McDonnell F-4D Phantom, Monogram 1/48 scale
Here is the venerable Monogram F-4D Phantom in 1/48, a model that many of us have built at one time or another. The kit was built basically OOB, with the addition of Verlinden resin ejection seats and decals from the Furball "Gunfighter Phantoms Part 1" sheet. The seats had to be modified a bit to fit the kit cockpit, and I have nothing but praise for the decals. The model was painted with Model Master enamels in the standard SEA scheme, all colors lightened with white in varying degrees to simulate sun fade. Weapons load all came from the kit. Weathering was my usual sludge wash, with a bit of chipping around egress areas of the cockpit. I didn't get too carried away with this, as the photo I have shows a fairly well maintained airframe.
The model represents an F-4D, s/n 66-8820, of the 366th TFW, 389th TFS, as flown by the squadron commander, Major Tommy Ray Warren, Da Nang in 1969. His son, Wally, is one of my closest friends, and this build was at his request to honor his dad. That in itself made it pretty personal for me, and it became even more so while doing research on the markings. We found a photo of the airplane online, and the weapons load was finally nailed down after Wally posted a call for info on Facebook and it seemed like half the 366th TFW Viet Nam veterans responded! It seemed fitting that the airplane was configured for the air to air mission, as the 366th was the first unit to use the SUU-20 gun pod in combat. The job was made much easier by finding that the Furball sheet carried the markings for this aircraft.
Major Warren was lost in this aircraft on January 15, 1970 while flying a Stormy FAC mission over Cambodia. The Phantom was hit by ground fire, after which the RIO, Lt. Ralph Leblanc, flew the damaged aircraft to the airbase in Udorn, Thailand, where he ejected. Major Warren was recovered and was buried with full military honors in San Antonio, in his home state of Texas. His name can be found on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall, Panel 14W, Line 037.
This model is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Major Tommy Ray Warren, USAF.