have always wanted to build a ‘long-nosed’ Phantom and couldn’t resist
building Hasegawa’s F-4G considered, at the time of writing, to be the best
1/48 F-4G on the market. The Hasegawa is a very good offering, certainly
not perfect for those of us with ‘accuracy anality’ but with a bit of
research and a bit of work the kit builds into a very nice representation.
A big BIG thank you must go out to many of the ARC members who have answered my
multitude of questions related to the F-4G.
decided to build a late F-4G, that of the 561st FS, 57 FW after
seeing the Eagle Strike decal sheet with the ‘YGTBSM’ weasel on the side of
the aircraft. The decals are a bit thick but nothing that a good base
gloss coat and Micro Sol and Micro Set could not prep for… followed by 4 coats
of matt to finish – to get that painted on look. As I was unable to find
any stencils for my F-4G, I had to use the stencils from the Hasegawa decal
sheet as well as a few from the AirDoc decal sheet to ensure accuracy.
These are very thick so the above mentioned prep and finish become even more
important. You can save yourself the hassle and just get the AirDoc decal
set which includes the decals and stencils you would need for this particular
aircraft, but unfortunately I was unable to find this offering when I started
the project but was fortunate enough to find what I needed just in time to
complete the decaling process to ensure completeness – thanks Larry!
(07209) Hasegawa 1/48 F-4G ‘Wild Weasel’
Eagle Strike ‘Last Wild Weasel Phantoms’ decals
Warriors – US F-4s in South West Asia decals
Hasegawa Weapons: C – for the two AGM-88 HARM’s
Two Bob’s US Air-to-Air Missile Markings for the AIM-7M’s
AIM-120B/C and AGM-88 Missile Markings for the AGM-88’s
build begins with the removal or various ‘humps and bumps’ on the underside
of the fuselage and top of the wings. Hasegawa included a little
‘correction’ insert, so please be sure to read this carefully so that
appropriate steps are taken to ensure you don’t have to revisit such
corrections at the wrong stage of the build process.
tub assembly was next. I don’t like using resin parts so I decided to do
a lot of scratch building to ‘elaborate/enhance’ on the already very nice
Hasegawa pieces, namely the ejection seats and side wall panels. Much of
this detail is extremely hard to see on the completed project but the
‘suggestion’ of a busy ‘place’ remains very evident even in final
photos. I also spent some time in making the rear of the navigator’s
instrument panel looking very busy… a very distinctive and important part of
any F-4 build. The scratch-building also continued onto the ejection seats
to enhance them for accuracy.
images below to see larger images
decided to model this kit with the pilot and navigator in the tub but needed to
get modern heads with appropriate helmets to replace the Hasegawa heads that
have the old style pre-mid 80’s helmets. Aaron, a fellow ARC member, was
kind enough to mail me a couple of these from his Hasegawa F-18F kit… THANKS
AARON!!! I also had to add appropriate seat belts/harnesses to the seated
pilot and navigator for accuracy. I use very thin brass foil for such
details as it is very thin, plyable, can be easily cut with scissors, and
retains it shape as you bend it as any metal would. Once painted looks the
charm! I made the mistake of putting the oxygen hoses on the outside of
the pilot and navigators arms when in reality they should go under the right
arm. So I had to go back and correct this error at the very end of the
the tub was in, the fuselage halves were glued in place, and further cockpit
enhancements were added. Including further detailing of the busy panels at
the rear of the pilot and navigator tub sections and enhancing the front
‘dashboard’ with more detail.
now took the time to work on the inner main armament pylons. Not only did
I have to re-scribe them as these came with raised panel lines, but I had to
correct the chaff/flare dispensers and retaining/protection plates that are
absent from the kit. This does take some time but adds to the accuracy of
the model. I also had to fill in the gaps left for the insertion of the
kit’s existing weaponry - totally inaccurate for the timeframe of the F-4G I
am building. I had to then scratch-build some anti-sway braces as on the
real aircraft. I also had to get some LAU-118 missile racks (once again
thanks Aaron J)… all this in preparation for the AGM-88’s I planned for the
jet to carry. See the before and after shots below. The AGM-88
HARM’s were from the Hasegawa Weapons Set C and I used Two Bob’s fine decals
to finish them off. Likewise the AIM-7’s that were use were the ‘M’
variant and once again the Two Bob’s decals did the trick for the two mounted
at the rear of the aircraft.
