1/72nd Fujimi F-4G Phantom II, Wild Weasel, Gulf War 1991 USAF,(F4GB)
This GB was an excellent idea from Greg Kittinger, though not part of the build plan for this year, it did allow me to squeeze it in though and it was a pleasure to be able to complete it. I had at first to start working on the Academy kit in 48th scale, but knowing my pace I would not of finished it even if we had till December. So a more doable 72nd kit came to mind having it in the stash was Fujimi's F-4G. Already having the decals it was a perfect subject and I know I can pretty much finish it within the time frame.
The Fujimi kit is part of a series of F-4's that the company introduced in 72nd scale in the late early mid 80's. Fine engraved panel lines, basic interior with decals for consoles and IP. Similar to the Hasegawa offering at the time. Though some reviews had mentioned shape issues compared to the Hasegawa, Monogram and Revell issues of the time. Inaccurate cockpits were the norm when trying to build a particular variant. This kit is the 6th variant that Fujimi had in the series, using the base F-4E with added sprues and decals for the "G" variant. The kit builds using the lizard wraparound scheme for a George AFB bird. The F-4G used in Desert Storm, was the newly upgraded "Advanced Weasel", used for the 1st and last time in combat, though some did serve for a time in the Provide Comfort no fly zone after the war. The last of the F-4G's being retired in 1995. The F-4G flew 3.492 sorties while destroying about 200 Iraqi missile sites. Mainly using the AGM-88 HARM air to ground missile, also the left over AGM-45 Shrike, and the AGM-65D Maverick. But the effectiveness of the AGM-88 cannot be praised enough, performing extremely dangerous SEAD mission. Only one F-4 was lost during the war, and that was mostly due to bad weather, running out of gas before she could land. Apparently hit by shrapnel or stray round into one of the drop tanks.
The Fujimi kit is fairly simple and easy build. Despite the noted shape issues, it goes together quite well. The light grey plastic is easy to work with. It looks like a Phantom when complete. My variant is in the Hill 2 Grey wraparound scheme of Gunship Grey FS36118 and Dk Ghost Grey, FS 36320, using Life color for the Gunship and Model Master Acrylic for the lighter grey. MM metalizers for the bare metal portions. I replaced the not very good seats with a nice pair of MB resin seats, decals are from Super Scale 72-660 for SP, 69-244, 52nd Fighter Wing out of Spangdahlem AB in Germany, these were staging out of Shiekh Isa AB in Bahrain. The initial warload at the start of the war were 2 AIM-7 Sparrows, ALQ-119 Pod, 2 AGM-88 HARMS and 3 drop tanks, for deep strikes. Once air superiority was achieved over Iraq, 4 AGM-88's were carried with a center drop tank. Towards the end 2 HARMS and a pair of Mavericks would be loaded up depending on the tasking and distance. I chose the seldom seen Maverick/HARM load. A fun build, not to labor intensive, and adds to my growing collection of DS aircraft used in the 1st Gulf War in this scale. A new resin outfit I tried for the 1st time Modern Hobbies from Canada supplied the AGM-88's and Mavericks with the correct single launchers. A good read is the book Magnum, written by one of the pilots who flew missions in the F-4G, during Desert Storm, his take, before and after. Feels your right there with him on a mission as you read it, my kind of book. Thanks for viewing, God Bless,
22 additional images. Click to enlarge.