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Phantom F4 jet

22 Sep
2012

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Since the USAF retired its F-4G fleet, it has been without a truly capable Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) platform. The F-4G shown here has both AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 Standard ARM (the larger weapon) missiles underwing, while the trailing F-4E machine carries AGM-88 HARM. (Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

New antennas

The APR-38 required no less than 56 (later 52) fresh antennae in forward, beam and aft positions, operating in low-, medium and high-frequency bands. Some of these were enclosed within the more obvious external changes that had been made, but there were many other antennae on the flanks of the fuselage below the pilot’s windscreen, along the spine of the aircraft, on the fin and in the wings. It is unfortunately beyond the scope of this work to describe the nature and location of all these.
Very early in its career, the F-4G was adapted to carry the F-15’s more highly stressed 600-US gal centreline drop tank, with the result that centreline fuel no longer had to be dropped the moment a dogfight threatened. Another early modification affected the EWO’s twin external rear-view mirrors, which were fitted in the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions around the canopy frame. These emitted a most disturbing noise when subjected to the airflow around the canopy, and the easy and perfectly peaceful solution to this problem was a single external mirror mounted at the top of the frame. Many other Phantom variants of course benefited from this modification.

One of the early F-4E to F-4G conversions, 69-0263 shows off the revised undernose features of the F-4G to advantage. It is finished in the South-East Asia colours and does not represent the full-standard conversion – note the rear-view mirror style. (McDonnell Douglas via Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

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The first production F-4G, 69-0239, roared into George AFB California – as only a Phantom can – on 28 April 1978. By July 1980 three squadrons at George were fully converted to the new Weasel, these being the 561st TFS (yellow fin flash), the 562nd TFTS Weasel training squadron (blue fin flash) and the 563rd TFS (red fin flash). Overseas-based
Weasel units were also re-equipped, the first Gs destined for the 81st TFS at Spangdahlem and the 90th TFS in the Philippines, touching down in March 1979 and July 1979, respectively. Delivery of all first-batch machines was completed by June 1981.

Spangdahlem Weasels

At Spangdahlem in 1987, the hunter/ killer teamwork approach to successful Weaseling was taken a step further. Hunter/killer operations begun with the EF-100F and its attendant F-105Ds, continued with the EF-105F/F-105G with F-105D/F-4E support, and continued again with the pairing of F-4Gs with Es. Now the USAF reshaped the 52nd TFW into a fully unified F-4G/F-16C/D unit. The 23rd TFS, 81st TFS and 480th TFS were all eventually equipped with 12 F-4Gs and 12 F-16s. Nevertheless, the Weasels of the 90th TFS at Clark continued to operate with the resident F-4Es.
In late 1988, conversion work began on a second batch of 18 FY69 F-4Es, but this time the resultant F-4Gs were fitted with the even more advanced AN/APR-47 HAWC. The APR-47 provided much more memory, faster processing and greater range, with the result that it was able to pick up and hold enemy radars emitting either weak signals, or signals for only very short periods. The new system also enabled the F-4G to take the fullest advantage of the range of its air-to-ground missiles. First-batch machines were updated with the more powerful HAWC.
Although the F-4G was a hugely capable warplane, the F-4 airframe was geriatric, and after only ten years service, consideration turned to its retirement. In spite of the invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and the commencement of Operation Desert Shield, plans for the withdrawal of the first F-4Gs from active duty went ahead, the first two aircraft leaving Clark AB on 19 December 1990.

Desert Weasels f-4e

The details and the importance of the Weasel presence over Iraq during Desert Storm is well documented elsewhere;
here it perhaps suffices to say that, as in Vietnam, bomber crews making up attack packages were happier going into action if there was some attendant Weasel life insurance. The actual ‘hit’ rate achieved by the F-4G is classified, but the aircraft performed beyond expectations, and its ground maintenance crews achieved some phenomenal daily availability figures, in spite of the age of the Phantom. No F-4G was lost due to enemy fire, but this was partly due to the fact that the very long-ranged AGM-88A/B missile usually allowed Weasel crews to operate from outside the lethal envelope of identified SAM sites, and also much of the anti-aircraft artillery.
The Gulf War brought home to military planners the fact that without the F-4G, the Air Force could not perform the full Wild Weasel mission. The F-4G won itself a reprieve. Starting in July 1991, the Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th FS at Gowen Field, Boise Air Terminal, began receiving 24 F-4Gs recovered from storage at the AMARC (Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. During much of 1992, the 190th was the only home-based Weasel unit.
Although the Gulf War was over, the Iraqi military machine had not been destroyed, and Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch were established, in order to police the northern and southern no-fly zones over

