SHOWCASE

The F-4E Phantom of Soesterberg

Because the USAF based their  F-4E Phantoms part of the 32 TFS at Soesterberg AFB in the Netherlands, as Dtchman I chose to build this Phantom. The kit comes in a top-opening box with a total of five sprue frames including the sprue with the clear parts and a sheet of wet transfers.  Inspecting the sprues, it appeared that several parts have flash remains, so a thorough cleanup of these parts was required. Also the canopy clearness was not top-notch quality, but I had to deal with it.

Decided to install a more detailed cockpit interior including new Aires Martin Baker Mk. H7 ejection seats. Sanded the instrument panel part flat except for the radar scope, to create a smooth surface for the instrument panel decals. On the back of the RIO’s instrument panel I installed wiring and cooling hoses and added Eduard F-4 Phantom seat belts at the ejection seats. Did not used the kit’s gun sight but made a thinner ‘glass’ myself and fitted it in place.

Completed the cockpit without fixing the seats which will be installed in the final stage of the build, before installing the canopies. Hereafter the cockpit was installed between both fuselage halves. Although the fit was quite reasonable, the seam between the halves was removed by sanding after applying a thin layer of CA-glue mixed with black pigment, with a smooth top fuselage as result. Now the wing section could be glued together, unfortunately, the wings are three large parts without separate flaps or slats which is a shame although for the relatively cheap kit you can’t expect a very detailed construction. I did not choose to cut these parts but to leave the flaps and slats in the retracted position. On the spine of the fuselage two additional antennas were fitted, which were scratch made.

After installing the wings which fitted fine without gaps I chose to overlay the inboard side of the stabilizers and the fuselage exhaust area with very thin aluminum foil and to weather these areas with diluted oil black paint mixed with brown and yellow. The edges of the sheet metal repairs of the stabilizer were marked with reddish paint to create the red heat-resistant RTV sealant. The air intakes did fit well and also here hardly any correction was required.

Hereafter the aircraft was painted, first with a Vallejo grey primer and after that the camouflage scheme with the dark and flat green paint, light brown and flat gull grey for the bottom side. The radome was painted gloss black. This was done all according to the instruction in the building manual. For the camouflage color was Vallejo paints used. Hereafter it took quite some effort to create the smudgy panel lines by pin washing. Used black oil paint heavily diluted with white spirit and mixed with sienna brown to weather the wings, tail and fuselage. The same process was used to weather the Phantom’s bottom side. After curing of the applied decals, a final coat of Alclad II semi-gloss varnish was applied except for the canopies and cockpit, to seal the whole aircraft.

Landing gear and doors and also the pylons were installed without any problem. I chose to install on both sides two AIM 9E Sidewinders and two underwing 370 USG fuel tanks. Under the fuselage four AIM 7E Sparrows are fitted. Installed ejection seats and glued them tight to the bottom of the cockpit floor. Fitted both canopies in an open position and put the windshield part in position.

The aircraft is posed in a ground configuration with open canopies and pitot protection cover and a ‘Remove Before Flight’ streamer. Also installed the ground safety pins streamers at the landing gears, pylons and arrester hook. All four Sidewinders are equipped with a yellow protection cap (Eduard Brassin) and streamer.

When the kit was finished I put it on a mirror to make photos where the bottom side can be observed as well.

This Italeri kit is a simple straightforward kit easy and relatively quick to build. Don’t expect miracles but for its price it’s worth trying, particularly when you are a beginner.

Used paint:        Primer Grey Vallejo 73.601

Flat Green Vallejo 71.095

Flat Dark Green Vallejo 71.289

Flat Light Brown Vallejo 71.125

Flat Gull Grey Vallejo 71.296

Alclad II ALC-600 gloss varnish and final Alclad II klear cote flat ALC 314

 

 

The F-4E Phantom of Soesterberg

Author

Hans Spruijt

Work Time 

About 15 weeks

Model

Kit: 2770 Manufacturer: Italeri

Scale

1/48

Type

Static Modeling

Details

Read the history………