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Wolfpack Phantom - 8th TFW F-4C


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A very brief update, as mentioned in a different post, the TER and MER are both turning out to be major time-sinks, so I don't have a lot of progress to share.   


First off is the radome.   The early radomes on these jets didn't hold up very well to the harsh climate.    This is a worst-case example.    Ysi5ONO278BhD9yz4WTS9EoQomrvyN3N1e0c=&ri


My subject wasn't nearly as bad as that one, so I'm going for a much more restrained look.   Just so scratches, pastels and Dullcoat to tone it down.  



Also did some work on the AIM-9 launch rails.   Drilled a couple of small holes that were present on the real thing and added a decal from my spares box.   Not worrying about the inside of the rail because I'll have a couple of Brassin AIM-9B's mounted.    I do plan on adding some additional weathering to tone down the glossy white starkness of these rails. 



So that's it for today.   I've completed the ECM pod but it's not really ready for prime time so I'll save that for a later update.   Thanks for checking in. 

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Posted (edited)

Update- I've spent the last few modeling sessions working on the TER / MER bomb racks.   As mentioned, my subject is going to have an MER on the centerline with 4-5 750 lb bombs and a TER on the port inner pylon with 1 or 2 similar weapons.   The Tamiya racks are "ok".   They seem to be properly dimensioned, which it sounds like the nice looking Brassin resin ones are not.  However, the details on them are pretty basic.    They also had the leading edges of each lower bomb rack vertical.   All the pictures I was able to find show these racks with a sloped aerodynamic fairing (although I'm not sure how aerodynamic you could possibly make these things).   See below for a good example on a TER.



I figured Mr. T screwed up his research and I'd have to scratch build this leading edge.   I completed my work just at the same time Jari / "Finn" came to my rescue with some great pictures that showed that racks with the vertical leading edge were actually somewhat common.  See one of his pictures below. 



If you are interested in this subject, you can check out the rest of the thread here:  



So I've got two racks with slanted edges and two with the vertical.   I'm not 100% happy with my work so I decided to build up the remaining two racks as well.   I came to the conclusion that I like the straight-edge TER better, so I started adding some extra details.





First off - this rack is very much a work in progress still.   I've got some touchup painting to do and I've still got to add some small dia styrene rod to replicate the bolts and pads on the sway braces.   Aside from that, here is what I added for details (this list will also apply to whatever MER I opt to go with):


  • Thinned out the inside of the aerodynamic nose housing.   It's aft portion is visible (barely), and the walls were much too thick.  I hollowed out the rear and bottom faces of each individual rack.   Nothing close to what the real thing looks like (on some of the racks, I didn't bother with the bottom faces because they would not be visible after I mount a bomb).   
  • I also hollowed out the space between the vertical mounting strips between the top of the rack and the bottom of the TER body (if that makes any sense, see the picture just below that shows what I'm trying to describe).
  • I hollowed out the two pylon attachment brackets on the top of the TER
  • I thinned the sway braces, just note that I'll be cutting off that little rod of styrene on the bottom of some of these once I figure out if it's needed to assist with securing the resin M117's.  
  • Tamiya doesn't include the firing cylinders or the electrical cord that runs from the body of the TER to the backside of each individual rack.  They do provide 2 of the 3 "nubs" on the TER body where the cable connects to, but they are in the wrong position, so I cut them off and replaced them with tiny sections of 1.2 mm plastic rod that I very carefully drilled out and glued in place.
  • The firing cylinders consist of a couple of diameters of plastic rod, with the larger end drilled out.  I used fine lead wire for the cable itself.   
  • I hollowed out the rear face of the rack and added a couple of tiny switches.    Here is the real thing (on an MER but a TER is identical in this area).  This picture (thanks again Jari) also shows the electrical cable / firing cylinders and the bolts on the sway braces that I still need to add.  I could have done a better job on this section, but my mantra is that if it won't be extremely visible on the finished model - which in this case it won't - I just do enough work to show the basics. 