Right: A combination of AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-78 Standard ARM, AGM-88 HARM and AGM-65 Maverick missiles makes up an unusual display load for this F-4G. The performance of Shrike during the 1991 Gulf War was questionable and the Weasel community soon switched to exclusive AGM-88 operations. (McDonnell Douglas via Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

Below: The F-4G and F-16C made a fine hunter/killer Weasel pair. With the retirement of the F-4G, the F-16 finally received proper AGM-88 compatibility in its Block 50 versions, with the podded HARM Targeting System. Even so, the Weasel F-16CJ still cannot match all of the capabilities of the trusty F-4G. (Department of Defence via Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

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Iraq. These operations required Weasel support, and the Department of Defence was forced to the view that a regular USAF F-4G Weasel unit was again required to be based within the continental United States. The 561st FS was reactivated at Nellis AFB on 1 February 1993. Thereafter, the 190th and 561st took turns, as required, over Iraq through until 2 January 1996, the date of the last F-4G combat patrol over the country. The 561st

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FS at Nellis, the USAF’s last ‘Rhino’ squadron, was deactivated on 26 March 1996. The 190th at Boise flew its last F-4Gs the following month. Project Wild Weasel had breathed its last.

F-4G weapons

Initially the F-4G used the same mix of anti-radar missiles as the F-105G, namely the AGM-45 Shrike and the AGM-78 Standard ARM, but a new and much more advanced ARM, the AGM-88 HARM (High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) was being developed. HARM began replacing Shrike in 1983. The 1980s saw the termination of production of both the Shrike and Standard ARM, but Weasel F-4Gs were still using Shrike during the Gulf War
AGM-88 has many new virtues, but its really big advance was that it can lock on to an enemy radar emitter and then home directly to its location, even though the emitter may subsequently have been turned off. HARM can also be used in different modes, one of which flies the missile on a ballistic trajectory, allowing it more time to search for specific threats. Without underwing fuel, the F-4G could carry four HARM rounds.
F-4G crews also took enthusiastically to another new Weaseling weapon, this being the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile. Maverick was by no means new and was already being used by other versions of the F-4, and other attack aircraft. Maverick is available in several different versions, but the AGM-65D’s infra-red seeker head offered Weasel crews the chance to lock on to ground transmitters, even if they had already shut-down, the seeker picking up the wash of infra-red heat surrounding the radar control vans, etc. The final version of Maverick used by the F-4G was the AGM-65G, combining TV and imaging infra-red guidance with a larger warhead. The G-model was first used in combat during the Gulf War. Three rounds of Maverick could be carried beneath each of the F-4’s inner wing pylons. The F-4G was also able to carry a range of additional conventional ground attack munitions, together with the standard pair of 370-US gal drop tanks hung from the outer wing pylons, plus the 600-US gal centreline tank previously described.

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The ‘WW’ tailcodes became synonymous with the Weasel mission and, indeed, gave it its name. Here the nose contours of the F-4E (trailing) and the F-4G are compared to advantage. Note that the F-4G carries a mixed load of AGM-45, AGM-65 and AGM-78, while the F-4E is unarmed. (Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

For self defence the Phantom Weasel normally utilised up to three rounds of the AIM-7 Sparrow missile, located in both of the rear underfuselage recesses, and in the forward right side recess. In the fourth recess on the left side it was normal to fit an electronic countermeasures pod. In the early days the AN/ALQ-119(V)-17 noise/deception jammer pod was most favoured, but further development of this pod eventually resulted in the AN/ALQ-184(V)-2 ECM pod, which was rather similar in appearance. Also frequently used was the shorter and stubbier AN/ALQ-131(V)-12.

