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Nosing across the finish line just before midnight….

Well…a few days before midnight! My goal was to finish my VF-142 F-4B before the New Year and I made it! The Academy kit is over all pretty good, there are a few well documented areas that need addressing, but overall it is a fun build if you take your time and plan ahead. The Eduard bombs, ‘winders and Sparrows are a big improvement over the kit parts as are the wheels and the Wolfpack exhausts. The Eduard interior set is a huge improvement as well. My “Frankenstein” Mk5 seats look good, I wish Eduard made a set, as their Mk7s are excellent. But with some deep breaths as I cut, and a set of Wolfpack Mk5 seats to splice in with the Eduard Mk7s I think I did ok. I used both Furball decals Bravo Mig Killers sets to make VF-142s CAG bird from 1967 aboard USS Constellation. I have a soft spot for Connie birds as I would go to war aboard her in VS-38 in 2003. The Furball decals were great EXCEPT..for the national insignia, for some reason they just would not lay down. I went through literally all of the ones I had in the two sets I bought before I got the ones you see that snuggled down. I did manage to get a decent closed cockpit with some sanding and fitting. I just have a hard time leaving my canopies open after 26 years of making sure the ones on the birds I worked on stayed closed. Wet parachutes and seat pans will make the Chief go nuts, and at sea squalls come and go especially in the South China Sea and other tropical waters. Ask me the words I used when I was a Senior Chief and someone left the over heads on one of my CODs open and we went through a squall…I’m still mad about that 10 years later! But I digress, the last picture is a family portrait of my two Academy F-4s, both from ships I would serve on years after these birds flew from their decks VF-84 USS Independence, and VF-142 USS Constellation. Happy New Years iModelers!

Oh one last note, the brownish/orange stains you see are not rust (NO RUST!) They are grease stains, some of the grease used on USN aircraft turns orange after it stets for a bit, then as the airflow hits it it streaks back as an orangeish stain.

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.


16 responses to Nosing across the finish line just before midnight….

  1. Nice work, Rob….gotsta luv dem Phantoms, right ? 🙂

  2. Yer right, Craig … ya just “gotsta luv dem Phantoms!”

    Rob – your Phantoms look outstanding! I especially like your family portrait. From the look of the model sitting next to the delicious-looking beer, they are both 1/72nd scale, right? Your level of detail is really excellent.

    On a side note, my Dad flew foo the USS Independence … the WWII version, a “jeep” or escort carrier.

    Bravo!

  3. Jeff they are the 1/48 Academy F-4B kits. And hand salute to your Dad!

  4. That’s a good looking Phantom Rob. All the marks of a solid build are there, flawless assembly, nice paint work and some very eye catching details and markings makes it stand apart. The older (?) brother looks good too, but the radome tan nose and the yellow lightning won me

    • Thanks Pedro, the VF-142 colors are striking. I was originally going to do a VF-111 Sundowners bird, but that scheme is like the bumblebee on A-1s waaaayyyy too over done! Also the pictures I had of VF-142 showed a bit of a different armament configuration than most Navy Phantoms of the era with a TER on the outer pylon and single ‘winders on the inner.

  5. Boy those look nice Rob, really fine job on the paint and photography. Saw the Thunderbirds fly these at an air show in Wiesbaden, Germany, in the 70’s. Nothing more impressive to watch than seeing a Phantom in full AB climbing straight up in their bomb burst routine. Yes sir, with enough engine you too can make a brick fly. Nice job buddy.

  6. Muy logrados esos Fhantom !

  7. Junto a la cerveza me han parecido de 1/72 !.Siguen estando muy bien terminados ,

  8. Very nice Rob. Those Academy F-4’s are great kits and you certainly did them justice.

  9. Phabulous set of Phantoms, Chief! Love the smell of JP-5 in the morning.. Good call on the grease stains, If there weren’t stains coming from some where on the F-4, then there was something wrong, VF-142 markings are great looking. Cheers mate!

  10. Thanks Robert, yeah same on the Hawkeyes and CODs, stained the heck out of the white paint!

  11. Excellent builds. F-4’s have always intrigued me and yours are top-notch.

  12. Great looking Phantom! My only New Year’s resolution is to build at least 2-3 more Phantoms in 2019 – I’m thinking IDF, Greek, and RF-4EJ Kai to start with.

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