okay, this is a simple topic, right?
I mean, we have F-8A's, and the much different F-8J's. Then we have F-4B's and the F-4S's. What is the deal with versions, it should be pretty cut and dried,,,,an F-4B is an F-4B, after all.
Well, here's what this post is all about. Okay, you build an F-4B from the Hasegawa kit,,,,cool,,,I like how it looks,,,,,but, um, which photo did you use, I can't find an F-4B photo with those parts choices, even though I have photos of those exact markings, right down to two different years with that same BuNo?
see, there are 6 different F-4B's, out of the 18 possible combinations of Hasegawa F-4B parts
there are 3 different nose fairings, 3 different tail tips, and 2 different stabilators,,,,each part is available in photographs, but only 6 of the combos of these 3 parts are ever seen together
"geeeez, this guy is strange",,,,,,lol
okay, here's the premise,,,,we build for some level of accuracy, so we don't just stick any parts onto any plane,,,,,or we would put an IR sensor on our F-4J, if we thought that would look cool (all of you that do this,,,,,,this discussion is NOT for you,,,,,keep doing it if you want, this is for the guys trying to achieve more accuracy)
I've "coded" the combinations of F-4's possible for each version,,,,,,and made a checkmark next to each version I see in the many books here at the Hangar Deck
that has created an "HD number" that comes after the Block Number assigned for each combo,,,,,,,as I said,,,,then I kept the ones that actually appear in photos in a smaller list
here's the Phantom B parts list,,,,,,there are the Early IR nose (same appearance as the late F-4A), I've named that the A nose
then, the Mid IR nose that I've named the B nose,,,,,it is the nose that has the addition on the bottom with a relieved area at the back of the addition
then, the nose I've named the C nose,,,it comes in C/D kits,,,,,and the one used on the B is sort of like a "shaved C"
I only picked these names for the purpose of the "type chart"
the tails are the A tail,,,,,the tail tip part with no ECM blisters
the B tail is the one with an ECM on the rear edge
the "N" tail is the one with ECM on both the front and the rear
then, we have early unslotted stabilators, I've named B
and the late slotted stabilators, I've named J
a B kit might have any of these parts in it (they all come with 5 different tail tip configs)
but, you wouldn't have a 1965 B on a deck with slotted stabs or the "N" tail tip (let's let things be invented before we fit them to our aircraft, shall we?)
the Stabilator and the different tail tips should bring no objections from fans of the F-4 that have more than 10 pages of F-4B photos in their book collections,,,
but the 3 noses? (this guy is nuts!!!!),,,,,well, that is covered on one page of one book, luckily,,,,,,,
actually, while looking for the page I meant to use, I found a better one,,,,on P 21 of Colors & Markings Vol 17, there are only 3 photos on that page,,,,,,all three nose types, and all three tail tips are shown in those 3 photos
so, if you ever see me mention an F-4B-21 or an F-4B-62,,,,,those aren't Block numbers, they are HD version numbers,,,,,I needed some way to label my bare outline drawings to know what one I was adding to a page
when I finish it, I will list the F-8's,,,,,they seem simple, too, but
the RF-8,,,,it "only comes in" RF-8A and RF-8G flavors,,,,,,,but,,,,,,there are multiple tail ECM's seen on those,,,,then, the early and late nosewheel,,,,,,and even the RF-8G had too versions,,,,,the afterburner scoops weren't added until the RF-8G was put through the SLEP rebuild in the late 1970's,,,,,,and I would list the 5 USMC RF-8A's with the Ventral Strakes as a seperate version, wouldn't you?
all of this only matters because I am building so many of each aircraft to do my collection, that knowing a bit about the different versions helps me have variety in the airframes, and not just in the markings,,,,,,,and I needed a coding scheme for the different drawings,,,,,calling up an F-4B and adding the variations each time didn't make much sense to me,,,,,so, I drew them all
I hope you are enjoying reading these "thoughts from the Hangar Deck" topics
The reason I don't have full lists up with the above post is that I haven't finished the RF-4 part of it,,,,,and I stopped on the Air Force versions list when I saw a great book is coming out in August,,,,,I'll do the Air Force parts swapping after I have that book in hand. I also did not go into all the variations of ALQ on the lower wings, etc,,,,or do the parachute housing variations, yet
in the meantime,,,,y'all can cuss me out for this statement, lol
there were 6 versions of the F-4B, 3 of the F-4N (one without ALQ-126), 2 of the F-4J and 2 of the F-4S (one without slats)
********EDIT, that will teach me to talk absolutes, so far, I've found 11 versions of F-4B,,,,,and I'm only 1/3 through my pics,,,,,,I must have grouped two of the noses together when I ran this through the first time,,,,,,,,anyway, however it happened, I made a mistake,,,,,,sorry if this mislead anyone on their model
I should probably just stick to building, matching up to a pic,,,,,,,,but, no one else is attempting this for public use