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F4J Phantom II “Warlords”

This is Tamiya’s 1/32 F4J Phantom II (kit no.60306), in the VMFA 451 “Warlords” livery, one of three choices available in this boxing.

I used the Eduard self-adhesive interior set for controls and consoles, and their Brassin resin seats with accompanying photo-etch details, and I include here a photo of the seats prior to installation to show the great-looking result.

The final archive images are courtesy of fellow contributor, Jim Sullivan, who photographed the aircraft at Beaufort,SC, and who kindly made them available to me for use here.

Jim adds, “In 1976 there were a number of planes there that carried the bi-centennial markings. I always felt that VMFA-451 did the best job with their Phantoms and I have attached four shots for you which include two aircraft, 153776 and 155521. VMFA-312 also did a nice job with their F-4s.”

20 additional images. Click to enlarge.

40 responses to F4J Phantom II “Warlords”

  1. Wow, Rob, you’re a busy man, is this a recent model? It’s beautifully finished, a very neat job. I think one disadvantage of these 1/32 kits is their sheer size, although perhaps that’s an obvious thing to say, I’m sure it makes photographing them particularly difficult.

    • Thanks, George. I’ve worked on it for the past three weeks, since I finished the USS Indianapolis. I’m not really a ‘jet guy’ but I happened across an Ebay auction that was about to finish, and the kit was going for a song, and that with the aftermarket items included, so I popped in a last minute bid and won. Oops!

  2. Few aircraft can measure up with Phantom for its brutish elegance. Even more so in this lovely blue livery. Good job on the model

  3. A real beauty…nice job Rob.

  4. The decal work is very impressive! Makes me long for the days of thundering J-79’s out at Miramar! Well done.

    • Thanks, Jeff.

      I had read somewhere that the decals were brittle, so was a little apprehensive when I saw the size of some of them (all the choices had big rudder decals), but on closer inspection I found they were printed by Cartograf and all responded well to handling and a little decal softener. The biggest problem was the inverted V of the star banner. It wouldn’t fit, either trying to set it from its centre point along the spine or at the wing roots working back to the spine. Don’t know why, as all the plastic parts fit perfectly in these areas. Anyway, a few adjustments later and it came together OK.

  5. Love those big Tamiya Phantoms, Rob….yours being no exception. Nice-lookin’ build, sir. Those seats are beautiful – almost a ‘kit’ in themselves.

    • Thanks, Craig. One of the few kits where you use more screws than glue. Some really first rate engineering coupled with some real oddballs. For instance, the two main canopy clear parts have a sprue gate along the ‘glass’ edge rather than the frame edge along the back, so you can’t help but leave a mark on the part. I even tried toothpaste in the end and the imperfection was still just visible along the mating edge.

  6. ahhh, the Phantom, if ever an airplane represented an era, this is it.
    Bob this is simply beautiful, nice work!.

  7. A real stunning Phantom!!!

  8. One of my all time favorite Phantom schemes, even if it is from my misguided cousins in the Corps 🙂

  9. That is really nice, Rob. You’ve been a busy man!

  10. Impressive job, the two seats particularly. this model includes several kits in fact… Cockpits, landing gear, rockets,…

  11. Hi Rob, this is the nicest Phantom I have seen in a long time, very nice build, I really enjoyed looking at your pictures. Well done.

    • Thanks, Marc. The colours help a lot. I prefer red or blue with the grey. I think that a yellow livery with the grey has a somewhat sallow look. Not that I build many jets, just personal preference.

      Cheers for looking in.

  12. Lovely Phantom Rob, the nmf on the tail area is great.
    Some great pics to mate.

    • Thanks, Simon. The metal work is Humbrol metallics (two sorts), rather than Alclad this time. I also tried something a little different. The Alclad lacquers dry instantly, but the Humbrol paints, although dry quite quickly, still retain a residual ‘play’ on the surface for a little while. I used a low-tack tape, pressing it on to the surface of the tail planes and a few minutes later peeled back the tape, revealing a kind of ‘metal mottle’ that could also be seen as metal affected by jet exhaust.

  13. Very nicely done Rob and very true to reality. I had the privilege of photographing a number of those bi-centennial F-4J’s from VMFA-451 at MCAS Beaufort, SC in 1976 and your model looks identical to those I saw on the flight line. My congratulations on a fine modeling job. If you’d like to contact me at [email protected] I’d be glad to send you a scan of one of the real ‘Warlords’ Phantoms.

    • Cheers, Jim. Very much appreciated. I’ll contact you via the private message function here with my email contact details. I’d really like to see the photos. Maybe I could tag on a few to this article as archive images.

  14. A Phabulous Phantom!

  15. lovely…i’m building the bonesmen…fine kit…stunning result

  16. Greetings :
    The Phantom has always been one of my favorite jets. it’s sheer bulkiness and cavernous shoulder mounted air openings give it that intimidating look.
    Yours is no exception, and that livery makes it more eye catching.
    Good work on the seats.
    In all, very nice work.

  17. Beautiful work!

  18. Great looking Spook, Rob. Beautiful paint and decal job.

    • Cheers, Bernd. The paint callout for the blue is Tamiya X4, but as I prefer enamels I used the Humbrol equivalent but it looked darker than the decal blue. I later checked the X4 to compare and it was the same as the Humbrol, so I think it’s just the difference between the paint pigments and printed ink colours- apples and oranges.

  19. Finding the right and fitting colors, is often a problem, they come out different as wanted.
    Your F-4 looks convincing in this well applied markings.
    Got now a 1/48 F-4 in the 1976 celebration markings from Eduard/Academy, very tasty

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