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1/48 Italer F-4e

There is nothing to say about iconic F4 plane and all other incarnations of it. Venerated during Vietnam war it supplied so much needed air to ground support, and it was very good in dogfights against North Vietnamese fighter planes. It wasn’t odd that many other countries bought this plane from it’s developer. Israel was young country surrounded with many enemies of the state. Althoutgh I’m big fan of Israeli armor I decided to do F-4E in us by IAF. One of the reasons was very interesting paint scheme.

I cannot depict my sadness that I didn’t buy Eduard’s F-4s with resin, brass… I can cry out loud. I was hoping to buy F-4 from Hasegawa or Academy, but during one scale model competition I bought Italeri’s F-4E in 1/48 scale reboxed in 2017. It was originally produced by Esci in early 1980s, and I think that it didn’t change very much from that period. Very few details, extremely bad rivets, canopy is so poor that I thought that air from airbrush will ruin it and destroy… But I was really dedicated to finish the model…

So… the build… Almost every part was full of flash and sinkmarks. Sinkmarks were on every impossible place you can imagine. I had to use precise tools wot Proxxon to deal with them. I lost hours and hours just preparing parts for build. The build… Tha bathtub style cockpit is smaller some 0.5cm than cockpit walls, and it was lower than the roof of RIO crew member… I had to make side walls a little bit thicker so I used plastic playing card and reinforced walls. I inserted cockpit and connected with plastic card with roof behind RIO crew. I did some scratchbuild in cockpit. Walls are plane, and I decided not to touch them because they could not be seen. I have added harnesses and handles to pilot and RIO’s seats, I used decals OOB for details on instrument table and details. I used MikroKlear for glass effect. But the real champion of this kit is sight. It was unusable, literally… I used some spare pe parts and bended them to shape, than I glued transparent plastic cut to shape and painted it in green. Rivets were so bad that I had to rescribe whole plane. Wings are made from two halves that cannot be simply glued together. I had to glue them and to reposition them to shape. Landing gear shaft are shameful with quite a few sinkmarks. Nose section made me quite a mess because it was impossible to fit it correctly, I had to use Proxxon and sanding paper until the point of almost no return, than I put some Tamiya’s white putty, than agin sanding… Fron cockpit glass is so bad than I couldn’t make mask for proper painting…

After hours and hours of putting this model together, finally I have menaged to complete it. Than, the fun part… painting… For the first time I used 3 different airbrushes… I used Evolution Silverline for priming and painting main color. But, I get Infinity CrPlus with 0.15 needle… What to say, INCREDIBLE piece of art! Simpply oncomparable with any other airbrush! I did all the camo freehand, Silverline is so precise that I cannot describe it! Absolutely fantastic little machine! And, the devil never sleeps, I had the problem with compressor during one part of painting… I thought that it died, bu I managed to successfully repair it and continue working. After completition of painting I seal the model with gloss varnish. Decal time… decals are made by Cartograf, nothing else to say! One more coat of gloss varnish and just basic weathering with panel liners for green and brown color. I used a little bit of oil paints and that is it.

I didn’t want to buy any aftermarket sets for this model. I will buy Academy F4 with aftermarket and enjoy build. This was very irritating build because of many errors, poor fit, bad part, shameful bad canopies… but it came to life…
Eagerly waiting for your comments…

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.


16 responses to 1/48 Italer F-4e

  1. Beautiful paint job

  2. Phantastic Phantom! Great job. Italeri has re-boxed more than one ESCi kit.

  3. Nice work. Sorry to hear that your kit had so many problems. I’ve always liked that kit and found it to build well with good shapes, even though light on detail.

  4. Very cool camouflage scheme, doing it freehand is the best challenge for anyone who likes airbrushing. You delivered it superbly. The H&S AB are phenomenal

  5. Beautiful camo finish!

  6. I too am a fan of IAF aircraft in the desert scheme, and you did this one justice! I have a 1/72 version on deck for one of my next builds, though I think it’s the Hasegawa kit.

  7. Very nice job on this Phantom. It seem you had to work hard considering the poor base, but the outcome is beautiful !

    • Thank You 🙂 It was tough ride, but I’m satisfied. I had thoughts about aftermarket parts for this kit, but I overcome that instinct 🙂 Poor rivets and details are not enough for upgrasing rhis kit, better investment would be aftermarket for Academy or Hasegawa 🙂

  8. hello Djordje,
    Fantastic in finnish and display. Very difficult paint scheme.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

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