Juliusz D

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  1. Juliusz D

    [MOC] Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Trop

    Outside of the Spitfire and Bf 109, I have also recentely uploaded P-51B Mustang. I have also already finished Hawker Tempest Mk.V, and will post it probably within 2 weeks time. After that I will likely go back to modern jets, as my F-14 needs a thorough rebuilt.
  2. Juliusz D

    [MOC] Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Trop

    Thanks! As I've mentioned, the wings were the biggest headache. The good thing is that the final solution is as accurate as it gets. As for keeping the company to my Spitfire, I actually took a few pictures of both models together. It is really surprising to see how relatively smaller the Bf 109 looks.
  3. There are only a few planes that have achieved legendary status, and Messerschmitt Bf 109 is certainly one of them. With 34 000+ built, and an estimated 20 000 aerial kills, it remains the most widely produced and by far the most successful fighter of all time. About the aircraft In 1934 Luftwaffe held a competition for a new fighter aircraft. The Messerschmitt proposal was a Bf 109 design, with the prototype's first flight in May 1935. Curiously, the V1 prototype was powered by a Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, with the others utilizing the Jumo 210 engine. After some controversies, the Bf 109 was named the winner, with Heinkel’s He 112B updated design coming too late to change the outcome. The first generation of Bf 109s, the so-called “Jumo-Schmitt's”: Anton, Berta, Ceasar, and Dora (Bf 109A, B, C, and D), were from the start planned as interim fighters, being severely underpowered with Jumo 210 engine developing around 610 – 700 PS. The next generation of Bf 109 was the Bf 109E Emil, which entered the production by late 1938. Powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine, developing 1100 PS, the Emil proved to be a match for the RAF’s latest Spitfire Mk. I, also outperforming the Hawker Hurricane by a visible margin. Nevertheless, outside of the engine, the airframe of Bf 109E still represented the 1935 standard. With Germany being in the lead, the designers took their time to develop the thoroughly updated Bf 109 F “Friedrich” version, representing the final generation of 109s. It featured new wings, a new engine cowling, an enlarged propeller spinner, a modified tail, and a number of other improvements. The Bf 109F, powered by DB 601E (1175 PS, F-1, and F-2 variants), or by DB 601N (1350 PS, F-3, and F-4 variants), proved to be a huge success, dominating the 1941/42 season. Many pilots regarded Friedrich as the pinnacle of Bf 109 evolution, combining the lightness of the early versions and the refined aerodynamics of the later ones. Later, the G and K models were developed, with the same airframe, but a heavier and more powerful DB 605 engine, but this is a story for another occasion. About the building process Rather atypically, this particular model was not a coincidence – after finishing the Spitfire, I just had to make the Bf 109. And I must say it was a very challenging build. The problem with Bf 109, which was an actual issue during the war, was its relatively small size for its weight. The wing area of Bf 109F was just 71% of the Spitfire’s Mk.V one, even though both were more or less comparable in terms of power and weight. As a result, it took me a lot of time to pack everything into such a tiny model. In fact, I started with the Bf 109G-6 version, but gave up, as its characteristic bulges were making everything too complex. The next issue was the wings – strangely angled, with pronounced dihedral. Here, I was saved by the mechanixlego's excellent Bf 109K. Even though it’s in a much smaller scale, I was able to adapt his solution to my model. After getting the wings right, the rest turned out to be relatively easy – the canopy was a bit of a headache, and sturdiness initially also left a lot to be desired, but still, it came along rather quickly. About the model The model represents the tropicalized Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/trop in 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the famous “Yellow 14” flown by the Hans-Joachim “Star of Africa” Marseille. Marseille was the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter pilot at the moment of his death in September 1942, with 158 aerial kills, of which 151 were achieved in the North Africa theatre. Worth noticing, contrary to many of his contemporaries, he rarely overclaimed. Even his famous “17 planes in a day” feat has left strong evidence in RAF’s archives. He is also commonly regarded to be a rather atypical Luftwaffe member – he was known to fly over British airfields delivering messages about the fate of his shot opponents and is believed to be rather unsympathetic towards the Nazi ideology. During his career he flew several Bf 109s, all of them carrying the “Yellow 14” mark. He is associated mainly with the “Friedrich”, as the Bf 109G was introduced only shortly before he died in combat. Similar to all my other models, this one features a working landing gear, both main and rear, movable flaps, and a working horizontal tail. Flickr Gallery
