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Wolfpack Phantom - 8th TFW F-4C


John1

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Thanks guys!   

 

Not much of an update to share, I'm just puttering around adding some details to the cockpit area (primarily the aft section of both cockpits, bulkhead and canopy sill areas).  Nowhere close to being finished.  I'm also finding that my references show that there was significant variation in these areas.   I'm guessing it comes down to when the pictures where taken.   I've yet to find a single shot that shows what the aft sections of these cockpits looked like circa 1967.   So I think my approach will be to put enough stuff in to replicate the clutter of those cockpits and call it a day.  

 

Here is where I'm at so far:

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And just to see how it will all come together, I dropped the WSO's seat in.

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Looking at these pictures, I think I need to clean up some of the scratched paint on the canopy sills.   Just isn't working for me.  

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Never realized how low the WSO sat in the cockpit.   With the canopy down, it must have been pretty claustrophobic!

 

So that's it for now.  I'll probably replace half the details I've added by the next update.  2 steps forward, 1 step back! 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've been putting off dealing with the wheel wells for a long time.   Just wasn't up for the tedious work of adding all the details that Tamiya left out.    Also had a hard time finding good reference shots of the nose landing gear bay.   Thankfully, a kind gent over on FB came to my rescue with some fantastic personal pictures.    Here's one that shows how "busy" the real thing was. 

 

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Note - the red cover on the sidewall with the thumbscrews was to cover the opening for an avionics air conditioning hose.  Those old electronics needed a great deal of cooling and if the A/C was on the ground, with the motors off and the avionics powered up, you had about 5 minutes to get some cold air to them or you'd end up doing some damage.    Picture and info courtesy of Scott Wilson, a great guy who worked on USAF Phantoms back in the day. 

 

Here is my humble attempt at replicating the nose gear bay.  Everything is scratchbuilt.   I used a couple of diameters of lead wire (as mentioned, this stuff is great to work with, so much more pliable than copper or stretched sprue), scrap PE for the air conditioning inlet cover and tiny bits of sprue that a crushed one end of with some pliers to replicate the wingnut screws holding the cover in place.    Note that as with most of my stuff, this is still a work in progress.   It will look "busier" once the landing gear is installed.   Once the gear is in, I'll go back and add more hydraulic lines (the black hoses can see in the picture above, plus some more white lines as well).   

 

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It's not even close to being accurate but I'm just hoping to get a general feel for how cluttered this area was on the real thing. 

 

That's it for now, thanks for checking in guys! 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John1
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Thanks for the good feedback guys! 

 

 In preparation for installing the lower wing / fuselage section, I wrapped up my paintwork on the horizontal stabs (these need to be installed with the lower fuselage, so it would be tough to mask off and paint these after installation).  I toned down the outline of the internal structure on the stainless steel panels from my initial paint job, I think it was a bit too pronounced before.    I also added some Flory Wash to highlight the surface detail and add a bit of grime to the inner sections.   This area got pretty filthy on the real jet.  Looks like I need to do a bit of cleanup on the aft inner sections.   That's the good thing about using Flory's stuff.  Just a damp q-tip and off it goes.  

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Same thing for the undersurfaces.   I'm going to add more grime to these, the early F-4C's engines were notorious smokers and the areas aft of the exhausts typically had a lot of soot present. 

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Sharp-eyed readers will note that the stabs don't have the bare metal leading edges on the outer sections of the control surfaces.    When these first jets were camouflaged in the field, the leading edges were just painted over.    Later, the leading edges were left unpainted by the factory.  

 

Next up is the lower fuselage / wing section.    I wanted to get a start on the weathering while I can easily manipulate this piece.   Once it's all assembled, the more moving of the completed fuselage, the more of a chance that I'll break something.   Like most aircraft (especially hardworking military ones), the undersides are usually pretty nasty.    The F-4 took this to probably a new level of filth.   Here are a couple of shots to illustrate my point.   Keep in mind that I've seen much worse (just can't locate the pictures online).  

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I just wanted to get the basic wash done before I assemble the fuselage.   Nothing more than a couple of different colors of Flory Wash.    As I get further into the process, I'll add some oil paints to replicate hydraulic leaks, etc.    This is very much just a starting point .  I went heaviest on the center fuselage aft of the landing gear bays and inside the speed brake wells.    I also used a black enamel wash to highlight the various cooling grates on the forward fuselage.  For some reason, a lot of modelers do some fantastic weathering on the upper surfaces but tend to go lightly or just ignore the under-fuselage areas.   Never understood why, maybe just out of sight, out of mind?

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I need to remove that thumbprint of silver paint on the wing's inner surface.   That's what I get for trying to rush things.   

 

So that's it for now, as always, thanks for checking in! 

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Hi John

very nice build so far and great attention to detail. Just a suggestion/observation. On the two Tamiya Phantoms I have done the rear fuselage was too narrow for the one piece tailplane. I ended up cutting the tailplane assembly in half and fitted them after the fuselage was closed. 
Cheers

Nick

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6 hours ago, Cheetah11 said:

Hi John

very nice build so far and great attention to detail. Just a suggestion/observation. On the two Tamiya Phantoms I have done the rear fuselage was too narrow for the one piece tailplane. I ended up cutting the tailplane assembly in half and fitted them after the fuselage was closed. 
Cheers

Nick

Thank you Nick, appreciate the tip.  I’ll definitely use this if needed.  I dry fitted the rear sections and they fit nicely but that was without the horizontal stabs in place.  

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Great progress John!  The weathering on the belly is coming along nicely as are the horizontal stabs.

 

I am nervous for you about maybe ruining the lovely paint work you have done so far by not gluing the wings, but I totally trust your approach and I know I will have nothing to worry about!

 

Cheers Anthony

 

Oh and I ment to congratulate you on that nosewheel well, looks superb mate, wish I could have got mine looking that busy, just looks right 

Edited by Anthony in NZ
wheel well comment
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13 hours ago, Anthony in NZ said:

Great progress John!  The weathering on the belly is coming along nicely as are the horizontal stabs.

 

I am nervous for you about maybe ruining the lovely paint work you have done so far by not gluing the wings, but I totally trust your approach and I know I will have nothing to worry about!

 

Cheers Anthony

 

Oh and I ment to congratulate you on that nosewheel well, looks superb mate, wish I could have got mine looking that busy, just looks right 

Thanks very much Anthony.   I thought hard about the sequence of painting. I finally decided the ease of painting the wings and fuselage separately was worth it.   I fully expect that I’ll have to sand and repaint along the seams but as long as they fit reasonably well, it shouldn’t be a major task.   I’m down in FL on vacation but this will be the next task in the queue as soon as I get back.  

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