F-4G colours

F-4G Weasels initially operated in the South-East Asia disruptive camouflage scheme of light grey undersides, and tan, green and dark green topsides, Federal Standard numbers for these shades respectively being 36622, 30219, 34102 and 34079. Quite soon after its service inception, the F-4G received a variation to the scheme that deleted an area of tan 30219 previously applied behind the rear cockpit. Around 1980 the application of this scheme to many F-4s was modified by deleting the grey and extending the other colours to the undersides in a wraparound pattern.
The European 1 scheme, introduced in 1983, brought the first real facelift to the F-4G in the shape of a new wraparound scheme comprising greens 34102 and 34079 again, plus 36081 dark grey. The application pattern was the same as the previous wraparound, the grey merely replacing the previous tan, but the overall effect was, of course, much darker. Eventually, many underwing stores were also finished with either one of the fuselage colours, or with olive drab, and even some Sparrow missile rounds received the treatment.
Starting in 1987 the F-4G began receiving a further and completely different camouflage scheme, with a semi-gloss finish. Hill Grey II utilised grey 36270 over the nose, tail fin, the flanks of the air intakes and the outboard wing panels above and below, while dark grey 36118 went everywhere else – that is basically the entire central fuselage area and the majority of the wings above and below.
As originally introduced, the Hill Grey II scheme kept 36118 completely away from the nose of the F-4. However, very quickly the scheme was varied, and the dark grey 36118 was soon being carried forward, all along the ventral nose canoe towards the chin radome, and all through the cockpit canopy frames and beyond, so as to form an anti-dazzle panel for the pilot. Hill Grey II was popularly known as Egypt 1 and the F-4Gs ultimately ended their days in this scheme.

Modelling the F-4G

Fujimi, Kit No. 7A-G6

Fujimi’s F-4G hit the streets in 1985, and was one in quite a series of different Phantom family kits, including all the major American – and British-engined variants. Eventually almost 30 kits were issued if re-boxings are taken into account. I remember the excitement that these kits generated, in particular their finely-recessed details and modern design, moulding and packaging methods, but all things in retrospect are relative.
Assembly begins with the cockpit unit. The basis of this is a single moulding that supplies a floor and side consoles, plus a bulkhead at the back of the rear cockpit. Into this is installed a pair of vertical instrument panels, a pair of control sticks and a pair of ejection seats. There are decals for all the instrument panels. The ejection seats are constructed from just two pieces each and will not satisfy most modellers these days, but there are plenty of alternatives around on the accessory market. The completed cockpit section is then fixed to an underpan which includes the nosewheel well, and the fuselage halves are assembled around this subassembly.
At least that was Fujimi’s intention, but Ian Howland, who built this kit for me, soon found that this route leads to the cockpit sitting so low that the pilot and EWO would be unable to see out! It became necessary to jack up the cockpit floor by 3 mm so as to raise the seats, and to raise the side consoles as well. Ian said there was also a large void in the rear cockpit area, and overall a lot of unexpected work with plasticard was required. This eventually left him feeling rather disappointed.
With the fuselage complete the engine intakes and intake splitter plates can be added, but as usual these need to be painted first. On the right side of the forward fuselage, panel lines are indented for a retractable refuelling probe, but this is not correct for Air Force F-4s and needs filling. The wings are made up from a single-piece lower wing moulding which is let into the fuselage from below, and then left and right upper wing halves are added from above. The fairings for the leading-edge slat hinges are separate items, and holes need to be drilled to locate them before the wings are fixed.

