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Wolfpack Phantom - 8th TFW F-4C


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4 hours ago, alain11 said:

 it's a not a conventional way to build a kit, even if the Tamiya Phantom is "easy" ( note the quotes ) to build on, I think that you are very confident 

A plethora of confidence does not equate to the same level of competence.     Could work out nicely, could become a train wreck.  

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So I'm back from the Magic Kingdom, where I caught a great tan and a not-so-great case of Covid.   The only upside is that for the next few days, I can model (and flight sim and read) to my heart's content, in splendid isolation from the fam.  No more "honey-do's" for a bit.  Horray me....


I dove into the fuselage assembly.   As I've whined about many times on this build, this was one of those make-it or break-it steps of the build. Given some of the horror stories I've heard, all in all, it went surprisingly well.  



My advice is pretty basic - test fit every single step (including adding the upper wing surfaces just to make sure nothing is seriously out of wack)and follow the instructions.  Easy-peezy.     


Aside from that, once the sections were held in place by the screws, I went back and moving slowly from aft to forward, started gluing the lower section in place.    I used a mix of regular Tamiya liquid glue and for a few spots that needed some persuasion, super glue.  I do have some work ahead of me, which I would have expected under any circumstances:


Need to fill some gaps and do some touchup painting.   For the forward section, I think I can get it glued together and since the joint is on a panel line, nothing else will be required.    The section under the intake will require some sanding and rescribing.   Not a major issue and I was going to have to paint that area anyway so it should be pretty straightforward.  Speaking of painting, I did screw up.    I assumed that the color border matched the kit parts but was mistaken.   The camouflage colors are actually much lower, below the outline for the air conditioner inlets.   Again though, pretty much a 5 minute to mask and respray job.   Also, if I do have to use a bit of filler on the gap, I'd be repainting it anyway. 


Also, one thing I caught after the fact:


The lower fuselage panels under the exhaust were nothing more than thin sheet metal on the real thing.   The Tamiya plastic equates out to around 1" steel plate.  The right way to address this would have been to sand these sections down prior to assembling the two fuselage sections.  However, since I caught this after the fact, I had to carefully thin them by wedging the tip of a new Xacto blade between the panels and the engine nozzles and carefully peeling away a bit of plastic from the interior.   Got to clean up my work but it looks 100% better than the factory plastic. 


Some other pics:



Should look nice once I get the body work done and hit it with some gloss white! 



Again, I've got some work to do but overall, I'm pleased with where I am at right now.


Thanks for checking in. 







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Nicely done! I was worried for you as it came time for assembly, but looks like you've pulled it all off without any major issues.  I've never had that sort of luck, but mostly as every Phantom I've built I dropped all the flaps, which  introduced all sorts of errors.  Looking forward to the rest--get well soon!


Edited by easixpedro
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Bravo John!

I have to say that I was worried for you with this approach (but quietly confident).  It really has come up brilliantly!  Shane I cant use all the screw holes in my kit due to all the fuse mods, but nice to know it wasnt overly difficult.  Thats where the hard work is in all your prep.  Well done!  Really looking nice

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Thanks very much guys.   I'm still on the fence about whether my approach made sense or not.  To be sure, there are a few sections (primarily the intakes) that need to be painted prior to assembly but I supposed the rest could have waited.   Regardless, it took me about 30 minutes to do the touch up work.   Still have a few small glitches that I'll need to fix but I'm moving in the right direction.




Ignore the rain drops, it just started drizzling when I took these pictures.   One of the drawbacks of using natural light. 






Ignore the overspray in the AIM-7 well, just a result of a poor masking job.   I'll get it cleaned up the next time I'm shooting some gloss white. 


Quick update, thanks for checking in! 


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  • 1 month later...

So I'm finally back.   Disney, followed by covid, followed by getting sent on the road for business for close to 4 weeks put a big dent in my modeling time.   Just got a few free  hours today so I decided to proceed with adding the upper wing sections.   As far as I can see, this was the last major "make it or break it" part of the build.   Surprisingly enough, the upper wings pretty much snapped into place.   I used super glue on the mating surfaces closest to the fuselage and also to get the gear bay walls to snug down to the upper wing.   After that, Tamiya extra thin for the outer sections and I'm in good shape.   I still have cleanups to do on the leading edges and a few spots on the upper wing / fuselage joint but nothing major.   She's finally starting to look like a Phantom!   I also started adding details to the main landing gear bays.   A few decals, some PE and varying diameters of copper and lead wire.   Still have a lot to do in this area.    I also have some touchups to do on the upper surface weathering and camo patterns but I'll get to that in good time.   It's pretty hard trying to replicate the horribly beaten up look of these early jets. 














Lots of work and weathering to do in this area. 







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

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8 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

Nice work John ...

You matched up the camo pattern on the wing/fuselage join areas really well ..! :clap2:



Thanks Greg.   Got a long list of touchups that I need to do but all in all, I'm pretty content with the way things have turned out so far.    This is typically the stage where I start to rush the build and cause bad things to happen.   Need to keep myself in check here! 

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