pm #6

I finished the filling & sanding. I've moved on to the sub-assembles.



My favorite filler is Mr Surfacer primer. I apply the primer with a tooth pick & let it dry. I, then, moisten a piece of paper towel with eco-friendly lacquer thinner & wipe off the excess. This formula of thinner doesn't attack the plastic, so I don't obliterate the details sanding.



The gray primer filler is hard to see; notice the white styrene strips in the fuselage gap.

Next, I'll complete the cockpit, install the canopy & mask in preparation for painting. This project will sit idle until the EC-121R kit catches up & is ready to paint.






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Ruudster
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Joined: July 22nd, 2012, 11:50 pm

November 7th, 2017, 9:12 pm #7

looking good RJ!
Ruud van der Salm
SW WA
OMS-IPMS, Portland OR
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Graeme H
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Joined: April 13th, 2011, 9:11 pm

November 7th, 2017, 10:08 pm #8

Some really good quality modelling going on, glad you put a picture of the Eco thinners, was going to ask what it was when you had the picture a few weeks ago with the bottle top showing it.

I am fairly sure we do not have that here in Australia, if we do, I've never seen or heard of it.
Graeme
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RJ Tucker
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Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

November 8th, 2017, 2:28 am #9

Graeme H wrote:Some really good quality modelling going on, glad you put a picture of the Eco thinners, was going to ask what it was when you had the picture a few weeks ago with the bottle top showing it.

I am fairly sure we do not have that here in Australia, if we do, I've never seen or heard of it.
Graeme,

According to the label, the "eco-friendly" lacquer thinner contains acetone, ethyl acetate, & methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) with less then 1% petroleum distillates. Regular lacquer thinner contains petroleum distillates, ethyl acetate, methanol & toluene.

Next time you're in a store's paint department look for the solvent with MEK etc & without petroleum distillates.

Hope that helps!

Good luck!

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RJ Tucker
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Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

January 4th, 2018, 9:42 pm #10

Still working to catch-up the EC-121R, so they're both ready to paint. The F-4D is ready and waitng, waiting, waiting..... to paint. If you're familiar with the Fujimi F-4 series of kits, you know the cockpit combing molded into the fuselage halves looks nothing like the real thing. Here's the part from the Hasegawa kit:



Looks much more realistic; doesn't it? I'll spray the combing flat black, assemble the cockpit then start the camouflage.
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jvenables
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Joined: June 18th, 2012, 2:48 am

January 8th, 2018, 3:04 am #11

Graeme H wrote:...glad you put a picture of the Eco thinners, was going to ask what it was when you had the picture a few weeks ago with the bottle top showing it.
Me too. But I assumed the photo of the can was a bit of a joke - eco-friendly lacquer thinner?!! That sounds a bit like "biodegradable nuclear waste". Substances like acetone, ethyl acetate, & methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) are hardly eco-friendly. The impure science of marketing, huh?

Nevertheless, great work on the Phantom. I have a few Fujimi F-4s (and some Esci which I reckon are nice kits too) to be finished in Vietnam colours & markings (mostly using Wolfpak decals) so I'm following this build with interest. I didn't know about the updated cockpit - something to add to the memory bank.
James from Brisbane, Australia
Now living in Laos

Nil illegitimi carborundum
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dknights
Godzilla
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 7:07 pm

January 8th, 2018, 3:18 am #12

I did an F-4D long ago. I need to do another Phantom sometime.
David M. Knights
Fortes fortuna adiuvat

14 Finished: Special Armor V-2, Airfix P-51
15 Finished: SBS Gladiator engine
16 Finished: Brengun C2 Wasserfall, Merit SS-N-2 Styx, World's smallest diorama, Airfix Hurricane.
17 Finished: Japanese Carrier Deck, Belcher SS-4, Italeri AB41, PLAN Type 039A (not 72nd scale)
18 Finished: Tamiya A6M2
The bench:Platz T-33, Trump. T-34/85, Meng F-106, Airfix P-51 #2, Airfix P-40
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

January 8th, 2018, 3:20 pm #13

jvenables wrote:
Graeme H wrote:...glad you put a picture of the Eco thinners, was going to ask what it was when you had the picture a few weeks ago with the bottle top showing it.
Me too. But I assumed the photo of the can was a bit of a joke - eco-friendly lacquer thinner?!! That sounds a bit like "biodegradable nuclear waste". Substances like acetone, ethyl acetate, & methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) are hardly eco-friendly. The impure science of marketing, huh?

