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1/32 Revell RF-4C 14th TRS

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Lots of big parts glued together with still more prep work.  I have started on the exhaust base coats and color experimentation on a test plane.


Gluing the body parts together has been brutal.  I haven't seen such huge gaps in a long time.  Basically where light and grey plastic meet there will be lots of body work.  Low score on the fit and finish on this model.  There will be another week or more making this right.  And its just not gaps, its elevation as well.



The little triangular NACA intake forward of the right side auxiliary air door has been filled (white triangle).  And still more body work.



The nose is fitting pretty well.  Some minor sanding and maybe a bit of checking the panel line depth and it will be good.



Its starting to look like a Phantom.  Seeing it like this after many months feels pretty good.



Fuel tank re-enforcement made from left over brass.  It wasn't very straight and required a bit of work.  Still not perfect but well on the way.



Last of the rear deck wiring was completed.  Now just to add some details, clamps, rivets and retainers.



My first attempt at scribbing was less than desirable.  I will have to do it again.......and probably again still..



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This kit was traded for as mention prior. This kit has had at least three missing parts.  And with that comes some challenges.  Such as it is, I have been making the missing pieces.  It was time to learn and so far my initial attempts have been ok.


One of the missing pieces was the right side avionics intake scoop.  I cut it out of stock plastic and shaped as need.  The inlet hole for the scoop was cut with with an exacto blade and is very shallow.  I am still working on a method to get a deep cut in the tin plastic without messing up the part.  I also need to take  a mm off the bottom to straighten out the lower edge. 



The left stab was missing so again I took a stab at making the stab...see what I did there?  initially just a flat sheet that I cut to shape and bent to replicate the shallow downward angle of the stab. The joining tab was just some excess that I doubled up and super glued so I can recreate the standoff of the stab to the fuselage with some realism.



I added a second sheet and blended to recreate the thickness of the stab nearest the fuselage.  I cut the arrow shaped reinforcement plate, for top and bottom, out of the thinnest sheet I had and will give a light sanding to thin it a touch.  Pictured here it is just placed for reference.  Now to scribe and prime.


Edited by SapperSix

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She now has legs.  The brass landing gear is absolutely fantastic. The hydraulic actuators for the main landing gear need a little work as to their attachment to the main wing.  Now that I have proper reference books and new found confidence,  I would like to rip out the landing gear bays and start over.  The next model of choice will surely get the full treatment.





Upon putting on a good even primer coat (Mr Surfacer 1200 diluted 50/50 with lacquer thinner) I realized that I had to pay more attention to some body work.  I will spend the remainder of tonight touching her up.  Its the first time I have ever used a primer for the whole of the airplane.  I am hoping to make it easier for the white under fuselage coat to adhere using less paint.  And to spot body work imperfections, so far on target for this one.  The primer eased some of the sharp panels lines I had scribed prior.  And made them look better than what I had originally produced. 



She will have the SEA camouflage scheme when done.  I am thinking of black basing the tan and lighter green camouflage areas.  And then use a wash to pull the panel lines out, ever so.  What and how much weathering is being looked at in detail.  I have some thinking to do on how this is going to happen. 

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7 hours ago, Out2gtcha said:

Cooooooool! Super smooth..............almost cant see any panel lines

Much of that is the lighting.  I have three lights over my work space as time has conspired to make me old.........

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I have been doing a lot of studying on the Phantom as it was around 1970 when at Udorn Thailand.   I found a great web site, Picciani Aircraft Photos, to look at the many faces of the Phantom at service.  If you go to the website and look you will find Phantoms in many states of up keep.  As an example, some Phantoms have two, even three types of tan or light green on them.  You will also see varied colors, olive drab used in some cases and large areas that have been repaired using varied colors.  Many are very weathered and many are looking as though they are pretty fresh.   I have also looked at various other builds, sources and books.  And what I found is the possibilities are many (Imagine that....).  I dont know if certain paint schemes, such as how the wing fuel tanks were painted, were phased in over time or was it a free for all?  The rabbit hole of how things came to be, when or why became very deep.  So finding a path in the near term was to topographically scan the options and deciding on a plan of action.  I also noticed the Phantom doesn't seem to lend itself to very defined panel lines.  I dont know if this is an outcome of how its built, paint scheme, lighting and or photo effects.  Testing my capability and learning new things have been very much the them of this model. 

