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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sins and rants (F-4D, Blenheim)

Forgive me Faddah, for I have sinned. Well, at least I'm getting ready to. My sins are many and varied, but today we should talk about sins against accuracy and sins against buildability.

I have this decal sheet, see? It is a Syhart rendition of the noteworthy F-4 Phantom that flew for the North Dakota ANG in a lavish commemorative paint scheme. And it's an F-4, so there must be dozens of kits to choose from, right? Unfortunately it is an F-4D, which, although both Fujimi and Hasegawa have technically created kits for this version, they really only got one pressing and then disappeared forever (or at least until after I finish this model).  Ebay prices for this, when the rare F-4D actually is listed, usually run over $50 with shipping. Even with the recent small financial windfall, I am still a modeller of limited means, and that's a bit higher than I want to go for a type that I'm not super interested in. Buying the Hasegawa Eurofighter for $38 almost killed me :) !

So here's the deal. I have an ESCI Bicentennial release F-4 of indeterminate type. It's another one where the instructions have become separated from the plastic. It does have a small sensor under the nose (as does the F-4D), but I'm not enough of a Phantom geek to know what other errors I would be committing if I build this kit and cover it with Syhart decals. But the truth is that I think I can make it look as much as possible like a D. F-4s are relatively similar until you get to the Spey engined versions, and this thing is going to be sitting in my display case, not in the F-4 Museum. The only public airing it will get will be in this blog. Thus, my first sin.

The second is more of a rant. I really hate the new(ish) Airfix Blenheim. I'm not an Airfix hater; in fact I've gobbled up all of their new product and enjoyed it immensely, though I haven't gotten the C-47 or Shack yet. But I found the Blenheim to be almost unbuildable. There, I said it. It is difficult to get everything to fit inside the cockpit, the nose pieces don't want to cozy up to the rest of the fuselage, the cockpit glass is in too many pieces which are hellacious to line up, the bomb bay door took a pound of putty, and the engines and exhaust ring didn't want to fit in the nacelles. The wings did fit all right...

I have no illusions. Most of the misalignment is likely to have been caused by impatience and the fact that I have two hands made up mostly of thumbs. But I haven't heard much positive being said about this kit in the blogosphere. I was keeping notes for doing an eventual Mk 4 Blenheim, but that won't be happening. I'm done with the kit, and once it gets its airing on the blog it will be confined in the deepest, darkest, most spider-infested part of one of the display cases. The attached picture pretty accurately sums up my feelings. 

I will do appropriate penance to expiate these sins against accuracy and buildability, possibly 10 Hail Hasegawas or more. Here endeth today's lesson. 


  1. would you like a list of the things in that Esci boxing to make an F-4D with? I believe that it is all there to do one.
    If you want a parts list to follow, I'll look in one of my Esci/AMT/ERTL kits and list the part numbers and descriptions for you.
    It would be no trouble at all, if you want it.

  2. Hi Rex. That would be great. I know we had exchanged a couple of notes on this topic via 72 Scale Aircraft. I just wussied out for spending the bucks to get an actual Hasegawa/Fujimi kit. I'm no engineer (which I'm sure you're already well aware of!) so this is a bit out of my wheelhouse. How bout I send you a PM via the 72 Scale forum and we can get the list passed that way. Much appreciated, compadre!

  3. ..with you on the Blenheim! ...who built the test shot, that's what I want to know!