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Marine F-4J Phantom - Decal time!

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I'm slowly plugging along.  I've been working on the wing fold which has been a bit more work than I thought it would.  I've got everything else fixed so this is one of the last few things I have to complete before I head to the paint barn.  I've got one wing done and not being a big scratch builder, it took some time to get it looking half way decent.  I can already tell the wing join is going to be a bit fragile.  I made a wing fold brace based on some photos I've seen which will have the added advantage of strengthening it a bit...hopefully.  All this turned out to be more work than just redoing the extended wings.


Broken wing parts:







Hopefully this will look better under a coat of paint!




Working on the locking mechanism:






I'm going to wait until the end of the build before I attach these, it will be easier to paint not to mention I will surely break them off if I don't






Here is the exhaust joint I had to fix.  It looks terrible but it should only need a few touch ups after I hit it with primer




I've been adding a few more small details like the framing on the inside of the flap areas. Most of this won't be very visible but I like the way it brings out the details.






I probably won't have too many more to add until I primer everything and make the inevitable touch ups.  Thanks for looking in!




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It's a bit cold here in Colorado and it's hard for me to run my exterior fan for my paint booth but I managed to get some primer down in a few areas.  I use Alclad's primers mixed with a bit of leveling thinner.  I love this stuff as it dries solid and sands perfectly.  You get that nice feathered edge and the leveling thinner makes it go down smooth as butter. 


I was able to get the front canopy on with only a minimal gap that I was able to fill with a small amount of surfacer.  I used a small, pointed Q-tip dipped in leveling thinner to clean the excess off.  I tried to be very careful so the thinner didn't mess up the clear part since it's possible to seep under the tape.






I'm fairly happy with the way the exhaust area came out but there are still a few adjustments to make.  It's not perfect but the gap around the exhaust cans isn't nearly as big as before.  I've heard the Sierra Hotel exhaust is the right size so I highly recommend those to anyone considering building this kit.  My way works but it's a serious pain in the butt.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent the extra money.  Even though I already bought the Aires exhaust years ago, it would have been worth it to buy the SH exhaust.  Plus I recently discovered that one of the burner cans is a bit warped. :BANGHEAD2:










I'm really happy with they way the little exhaust vents came out.  I wasn't going to attempt to fix them but it kept bothering me especially considering I'm fixing less obvious issues with the kit.  I just wasn't sure how to do it but I looked up Chuck's phantom build and could see how he fixed his.  I couldn't get the soda can aluminum to work for me so I uses thin styrene sheet.  It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.  The only thing I would do different is removing the louvers in the vent and replacing them.  I would have done that but I already glued the fuselage together making it difficult. 






There is a lot of panel line reworking going on here so I'm glad it came out okay.  The front AC intake blended in well too.




I'm happy with the way the reworked wing joint came out considering the earlier disaster.



I'm so close to paint I can taste it or should I say smell it :D

Sure glad I have the big Pace Peach Keeper booth!  This thing is huge!






If there are any Phantom experts looking in, please let me know if there is anything that needs correcting.  I think I've got the obvious stuff fixed but I can only figure out so much looking at photos.  I have Gorman's great phantom book but I wish I had Jake's book too.


Thanks for looking in fellas and your comments good or bad are always welcome...



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21 hours ago, Durangokid said:

I'm so close to paint I can taste it or should I say smell it :D

Sure glad I have the big Pace Peach Keeper booth!


    Smells like peaches  ???






Coming together nicely Bryan  :popcorn:



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1 hour ago, chuck540z3 said:

Great job and I like how you sweat the tiny details that others would just skip over. ;)





Yea, I have been stealing some of your ideas from your phantom build. :whistle:

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I've got the black primer down and I'm ready for some black basing action.  You can see the Alclad primer mixed with leveling thinner goes down nice and smooth.  I use a very thin coat so I don't fill the small details and just enough for the black basing.  I rarely have lifting issues using Mr. Color and MRP paints and using the Alclad brings it down to zero.






I've got a start on some of the weapons.  I have Two Bob's decals for the Aim-9's and the Aim-7's which look really nice.  However, I was glutting for punishment so I decided to paint the stripes on.  I painted the stripe colors and masked them with various widths of tape before painting them white.  It turned out fairly well but I'm not sure I like the way the front section of the Aim-9's turned out.  I still have to paint the seeker heads and the rear fin metal parts before I apply the decals.


The Aim-9's are from Zacto and are fantastic.  The small parts can be a bit fiddly but that goes with the fine details.  I think they are a must as I haven't found any that are correct or are as detailed.  The sparrows are from the kit and are pretty good.  I bought Two Bob's decals since the kit markings are lacking.  Here is what I have so far.










I also worked on the wheels.  I have they Brassin wheels that are very nice but they are smaller than the kit wheels and I have no idea which are correct.  I also have the wheels that came with the Rhino intakes and they appear to be a copy of the kit wheels.  I'm going to paint both for comparison but looking at photos, the Rhino/kit wheels look closer to the real thing.  However, the tire part of the wheel is significantly more detailed with the Brassin.







The Brassin wheels had a defect but it was fairly easy to correct.




Here are the Brassin wheels painted up, just need some weathering.  





I really appreciate all the nice comments fellas, it keeps a guy motivated.  :thumbsup:


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