1/32 Tamiya F-4D Phantom

Gallery Article by Luc Janssen on Nov 2 2011



When I finished my Marines F-4J earlier this year, I decided to build another 1/32 Tamiya Phantom because the  problems and corrections of the kit were still fresh in my mind! After checking my books and magazines, I decided to make a USAF F-4 D, based at Udorn in 1972, loaded with KMU-390 “Smart Bombs” and equipped with an early QRC-335-3 Jammer Pod. Again I opted for a simple diorama of an F-4D parked on a piece of concrete platform.

I used 2 after-market update kits, namely the Combat Series F-4D resin cockpit set and the AMS Resin FOD covers. When compared with the Aires F-4J/S cockpit set, the Combat Series is less accurate and some parts are missing. The upper edges of the cockpit tub are missing and no supplementary detail for the canopies is included! The side walls do not fit correctly and I had to remake the rear starboard side wall completely. Although the Aires seats have to be foreseen of belts, the finished and painted seats look more realistic!

I tried to give as much as possible detail to the seats, the cockpit, the canopies and the landing gear, but I kept the landing gear wells unmodified. I am getting too old to detail bits and parts that can no longer be seen once the model is finished!  The boarding ladder was also reworked with different detail on the upper end.

The QRC-Jammer Pod was scratch built and the KMU-390’s came from the Trumpeter A–7D Corsair. I flattened the tires, which came from an old Revell kit, and added a tread pattern. Although rarely seen, I left the flaps completely retracted and flush with the trailing end of the wings.


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This F-4D was used during the Vietnam war. I opted for a SEA camouflage, well-worn as can be seen on many photographs of that period.

I started to spray Alclad Dull Aluminum on the parts of the plane which suffered the most from servicing, after which I gave these parts 2 coats of gloss varnish. Then I gave the model the 3-tone painting, starting with Dark Tan (FS 30219), then Medium Green (FS 34102) and last Dark Green (FS 34079).  The undersides were sprayed Camouflage Gray (FS 36622).

Now the ‘paint-chipping’ job was done on the sides of the fuselage in the cockpit area, the edges of the cockpit, the upper sides of the intakes, the leading edge of the wings, the tip of the pylons and drop tanks. Once finished, the entire model was coated with gloss varnish and the decals were applied. The decals from the box were of very bad quality (?) and I had to replace them by decals from my spares. I used the top quality decals from Isra/Decal for the stenciling.


I started with the cleaning of the entire model and, on top of the glossy finish, I worked with different tones of pastels to accentuate the panel lines. Some panel lines were extra treated with very sharp Dark Brown, Dark Green and Black color pencils. Some ‘field maintenance’ paint patches were applied with a brush (cut short) as well.

The advantage of working on the glossy finish is that the accents are not too pronounced and that it is easier to remove ‘overdones’!

This job finished, I gave the model an overall coat of gloss and dull varnish (5 parts dull and 1 part gloss) and I started to apply the many dirt patches and airflow strains, again with pastels and a very fine brush. A few small spots on the wings and fuselage were lighted up with Light Gray and Yellow pastels.

The base was made from sheet styrene treated with plastic cement applied with a sponge. The joints between the concrete plates were made from white glue, diluted with water and coloured with black water paint. The base was heavily weathered with simulated oil patches and dirt.

After market update sets

  • Combat Series cockpit set F-4 D

  • AMS Resin FOD covers


  • Alclad II Laquer – Model Master


  • Danny Coremans US Navy F-4B/J/N/S Phantom

  • F-4 Phantom II in action

  • F-4 Phantom II in Detail & Scale

  • Squadron/Signal Publications         . . . And kill Migs

  • Squadron/Signal Publications         Air War over Southeast Asia Vol 2 + 3

  • Squadron/Signal Publications         Phantom II

  • Famous Airplanes of the World      F-4J/K Phantom

Luc Janssen

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Photos and text © by Luc Janssen