Monogram F-4 Phantom Question

Not being a certified expert on anything aviation, I wonder if anyone out there can point out the major differences between the Air Force version depicted by this kit and a Navy F-4J? Specific conversion points would be appreciated. Thanks In advance.

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Depends on which "Air Force version" you're talking about. The USAF used four:

F-4C: Outgrowth the Navy F-4B "Fleet Interceptor" with slightly more powerful engineS (GE J79-GE-15s) , dual flight controls, wider low-pressure tires (necessitating the characteristic bulge in the wing-root), an AF IFR ("Boom") receptacle and an APQ-100 radar plus smaller internal changes. (In fact the first two "C"s [designated F-110A] were Bs in AF markings.) Remember also that numerous additional changes were made to this and all other versions over their lifespans as well.

F-4D: The first *true* AF version, with more emphasis placed on air-to-ground capability. This one had an AN/APG-109A radar, slightly improved engines (-15Bs), a small bump under the IR seeker pod housing (sometimes called the "Donkey dick") which housed a piece of avionics and various Radar Warning antennae distributed about the airframe.

F-4E: The One with the Gun. This version had a longer nose mounting both an AN/APQ-120 radar and an M61A1 "Gatling-style" multi-barreled cannon, slotted stabilator and improved engines. (-17C or -17E.) It also; starting at Block 48, Aircraft 71-0237; got leading-edge maneuvering slats.

F-4G: The "Wild Weasel". 116 converted or built from F-4E airframes. (Blocks 42-43 and 44, ALL fitted with slatted wings!) Gun replaced by AN/APR-38 radar beam receivers. large antenna fairing along top of vertical stabilizer. Numerous anti-missile detection/jamming antennae on airframe.

As you can see; the later you go into the Phantom's life, the less commonality you'll find between the AF and Navy birds. Your best bet would be to find an "in the box" J rather than attempt a conversion. I would recommend either the Revell/Monogram kit (currently available, $16-$18 price range, raised panel lines, but excellent cockpit detail for the price[!] and a decent set of weapons, including bombs, to hang under it) or the Hasegawa kit. (Also currently available, $30-$60 range [depending on decal and/or resin/PE detail package], engraved panel lines, but [IMHO] the cockpit is not quite as good as the R/M kit and you only get missiles to hang on it.)

If you *really* want to know about the "Phighter Phantastic", pick up the book "McDonnell F-4 Phantom: Spirit in the Skies" (World Air Power Journal-Aerospace/Airtime Publishing [London/Westport, CT/1992; ISBN

1-874023-28-X]) -- it's *EVERYTHING* you've ever wanted to know about the Phantom...and aren't afraid to ask...
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Edwin Ross Quantrall

As Edwin said, the Monogram F-4J is the best bet. You'll still end up doing some work (removing the 'arrowheads' from the horizontal stabilizers; reworking the aft cockpit details, different refueling probe access etc.) to make it a more accurate Navy Phantom.

As I recall, the Monogram USAF F-4C/D kit differs from the Navy F-4J offering in that it has the short exhaust cans and USAF-style main wheels. If you must convert the USAF version, these could be replaced with aftermarket items. Obviously, you will still have the USAF-style cockpit layout and stabilizer plates to deal with.


Scott G. Welch

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