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Wolfpack Phantom - 8th TFW F-4C


John1

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Just catching up with this. Spectacular, and I’m enjoying it as much as your Mosquito build. A note of caution about the aftermarket for the seats. I haven’t seen any manufacturer including Quinta get the shape or color of the pull rings right. The actual rings were oblong not circular and were a dull yellow tan color, not bright yellow. That’s why I skipped using them in my ZM F-4 build, since they are very prominent in the cockpit. FWIW, I think you did a good job painting the resin versions.

 

Cheers,  Tom

Edited by Uncarina
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys!   

 

Not much of an update for today, unlike the later Tamiya kits, this one is making me work!  First off - I had to sand off those triangular reinforcing plates on the upper surfaces of the horizontal stabs and re-rivet and re-scribe .   The early F-4C's didn't have these.   Not hard but time consuming nonetheless.   I shot the area with some Mr Surfacer 1000.  It tends to smooth the scribing a bit, plus it highlights any areas that need repairs. 

 

ZeXlVrZ.jpg

 

Next up is the aft exhaust area.   Got some additional detailing and PE to add but the first order of business was to sand off the prominent seam that runs the length of the part and to carefully open up those "slit" exhausts on either side.  

gRQlbZp.jpg

As always, pictures tend to highlight details I missed.   I'll be cleaning up the edges of the upper exhaust opening.   The seam towards the top will be covered by the tailhook so I didn't waste any time on it. 

 

Next up are the exhausts themselves.   As the kit parts are significantly undersized, I opted to go with the GT resin corrected nozzles.   Very nice resin, you get the early version short nozzles, the exhaust itself (nicely cast as a single piece so you have no interior seam to deal with) and the aft turbine face.   

Here's the nozzle.  Much superior to the Tamiya part in detail:

qziac3w.jpg

 

Turbine exhaust face.   Nice looking resin but it really won't be very visible once installed in the fuselage.

arOCKt0.jpg

 

Exhaust nozzle with the greenish interior.  I used multiple shades of paint, followed by drybrushing, followed by Flory wash to bring out all those smaller details

.   JIEr2Ak.jpg

My plan is to go back and do some addition light-ish tan drybrushing on the interior.  Also, in looking at the picture I posted at the bottom, of the real thing, the ring at the very end of the tube should actually be a burnt metallic color, not the greenish tan of the rest of the interior.   I'll fix that as well. 

 

My only issue with the GT bits is figuring out how these things go together and how they install in the fuselage.   The nozzles don't fit very well on the ends of the exhaust tubes and there are no positive connections provided (the nozzle interiors came with locator tabs on the inside but there is nothing on the end of the tubes for them to slot into and besides, the instructions tell you to remove those tabs.   At first I thought the nozzles slipped over the exhaust tubes back to the prominent collar on the outside of the tubes but they don't.  If you push them that far on (after removing a great deal of resin), the aft end of the exhaust tube will be way too far into the nozzle itself.  Regardless, it's a very poor fit.

 

Here is what I'm dealing with. 

XHWgtj0.jpg

It's not a question of just trimming a bit of resin off the tube, the two parts really don't match up at all.   I'm guessing I'll just get the nozzle aligned and superglue the heck out of it.    Afterwards, it appears that I just insert the assembly into the openings in the fuselage and hope for the best since these parts aren't joined together and provided with screw holes like the Tamiya bits are.

 

Here is what I'm trying to get close to:

See the source image

Note the differences in color between the two engines. 

 

Anyway, that's it for now.  Thanks for checking in and Merry Christmas to all! 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, MARU5137 said:

Excellent  work  John.

Looking  very professional. 

:goodjob:     :wow:   :clap2:

 

So why is there  a slight color difference in the engines as shown on your photo posted?

One works harder than the other?

 

Thank you  for your lovely updates and photos. 

:popcorn:

 

Maybe the one on the right has been in there for awhile and the left one was recently changed??

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Just a quick update - really don't have anything picture worthy of my progress.   I'm still doing some scribing and riveting, also plugging away on the exhausts.   Waiting on a shipment of some AK Extreme Metal paints (love this stuff, sprays very easy and once dry, is incredibly durable) before I start the area aft of the exhaust nozzles.    On the subject of the exhaust nozzles, these seem to come in a variety of colors.   Some are just a grayish metallic color, while others are nearly black.   For whatever reason, the nozzles on Vietnam based, early war F-4's mostly seem to be of the darker variety.    Here is a great picture that illustrates this:

Jjr2lBx.jpg

That's the effect I'm going after. 

 

Also, I'm starting to putter around with the cockpit.   Most of my cockpit work is on hold until Quinta finally gets around to releasing the cockpit set I posted a few weeks ago.   In the meantime, I've started to research what the finished product will look like.    The best reference I've found for a "real" (by that I mean unrestored) cockpit is the one on the F-4C on display at the USAF Museum.  The exterior of this jet was given a pretty inaccurate paint job but the folks at the museum opted to leave the interior untouched.   I've yet to see any pictures that shows what a heavily used Phantom cockpit looks like that are better than these.   Looks like the crew just shut down the jet and walked off for a cold beer.

 

Front pit:

wVyugbr.png

Note that the footwell walls are cut off immediately past the instrument panel and the quilted fabric present on either side.   Am currently working on these features.

 

Wizzo's pit:

u76YP9B.png

Note the fabric covers on either side of the foot wells, I'll be adding these as well.    A few bits on the IP weren't present on the early jets but all in all, this is a great reference. 

