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ZM F-4J Phantom

1/48 Scale

Over the years I’ve purchased a number of ZM’s Fabulous Phantoms. The kit is wonderfully detailed, requires slow and careful assembly, reading and re-reading the instructions numerous times. I found most of ZM’s instructions to be on the confusing side with additional assembly notes somewhere on the page which I normally find too late. My personal opinion, just way too many drawings and at times, I still wasn’t clear where and how the part should be added. I did purchase ZM’s PE Cockpit Interior set and a resin set of ejection seats (note sure whose) – the rest of the build pure OOB.

Only one set of markings is included, decals are beautiful and printed by Cartograf. Sorry for not photographing the cockpit and fuselage portion of the build but when I started the kit, I hadn’t returned to the forum and didn’t think much about documenting the build. Use of my hands where very poor by then and the kit sat for months, just being too frustrating to deal with.  Once I was able to pick up the ball, progress was slow but enjoyable. Airbrush work and priming: MRP –One color I have a hard time achieving full coverage with: MRP White FS 17875 and I normally now use either either Tamiya or Mr Color.   

I did have a few fit issues and I still feel ZM kits are over engineered with more parts to make up an assembly then actually needed.

So here we go.

The fuselage built as per the instructions, including the engines, which will never be seen but they are there.

Wings assembled as per the instructions as well, with Tamiya Panel Line pin wash in the wheel wells to bring out the wonderful details. I did manage to lose one part and after contacting ZM USA – Volk’s, in order to purchase the missing part (fret), I needed to show proof of purchase from an authorized dealer. The kit cost $75 and the replacement part with postage was $19.90 – seems a bit extreme to me!  

Right now, I’m cleaning up the fuselage and wings, getting ready to add the canopy in the closed position and then priming. Canopy masks are not included and I bought three sets from DN, enough for future builds so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping three times. For a top of the line kit, they should have been included.

Right now, working on the Sparrows, Sidewinders and drop tanks; built, painted and decaled.

So here is where the build picks up.

Please accept my apologies for the terrible photographs - a bit too tired to set up the lights and background.

Thanks for checking in

Peter

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Looking very tidy Peter, those missiles look amazing, I ever did get to grip with mine when I did them. The ZM F4 was a joy to build but you’re right, read test fit and read again...........i black primed mine.......big mistake having to add white and grey on top..........settling in for a master class........

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Like Phil said, nice and clean build. Can't wait to see your magic working on the Phantom, after the sneak peak with the pylons and missiles. I have to make my peace somehow with ZM, after the partly horrible experiences with their TA-152. Overengineered is a good term to name it. I have some of their 32 scale kits in stash, maybe a P-51 soon or the Horten,...

Cheers Rob

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Thats looking fantastic Peter! The pylons are excellent along with the missiles and the seats. Really looking forward to see this come together.

Cheers

Kev

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Thanks Phil

A bit behind on replying to posts, still dealing with some medical issues. Yup, ZM's F4's certainly were ground breaking and brought the Phantoms to a new level of detailing and accuracy. Where ZM just gets way too bogged down for me is the instructions and over engineering.

I'm old school, prime only with medium gray and just not a weathering guy for aircraft. I counting the days, waiting for Tamiya's F-4B's and hopefully will be dieting on them for a while.

Keep 'em comin

Peter 

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Thanks Rob

Just my style with aircraft - like them neat and clean and ready for inspection in my display case.  Completely agree about ZM over engineering their kits - which easily increases the costs for no really good reason.

Looking forward to you working your magic on a Horton - now that's one kit that breaks the inertia detailing rule for the right reasons

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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Thanks Mark

Very much appreciate. While ZM kits are yerrific kits, at this stage of the game, just hang in there and wait for Tamiya's F-4 which is right around the corner

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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19 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Phil

Your F4 looked awesome - hoping Rob goes for the Horton

Keep 'em comin

Peter

Thanks Peter, just wish the paint job was better and the silvering decals had laid down better.....

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Making Progress

Slowly making progress on the F4 with a major portion of my bench time spent now cleaning up and adding a lot of the smaller parts. I managed to break off and loose both the short and long stabilizer pitot tubes, necessitating ordering a set of brass replacements from Air Master#AM-48-049. Drilling the holes out in the stabilizer was a tough job for a guy still dealing some unsteadiness with my hands and not to mention gluing the two new pitot’s in place with CCA.  Certainly, a job I couldn’t fathom doing just a few weeks ago.

DN Canopy Masks were added, front IP cowling painted and installed and now working on the gear. Oleo’s have been primed with MRP Gloss Black, painted with Alclad Chrome, the gear received all the Tamiya Pin Washing I was planning on using and ready to be sealed before handling. I'm also thinking the Tamiya pin Wash on the main gear is a bit thick and needs to be cleaned up a bit, as the wash seems to have thickened up (?) over the years.  For the first time I used DN wheel masks and was very satisfied on their performance.  

From here I’m hoping to prime the F4 this week, add most of the small parts and complete the paint work. All the major seams have been primed and look pretty good. Intake interiors look mighty good: all gloss white and no seams showing. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for checking in

Peter

 

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First time using wheel masks and I need to do a bit of clean up around the rims. Tires: Tamiya Rubber Black

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Font nose gear - ready for clear gloss to seal the Tamiya Black Panel Wash. Oleo's - Alclad Chrome


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