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Attention can now turn away from the basic structure and onto some of the details. The cockpit glassware was surprisingly found to be moulded in one piece, with the single external mirror setup for the EWO. The canopy was a particular surprise, given that Fujimi’s RAF Phantoms have a multi-section canopy and, it must be said, a rather better cockpit representation as well. For safety, the tailplanes are best added right at the end for most F-4 models, and although Fujimi’s location tabs are robust and large, the location slots in the side of the tail are even larger and either superglue or amendments to the slots are required.
Most modellers will want to add the undercarriage, minus wheels, at this stage. Both front and main gear sets are well done by Fujimi, the only omission being some location lugs for the large front nose gear door. The jetpipes can be left until major painting is done; these are a touch too small and they leave a slight stepped appearance against the edge of the rear fuselage.
The F-4G’s undernose canoe is a wholly separate item in this kit, but looks good once in place, except that the black-finished APR-38 beam antennae set into either side of its chin are poorly defined. On the right side of its spine the F-4G sports a prominent twin-antenna set, but although Fujimi moulds these as separate items, there are no location aids for them, and the instruction sheet would have you believe that these go on the dorsal centreline. In fact the only external antenna actually on the centreline is the F-4’s standard TACAN blade antenna, and the kit moulds this integrally with the leftside fuselage half. The wing-tip RHAWS antennae are a little too large, and the fin-tip fairing enclosing the rear-looking antennae is slightly too small.
Although Fujimi offers the modeller a fairly comprehensive set of weapons and fuel tanks to go beneath its F-4G, unfortunately there are no dedicated Weasel ARMs. An acceptable ALQ-119 ECM pod is supplied, together with both wing and fuselage tanks, however, the centreline tank is not the F-15 Eagle-style tank with the additional connection to the fuselage at the rear. The pylons are moulded integrally with the tanks, but separate pylons are also included. The wing inner pylons have moulded chaff dispenser detail.
F-4Gs are capable of carrying AIM-9 Sidewinders for self-defence, but these were rarely seen mounted, the Weasels relying instead on the AIM-7 Sparrow. Fujimi supplies both missile types, but the AIM-9s are not useable anyway. The inner wing pylons have slots cut in them to allow the fitting of Sidewinder launch racks, without the racks these will need to be filled.
Given the design date for this kit, the three colour schemes offered by the kit decals unavoidably concentrate on the ubiquitous South-East Asia two greens, tan and grey. First of all, there are two George-based aircraft, 69-7582 with ‘WW’ tailcodes and 69-7290 with ‘GA’ codes, both apparently operating with the 39th TFTS, which therefore should date them both at the late 1970s. The latter machine is particularly interesting, since it has been claimed that only two F-4Gs picked up ‘GA’ tailcodes – hopefully ‘290 was one of them, certainly 69-7263 was the other. The third machine is 69-7210 with ‘PN’ tailcodes, serving with the 90th TFS at Clark AB in the Phillipines.
In our case the decals were missing from what was a second-hand copy of Fujimi’s F-4G, and Ian Howland therefore modelled 69-7561 ‘WW’, the personal aircraft of the Commander of the 561st FS at George AFB. The decals are dated post-Gulf War at March 1992 and are therefore close to the demise of the base. The decals were drawn from Superscale’s set 72-660 and there were no application problems.

In terms of airframe design and avionics, the basic F-16C was a world away from the F-4G. However, the F-4G had been fitted with a range of systems for the SEAD mission and these had been steadily improved. It also had the airframe space available for the additional equipment and antennae needed for the Weasel equipment. Perhaps most importantly, however, it had a two-crew cockpit, a configuration likely to have considerable advantages when flying a complex mission in real combat. (Department of Defence via Aerospace Publishing Ltd)

Hasegawa f-4g

This Wild Weasel F-4G is just one of a whole family of excellent l:72-scale Phantoms emanating from Hasegawa in Japan. Most of the family share the same basic mouldings and methods of construction, and readers may wish to refer to the December 2001 (Volume 23/10, available as a back issue) SAM, where a full description of Hasegawa’s l:72-scale F-4C may be found.
Hasegawa’s F-4G of course differs from its other F-4s only where necessary, and so the box contains a pair of fresh instrument panels for the crew, new front fuselage mouldings, revised outer wing panels, leading edge wing slats, slotted tailplanes, long afterburner nozzles and a new fin-tip fairing. A number of new parts is also included to cater for the F-4E-style nose landing gear. The F-4G’s dorsal

Above: This is the Fujimi 1:72nd-scale kit of the F-4G. The kit decals offer a choice of three aircraft, all of which revolve around the four-colour South-East Asia scheme. However, this model is finished in the later Hill Grey II scheme, with decals taken from Superscale’s sheet 72-660. (Model: Ian Howland)

Below: The Fujimi kit comes with a complete collection of ordnance, but apart from an ALQ-119 pod and Sparrows for self defence, little of it has much to do with the Wild Weasel mission, and if ARMs are required, these will have to be found elsewhere. (Model: Ian Howland) blade antennae are provided as separate parts. Finally, Hasegawa did not forget to include the F-15’s centreline auxiliary tank, plus chaff dispenser boxes for the sides of the inner wing pylons.