For Christmas my wife bought me a new Iwata HP-CS.  My my beloved Passache had seen many faithful years and I had ruined the fine needle ages ago and had to go to the medium tip.  So the addition of the Iwata was a god send, and to be honest I was excited about the possibilities.  The Iwata has not failed to please.  What a great brush.  So I began to learn about black basing.  And of course tried a few versions on my trusty test plane, a P3 Orion. 


In the many possibilities theme....On the above mentioned web site there are many examples of both the "straight edge" paint job, "wavy" paint job and completely colored wing fuel tank for the phantom.  Also examples of the pylon remaining white, partially white or painted the same color of the tank.  I chose white pylon, straight edge tank based on what I had found on the 14th.  I will likely go back and soften the edge by free handing it. 

I was disappointed to have the white paint come off in a few places even using Tamiya tape, this has never happened to me.  The pylon will be properly covered during the repair of the tank.  I also need to bring down the dark shades a bit. 



This begins my experimentation with varied types of and black basing in general.  I am sure many are wondering if I have any sanity.  My wife will tell you there is little and what remains is clustered by high priced whiskey, prolonged field operations and bouncing off the ground from high altitude during airborne operations.  What you are seeing in this picture is the phantom that has been "black based" by spryaing paint through a Scotch Brite cleaning pad that has been cut along its horizontal axis and further thinned by using scissors to thin areas for better paint penetration (Yes I said penetration, you can stop laughing.....:D.)   I learned this technique here and have been experimenting ever since.  Mind you the originator did it far better than I as I have been far more cave man like.  I have further this by using lighter and darker colors and integrating standard black basing, marbling techniques.  Creating what I see as a truly random color adjustment, integrating what I can best determine to be true weathered effects. 




On the right intake you can see where I started to fill in some of the less busy places with standard black basing.  I didn't want to go overkill on the panel lines as the phantom doesn't really lend it self to highly defined panel lines to the best I can determine.  And I plan on doing a panel line pin wash with a undetermined color.   


You can see here where I started to apply a slightly modified dark tan (Testors MM  Dark Tan with a little dark sand and minute flat black.) using the black basing technique,marbling and filled in as appropriate.


Various shades of the above techniques with a lightened formula on the top parts (horizontal) of the fuselage to recreate sun bleaching. 




I was working on using very fine sand paper (1500 and greater) to work out additional fading or sheen creation of weathered panels.  Here along the in the transition between the dark and light green.  I darkened up the light green with olive drab and a little flat black.   I also began to ready the base layer for vertical weathering "stripes".   The overall paint job was done free hand.  While I started off horrible, I ended better than what I started.  so I will have to go back and tighten up color boarders.  I forgot to be very mindful of the direction of my spray gun as it relates to the target.  I was quickly reminded when the green paint road the vortex of air in to the seam of the dark yellow. 



A general look at the uncorrected first pass and a long day....



The white under fuselage was also black based using the same method as above.  I will be adding grease smears, panel lines and a million decals so my thinking was it was going to be very crowded.  So in the end I smoothed it out more than I had originally intended. I will come back later with a very light coat of light grey, or wash...TBD.    The landing gear wells were given a nice even coat of white as I will go back and give them special attention.




Lots of learning and lots of experimentation.  I often got tired during painting with all the new attention to detail and had to stop a few times to let my arm muscles relax and eyes re adjust.  All in all a great time.Any input is greatly appreciated. 

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Lots of ground covered over the last couple days.  I have found myself with a bit more free time than usual and have spent some of it on the work bench.  Lots of paint shading and detail on the fuselage.  Many hues of of the camouflage were experimented with.  In the end I am very happy and eager to see the final harmony of it all.  In some areas I did get a little loose with maintenance wear and tear.  More on that later.




I spent some time looking at the flare dispensers for fit and finish.  I noticed that after all the re scribing and riveting alterations and modifications I made on the plane, I failed to make the changes in this area.  I dont think I am going to re do the work.  I will at least sleep on it. 



