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Ferris Phantoms
Heater-Ferris
F-4S Phantom IIs

Afterburner Decals, 1/48 scale

 

Summary

Catalogue Number:

Afterburner Decals AD48-051 - Ferris Phantoms, Heater-Ferris F-4S Phantom IIs

Scale:

1/48

Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes

Price:

US$15.00 available from Afterburner Decals

Review Type:

FirstLook

Advantages:

Comprehensive and printed to a high standard by Cartograf of Italy. Excellent instructions.

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusion:

Fans of the F-4 Phantom will not want to miss this one, it provides you with some first rate markings for the F-4s in her final years of service.


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

New decals from the guys at Afterburner Decals.  This time, they slip back into the past and provide markings for the twilight years of The McDonnell Douglas F-4S’s service with the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

All of the machines on the sheet are finished in what was termed the “Heater-Ferris Scheme”.

 

  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Afterburner Decals 1/48 scale Heater-Ferris Phantom Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
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Heater Ferris Scheme?   This was the name given to the camouflage schemes (there were three distinct patterns) that were developed by Commander C.J. “Heater” Heatley and renowned aviation artist Keith Ferris as a result of the experiments conducted by the U.S. Navy in the early 80's to reduce the visibility of their combat aircraft so as to give them an advantage over an enemy – “who sees the opposition first wins”.  The schemes not only reduced the visibility by merging the aircraft into the haze at a distance but also (hopefully) confused an apposing pilot in that the upper surfaces and lower surfaces were painted alike so that he was not able to immediately determine if the aircraft was banking into him or away from him.  This latter aspect was further enhanced by the painting a false canopy on the underside of the aircraft with white “dots” to represent a pilot’s helmet.  The name “Heater-Ferris” came about from the fact that Commander Heatley was inspired by the paintings of aviation artist Keith Ferris, who himself had "loaned" the disruptive and deceiving camouflage patterns from the “dazzle pattern” schemes used on U.S. Navy ships in World War II – or so story goes!  The scheme was the precursor to the modern day Tactical Paint Scheme - or TPS as it is known - that is worn by present day U.S. Navy and USMC combat aircraft.

Enough of the history though!  The sheet provides markings for six machines in all four US Navy Reserve and two US Marine Corps Sierra Phantoms and they span the three main patterns of the “heater-Ferris” scheme.

The individual options are:

  • Bureau Number 155749, modex 011, belonging to VF-301, (the Devil's Disciples), circa 1984.  Probably the most “colourful” option on the sheet in that it wears a false canopy on the underside of the nose, a “Safety S” on the splitter plates, a “MiG kill” on her fuselage (attained on 10 May 1972 when the machine was assigned to VF-96, and a large red outline style arrow on its vertical stabiliser..  Sadly, this machine crashed at the Point Mugu air show on 20 April 2002.  Both crew members were killed when they hit ground before their chutes could after ejecting from the machine.
  • Bureau Number 153832, of VF-302, (Stallions) modex 200, based at Naval Air Station Miramar, California in1983.  A little colour with this one courtesy of the yellow NA airwing indicator on the rudder.
  • Bureau Number 153882, another VF-302 bird, modex 203 circa 1983.  This option also sports a false canopy as well as a yellow and white NA airwing indicator.
  • Bureau Number 153814, VMFA-321 (Hell's Angels), modex 04, Naval Air Station Anacostia Maryland, 1985.  Clever use is made by the squadron of the “slime light” on the vertical stabiliser by incorporating it into their “trident” unit marking. 
  • Bureau Number 153904, VF-202, (Superheats) modex 211, Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas in1984.   Proud of their home state, the unit exhibits its Lone Star Flag on the rudder.  This machine is currently undergoing restoration at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.
  • Bureau Number 155531, VMFA-112, (Cowboys) modex 04, Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas, in 1985.  This machine met its end in June the of the next year when it collided in mid air with another F-4 (Bureau number 153874 near Morgan Hill, approximately 80miles south west of Fort Worth, Texas) the crews of both aircraft surviving.

The decals themselves have been silk-screen printed by Cartograf.  They are sharply printed, thin and everything on my sample is in perfect register.  You get a single false canopy as well as a single fuselage walkway marking.  Stencil data is sparse but then again the one-to-one-scale Heater Ferris finished examples don’t appear to exhibit too much of it either.  You get two sheets with this one, a normal sized one as well as a smaller one that carries two sets of slime lights (strangely you get two sets of fuselage ones and vertical stabiliser ones but just a single set of wing tip ones) as well as crew names and modex. 

The placement guides have been printed on a thinner type of non-glossy paper than Afterburner Decals have used in their other releases  Having said that though the illustrations are still of the same high quality type that typify their other sheets .  You get three pages printed double-sided that show full colour left and right hand side profiles of each option as well as two different upper and lower surface ones to illustrate the different patterns. 

The two decal sheets and the three placement guide sheets come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

Fans of the F-4 Phantom will not want to miss this one, it provides you with some first rate markings for the F-4s in her final years of service.

Thanks to Afterburner Decals for the sample


Review Copyright 2009 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 7 July, 2009
Last updated 24 July, 2009

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