Nevertheless, great work on the Phantom. I have a few Fujimi F-4s (and some Esci which I reckon are nice kits too) to be finished in Vietnam colours & markings (mostly using Wolfpak decals) so I'm following this build with interest. I didn't know about the updated cockpit - something to add to the memory bank.
Nope, no joke; that's what the product can looks like straight off the shelf of Home Depot. Weather it's, really, "eco-friendly" or not, it DOES NOT etch the plastic and dissolves lacquer & enamel based paints. What's not to love?!

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RJ Tucker
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Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

February 11th, 2018, 9:40 pm #14

This model is in continual hold mode until the EC-121R catches up to start painting.

I did finish the cockpit using the Verlindin seats, Hasegawa and kit parts.







Masked canopy parts are in place; I'll fill the gaps with white glue then paint.






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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

April 10th, 2018, 1:26 am #15

Been awhile; I got frustrated, so I laid modeling aside for awhile. I played with my grand daughters, caught up on a few movies I've want to see, and read a couple of trashy novels with no redeeming value to my betterment or enlightenment.

Rained this past week-end, and I couldn't resist the siren call of the model bench. So I embarked on a marathon painting binge.

I painted the EC-121, the Phantom and some pieces/ parts.



The bottom color is a 50%-50% mix of Model Master enamel camo-gray and flat white paint .



The LGBs and afterburner cans are, also, MM paint. I'll spend the coming week painting and masking the topside camouflage scheme.

Over the hump and now it's down hill to the finish!
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dknights
Godzilla
Joined: September 30th, 2010, 7:07 pm

April 10th, 2018, 1:46 am #16

Go RJ., go!
David M. Knights
Fortes fortuna adiuvat

14 Finished: Special Armor V-2, Airfix P-51
15 Finished: SBS Gladiator engine
16 Finished: Brengun C2 Wasserfall, Merit SS-N-2 Styx, World's smallest diorama, Airfix Hurricane.
17 Finished: Japanese Carrier Deck, Belcher SS-4, Italeri AB41, PLAN Type 039A (not 72nd scale)
18 Finished: Tamiya A6M2
The bench:Platz T-33, Trump. T-34/85, Meng F-106, Airfix P-51 #2, Airfix P-40
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

April 15th, 2018, 7:47 pm #17

Time to mask & paint. I'm going to try something new. To get a tight, uniform feathered line of demarcation between the camo-gray bottom & the sides, I placed a strand of parcel string just below the edge of the masking tape.

The string should hold the edge away from the model at a uniform distance for the length of the masking line. We'll see how well this works when I remove all the masking when all the painting is complete.



I sprayed Tan first. The Testors Model Master Tan FS 30219 doesn't look pink enough to my eye. So, I added Testors light tan (that comes in the 1/4 ounce bottle) a little at a time until it looked right to me.



Medium Green is next.
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Graeme H
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Joined: April 13th, 2011, 9:11 pm

April 15th, 2018, 9:00 pm #18

Interesting idea using the string, very interested to see how that works out
Graeme
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dixieflyer
Godzilla
Joined: January 31st, 2011, 11:27 pm

April 22nd, 2018, 4:52 pm #19

Same here, logic dictates that it should be consistent.

Warren
"History is the lie we all agree upon."
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ca-15
Hero
Joined: November 5th, 2010, 3:29 am

April 23rd, 2018, 2:17 am #20

Nice work!