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Sidewinder missile launch rails are included, but in common with most of Hasegawa’s l:72-scale fast-jet kits there is no weaponry to hang beneath the wings, and a favourite accessory set will have to be raided to furnish Shrikes, Standard ARMs, HARMs or Mavericks. Hasegawa’s instruction leaflet provides a pylon-by-pylon armaments table.
The decal sheet offers two markings options, the first being F-4G 69-251 with ‘WW’ tailcodes on the strength of the 563rd TFS at George AFB. This aircraft is interesting as it was the one-time flagship of the 37th TFW and the ‘torpedo’ fairing at the top of the fin is replete with the colours of the component squadrons of the 37th up to October 1989; namely the 561st TFS, the 562nd TFTS and the 563rd TFS. ‘251 wears Hill Grey II colours. The alternative option is for F-4G 69-0255 coded ‘SP’, with the 23rd TFS, 52nd TFW based at Spangdahlem, Germany and wearing the European 1 scheme.

Italeri; Kit no. 134

Italeri’s l:72-scale kit was produced by scaling down the company’s earlier 1:48-scale F-4G, and this will be described in part two of this feature. Generally, however, the raised surface detail is very evident, but the open spaces within the cockpits are less noticeable. The best part of the kit is the representation of the three undercarriage units, and these are very good indeed.
Decals are included for F-4G 69-257 coded ‘WW’, in the SE Asia scheme and serving with the 39th TFTS, 35th TFW at George AFB, California. Markings for a German F-4F 37+88 are also provided.

Stephen J. Di Nucci

rc warbirds

Bloch MB injection-moulded

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This is a new Czech company that is combining the basic Azur kit with modified parts. A number of variants of the basic Bloch design were produced, with most of the differences between variants being around the cowling. Aviation News Volume 18, Number 5 contains drawings of the Bloch fighters and based on these a new cowling and engine are supplied in the kit. These are for the Gnome-Rhone 14 N-25  engine fitted to the Bloch MB.151 before its evolution -•into the MB.152.
The kit is moulded in the usual light grey plastic with incised panel lines. The parts are sharp and without flash. Starting with the interior, the kit supplies a floor, seat, bulkhead, instrument panel, control column and centre console. The seat is embellished with etched-brass seat belts and there is also an etched-brass instrument panel. The cockpit sidewalls have some embossed detail and, after painting, the cockpit assembly was cemented to one side of the fuselage and the two halves joined. The wings consist of a singe lower surface, with port and starboard upper surfaces. These were fitted next, followed by the new resin
engine cowling. The engine itself must be assembled, cylinder by cylinder. The only other components that I fixed before painting were the horizontal stabilisers, underwing air scoop and tail skid. There are four units depicted on the decal sheet, all the depicted aircraft being painted in the three-colour disruptive
scheme. After painting the delicate parts – undercarriage, pitot tube and aerial masts – were added. Decals are provided for one of three French air force aircraft: No. 364 of the Etampes flying school, 1940; one from the Vichy Navy at Ecole de St Raphael, 1942; and No. 68 of Escadrille AC 3, 1940. The fourth machine belonged to the Greek air force. I chose the flying school aircraft and after applying a coat of matt varnish I fitted the vacform canopy and the propeller – this latter item is a challenge. As with many short-run kits, separate blades need to be fitted to the spinner. In this case there is no guide to where the three locating holes go. This means the modeller has to find a geometry compass and use what is, hopefully, a well known principle, to mark out the holes. Just in case you have forgotten, draw a circle on a piece of paper, subdivide the circumference by the radius, pick out three of the six sections and draw a line to the pivot hole. Place the spinner in the centre, mark where the lines touch it and drill holes equidistant from the back of the spinner. This is a surprisingly quick process, taking no more than five minutes.

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You now have an excellent replica of an early variant in the Bloch fighter series. The kit has no vices and the decals adhere perfectly to a gloss surface with no decal film.