  4. Most people when they hear ‘P-51 Mustang’ think of the iconic, bubble canopy P-51D, which to many became a symbol of the Second World War. However, for me, since I was a kid, THE Mustang was always the Malcolm hood P-51B Mustang III of the PSP (Polish Air Force), which, while not nearly as popular, did most of the heavy lifting, gradually establishing the air superiority over Germany in 43/44. About the aircraft The history of the P-51 development is one of the most legendary in aviation history. It was born out of the RAF's need for a US-made fighter, with the British industry struggling already to deliver the necessary amounts of the Spitfires and Hurricanes. The Brits came to the North American Aviation company, seeking the possibility of license production of the Curtiss P-40. Instead, NAA offered to develop a brand new fighter, superior to the P-40. Despite the very limited experience of NAA with fighter design, the RAF placed an order for 320 fighters on 29 May 1940. Just 102 days later, on 9 September 1940, the NA-73 prototype was rolled out, taking to the sky on 26 October. However, even though the aircraft proved to be everything that was promised and then some, it did not achieve much recognition in the RAF and was delegated to secondary tasks. The main reason for that was the changing situation in Europe, which called for high-altitude fighters. The P-51A Mustang I, while possessing exceptional low-level performance, due to the single-stage Allison V-1710 engine, above 4600 meters was no match for the Luftwaffe types. As a result, the aircraft quickly fell into obscurity and almost became just a footnote in aviation history. Everything changed in 1942 when the Luftwaffe introduced the Fw-190. With the Spitfire Mk. V struggling, RAF was looking for a fighter capable of bringing back the balance, with Rolls-Royce’s two-stage, two-stage supercharged Merlin 60 series being the intended powerplant. While this later resulted in the creation of Spitfire Mk. IX, at the same time, Rolls-Royce’s test pilot Ronald Harker developed a keen interest in P-51. The initial crude calculations indicated that the Mustang equipped with the Merlin 65 engine would outperform all fighters of both Allies and Axis. Out of this idea, the Mustang X prototype was born in October 1942, quickly proving to be the fastest high-altitude fighter of the war. NAA developed their own variant of the Mustang powered by the Packard Merlin V-1650-3/7 engine (license version of the Merlin 68), which was named P-51B/C (for the Inglewood and Forth Worth factories, respectively). The first P-51B reached Europe in October 1943, in the middle of the ongoing crisis of the 8th Air Force, which was facing huge losses to its heavy bombers, losing in the bombing raids up to 25% of its attacking forces. Mustangs, together with P-47 Thunderbolts, were rushed to provide the long-range escort, with the outstanding range of the former, enabling it to operate on almost all of Germany’s territory. With the introduction in early 1944 the Doolittle’s doctrine of ‘air supremacy’, the situation over III Reich changed rapidly, and today Merlin Mustangs are credited with nearly 6000 kills, nearly all scored on the European theatre in 1944/45. Of this, nearly half was scored by the Mustang III. After producing 1990 P-51B and 1750 P-51C, NAA switched production to P-51D Mustang IV, which reached the frontline in the summer of 1944. But this is a completely different history. About the building process Actually, I have always preferred Mustang over Spitfire, but I was struggling to figure out how to build it. I had an idea for the Malcolm hood, which was a canopy modification introduced by the RAF to enhance visibility, but that was it. Finally, one evening I was just trying different things and something started to emerge. The lines of the front section turned out to be the biggest headache; the rest of it proved to be rather straightforward, maybe except for the underbelly intake area, which took a bit of tinkering. I actually completed the whole model quite a while back, but there was something bothering me with the wings. After taking a closer look, it turned out that I had made a few errors in my calculations, and the wing area turned out to be about 10% too big. The rebuild, along with waiting for my bricklink orders, took quite some time, and then I had to redo the stickers. Still, the final result was worth it. About the model The model represents the North American P-51B Mustang III in 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the JZ HB868 aircraft flown by Polish ace Jan Zumbach in late 1944, who was a commander of the 2nd Polish Air Wing, No. 133 Wing, the famous Squadron 303. Over the II World War, Zumbach was credited with 12 confirmed kills, 5 probables, and 1 damaged, with the last kill (Fw-190, probable) scored in this very aircraft. Similar to my Spitfire Mk. XVI, the model features a fully retractable landing gear (including the tail wheel), movable flaps, and a working horizontal tail. In addition, the rear scoop of the intercooler can be opened. Flickr gallery
  5. Juliusz D

