Tamiya's 1/48 scale
F-4B Phantom II
by Steve Pritchard
McDonnell-Douglas F-4B Phantom II
Tamiya 1/48 F-4B Phantom II (Item 61121)
Bullseye Model Aviation Decals Fleet Phantoms II (48-018)
Mr Color 315 Gray F.S.16440 and 316 White F.S.17875, both gloss finish, for the airframe. Tamiya TS-13 Clear and Mr. Color GX114 Flat. Various Alclad shades for the metallic areas – White and Dark Aluminium and Magnesium, mixed to suit.
All I can say is that the expression ‘shake and bake’ fits this kit exactly.
It seemed that no sooner I had opened the box that the model was assembled and ready for paint.
Everything about the kit was well thought out, from the parts breakdown allowing for future options, to the location of those traditionally fiddly bits like undercarriage doors and stores – simply brilliant.
Cockpit detail is good, the Tamiya instrument panel decals settled down well over the raised detail and nothing much else is very visible with the crew in place. I did add some random wiring to the back of the rear panel, just to busy the area up, and some rear-view mirrors from the spares box.
I left off the tail and folded wing tips until painted and decaled – the fit was perfect and the outer wing pylons cover up the joins on the lower wings anyway.
I preshaded the model with a thin mix of Tamiya XF-64 and XF-69, a dirty brown shade. This was more heavily applied aft of the main gear bays. Random splodges were also splattered on. I then gave the panel lines an oil paint wash, before applying the top coats.
The Mr. Color lacquer paints sprayed beautifully, applied in thin layers so as not to obscure the earlier work, and they dried quickly with a smooth semi-gloss finish, good enough to apply the decals directly, without a gloss coat.
If there is an area where I sometimes have issues with Tamiya kits, it is with their decals – they are always beautifully printed but tend to be a bit on the thick side. Consequently, they can be difficult to get settled into surface detail.
My set of Bullseye decals arrived from Sprue Brothers shortly after I had started the kit – I had always intended to do a ‘Sundowners’ aircraft and the Bullseye sheet contains markings for the same aircraft as Tamiya, though for an earlier period in its life. The Bullseye instructions suggest most stencil markings tended to get overpainted whilst on wartime deployment – fine by me as I was still recovering from putting hundreds on my previous build, an F-4EJ.
Their instructions also state AIM-7 missiles were not carried by VF-111 due to radar issues - I couldn’t resist adding them though. I used the Tamiya decals for these – I have to say they also performed as well as the instrument decals, curling nicely to fit the contours.
The Bullseye decals were simply outstanding – they settled down into the surface detail over a little Micro Set, and no carrier film was visible, certainly no silvering. I sprayed a gloss coat at this point to protect the decals and added a flat coat to finish. A little more oil wash was applied to those parts that seem to show more weathering on a typical Phantom.
I was very pleased with the final result. The quality of the kit and its ease of assembly is remarkable. I am definitely looking at some of the other markings on the Bullseye sheet -there is always room for another Phantom on the shelf.
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2021 by Steve Pritchard
Page Created 22 September, 2021
22 September, 2021
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