Sikorski s-38

helicopter models

This is the first kit I have built by this company and what a cracker it is. This amphibian was used by Pan American Airways on its Caribbean routes from 1927. Small private companies and the US Navy also used it.
The instruction sheets contain a number exploded views to aid construction, even down to the rigging. Also included are a number of photographs of the actual aircraft, including some colour shots of a replica. All this is very good, since reference material is not easy to find. For starters, a copy of
World Aviation in Spain volume 1 by J Miranda is useful, because it contains a set of l:72-scale drawings of the S-38, although the kit is more detailed than the drawings.
Colour scheme information and decals are provided for five aircraft. Each scheme is subject to a four-view colour drawing with detailed colouring instructions. You must decide immediately which scheme you want to model, as there are variations in the window configuration – two fuselages are provided to cover this. My first task was to remove the fuselage halves from the poring core and clean the membrane from the windows. The fuselage is split vertically, allowing insertion of the cabin detail. This consists of floor and bulkhead castings, to which are added the seats and control column. All this detail was painted, the passenger windows were fitted, the interior was cemented in place and the fuselage joined. At the rear end of the fuselage is a sliding hatch and since I intended to sit it in the partially open position, I left it off until after painting. It is obvious from the start that external painting must be done in-between construction stages, since it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get to the fuselage when the wings are attached. Having test fitted the lower wings, which are located into the fuselage with pegs, I painted the latter. Next I attached the floats to the wings, painted each assembly and then cemented them to the fuselage. The engine nacelles are attached midway between the lower and upper wings. Fixing such items is usually fun, especially in resin, because the glue you have to use does not have a semi-stick stage when angles can be adjusted. In this case, however, there is no problem because the aircraft has a large centre strut with two arms, onto which each nacelle is fixed. Every modeller has his or her own method of attaching upper wings on biplanes. Usually I fix the upper wing using a minimum of struts and fill in with the others. However, with this aircraft the upper wing assembly is heavy – very heavy – and with the engines being central attaching it can be tricky. After a couple of false starts, I decided to assemble the whole upper area before fitting the wing. I first fixed the centre strut to the underside of the upper wing, then the nacelles to each side strut. It was then a matter of adding the nacelle struts one by one. Once complete, the struts and nacelles are extremely rigid. The tail booms came next; they fit into slots in the trailing edge of the wing. I added the horizontal tail, the bracing struts and the rudder activating levers and painted this assembly. Now to mount the upper wing. To facilitate this, I had to set the fuselage on blocks, drop the main strut into the fuselage and, again using blocks, set it up square and level. I then removed the top section, added 15-minute epoxy glue to the joint and then set it up again. I used this type of glue as it gave me time to reset. I then carefully removed the whole thing from the blocks and added the tail strut. The resulting structure was then fairly rigid, allowing me to add the other struts one by one. Because the wheels are trapped between two struts, it was necessary to paint and fix them to the undercarriage legs and then fix the fuselage to wheel brackets. I painted the bottom of the undercarriage first, so that I did not catch the tyres. Having painted the struts and added the tailskid and various small items, it was time to apply the decals. On the aircraft I was modelling there is a red cheat line along the fuselage. This line goes behind some of the struts, so if you use this line I strongly advise you to cut the stripe in half since you will find it much easier to handle. The next step was to fit the pre-painted vacform canopy and a grab handle on the rear fuselage that would have been in the way when decalling. At this stage I rigged the model using a combination of stretched sprue and Lycra thread from Aeroclub. This enabled me to vary the thickness of the rigging depending on its purpose. All I had to do then was fit the pre-painted engine assemblies and propellers, to complete a unique model.

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In conclusion, this is not a job for the faint hearted, a situation which has nothing to do with the kit, which is excellent. It is just that CMK has delved into one of the most exciting areas of aviation, where one of the solutions to increasing airframe strength was to add more struts – and this aircraft had a lot! Having said all that though, if you have experience with resin, and, like me, you are interested in all aviation, then this is irresistible. Now, who will produce a 1:72 H. P.42 in resin or plastic?

Douglas DC-4 Skymaster

model s

This is a re-issue of a previous Welsh Models kit, but it is now supplied with metal engines and propellers. Previous kits had decals for Invicta, British Eagle or Sabena. This time the kit features an Alitalia machine. The airline leased the aircraft from Aer Turas, hence it has the registration EI-ANL. The decal sheets in the earlier kits did not include window decals, since at that time the kit instructions recommended filing out the windows, and filling with Crystal Clear or similar. The kit thus has indentations for the windows and these will need filling before commencing construction, if you wish to use the window decals supplied. The decals are first class and in fact include cheat lines long enough for a DC-6 or a DC-7C and also have the oval windows for these types. I suspect therefore that another kit might be forthcoming for a DC-6B, as the registration letters l-DIMB, for a DC-6B, at one time operated by Alitalia, are also on the decal sheet. An alternative nose is provided if you wish to model a long-nose DC-4, although EI-ANL had a short nose.
Construction is very straightforward and quite honestly the most difficult part is applying the cheat line decals for the nose. 

The DC-4 had rubber boot de-icing equipment so I used some thin black decal stripes to define the trailing edges of the boots above and below the wings and tailplane before painting the boots, giving them nice clean edges.
Brian Thorne

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