I turned the paint being taken off from the tape in to chipping.  And did some real chipping.  . 



The center line tank and some experimentation.  More to follow.




For the tires I had to make custom masks from Parafilm.  The center of the main landing gear is actually painted in the old testors rubber color and not flat black.  Its going to end up with a much more rusted look and the testors rubber paint already leans that direction.  A little chipping was also applied.   Dry brushing and pastels to come.


I will come back tomorrow and give more detail.  Time for bed after a good day on the bench.   Thanks for looking and all the fine advice.

Edited by SapperSix

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I think your black basing worked quite well! Mixed with the multiple shades gives a pretty aged look. Once you get the stains and pastels on there that is going to be a nice looking F-4!

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On 4/22/2019 at 10:29 PM, LSP_Ray said:

I think your black basing worked quite well! Mixed with the multiple shades gives a pretty aged look. Once you get the stains and pastels on there that is going to be a nice looking F-4!

Ray, Thank you for the kind words.  Still working out the kinks on this one.  I am getting excited to see it all coming together after so many months.



On 4/23/2019 at 12:41 AM, Fvdm said:

I think this looks awesome. Real great paintjob.

Thank you very much.  It has been a challenge and I have learned much.

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I am amazed how deep the hole can be when one is tracking down information when striving for a painfully accurate build.  I have began to understand the pain of those we call bolt counters.  The below work took a good bit longer than I had expected.  Just to put a few placards on I kept finding different or incomplete information.  The main wheel well cover had a multitude of varying examples.  By the time I said "Screw it, get it done!" about 4 hours had passed as I tracked various references and online sources.  The Eduard placards had incorrect colors for the afore mentioned placard for the RF-4C.  Which led to a little looking around.  The speed breaks are very much straight forward. 


The ALQ-71 has completely false numbers and decals on it.  I couldn't find many period examples.   I was going to have to make some decals but instead opted to us some remainders to achieve an effect.  Now I feel like I have cheated on a test....I will probably have to go back and make actual decals to assuage my mind. 

Still I have learned so very much.  Having said that, my next build will probably OOB.


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I was getting ready to put some primer on the NMF tail of the Phantom.  That's when I noticed that the rivets are all wrong, far too small.  The reference picture verses what Revell did.......big difference.  What to do?  So looked at some other builds.  The examples I found were few. 

Enlarging the rivets in the tail section would be a multi part process.  I did choose to use the diameter of 2MM for the new rivets, not to scale, but I already had the 2MM drill and some wire or plastic round tube at the same diameter.   I wasn't willing to place another order for a punch or more stuff.  So I will have get rid of the small Revell rivets and replace with a large diameter washer and rivet.  I am using the 2mm hand drill to get a MM deep or so.   Then cutting some lead wire, putting it in the hole to be lightly sanded later to replicate the washer.  I cant decide how I am going to recreate the actual rivet (If thats what it is).




Making the new holes, and looking as to how I am going to plug the old small ones.



All the rows of larger rivets are now drilled. Two of them with the first lead large rivet attempts. 



If someone else has any ideas on this I am open to learning.....

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Man'o'man am I getting a bit of a butt kicking.  I have never worked with Alclad despite having it in my possession of many years.  Just didn't have the guts to do any NMF work.  Well, I have to say I love the product as it really works well, very well in fact.  What I didn't count on is the primer showing every little tiny bit of CA glue that is in, on or around the custom made rivets on the tail....Sooooooo many little specs or CA that oozed out from under the rivet to make it look horrible.  So.......Off it goes.  I was planning on complete removal and starting all over again.  I didn't want to get a punch set just yet, but I did.  (I have caught the disease.  Just have to wait for it o be shipped.)  As I was using the CA de bonder I noticed it may be removing the wild glue specs and maybe complete removal may not be necessary.  Jury is still out.  A complete repainting of the NMF tail will be required and it looks like the de bonder may be roughing up the plastic a little.  I will know more tonight.  Off to cook dinner for my wonderful wife and family.



I spent two days on the feathers.  Lots of experimentation.  The left is finalized with a soap based sludge wash.  I love the sludge wash as its easy to take off its not right. 


Edited by SapperSix

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