And you're doing a lot better than Calvin with his build

http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2018/04/22

Cheers

Michael
Michael Louey
Melbourne Australia
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

May 21st, 2018, 1:48 am #21

Here's the masking for the Medium Green. I enlarged the kit camo diagram to match the size of the plane & cut it up to make the masks. Here's the medium green mask:



The Medium green:



Repeat for the dark green. Then I masked the radar dome with a thin strip of Tamiya masking tape followed by more tape. To protect from overspray, I cut the corner off a sandwich bag & pulled it over the nose until it stretched over the fuselage.



Here's how it turned out:



As I painted, I painted the Pave Knife pod. Then I masked the laser head. It had a metallic finish compared to rear of the pod. I added a little metallic gray and dark olive to the dark green.



The results:



I'm going to set this model aside & complete the EC-121. When that's done, decal & assemble this one.


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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

June 16th, 2018, 9:48 pm #22

Finished the BATCAT! Now to finish up the Phantom:

I masked the bare metal area around the tail/fuselage with Scotch tape to yield a hard line. Then masked the model with masking tape to prevent overspray.





I painted the area with Alclad "Dural Aluminum" ALC-102. I, immediately, blew thinner through my airbrush then sprayed Alclad "Jet Exhaust" ALC-113 on the bottom aft of the fuselage where the afterburner cans will be.





As you can see, a single color bottom is pretty ho-hum. So, I drew in the panel lines with a drafting pencil holding a "F" lead which is a medium hardness.



After I finished that, I placed a piece of tape up against the aft panel and put some tick marks on the tape using dark gray and burnt ember pastels . I took a piece of paper towel and pulled the pastels down the fuselage to replicate the fluid streaks every F-4 has.

I repeated this for every panel line under the engine. When I finished that, I took my dirty paper towel and randomly rubbed areas on the bottom.



Weathered with some tan and light gray pastel chalks.



Next are the decals. Gettin' there.

RJ


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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

June 17th, 2018, 11:24 pm #23

Got the gloss coat on the model; whiled it dried I decaled and detailed the underwing stores.



Plane decals next!

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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

June 26th, 2018, 1:06 am #24

Decaling complete.



Final flat coat then assembly and this beast is done.
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Chuck1945
Godzilla
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 7:05 pm

June 26th, 2018, 4:00 am #25

Its coming along nicely. It has been 43 years since I was on the flight line at Holloman AFB where the 49 TFW was still flying SEA camouflaged F-4Ds. As an object lesson in not taking 'eyewitness' memories as gospel, I would have described the SEA tan as darker although your model is actually correct.

Your stores look good too, especially the striping on the Sparrows
Chuck
Eastern WA, USA
Finished 2018:
Eduard Spitfire IXc, VIII, Monogram/Starfighter BFC-2
On the active bench:
Eduard Bf 110C, Hasegawa B-24D, SH P-40E
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dixieflyer
Godzilla
Joined: January 31st, 2011, 11:27 pm

June 30th, 2018, 12:24 pm #26

Thanks so much for this, the Phantom is one of the few kerosene-powered lawn darts I actually like. I also appreciate your in progress shots along with the explanation of what you did and how. Stuff I can use later.

Beautiful work!

Warren
"History is the lie we all agree upon."
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

June 30th, 2018, 2:04 pm #27

Thanks Warren. I appreciate the comments.
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RJ Tucker
Hero
Joined: October 23rd, 2011, 12:20 am

July 1st, 2018, 12:56 am #28

I removed the masking from the canopies. I put a new blade in my X-acto knife and scored the edge of the mask. That way, when I pull the tape off I get a hard edge, and the tape doesn't pull the paint off the framing.



To glue the stores to the pylons, I drilled a hole for a straight pin in the store and on the pylon. Super glued the pin in place and cut it to length. You can see the pin stub on the bottom LBG. This gives a little more strength to the joint.




All the pieces in place!



COMPLETE! (whew...)

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