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Wolfpack Phantom - 8th TFW F-4C


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Looking for some advice - I've got a TER and MER that will have 750 lb bombs loaded.    Do you guys think I'd be better served installing the racks first and then trying to get all the bombs secured and perfectly aligned?  Or build up each rack with all the bombs and then glue to underside?  Just starting to map out the final completion process.  

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1 hour ago, John1 said:

Looking for some advice - I've got a TER and MER that will have 750 lb bombs loaded.    Do you guys think I'd be better served installing the racks first and then trying to get all the bombs secured and perfectly aligned?  Or build up each rack with all the bombs and then glue to underside?  Just starting to map out the final completion process.  

6 of one, half dozen of the other... I think assembling the ordnance on the racks first is easier, but then you're left struggling trying to glue said rack onto the pylon mount. I think that's easier than the other option,  but that's just my .2 worth.

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Thanks for the advice guys.   To be honest, I'm getting a bit worried about the remaining stages of this project.   This is where I typically screw up, especially with a build as complex as this one.  I start cutting corners or just adding bits without thinking about whether it's the right stage of the build to add them.  Or I simply rush to get to the finish line and end up damaging a part or spill paint or drop the model.   I though the Mosquito FB.VI I built a couple of years back was an involved build, but the F-4 takes things to a new level.   I've got parts all over the place:


I mentioned rushing, well I decided to install the landing gear today.   As soon as I was done, I bumped into the nose gear and sheared off both tires.   Now I've got to drill them out, drill out the landing gear and install a metal rod to remount the tires.  Quite annoying.   Right now I think it may be time to gloss up the topsides, get the decals on, seal them and then complete the final tasks (remaining cockpit work, canopy install, then flip her over and mount the tanks / weapons and lastly (if I can pull it off) install the outer wings in the folded position.


Anyway, enough of my whining.   As mentioned, I've got the landing gear (sans the nose wheels) installed.    I also added the aux intake doors and speed brakes.   Along with the extra bits added to the landing gear, I also added some decals and hydraulic lines to the hydraulic pistons and landing gear doors.   



Modern jets have multiple maintenance and warning placards on landing gear, wheel bays, and a million other places.  These markings are typically overlooked by most mainstream and aftermarket decal outfits.  However, AirScale offers a fantastic set of WW2 Allied Placards. most of which are quite similar in style to what was used on the F-4.   I think they add a nice, realistic touch.  For references, I used the amazing instructions from Fundekal's newly released F-4 stencil set.   Too bad they only did 48th scale, this sheet would be a big help on my build.   Regardless, as always, the instructions are stand-alone references by themselves (an insane 212 pages in this case).   I highly recommend anyone who is into F-4's to head over and check them out FD48038-Inst.pdf (fundekals.net)   


Here is what I used as a reference for this portion of my build:



I did the best I could, with the decals I had on hand.   





Here are some other random shots:





That hydraulic line on the speed brake ram needs some work! 



So that's it lads.  Sorry for somewhat rambling post.   Been a long day in the sun kayaking and drinking a few adult beverages.    Hope everyone has a good night and as always, thanks for checking in! 

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John if you look on the pylon in this video still you can see what looks like the small spacers they used to mount the launchers on, if you do a screen grab and zoom in they stick out less than the bolt heads::




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Posted (edited)

So I decided it would be best to get the MER loaded and installed at this stage of the build.   I'm trying to get as much done underneath as possible, as long as whatever I'm gluing on won't be at high risk for being broken during routine handling while I wrap the kit up.  Prior to, I repainted the sway brace bolts, the previous black was just too "black".   I've been using Modelmaster Jet Exhaust for some detail work like this, it comes across as a nice, dark-ish grey metallic color.   Perfect for hardware like bolts, etc. 


The resin M117's went on pretty easily with just some patience and a dab of superglue.  The hardest part was making sure all 4 bombs were properly aligned.   I'm pretty happy with the end result.   I also did some additional work on the underside, installing the tailhook and cover at it's base and touching up some gaps near the engine exhausts. 


For final weapons configuration, I'm trying to replicate this loadout (generally, I get it that the bombs in the picture didn't have fuse extenders). 


What I'm not sure on is whether I'll add the last M117 on the rear centerline station on the MER (where I think it is present in the picture above) or maybe do a "slant 2" configuration on the TER.   Oh well, I've got a bit of time to work through that.   


One think I really like - those M117's just look bad-assed, especially compared to the "skinny" Mk82's that you often see on later-war F-4's.   The other thing is now that I'm putting bombs on my F-4, I am realizing what an absolute beast the Phantom was.    Just a massive, powerful, war machine.  It could also take a punch or two and get it's crews home.



So here are a few pics of my progress so far.   









Looks like i still have a bit of cleanup to do on that exhaust shroud.   No biggie.   Also, note the upward angle on the white camouflage right before the exhaust.   Just a minor deviation from the normal pattern, 589 appears to be the only jet that had this minute change.   Fundekals caught it during their research, and I've incorporated it into my build. 



That's for today, thanks for checking in. 




Edited by John1
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Decal work is 95% complete.   The Fundekals decals went on perfectly, they are thin, no overlap of film and tighten down nicely with Micro Sol/Set.    A bit disappointed with this set though, for some reason they neglected to provide the ejection seat warning triangles, so I was forced to go with the pretty crappy Tamiya decals.   Also noted that the "P" in the tail code was painted on via a stencil, with the gaps not being touched up, as such I had to cut the solid "P" decal apart to replicate the real thing.   Also noted a few errors in the instructions.  Not the end of the world but not what I've come to expect from Fundekals either.   


Anyway, the good news is that unlike the bottom that probably had a few hundred maintenance and warning markings, the folks who hastily repainted the upper surfaces in the SEA camouflage scheme (most of the painting was done by subcontractors at Clark AFB in the Philippines) had very few markings.   The only one's present were the aircraft data info and the ejection seat and rescue markings on the forward nose.    Works for me, after spending a multiple days on the bottom, I'm fine with only a few decals topsides.    After the decals had dried, I used some Flory wash on a few of the access panels.   I still need to hit the model with some Dullcoate but I'm pretty happy with my progress.    








Note the mix of very light grey and white codes.   This aircraft was transferred from the "Triple Nickel" 555th TFS (FY) to the 497th TFS (FP).   Apparently by the time of the transfer, the USAF had standardized on white codes  The reason for the mix of grey and white "last three" serial numbers is anyone's guess! 



Still need to add the hydraulic pressure gauge in that rectangular recess above the jet nozzle.   I plan on toning down some of the panel lines a bit.  That's the great thing about Flory's stuff, you can remove it quite easily. 



Note the stencil-style "P".   Surprised that Fundekals missed this but a very easy fix.   Note also that the vertical stabilizer is just resting in place.   It will be glued on at the very end of the build, so I can continue to easily turn the model over to access the bottom. 



I guess that's it for now, thanks for checking in! 




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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Jim Barry said:

This is looking great! Love the Phantom. Kayaking? I’m getting into it (up here in Maine). You are in MA? 

Thanks Jim.   Yup, I'm one of those Massholes who flood your state every weekend in the summer.   Hoping to make it up there this fall and hike Elephant Mountain to check out that B-52 crash site.   Love Kayaking.   Bought three during the Covid lockdown and have been enjoying it ever since.   Just having to modify some of my journeys, those damn Great Whites are showing up everywhere these days. 

Edited by John1
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