Tamiya F-4EJ model kit in 1/32 scale
..... continued from previous page 1....
A step by step approach will be given and depending on the type of work, will not follow the kit steps. The kit step # will be indicated however.
[ Step 0 ] :
Start with the main fuselage part and sand off the plates at the mid fuselage and rear fuselage . Also sand off the plates at intakes parts A1+A2. On the wing tips, the plate at the upper leading edge should be sanded off (so flush) and I suggest to reduce some thickness on the mid hinge re-inforcement plate (parts A4 + A8).
[ Step 1 ]:
a. Separate the two forward intake
ducts as moulded on the main fuselage with a razor saw; use caution and
try to saw in a straight lines.
f. Using Milliput, make the internal
edges invisible. This may take some layers.
g. Continue with the splitter plates: they have some vents at the lower and upper rear ends. Cut open and add some tiny walls from card. The ramp inboard edge is indeed correctly angled down in the kit. Assemble the splitter plate parts and fill the rear with putty; sand flush after drying.
h. Spray the entire ducts matt white as you are unable to reach them with the airbrush later on. Also spray on white paint at the rear flat panel on the splitter plates.
i. Glue on the splitter plates onto
the prepared intakes and make sure they are well aligned with the main
[ Step 2 ]: leave for later, go to...
[ Steps 3- 4
Obviously you can add more details
in the cockpit and for this model Eduard set 32-041
for the F-4E is also used to add
some extra etched metal detailling.
The area at the rear canopy hinge
also cries for some extra details and there is an opening. This was
also drilled open and a horizontal floor inside the spine fitted as seen
below with the tub dry-fitted.
The instrument panels themselves got
the usual treatment with painting with a very fine tip brush, drybrushing,
scratching in the dials and using instrument decals is some areas.
Step 5 was left for later as the cockpit tub would be fitted later
[ Step 6 ]
Steps 7 + 8 with the rear fuselage area were skipped for later.
[ Step 9 ]
Insert the card and glue firmly in
the small Eduard parts
[ Steps 10 and
An important next action is....
The overall model parts with its wings were assembled. Take care to make the gap at the wing-fuselage junction as small as possible. For that purpose, a "spacer" made of thick plastic sprue was made and used to keep the fuselage walls are correct distance.
It was also required to fit the horizontal stabilzers, although they are quite vulnerable to handling later on. Also, the "metall" exhaust part from Step 7 was fitted.
[ Steps 14 and
[ Steps 16 and
The nose gear leg was assembled as per instructions. You get an metal leg as basis. Some Eduard details were added to the gears. The leg was not yet fixed on the model.
[ Steps 18 and
[ Step 28 ] Vertical tail
The vertical tail is OK, but remove a couple of millimeters of plastic at the lip of parts L39+L40, this will improve their fit on top.
Fit the fit onto the fuselage spin and align carefully. The base intake Part L51 could use a little refinement with a sanding stick to make it finer.
The whole model was checked for small gaps and puttied. The cockpit openings were closed with Scotch tape. Adding putty in areas, fill up any gaps and flaws. You can remove putty with nail polish remover without damaging the surfaces as no sanding is needed. Only in areas where you need some "built-up" putty, sanding is appropriate.
of the putty and polishing the model, it was given a light grey base coat.
This revealed eg. that the intake splitter plates needed some extra filler
as seen below...
[ Steps 29 +
30 ] Wing tips
Please note that the "tilt angle"
as moulded on the wing tip of the Tamiya kit is much too large! It
should be 13 degrees and not 24 degrees ! This was corrected with the reduced
angle. Some sanding and work is needed to fill up the resulting gap. Also
putty is needed.
These tip corrections will vastly
improve the look of the F-4 model.
The main gear legs are not 100% correct, but good enough. The metal legs of the kit will benefit if they get extra details using the Eduard set. The anti-torque rods were replaced etc.
[ Step 21 ] Lower fuselage area
The wheelbays were detailed with sprue and rod as the kit bays are a bit bare.
Also, the nose wheel bay on a real F-4 has quite some tubing and wiring! Seen here are the added details. The nose leg was fitted first before adding details.
[ Step 33 ] Canopies
The kit canopy frames would greatly benefit from adding details and the Eduard set comes in handy here. take care when removing the transparant parts from their sprues! Use a fine razor saw.
Note that F-4 has mirrors fitted inside the canopies.
Now, the entire model was given again of light grey coat (Humbrol 127 enamel) with the airbrush to get a smooth surface.
This shows that the finish is OK now.
You may be wondering why it took so long to continue with this kit. Well actually it was the choice of colours and scheme for a nice Japanese F-4EJ. I was fascinated by the built of the smaller 1/72 F-4EJ of Fujimi and liked the scheme. This meant I had to make my own decals of this same scheme. I did but at the end I saw some very nice blueish schemes as wel.
I could not figure out what good colours where as Tamiya does only indicate a mix of their own acrylics. I could not find as Fed.Std equivalents, despite some very colourfull Japanese books and searches on Internet. So the built of this model was halted for a few years!So after some time, looking at the kit decals and all stencilling supplied I decided to go for a scheme as in the kit. Picked was scheme no. E for a JASDF no.305 squadron plane of
Japanese Air Self Defense Force at Hyakuri Air Base.
The box-art seen here. You get lots of stencils in the kit, the instructions are seen below....
With the 305 squadron plane paint scheme.. see all my notes on possible colours... I selected the Tamiya mixed colours in the end.
Not an easy task to mix these colours but on the other hand the real planes show large wear with various hues and shines. I came to the conclusion that the lower areas are white with a blue hue and the upper colours have patterns of a darker blue/purple mix.
Make larger paint quantities for re-touching the paint later on, otherwise you are unable to match the colour exactly. Also spray some spare clear decals in these colours for patch work later on if needed.
main gear bay with some added details
Starting with the lower surfaces and the upper light colour "white/blue" the model was sprayed with my Steinbeck airbrush, using the largest needle. Do not forget to spray on the low visibility light stickers as well... I forgot and had to do that later.
Than, the darker blue patterns were
sprayed freehand. After drying, I again removed some overspray inaccuracies
with the lighter colour.
I than tried to replicate various patterns on panels and panellines with slightly lighter tints of the same colours. This is quite some work but makes the model really interesting as on the real planes various colour differences are seen:
this metal area needs some extra shades...
Also all the various bits like undercarriage doors, fuel tanks and so one were sprayed as well.
and fuel tanks and pylons
Next step is now adding some subtle panel lines details, using Promodeller wash. This will be followed by some gloss coats of Johnson Future and adding the stencils and main decals.
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Created this page July 10, 2007