  •  I hit the TER with a wash to bring out some of the details and dirty it up (these racks tended to get filthy in service).   I then added a few decals from the spares box.   Note that the red number on the nose of the TER was intentionally misaligned.   Whatever this number means, it seems that most of the time, it was sloppily applied in the field.
  • Last I replicated the chipped paint on the nose of the TER.   This area got weathered heavily, see below:

559th TFS McDonnell F-4C Phantom II with M-117A1 Bomb Load  / 1967

On a side note - This great picture (thanks yet again Jari) nicely shows the difference between the camouflage light grey on the pylon and the gloss white of the TER.  Some folks have said that the underside camo was no different than flat white, but this picture shows otherwise. 


So that's it for my TER so far.   Just to see how it looks, I positioned one of my M117's that are still also a work in progress against the lower rack just to see how it looks.  That's a big bomb!   Speaking of - I've got a lot of work to do on these bombs, I know I have to clean up the gap between body and tail fin housing also have to add some decals, fuses, safety wires, etc.  





Finally - here are the other three racks still on the production line:


The TER is headed to the spares box, I'm not sure which MER I'll use.   Kind of leaning towards the one with the slanted leading edges but there is still some cleanup required on the scratchbuilt fairings.  We'll see.


Anyway - my apologies for the very long-winded post.   If anyone actually made it all the way through, thanks for stopping by! 

Edited by John1
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Posted (edited)

Ok, I am nearly done with bomb racks.   1 TER and 1 MER are pretty much complete. 


It's not perfect but it's a long way beyond the simplistic kit parts.   By my count, I've added 51 extra bits to this assembly, just a mix of thin lead wire and various diameters of styrene rod.     I remember when I was building full models with less than that number of parts! 




In looking at these pictures, I think I'll trim down the bolts sticking out of the sway braces.   Don't like the way they look.  I painted them with Testors Gunmetal but I'm not happy with the color either, so that will get changed.   And it looks like I need to do a bit of touchup paintwork.   Will it ever end???   


Here's the finished TER.



Here's how 3 of my M117's will look.   The resin set comes with optional fuze extenders, so I think I'll add those for a bit of visual interest.   This picture, although of an F-100, shows how filthy the weapons pylons got, also shows those roughly painted red numbers that seem to be present on many TER's, MER's and pylons, regardless of aircraft type.   


Regarding the fuze extenders, I'm unable to tell if those two raised rings on them are mating sections of pipe or are just bands to secure the thin arming wire that runs from the fuze itself back to the pylon.   Any ideas? 


So that's it for today.  No idea what my next step will be on this build.   I could distract myself with building up and painting the remaining M117's or go to work on the remaining steps needed for the underside.   We'll see.    

Edited by John1
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It looks like that's a tube that the arming wire threads through and maybe the two rings are used to clamp the tube in place?

You can see that it is much thicker than the arming wire routing from the bomb rack down towards the front of the bomb.


I never loaded 750's on the F-111 and we never had fuze extenders, so not sure ...... just what I think I am seeing.

That's an M-904 nose fuze screwed into the extension.



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46 minutes ago, scott_t said:

It looks like that's a tube that the arming wire threads through and maybe the two rings are used to clamp the tube in place?

You can see that it is much thicker than the arming wire routing from the bomb rack down towards the front of the bomb.


I never loaded 750's on the F-111 and we never had fuze extenders, so not sure ...... just what I think I am seeing.

That's an M-904 nose fuze screwed into the extension.



Great info Scott, always good to hear from someone who has real world experience!  

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4 hours ago, Pete Fleischmann said:

The chipping on the TERS’s looks awesome! How’d ya do it? Very effective!!



Thanks Pete.   It’s the good old hairspray method.  Just a coat of Testors Steel, overcoat with hairspray and then shoot the white.  For best effect, acrylic topcoat is optimum but I’m using Modlemaster enamel because I’m too cheap to buy another jar of paint.    Anyway, let the topcoat sit for a short time and then take a cut down paintbrush, wet with water and aggressively scrub away the white until you have the effect you want.  

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John those numbers on the TERs and MERs are the serial numbers, all components on a aircraft have their own serial number. It's usually a small metal plate on the part but to make it easier to identify some units would stencil the number on them. Also each rack of a TER, and MER would have their own serial number as well, if you zoom in on the pic here:




the black and silver items on the racks are the ID plates for the racks themselves. You can see they have the MERs serial number painted on near the middle, making it much easier to read that than the one on this MER, it's the smallest plate:





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