Israeli Phantom II RF-4E - 119 Bat Squadron - without refueling probe.
The RF-4E was the unarmed reconnaissance version of the famous Mc.Donnell Douglas two-seats fighter F-4E Phantom II. It was designed and developed for export and it was the combination of reconnaissance system of the RF-4C with the airframe and the powerful engines of the F-4E . The Israelis RF-4E, for instance, has been upgraded in avionics and were able to carry air to air missiles as Sidewinders or Pythons.
The Phantom II RF-4E It’s arrived in Israel on February 28th , 1971 during operation TARKIV 20, entered service in the early years with the Bat Squadron. In the mid 70’s, its tactical code was changed 488. It served most of its life with the Bat Squadron at Tel-Nof Air Base.
2. The Kit
This kit is based on the F-4J Phantom II Navy Zoukei-Mura | N. SWS48-09 | 1:48
It was my desire to build the reconnaissance version of the famous F4E IAF, the Hasegawa kit is almost impossible to find and obsolete. So I decided to build by combining the best parts of the SWS Kit with the nose of the ITALERI Kit, taking advantage of the excellent decals supplied with the latter. The fusion of the two kits is not as easy as it might seem, it requires a careful study of the drawings and photos. To have good results aftermarket accessories, seats, cockpit, exhaust nozzles and wheels are absolutely necessary. You have to be able to use cyanoacrylate glue and liquid putty, and a lot of patience. Below is a list of all the accessories I used to make the model. I will not dwell much on the explanation of the assembly, the many photos included in the article are very explicit.
I have used the following accessories:
Italeri Kit RF-4E Phantom ll 1:48 Codice: ITA2737 (NOSE)
Eduard 648012 F-4C/D/E/F/G wheels HASEGAWA
Eduard 648023 F-4 exhaust nozzles late HASEGAWA
Aires 4231 RF-4B/C Phantom II photo bay (with clear parts) Hasegawa
Master AM-48-050 F-4 Phantom II (long nose versions) - F-4E, F, G, EJ and recce variants RF-4B, C, E, EJ
3. Wheel Bay
The wheel bays of the kit SWS are good, but not as detailed as those of the Aires. So I decided to remove them by cutting them away with a cutter heated with fire, this facilitates the operation, the edges are then shaped with a file and sanded. Finally they were glued with supeglue glue and securely fixed with milliput Tamiya. For landing gear I used those of the kit, adding all the wiring with copper wires of adequate thickness, it will be necessary to be provided with good photos that you can find on the internet web..
4.Cockpit and ejection seat. See Pictures .
I wanted to upgrade the cockpit area to include side wall detailing and replace the ejection seats with resin versions. To do this, I have used resin Cockpit and ejection seat of Aires 4231 and photoetching instrument panel by Aires. After gluing the parts with superglue, I painted the entire cockpit in GRAY FS 36270Mr. Hobby H306. All the buttons are painted in white and some in red. After these operations, we will do the weathering, for the line between the panels I used color OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (535 - Ivory Black ). Then I applied the dry brush technique to the Cockpit and ejection seat with metallic colors from Testor colors.
5. Air intakes.
The first step to do is to prepare the air intakes, gluing the various parts and close all the cracks with Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby. After you can spray the interior with Tamiya Mini X-2 Gloss White Acrylic. Once this operation is completed, the air intakes are glued to the two semi-fuselages. Unfortunately the alignment is not very precise, so it will be necessary to sand and close the fissures again with Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby and superglue. The Exhaust Nozzle they are too simple, few details, so I wanted to upgrade with Eduard resin.
6. Fuselage and nose.
The fuselage complete with negative panels is dimensionally scaled, but requires some minor adjustments. Before starting any work, it is good to sand the whole model with a sheet of sandpaper No. 500, slightly damp, for two reasons: 1° to eliminate the porous appearance of the surface, 2° to bring the paneling back to a thinner negative. Insert the nose, and the connection with the fuselage requires a lot of attention, and cut the panels in the right places to connect the parts of the two kits, see the photos for the operations performed.
7. Wings and Fuselage .
The SWS model fits the wings very well to the fuselage, so also the lower part of the wing. In any case will be necessary to do many dry tests, and glue piece by piece paying attention to the alignments with the fuselage. Here again you will need superglue.
The canopy is very clear, but requires several grouting steps of Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby and superglue, before gluing it will be necessary to paint the interior frames in matt black . Toothpaste was used to polish out all of the sanding scratches after the seam had been removed. And after I used Johnson Wax Wood, Beeswax.
9. Landing Gears.
Landing gear, those from the kit are very good, they have good proportions, it was necessary to add wiring in copper, of various thickness, I also added a hydraulic jack not present in the kit, for this I used photographs taken from the internet, the wheels must be replaced with those of the Eduard 648012 F-4C/D/E/F/G wheels
10. Camouflage, Markings and Decals.
Marking is taken from an image of the Israeli AF in The Yom Kippur War Facts and Figures, By Ra’anan Weiss, Isradecals Publications.
Before painting the model with its three-tone IAF camouflage. I gave a hand of gray Mr. Surfacer 1200 and sanded and the kit, to see if there were roughness in the surfaces. After as in the reality I gave a base coat with Ammo of Mig: 221 FS33481 Zinc Chromate Yellow. Again with the airbrush the lower part will be painted with Mr. Hobby Color Blue FS 35622, then the upper part with Mr. Hobby Color YELLOW FS 33531 and finally with the scheme in front of the two tones of green FS 34227 and brown FS 30219, I have not used masks, but with the good airbrush IWATA NEO, following the contours of the lines marked with a pencil. For the air intake and gear bays well ,with Mr. Hobby N.1 White Acrylic.. The Decals, some are part of the Kit ITALERI by Cartograph , others were a reserve from my warehouse.
I used the missiles from the kit SWS and ALQ 119 POD AGM.655 from the kit ITALERI, EXTERNAL FUEL TANK from the kit SWS.
12. Weathering and finished model
The weathering of the model is very important and this entire task was undertaken carefully. In order to give prominence to the panel lines I added diluted Acrylic. The darker colors were added to the lower areas of the panel lines with the lighter shades along the edges. This latter operation will give a certain depth to the model and will eliminate the flat appearance of a standard paint scheme. For the lines between the panels I used colors I used OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (278 - Burnt Sienna - 535 - Ivory Black - 018 - Titanium White ). In conclusion you will paint all the surfaces with Final semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it - floor glass.
* THE ISRAELI AF IN THE YOM KIPPUR WAR Facts and figures – IsraDecal Publications by Ra'anan Weiss
* Many images from the web