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Tamiya F-4B Phantom


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YES, I HAVE NO WILLPOWER

It's no secret I love Phantoms and Tomcat and have been waiting for this kit since the first rumors hit the web. I've watched all the pre release reviews and now as well as few "what's in the Box" and "test fit" reviews and from what I've watched: this is the Phantom kit in any scale. Prior to the the Tamiya kit, and in my opinion Hasagawa was the early leader at the front, then ZM Phantoms, both of which had the usual fit issues and some unique to themselves. But it seems Tamiya engineering has solved 99% of those issues and with their last few 48th scale releases, the F-14 and the P-38, the bar has been pushed to new heights. No, this is not a review of the kit but is going to be my next build along with finishing the ZM F-4J which is almost ready for priming.

I know so many say Tamiya kits are shake and bake and who cares, I love it. For me the enjoyment is the build and painting and not struggling with fixing all the issues some kits have. What's so wrong with actually buying a kit and expecting it to be built and fit without jumping through hoops? Darn if I know. I've build my share of Tamiya 32nd scale kits: Mustangs, Spitfires, Corsair and my all time favorite 32nd scale kit; the Mossie. The Mossie proves my point: Loads of parts and unreal detail - no fit issues and the instructions were easy to follow.

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I've gone through the box and needed some oxygen to get my breath back. I've read through the instructions and we're not starting with the front office, as I'll be following the build as per the kit's instructions. OMG, the color fold outs are in 48th scale and each side of the two pages are gorgeous four view drawings for each of the three color schemes the kit offers:

 VF-51 'Screaming Eagles' CAG Bird May 6, 1972  USS Coral Sea

VF-111 'Sundowners' Commanders Aircraft 1972 Miramar

VF-161 'Chargers' CAG Bird May 1972 USS Midway

Full stencil data and markings

Just wish there were seat belts included other then decals. I have a pair of Wolfpack MK 5 ejection seats and most likely will use them.

In reality I need to finish the P-39 first then move on to the F4's.. I know I'm weak :police:

Keep "em comin

Peter

 

   

 

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Harv

I weak, just no will power and I started Tamiya's F4B - OMG it's brilliant and the fit: heaven for sure. I've taken a break for dinner and plan on putting in a few more hours tonight. Just lov'in it.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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5 minutes ago, Peterpools said:

Harv

I weak, just no will power and I started Tamiya's F4B - OMG it's brilliant and the fit: heaven for sure. I've taken a break for dinner and plan on putting in a few more hours tonight. Just lov'in it.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

Pics !!......harv

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You are a weak man Peter, but I guess most of us are. It seems to be a great kit and sometimes, the unmatched Tamiya engineering is an art in itself. Guess how I know, with the Ford GT in the making ;). More than once, I had the jaw dropping sensation of being fascinated by the way, Tamiya finds solutions.

It's good to see, that the passion is back with you, there is nothing better, than building kits with a smile on the face. I mostly enjoy building and the challenges it takes, but would not hesitate to bin a kit, if it is only nerve tangling. That nearly never happens, luckily, because I choose my projects in a way, that I'm positively tempted by a build for different reasons.

I think you got it exactly right, it's a hobby, it's meant to be fun, so get started with the first and very appreciated build of the Phantom here.

Cheers Rob

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Thanks Rob

Tamiya absolutely has it right and after a bench session yesterday, everything fit together perfectly. I’m planning on finishing the ZM F-4J and the Tamiya F-4B together and then I’m hoping my mojo and modeling juices tank is full to the brim. I just needed a break from The P-39 mountains and molehills at every step and a project that keeps me at the bench with nothing but smiles.🤞

Your Tamiya GT is a perfect example of outstanding engineering and a box full of smiles and satisfaction. Of course your building and painting skills are are the third key ingredient.

Keep ‘em comin

Peter

 

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Gaz

Just  can’t help myself - love Tamiya. 
No work yesterday as I was sick and under the weather from my second COVID injection. Lots of curve balls for cancer/chemo patients in regards to when you can receive the injections, side effects and then how effective it will be. Just need to be positive and keep on course. Maybe some work today - just see how I feel 🤒

Keep ‘em comin

Peter

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Great that you start this build Peter.

I don’t have it in my stash but I had an intensive look at it. The parts breakdown is typical Tamiya and I think it will be a pleasing build with lots of fun.

I also love Tamiya kits due to their quality and clever engineering. Never was disappointed when building one (except the F-4 with the ABDR-panels I had to remove).

Will follow this in the first row and please reserve a place for me next to Gary. :popcorn:

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Here We Go

 

The Fun Begins

 

Finally, after a few days set back from my second Covid injection and feeling mighty sick (reading in bed for short periods was all I could manage), it was time to jump into the F4. It’s important to start making a decision of which of the three aircraft you want to build as by the middle of the build there will be notes, as specific parts as used for each paint scheme! I read through the instructions twice and noticed a number of parts are not used (17 parts); additional hints - some aerials, lumps and bumps are to be removed, the complete right hand nose section of the fuselage is a separate piece, there are panels/parts specific to the F4B are used, the ejection seats are Martin Baker H5 and there are parts included also for the MB H7 ejection seats, two different intakes for the vertical tail base are included and I’m sure I will discover more along the way.  No questions there are more Phantoms coming:  Papa Tamiya, bring ‘em on!