came the filling of the side plates between the fuselage and the air intake
housing. For some reason Hasegawa decided to save on the use of plastic
and decided to mould these with a nice unfinished side… which unfortunately is
very evident in any Hasegawa F-4 build if left uncorrected.
came the ALQ. As the ALQ provided in the kit is an old variant (ALQ-119) I
needed the new ALQ-184’s to maintain accuracy of the timeframe this aircraft
would represent. I was once again fortunate to have a fellow ARC’er
forward me a spare from their F-16CJ model. The actual placement of the
original ALQ is accurate for the F-4G… so I removed the mounting bracket from
the original ALQ, added a bit of detail to the mount points, and remounted it
onto the new ALQ-184 in the proper location.
came the air intakes… take some time with these as I think Hasegawa has made
some big errors in design here. The assembled air intakes with the use of
instructions will leave some very evident gaps on the inside … I would highly
recommend either getting resin air intakes for this kit or to at least fool the
eye, take your time, and fill in the gaps to enhance the look.
nose cone required quite a bit of sanding as there was a very evident ‘step’
when it was glued to the fuselage, and some panel lines had to be re-scribed.
I would highly recommend leaving the ‘pitot’ tube to the end of the build as
it is EXTREMELY fragile and will break off several times during the build
process. I broke it off for the 4th time on the final stages of the build
and decided to drill a hole and make a brand new pitot tube from a sewing
needle, cut to size, sanded round, inserted, then painted appropriately.
used my standard painting technique for the aircraft using both Gunze Sangyo
Acqueous Hobby Color Acrylics and Tamiya Acrylics. I would have used all
Gunze paints but there seems to be a shortage of them in
in the later half of 2007. I also airbrushed on the walkways onto the
jet. I don’t like using such large and awkward decals on jets where they
must lie flat on a convex surface that tapers off to the sides as well as front
to back… to me that’s just a recipe for disaster even with the use of Micro
Set and Sol… As you can see from the photos the airbrushed walkways look spot
airbrushed on the base color(s) (I used Gunze Sangyo Acrylics - Acqueous
* I put in about 5% Tamiya Acrylic
Paint Thinner to each batch of Gunze Acrylics I airbrush on.
airbrush on clear gloss (again Gunze Acrylic) - not too heavy because I
don't want to seal too many of the panel lines with too much paint;
use Citadel acrylics and mix my own panel wash (approx 80% water 18% black
Citadel paint and 2% dishwashing detergent - I kinda eye this bit and add
more paint if the panel lines are not coming up as vividly as I like)...
* I don't apply the wash too
liberally in fact I try to get it in the panel lines as much as possible...
let dry for 2-10 minutes then I rub of excess with paper towel (Citadel
paints dry very quickly)... apply a bit of moisture to stubborn spots on the
paper towel... you may need to re-apply wash if you rub it out of panel
lines. The clear gloss coat ensures that the excess panel wash comes off
thin coat of clear gloss to seal panel lines in preparation for decaling;
decals with Micro Set and Micro Sol;
matt coat (Gunze acrylics again)... actually I applied 3-4 coats.
I let the model dry at least 24-48 hours between any coats... again I was going
for the painted on look of the decals.
landing gear was just airbrushed matt white (Tamiya) then panel washed (Citadel
- as above) into crevices, then dry brushed with Citadel white.
I’m very pleased with the build and would highly recommend this kit to anyone
with moderate to advanced modeling skills. I would not recommend this kit
to a beginner… as it does require quite a bit of elbow grease in terms of
sanding, re-scribing of panel lines – including some awkward shaped
re-scribes, and filling with both putty and plexicard. The spine of the
jet has very nasty seam that is evident when the fuselage halves are glued
together where there also happen to be circular panel lines. Once sanded
round the circular panel lines are all but totally removed. So for
accuracy they need to be put back in.
process and photos can be found here: http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=132389&hl=lgl007
photos can be found here: http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=144317&hl=lgl007
all my photos and other works can be found here: http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l249/lgl007/
to all the ARC members who have helped me with this build and thanks for
images below to see larger images