Rear section metalwork done with Alclad & AK Xtreme lacquers. Will seal them with a clear coat tomorrow then get back to work on the cockpit - need to sort-out the pilots combing and add the gunsight then scratchbuild some details for the narrow section behind his seat. Also need to add all the latch & lock mechanisms to the sills.
Last week I finished the pilots combing with the Eduard gunsight mount and some plastic card. At the end of the build I'll take the canopies off the fuselage and add the Airwaves etch latches and frames.:
This weekend I managed to get the wings on, intakes on... fair amount of filling and blending:
Next I'll mask the glare panel, then attach the radome, undercarriage legs and wing pylons.
Phantom progress now halted as I'm out of glossy white and that's obviously what I'll need next:
As you see it now, it's wearing two light coats of Tamiya white primer. The drop tank and elevators are primed too. When we emerge - hopefully unscathed - from Level IV, I'll be able to restart, until then this project is in a holding pattern.
Got another build I'm tinkering with and now this one is parked, I'll look for something else to keep me going. I never have more than two 'active' builds on the bench as I'm a bit stupid and get easily confused nowadays.
I have no idea whatsoever if the 'pre-shaded speckling' is going to work, but if you don't try a new idea then you'll never know, right ? - stay tuned, this could be the best thing since sliced bread or the worst thing since the '58 Edsel....
Not so much given up as focus has changed. I’ve been wanting the YAV-8B done for some time and so have been focussing in getting this one down the production line. F-4 not gone, but not on the bench. It’s just waiting for me to paint the rest of the cockpit.
Been making some reasonable progress and getting close to closing this up for paint.
Eduard cockpit surrounds added. Strangely, these are not included in the kit and I had to buy the etch separately from the etch included
Cockpit is almost done and just masking up etch to paint the rest
Fine Molds brass pitots added to the tail
Stores underway. Centreline tank ready for paint, but having to modify all 4 underwing pylons for carriage of TERs as Phantom pylons are configured quite differently between air-air and air-ground missions. Brassin Snakeyes assembled and have had a Mr Surfacer textured ablative coating added.
The annoying thing is I've spent a good part of an evening having to ream out the rear of the Eduard resin exhausts as they are not wide enough to fit the provided resin/etch fan faces and flame holder.
Nats is not going ahead, so means I can now focus on Armistice build again. But there has been a "hiccup". So there is bad news, but then there is good news.
Bad news: The Eduard/Academy kit has been fighting me all the way and was probably not a great choice. It has too many issues left to sort and not enough time left to sort them. I'm not going to get rid of it, but I have definitely shelved it for this endeavour, and for the foreseeable future.
Good news: The Hasegawa kit is a much easier build, and fits better with spirit of the challenge anyway. So change of kit and change of subject aircraft.
The Hasegawa kit already had the Cutting Edge seamless intakes glued in place, but the port one had issues which is why I shelved this kit as son as I fitted the intakes, way back when. So I have pulled out the Hasegawa F-4J and managed to carefully break the superglue holding the troublesome intake in place, without any damage, fix the issues and re-attach. This model had the Aires cockpit, wheel wells and exhausts in the box to be added, so I had removed the corresponding kit parts and have no idea what I did with them.
So after a furious week of evenings of modelling, the Hasegawa kit is progressing very rapidly, but this time, the model will be in-flight. I have closed up all of the gear doors (very disconcerting that a large shim was needed between the Aires resin main gear doors on both sides to get them closed), including correcting the nose gear door, added Fine Molds brass pitots to the tail, closed up the engine auxilliary intake doors under the fuselage, added some square stock for the stand, removed all of the formation lights and fixed the shape of the wing bulges over the gear mounts.
I now need to get the cockpit glued in position and painted - this was installed as a loose fit so I could close up the fuselage and get that dealt with and will position the cockpit later.
Here is the underside shot with me holding the main wing and drop tank in place.
Here is the new subject aircraft with 5 x MiG-28 kills (waaayyy before any Navy puke even got close to one ) from April 1978
Trying to get the intakes finished so I can start on final prep for painting (as well as still having to sort cockpit, and the resin Cutting Edge splitter plates were not a great fit. I want to use them because they have the bleed air slots at the back that are missing from the kit parts. Found the best way to get them to fit was to remove the mounting tab and 1mm from the rear, then reprofile back to same trailing edge shape. Original on the right, updated on the left.
The other thing that annoyed me was the lack of splitter plate support struts so I used some appropriate sized Contrail strut stock and created them which improves the overall look of the front end. These will still be very visible with the splitters in place.
Moving this thing along to try and get it done before November. Tamiya F-14 pilots have been promoted to F-4 pilots. Arms still to be positioned appropriately to fit the cockpits. RIO left and pilot on the right. Getting the multi-part canopy to fit together and then fit the cockpit opening was all kinds of fun. Now that is sorted, slowly dressing out the canopy interior with parts from Aires, Eduard and the kit to make sure all of the framing and equipment visible from the exterior are in place.
A lot of the rest of the time has been adding little bits that Hasegawa seem to have forgotten. I replaced the kit pitots with Fine Molds ones, the tail light with some red clear resin, and have now also added the raised pivot points on the tailplane pivot plates.
Drilled out and added the missing spine formation light and added the photo etch antenna from the Hasegawa photo-etch. You can also see the corrected shape of the bulge on the wing over the wheel well.
With the intakes in place I have been tidying up and detailing this area. This photo shows the splitter plate support struts I added to good effect. You can also see the corrected lights on the nose gear door, the two nose antennae added from the Hasegawa photo-etch, and added formation lights under the intakes Hasegawa missed (as did Cutting Edge on their resin). Still some tidy up to do here.
Once the pilots and canopy are in place, and the wing join cleaned up, I can start on painting
I've also been working on the stores and will be replicating the configuration I have of the jet in the image above. I've rescribed the centreline tank (the Hasegawa kit has the tank with raised panel lines - a throwback to the earlier 1/48 Phantom family they did where the F-4J had raised panel lines). Also working on detailing the two inner wing pylons. I've added some scribed detail on the underside of the wing where the outboard pylons attach to show the attachment points as the outer wing pylons are not present on the aircraft.
Still plugging away and getting closer. Hope to start paint this weekend, all going to plan. Realise we are down to less than 2 weeks to go.
After going back to the reference photos, I realised that the aircraft in question did not have the pylon adaptors on it, or the sway braces, so I removed all of those, and also took the opportunity to rework the AIM--9 launch rail adaptors on the starboard pylon. If you compare this photo posted earlier and the one I took today, you'll see the difference
Here's what they used to look like:
And here they are after the rework and ready for paint. Much happier that these match the photo now. I've also finished up the baggage pod from a Phase Hangar Resin 150 gallon drop tank with all of the access panels filled and the baggage pod access doors scribed. This is glued to the pylon ready for paint.
Here is the pylon and baggage pod reference pic
And this is a great shot I found online showing the pylon with the adaptor in place and no rail for reference.