As mentioned a few days back, I’ve started a few kits on their journey through the small aircraft production line. Many are intended to be used with the upcoming Xtradecal 72156, their RAF anniversary sheet for 2011/12. This will include a Tornado GR4, Eurofighter F2, and Hawk T1. I’ve also decided to move forward on an unusual kit for me, a Phantom. Unusual in that I don’t find myself very interested in F-4 variants. I think this stems from when I got back into modelling in the mid-1980s. It seemed that the only new models that were coming out were F-4 variants from Hasegawa and Fujimi. I came to loathe them, when there were so many aircraft types that were being ignored in order to give us yet another F-4. Quite a contrast to today, where if you look hard enough and are able to cope with resin and the occasional vac, you can build just about anything in 1:72 that took flight.
But I digress. The Phantom variant in the box is an FG1 (in its alternate guise as a Phantom F-4K). While stash diving last week I looked inside the Fujimi box and was delighted to find an old Modeldecal sheet (72) which had an FG1 in raspberry ripple colors and Phantom 25th anniversary markings as it appeared at the IAT in 1983. At first I wasn’t sure exactly what the differences were between an F-4K and an FG1. They are both Spey-engined, but the arcana of F-4 variant details is well outside my usual area of expertise, such as it is. I posted a quick question on the 72nd Scale Aircraft board, and was quickly apprised that they were basically the same. There are two things to note: the early FG1s did not have the square sensor tail and the particular airframe in these markings had a weird little Doppler panel on the underside of the nosecone. I discovered during the exchange that Fuijimi actually released a kit of this specific airframe in these markings – with a modified nose – but that is not the kit I have. Nonetheless, I think even my Profoundly Average skills can cope with sanding the area flatter and painting in the panel’s odd metallic color.
These three kits had their cockpits partially assembled and then went to the painting station for a coat of Dark Admiralty Grey. Next up will be to finish the cockpit assemblies and then get the main bits of the airframes together.