 

Lastly, a good number of the pictures I posted in previous posts (primarily of the ejection seats), came from Chris Mayer.    I neglected to give him credit in those posts.   He graciously provided a great deal of info for this build.  It's much appreciated. 

 

So anyway, that's all I've got.  Hope to have some pictures of the actual model to share within the next few days.    Stay tuned and thanks for looking! 

Edited by John1
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21 minutes ago, John1 said:

Just a quick update - really don't have anything picture worthy of my progress.   I'm still doing some scribing and riveting, also plugging away on the exhausts.   Waiting on a shipment of some AK Extreme Metal paints (love this stuff, sprays very easy and once dry, is incredibly durable) before I start the area aft of the exhaust nozzles.    On the subject of the exhaust nozzles, these seem to come in a variety of colors.   Some are just a grayish metallic color, while others are nearly black.   For whatever reason, the nozzles on Vietnam based, early war F-4's mostly seem to be of the darker variety.    Here is a great picture that illustrates this:

Jjr2lBx.jpg

That's the effect I'm going after. 

 

Those early J79 motors were serious smokers. Didn’t matter how well camouflaged the planes were, the smoke trail was a dead giveaway. Towards the end of the war (Linebacker), crews had learned to fly in AB once over hostile territory, just to get rid of the smoke. I’m guessing the black you’re seeing is the tons of soot produced by the motors.

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13 hours ago, easixpedro said:

Those early J79 motors were serious smokers. Didn’t matter how well camouflaged the planes were, the smoke trail was a dead giveaway. Towards the end of the war (Linebacker), crews had learned to fly in AB once over hostile territory, just to get rid of the smoke. I’m guessing the black you’re seeing is the tons of soot produced by the motors.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as well.  I recall reading the same thing, lots of soot coming out of those beasts.   Forgot when the "smokeless" J-79's made it into service, I seem to recall that they were on jets towards the end of the war.  Regardless, compared to some builds of later F-4's here on LSP,  I think my jet is going to have a pretty dark aft section.

 

On this subject - I never knew how bad these things really smoked until I watched the video I posted earlier in the thread showing jets returning from Operation Bolo.   What a horrible disadvantage these guys were at:

wMUTog2.png

 

 

Edited by John1
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So....  just to prove that I've done something on this build over the last week or so:

 

Aft exhaust section with Eduard PE used for the tail hook lock and aft of the two vents on either side.   This is just a base layer of paint.   AK Extreme Metal Titanium lightly applied over a flat black base coat.   Not looking for any shiny metal in this area because it appears there wasn't any.    Paint work is rough but again, this is just the base.  Hopefully she'll clean up nicely. 

zlGzBuD.jpg?1

 

Cockpit tub.   As mentioned above, I cut away the pilot's footwell side walls (I'll add some wiring, etc in this area further in the process) and added the quilted soundproofing fabric below.   This was made from lead foil from a wine bottle, using the back side of an X-acto knife to score the diagonal lines present on the real thing.   The WSO's cockpit just has plain fabric on the sidewalls.   Again, just lead foil; to replicate the snaps, I used a pointed scribing tool to indent the backside of the foil. 

  NqqNq24.jpg

DRG1sCP.jpg?1

Just realized how truly awful these pictures are.   I think I'm going to invest in a decent lighting system so I can hopefully take better shots.   Regardless, I'm hoping you can at least get a feel for what I did here.

 

Upper horizontal stabs.  Again, this is just a basecoat.  I'll be adding additional shades per the real thing.

RwiqzuH.jpg

 

Lastly, a few aftermarket purchases made when Sprue Brothers had a sale going on.  The kit missiles are very basic and I can't imagine using vinyl tires either.

FhqDdnI.jpg

 

Thanks for looking! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small update, I'm still working on the aft section of the jet.   Using very thin strips of Tamiya Tape, I masked over the base coat to replicate the vertical "stripes" of discoloration in the exhaust area.   I then sprayed a darker coat of MM Burnt Metal over this area.   After which, I removed the tape and started gradually applying darker shades.   As mentioned above, these early J-79 engines produced a lot of smoke and soot.  So unlike later F-4 variants that have multiple metallic shades in this area, my subject is going to be much darker.   I did spray on some diluted clear blue towards the very end of this section and then overcoated with some darker color to blend it in.   Lastly, I applied a dark wash to side panels to replicate the darkened fasteners and panel lines that are present in the reference picture above.    I still need to do some final paintwork in this area, I'd say I'm about 80% done.

 

I'll further tone down some of the blue and lighter metallic stripes in this area.

qab4X9S.jpg

 

Note the dark wash applied to highlight the upper section of this assembly.  The tail hook is still a work in progress. 

CS0wmHC.jpg?2

 

orGlmwy.jpg?1

 

This shows some of the Eduard PE on the tailhook receptacle and the opened vents on either side.

3JsWgQT.jpg?2

 

Painting the nice looking GT resin exhaust nozzles.   Again, these nozzles were much more "sootier" than later versions, I'm shooting for the same look as the real ones in the picture above. 

vDuaiNC.jpg?1

 

Haven't done much on the interiors, I'll try to get that done today. 

4KiiUTK.jpg?2

 

And lastly, the upper elevators.   More blending here as well tone down the lighter sections.  I also used a Flory wash in this area to highlight some of the details. 

YdXCjQt.jpg?1

 

That's it for now.  Thanks for checking in!

 

 

 

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Hi John,

be careful not to make the mistake we all make in painting the exhausts, in the operational vehicles they were very smoky and not green as you can see in the photos of the planes that have been stopped for years, that is the oxidation of the metal of a non-operational vehicle.

For the rest, great job.

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