1/48 Monogram NF-4D

Gallery Article by Bob Leonard on Dec 18 2020

 

      

This is the Monogram 1/48 F-4C using the Caracal Models CD48162 - F-4 "Edwards Test Phantoms" sheet to make an NF-4D from 1986. The model is out of the box except I replaced the pitot tubes on the tail with brass rod. 

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There was a short period of time, between this kit's release in 1979 and Hasegawa's release of their F-4J in 1982, when this model was the finest Phantom kit on the planet. Today, with the Hasegawa, Academy and Zoukei-Mura 1/48 Phantom kits it is easy to overlook this gem. But that would be a mistake. Yes, it has raised lines, but I found by sanding gently with 6000 grit sandpaper I was able to expose the lines to show very subtle weathering befitting a test machine at Edwards AFB. It doesn't fit with the precision of a Tamiya kit, but the shapes are spot on (something Zoukei-Mura missed on the aft fuselage of their short-nose Phantoms.) 

I used Tamiya white and Xtracolor International Orange for the main paints. The NF-4D makes for a colorful alternative to the Southeast Asia scheme seen on most USAF Phantoms. 

International Orange is very difficult to cover with white decal; therefore, I carefully masked around the markings to avoid the orange bleeding through. The Caracal Decals preformed flawlessly. 

Bob Leonard

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Photos and text by Bob Leonard