F-4E Phantom II - RAAF

Revell/Monogram 1/48 F-4E Phantom II - RAAF

by Andrew Perren

The kit & aftermarket items

This is my rendition of a 1:48 McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II, RAAF, 1970 – 1973. Aircraft A69-7215. The kit used is the Revell/Monogram Pro Modeller, 1:48 th F-4E (Hasegawa Tooling). Modified with the addition of some aftermarket items, and some scratch detailing.

The aftermarket Items used are:

  • Pavla Resin Eject. Seats MB Mk7. x 2

  • Eduard Photo etch set 48109 (F-4G) (only used the canopy frames)

  • Eduard Photo etch set 49009 RBF tags. Pre-coloured.

  • Eduard Photo etch set F-4 intake covers.

  • Hasegawa Weapons Set ‘A’ provided a single SUU-20 Practice Bomb Dispenser to go on the port inboard pylon .

  • Aussie Decals RAAF Phantom, Hawkeye Decals RAAF Phantom, Spare red decal stripe.

 

Background

The Royal Australian Air Force operated the F-4E Phantom II as a tactical bomber, pending the delayed arrival of the new General Dynamics F-111 C. These aircraft were leased from the USA as a stop gap measure. Even so during their short RAAF career they gave admirable service. Based at RAAF Amberley in Queensland, they were operated by No’s 1 and 6 Squadrons, although I could not find reference that this aircraft “belonged” to either squadron.

Original Painting by Barry Spicer

The aircraft were only employed as bombers, presumably to keep crews current in mission profiles relevant to their role. Typical load for a sortie was a single SUU-20 practice bomb dispenser and two drop tanks, deploying to the nearby gunnery range. My model is depicted in this configuration.

Construction

The kit was constructed according to my usual method starting with the cockpit. Using the separate canopy sections supplied, I posed the canopy open. Resin ejector seats replaced the kit items. (Pavla Resin 1:48 MB Mk7) with scratch built wire ejection handles. Uduard etched metal canopy frames were added as well as scratch-built instrument wiring between the cockpit tubs. Crew oxygen hoses were fabricated from tightly coiled wire. Also added to the cockpit were various handles and boxes and a scratch-built HUD. What I presume to be part of either the ejection system or canopy heating is an obvious coiled lead extending from the frame of both fore and aft canopies down to the rear of the ejection seat. This was replicated with coiled very light gauge wire painted black.

Moving on to the fuselage and wings came the reason for selecting this particular boxing of this kit. The Pro-Modeller boxing of the Hasegawa kit comes with the earlier non-slatted wing, correct for an Aussie version. Some mouldings on the wing section must be removed – including some Naval version specific lumps and bumps. The most noticeable of these is the gear leg reinforcing on the top of the wing surface. Careful removal and re-instatement of the lost panel details took care of that.

The drooping ailerons were cut and lowered to represent the rested position after hydraulic pressure bleed off and were set at a slightly different angle for each (Inboard flaps were usually held in place with a locking pin). The speed brakes were posed slightly open for interest. The Longer gun muzzle part was used as these were fitted late in RAAF use as well as formation lights which were also retrofitted whilst in RAAF service.

Other modifications were:

  • Nose probe replaced with steel pin.

  • Drop-tank panel lines re-scribed – these are supplied with raised lines.

  • Brake lines and placards added to main gear. Brass wire mounting pins added to gear for strength.

  • Scratch-built red locking braces added to nose and main gear along with RBF tags.

  • SUU-20 bomb dispenser added to port pylon with wire pin mounts and sway braces.

  • Etch metal intake covers constructed and added.

  • Etch metal RBF tags added to key points as per reference, and some scratch built nose/tail pitot covers and flags from painted metal foil.

The model was left as sub assemblies including horizontal stabs, pylons etc during construction and all painting/decaling stages.

Painting the beast

The bare metal areas were painted with various mixes of metallic enamels first and masked prior to the main colours being applied. U.S. South East Asia scheme (FS30219, FS34079, FS34102) applied with Model Master enamels, upper colours lightened 25% with white for scale effect to match photos. . Lower surfaces were painted first in FS36622, and the camouflage pattern was masked using blu-tac and tape. Tamiya Smoke was dusted onto metal tail areas to represent exhaust staining. Microscale acrylic gloss was applied prior to decals and acrylic sludge panel wash. All finished with a mix of 90%-10% Testors Dullcote/Glosscote. Some final weathering was done with pastels.


Decals

A mixture of decals, were used. Hawkeye decals-RAAF F-4. Aussie decals-RAAF F-4. Kit decals were used for the stenciling and generic markings. Red turbine stripe around the fuselage was added from spare decal stock. The decals were sought to best match reference photos as none of the above sets were complete to my satisfaction requiring partial use of all sets of decals.

References

  1. Phantom, Hornet & Skyhawk in Aust Service. Stewart Wilson

  2. Sovereign Series – Phantom. Stewart Wilson

  3. Military Aircraft of Australia. Stewart Wilson.

  4. Modelling the F-4 Phantom II, Osprey Publishing Geoff Coughlin & Neil Ashby.

  5. www.hobbyvista.com.au Motty’s aircraft pages.

  6. Various other sources including personal photos from RAAF museum Point Cook.

Completion

Final assembly went without major catastrophe. Total construction time I estimate to be around 90-100 hours over a 3 month + period. Altogether a very rewarding build. I hope you like it ?


© Andrew Perren 2006


 

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