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Tamiya F-4B Phantom Conversion (Finished! 25 Sep)

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1 hour ago, Maybach_man said:

Been watching some stuff from Tailhook on Ward Carroll's Youtube channel. 

I did see him walking around, but didn't get a chance to chat. Spent a good amount of time talking with Brad Elward. His book on TOP GUN just hit the bookshelves last week. It'll be the definitive work on the subject--it's massive. He came through Fallon when I was there and he was blown away as I had a copies of several of his Osprey series actually sitting on my desk. It was a good ice-breaker for certain!


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Quick update. Thought I took photos of how i modified the gear, but apparently I was too busy building. Short synopsis is I cut the metal portions that make up the innards and chucked them in the drill to file them down enough that I could slide an aluminum tube on to represent the extended oleo. Because the Tamiya bits are designed to fit around the solid chunk of metal, I could get the tube into the gear legs like the real deal. Also made painting them easier. Still need to do the final washes on the nose gear.





You can see I started adding the pylons to. Started making them with orange leading edges, but after triple checking,  I think that practice started a year later. Got the MERs built, but am at a holding point till I sort the LAU-10s. I tried making my own. Reasoning that after shooting them, you'd be able to see down the empty tunes. Have about 4 fails under my belt and will make a couple more before I go the Eduard route. Those will look great, but you can't see down the tubes...guess I could drill it, but that seams fraught with potential pitfalls too.

Here you can see her with all the gear doors on etc... getting closer.



As I get closer to the end of my builds, I start making a punch list to ensure that I keep track of it all. Its getting shorter and shorter...



And lastly,  because I've been itching to get after her. Thought I'd see how big of a base I'll need. Going a tad bigger than this one, as she's a big girl!




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  • easixpedro changed the title to Tamiya F-4B Phantom Conversion (Gear and stuff 14 Sep)

Oh boy, this just keeps getting better!

I'm definitely going to do something like this on a build, just looks so amazing 


I’ll be sad to see this finished as I look forward to each update. Although I am also looking forward to seeing her finished.


Maybe go the Eduard route? I usually try the path of least resistance….not that it looks like it at times with my Phantom 


cheers for another great update 


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48 minutes ago, Peter Greengrass said:

Nice job. Just one thing, that "IR Sensor" on your list. AN/APR-24 aircraft, such as 153005, didn't have the IR sensor fitted but rather had this specific AN/APR-24 type of under radome chin-pod.

AN:APR-24 under radome chin Pod

153005 NH205 VF-114 via RD copy


Thanks Peter!  Appreciate people keeping me honest!  That list is really a memory jogger so that I remember to do whatever it is I'd planned for each part. In this case I knew it wasn't a sensor, but that I needed to go back and change the paint to mimic what you've got in those great pics. Which looking at them, reminds me that I'd better add the IFR probe light! It's all those fiddley bits that always seem to take forever for me...


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So quick update on the flight deck. You can't make 'em too nasty.  I'm working on the cross deck pendant (that's the name of the cable that goes across the deck and the hook catches). Its held up by leaf springs similarly to an old car. I'll make mine out of a section of aluminum soda can, and then drape the pendant across it.


Here's an image I found on the web (for illustrative purposes only). Check out how the non skid is worn away. I'd call that about 2 weeks worth of flight ops. After several line periods or an entire cruise, it will be worn down to bare steel. Even worse, it'll be covered in hydraulic oil, oil, grease etc and be slicker than ice. It's no fun being in a 58K pound jet and sliding or worse being blown by exhaust. 


Cross Deck Pendant.jfif


So I set out to beat up my deck and bring out some of these details. First I chucked a big sander into a drill and began knocking back my non skid. Go slow and you'll end up with a good representation of how the pendant grinds down the deck




Next, I hit the bare section with a steel paint, drybushing the edges. Following that, I used some of my kids old water color paints (Hello Kitty to be exact) to replicate some rust.  This is the first pass. Gotta remember that exposed metal rusts super quick in the salt water environment. You can walk up on deck in the morning and there will be no kidding salt crystals sitting in the non skid. But even with all the oil on the deck, it still rusts quickly. 



Need to weather it a whole lot more and add some more stains before adding rhe springs and the cross deck pendant. More pictures when I get to that point!


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  • easixpedro changed the title to Tamiya F-4B Phantom Conversion (Flight deck details 15Sep)

Right then!


Busy weekend and no build time, but I finally have time to sit down and update what I accomplished earlier in the week.

First up, the cross deck pendant. Took approximately 6 wires and chucked them in the drill to make the wire.



Then I used strips I cut off a soda can to make the leaf springs. Benefit of doing it this way, is that they're all curved the same. Cut them to length and your good. I used a punch to make the attachment points put of styrene. Glued them down and then painted everything. 



Also got the TERs made and painted. I actually painted the whole a/c with Tamiya white primer, and same with these. I do that because its rock hard. I put orange color on and the proceeded to beat it up with an XActo and sanding. Didnt do a thing to the white. The bottom is pretty heavily weathered too, and its impervious.  Lots of gunk gets thrown up by the catapults,  so I went to town. The missile rails were a PITA, in that there were sink holes and the attachment points that I had to fill within the rails. No biggie with missiles mounted, but not on this loadout.



Here's an overall shot...getting there



Pulled the trigger on some Eduard LAU-10s. Making them myself was just an exercise in frustration. Should be here in a few days and then I can get the pylons attached and start wrapping everything up. 

More soon!



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Ok, down to the last fiddly bits. Punch list has just a few items left, and these showed up in the mail today 



I've made them in the past, but went the easy route and put the frangible nose cone on the front and the RF barrier on the back. Doesn't work for an in flight scene after the rockets have been fired.

The thing that tripped me up was the little edge around the outside. Six tries under my belt and I couldn't hack it. Pretty simple to use some styrene tubing with inserts for the rocket tubes. But that edge... I couldn't get something that fit the circumference and still fit the tubes to create the edge. But that's where resin comes to the rescue, shown here next to one of my earlier efforts.



Will get all of them built up and mounted to the TERs. Then I can wrap up the last bits and secure it to the base.

More in the next few days!


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  • easixpedro changed the title to Tamiya F-4B Phantom Conversion (Zunis! 22 Sep)

Here's a teaser. Have 1 TER done, working on the other. Then I can mount the tail and mount her to the base.



First time using Eduard aftermarket stuff. Holy crap their decals are fiddly. Super thin and look great, but I attempted to wet a bunch at once to knock out a couple of LAUs in an assembly line method. Realized the error of my ways rather quickly. Salvaged enough to press on, but not a fun way to wrap up the last bits.


Hope to have her done and get some good photos for the RFI section tomorrow. 


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I don't know what it is with Eduard's decals.   I just used them on a couple of Brassin 1,000 lb bombs and they kicked my butt.   The split second they hit the surface of the bomb, they were frozen in place.   Even with the spares they provide, I still did a horrid job.  


Those Zuni pods look fantastic, you did a great job of replicating the soot on the front of them from multiple firings.   Nice looking flight deck as well, great attention to detail there.  

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  • easixpedro changed the title to Tamiya F-4B Phantom Conversion (Finished! 25 Sep)

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