The level of detail is insane and blows away their 32nd scale F4’s as did their 48th scale F-14. As both a 32nd scale and 48th scale builder and a staunch Tamiya diehard, you just have to wonder if Tamiya ever will upscale these incredible kits and replace their old 32nd scale kits.

Of course, the Tamiya Phantom is going to be compared to the ZM Phantoms and rightfully so, as I’m lucky and have number of ZM Phantoms and with their F4J just about ready for primer and will comparing the kits as I progress. Once the Tamiya kit is ready for primer, they will both roll through the paint shop together

Nothing is perfect and a few items are missing or could be better right from the outset. No biggie but they should have been included:

The instructions which are typical Tamiya do not have the fret/part drawings which I always found very useful

Harness and seatbelt – Ouch – none for except decals and for a kit that costs about $99 it should have been included.  There should have been either a PE or 3D molded set included or at least molded onto the seats. Right now I have the gorgeous Wolfpack MB H5 seats with molded on belts for the F4B/C/D Phantoms and am ordering seatbelt sets from HGW and Kit World (3D Molded). Going to be a tough decision as what to do but I really want to use Tamiya’s seats – they are that good.

The old complaint that the paint masks aren’t diecut and maybe someday, they will be be diecut as their car kits and not need scissors to cut them out.   

So here we go.

First few bench sessions and I zipped through step12 and no issues at all. Part fit is perfect and the detail level is mind blowing for sure. I primed the parts with MRP Gray Fine Surface Primer, interior parts were air brushed with MRP FS36231 and the nose gear wheel well were air brushed with Tamiya X-2 Gloss White. No painting yet on the ejection seats until I make a decision as to which way to go.

All air brush work, no matter how small is done without shooting in the spray booth and wearing either my 3M NIOSH or MSA Respirator. I switched to the NIOSH respirator as it’s easier to wear with glasses.

What a pleasure to write a build update without complaining about every step of a build.

Thanks for checking in

Peter  

The right hand side with the nose section glued in place - perfect fit.

 

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Same perfect fit on the exterior.

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Martin Baker H5 seats. Tamiya semi built up seat on the right and the two Wolfpack resin Seats on the left.

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Right hand side: Tamiya seat breakdown. Loads of wonderfully detailed parts. On the left, some extra parts for an H7 seat not used.  The oxygen bottle is cutoff from the H5 seat and isn't used..

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Nose gear wheel well parts - Tamiya Gloss White. Please excuse the white balance on these two images - should have corrected it but I hear the call of the hot dogs.

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Cockpit tub painted with MRP FS36231. Check out the detail on the front cockpit bulkhead.

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Rear cockpit bulk head detailing is brilliant as well

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Thanks Harv

I'm still in shock from just looking at the details. It's one thing to expect this level of detail and engineering on their 32nd scale kits but in 48th scale, just amazing. Going all out

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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Great start Peter and glad to hear you're feeling better.

I've watched a couple of assembly videos of this online and the fit looks astonishing. Pity about the lack of belts though, especially for the cost as you say. 😒

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Thanks Gus, right now I'm still more prone to catching most 'bugs' and have been very diligent on trying to avoids colds. But the reaction to the second Corvid injection was normal - just some people have more of a reaction then others. Still, feeling better each day.  

Fit is remarkable for sure and Tamiya for some strange reason isn't on board with the seat belt issue as other companies. I am going to use their seatbelt decals on a test seat a bit later on and see how it actually looks; I might just be pleasantly surprised.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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That's a great start, Peter!  And your enthusiasm almost has me ordering one.

...almost.   I already have a long build queue.  So, I'll watch yours.

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

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Peter, great to see the start of your build. 

It really amazes me how Tamiya does things their way. Sort of like how Honda used to be when it was run by the engineers. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make of the Kits World seat belts. 

Carl

 

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Thanks Gaz

Glad you are on board for the journey. I’m very close to post another update as I’ve nearly completed the front office and nose gear bay. First time in quite a white, I can’t wait to hit the bench running and get to work.
Keep ‘em comin

Peter

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Carl

Completely agree. I just used Kit Worlds 3D Seat belt set on my 1/72nd P-47 Razorback Jug and they are amazing. I’ve decided to use the kits seats over the Wolfpack AM - their detail and fit is brilliant.

Keep ‘em comin

Peter

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Great start Peter and the pictures show what a beautiful detailed and engineered kit this is!

The lack of seatbelts is bad but I think the crew looks really great but it isn’t everyone’s gusto to put it in the pit.

Curious how this will go on! 

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