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Robert Royes
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F-4B Phantom,VMFA-122 1967/68 Danang. Hasegawa 1/72.

September 2, 2020 · in Aviation · · 15 · 1.8K

'If one gun pod is good, three are better'. Primarily flying ground support missions, It was decided to sling three 20mm gun pods under their 's. Being that F-4B/J's could only carry the pod under the center line station, being Marines the maintenance people improvised and managed to wire the outer wing stations for the pods. At times unreliable, when all the pods worked ' the recoil felt like you were backing up'.The reference that I used for this build was Lou Drendel's USMC Phantoms in combat. There are some interesting narratives in it told by the Marine flyers involved.

The build is 's F-4B/N. I like the modular construction, and the way the intake ramps are separate parts. They even included pitot tube that are in the outer walls of the intakes, They were a bit of hazard when you dove the intakes checking for FOD and such on the real thing. The gun pods are from the spares box. I managed to get a set of CAM decals from Hannants.

I've included pictures of some F-4 artifacts that I've hung onto over the years. A work unit code book that you used to fill out maintenance forms and a set of cards to guide you when you performed inspections on the plane. There also a shot of paradise of Phantoms

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11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. That's a nice paint scheme, I like it. Nice collection of jets too!

  2. That’s a cool build. Those three pods must’ve made those pilots feel like badasses! Nice Phantom collection.

  3. Nice work, Robert. Firing those things had to be an experience. Great collection too!

  4. That last is a phantasmagoia of Phantoms! 🙂

    Nice work on the airplane that's the exception to the rule "if it looks good, it is good."

  5. Nice job, Robert!
    I like the artifacts and, mostly, the last paradise picture!

  6. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice looking Phantom model Robert.
    Good clean work. seeing those three cannon pods sure make for a very interesting sight on a model, a configuration load not expected too see.

  7. Nicely done Robert, looks good, some phabulous Phantoms !

  8. Great build, Robert.
    And even more, a great collection.
    It will even take quiet some time to line them up for the picture.

  9. Robert, @roofrat
    This is a very neat looking Phantom. I can only imagine the recoil when all 3 pods were firing. You have quite the collection my friend ! It's even better that you still have some of your old maintenance cards. Having these displayed with your models is a nice touch.

  10. Nicely done Robert! You beat me to the punch, but mine is lined up in the "on-deck" area of my stash, waiting for the 3 builds I'm in the middle of to be finished. My dad flew the C and D with the gun pod and said (even with just one), the aerodynamics of the aircraft were degraded and the vibration from shooting the gun was "interesting." I can't imagine flying/shooting with all three - which is why it captured my attention.

    On a research note, do you have any references to confirm what color the gun pods were that the USMC flew? Dad's were a darker gray than the underside (Camo Gray). I know Navy/USMC birds were white-bottomed, but didn't know what they did with the pods.

    And I'm jealous of your Phantom line up! I'm heading in that direction but only have about a half dozen done thus far. The only place I have you beat at present is foreign operators.

    • Thanks Greg, just by the photos I've seen of the pods they were probably white, minus the grunge and dirt.

      I like the Navy versions for the colorful markings and it makes an easier paint job.

      I've been doing some research on USAF f-4 early camo. Some of them look like that the undersides could be white particularly the RF-4's. The first USAF birds were originally gull grey/white which was painted over either before or when they got to Vietnam.There are some photos of the camo peeling off, revealing the old scheme.

      In your Dad's collection of photos you showed here, theirs one of a F-4 rolling out, it has a hammer on a yellow shield on the intake, was that your Dad's squadron? @gkittinger

  11. I am really impressed with both your F-4B and your collection of F-4s, Robert (@roofrat) . I have been an F-4 nerd since I joined the Air Force in 1973 and my first assignment was at Luke AFB, which was the Air Force F-4C RTU at the time.

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