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ANG Days: 1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

This 1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II kit is typical of Monogram products back in the 1970s and 80s, defined by impressive detail for the time (especially in the cockpit) with finely raised panel lines, all produced at affordable prices. The fit was sometimes less than stellar, however many of us in North America "cut our teeth" on these kits and continue to build them today, despite their age.


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Notable Kit Features:


  • Nicely molded (and mostly correct) cockpit

  • Detailed ejection seats (partly molded into the pit)

  • Good overall shape and dimensions

  • Finely done raised panel lines

  • Nicely done landing gear

  • Multi-piece glass canopy can be positioned open or closed

  • Separate ailerons and speed brakes which can be positioned

  • Basic Air-Air armament (AIM-7 and AIM-9) come with the kit as well as ECM pods, "Towel Rack" Loran antenna, camera pod & Vulcan gun-pod


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Build Inspiration:


I built this aircraft to depict one of the many USAF "MiG Killers" of the Vietnam war. Shown here in its later ANG livery, this F-4C was crewed at one point by Lt. Col. Robert Titus and 1st Lt. Milan Zimer, of the 366th TFW, 389th TFS ‘The Gunfighters’. Titus received an Air Force Cross for his actions near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 22 May 1967. Titus an Zimer led their flight into one of the most heavily defended areas of North Vietnam in direct support of F-105 strike aircraft operations. Undaunted by accurate flak and five surface-to-air missiles that were launched at their aircraft, they repeatedly and unhesitatingly engaged numerous MiG-21s in defence of the friendly aircraft. During these aggressive and courageous aerial encounters, they destroyed two MiG-21 aircraft. (Pictured below is Lt. Col. Robert Titus)


Lt. Col. Robert Titus with his F-4C Phantom II

Heads-Up Report:


  • Ejection seats are partly molded into the pit (which still works for me)

  • Fit of the engine intakes will require some filler & sanding

  • Underside wing fit with aircraft nose requires careful fitting and possibly some filler work to join smoothly

  • Raised panel lines and detail make sanding seams problematic as detail is removed in the process (or you could completely sand off the panel lines)

  • Speed brake actuators are molded into the well

  • Horizontal stabilizer fit will require trimming as they sit too far off the fuselage

  • Outboard wing tanks are molded onto pylons

  • Glass fit is OK but not great (can be positioned open or closed)

  • Sink marks are often present in the Sparrows that come with the kit


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Kit Additions / Modifications:


  • Sanded off the raised panel lines

  • Wrapped yellow thread around the black painted ejection handles to get the fine spiral stripes done

  • Trimmed horizontal stabilizers tab to fit close to the fuselage

  • Cut ends from exhausts for more depth

  • Used third-party decals (Microscale?)


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Finishing:


This aircraft is depicted years after its involvement in the Vietnam War. At this point it was assigned to the Oregon ANG and is painted in overall Air Defense Gray (FS 16473). This was back when I was painting in oil based products and using Testors Lacquer gloss coat, which as I discovered, always yellowed after time. The walkways were decals and apparently did not get overcoated quite enough as they started flaking off after a number of years as well.


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

The After-Build Report:


Better F-4 kits are now available on the 1/48th scale market, however the Monogram Phantom II kits still produce a good result, that definitely looks the part, at a very reasonable cost. If you are looking for a bargain 1/48th F-4C Phantom II this Monogram kit is good value for money. The best (and expectedly most expensive) F-4C/D kit in 1/48th is most likely the Zoukei-Mura. I have built the Academy 1/48th F-4C Phantom II which is quite nice (less detail than the Zoukei-Mura however less expensive as well) so model builders now have a few choices to suit your desired detail and price point in F-4 Phantoms (which was not always the case).


1/48th Monogram F-4C Phantom II

Completed build #52 - December 1992 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5800 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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