    [MOC] Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVI

    Thanks, but I must say I have no idea how to transfer some of the techniques to instructions, as there are always some elements that are under strain/tension, etc. Also, the flex tube pieces are problematic. I would probably be able to make simpler versions, but it would always require certain compromises, which are not really my thing. Also, I consider making instructions to be too time-consuming. As for COBI models - there was a time when I was considering using some of the COBI pieces e.g. canopies or propellers (I know, I know - it's a heresy), but if you take a closer look at the blueprints, they are actually very far from accurate. In fact, I have a few COBI WWII sets and they are a major disappointment in terms of functionality, accuracy, and looks, not to mention awkward landing gears. With all those one-off pieces available, they could have done a much better job in my opinion.
  6. Juliusz D

    [MOC] Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVI

    Thank you all!
  7. Juliusz D

    [MOC] Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVI

    Thank you all. As for the clipped wings, they were introduced to increase the roll rate of the Spitfire, to make it more competitive in this maneuver with Fw 190. They were used almost exclusively on the LF versions, as the increased roll rate came at the expense of high-altitude performance (smaller wing surface), and slightly increased turn radius. The canopy is really simple - 2 rounded bottom trans-clear plates, placed on the edges of a 2x2 trans-clear tile, which itself is locked under the 45-degree angle. This way the total height of the visible canopy is ~1.4stud, which is optimal, and the width is around 2.8, which is also accurate.
  8. The Supermarine Spitfire is probably one of the most recognizable and iconic aircraft in history, with a total production number of 20 351. As I have always been fond of it, I decided to give it a try, even though it is my very first propeller aircraft model. About the aircraft The history of the Spitfire started in 1934, with the first flight of the famous K5054 prototype taking place on 5th March 1936. After the initial delays, the first Spitfire Mk. Is started to reach the operational units in 1938, and since then the type became a stronghold of RAF fighter forces, with a number of substantial improvements being introduced over the whole duration of WWII. Most of these improvements were directly correlated with the development of another icon, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Consequently, 3 generations of Spitfires are commonly recognized: early Merlins (Merlins with a single-stage supercharger, Spitfires Mk. I, II, III, V, VI, and PR XIII), late Merlins (60 and 70 series Merlins with a two-stage supercharger, Spitfires Mk. VII – IX, PR X, PR XI, and Mk. XVI), and the last generation utilizing more powerful and heavier Rolls-Royce Griffon (Mk. IV, XII, XIV, XVIII, PR XIX, XX, 21-24). Among all those Marks, the Mk. IX and XVI were by far the most numerous, and their introduction was a major step in RAF’s capabilities. The idea for Mk. IX came out of necessity, as after the introduction of Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in late 1941 it became obvious that the then-standard Spitfire Mk. V was no match for the newest Luftwaffe addition. As the two-stage Merlin 61 became available, the Supermarine proposed to address this issue with an interim Mk. IX variant, which was basically Mk. V airframe fitted with the new engine. At the beginning, it was planned as just a short-term fix, with the revised Mk. VIII being the “ultimate” late-Merlin variant. However, the Mk. IX proved to be so successful that there was no point in disturbing its production lines, and it remained in production until the end of the war with constant upgrades being added (e.g. Merlin 66 engine). An interesting twist in the history of the Mk. IX is the Mk. XVI variant, which even though gained a new Mark number, differed only by the fact that instead of the British-built Merlin 66, its US licensed-built Packard Merlin 266 variant was utilized. About the building process The Spitfire is my very first propeller-driven aircraft, and it was basically an accident that I even started it. I was playing with some trans-clear canopy solutions and after one of the attempts I thought “Well, this looks like a Spitfire canopy”. As it turned out, it was perfectly scaled to my favorite 1:33 scale, so I had no choice but to continue. Still, the idea to make a WWII fighter was not new to me, as for years I’ve been a great fan of a number of different designs by other builders, so I’ve always wanted to have one for myself. As the Spitfire is an extremely common topic, it is impossible to mention all my inspirations. Still, by far the most prominent one was the Spitfire Mk. IX by Ed Diment, which even utilizes the same scale as mine. Another big inspiration was a much bigger Spitfire Mk. I by Lennart Cort. In fact, I had a very hard time deciding on the scale, as his 1:18 Spitfire looks so amazing it gave me second thoughts. Other, smaller designs, which were extremely useful for me, were the Spits by Dieterr89, Sydag, BuildArmy, and picardbricks. As I mentioned before, the first part I got together was the canopy, followed by the engine section. Then, I got stuck a bit with the wings, as I really wanted to include the dihedral on them. Finally, I was able to slightly minimize the solution proposed by Nick Goodwin, which fitted nicely with the rest of the plane. The shape of the wings was also a bit painful to get right, but as I decided to go for the “clipped” wings, I didn’t have to make them fully elliptical, which made it much easier. The rest of the fuselage was quite easy. A big challenge overall was the very disappointing variety of dark green pieces, which I had to compensate for with the extensive amount of stickers. Here, the solution proposed by Maks turned out to be very handy – I just had to use an awful lot of stickers from 76907 Lotus Evija set. I must say that the results look surprisingly good, as the colors match perfectly. About the model The model represents a Supermarine Spitfire LF. Mk.XVIe in a 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the aircraft currently stored in the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków. It was produced in 1944 and served in the 421 Squadron of the Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In 1956 it was moved to the RAF museum in Hendon, having a short episode in the 1967 Battle of Britain film. Since 1977 it has been in the possession of the Polish Aviation Museum, where currently it is presented in the camouflage of the Polish 308 Squadron as TB995 ZF-O. The original aircraft of this designation was delivered to 308 Sqn. on 15th March of 1945, and the Squadron was mainly involved in the anti-V1 and V2 operations. As the Mk. XVI was introduced in 1944, there are so misconceptions about its configuration. Similarly to what happened to P-51 Mustang, the late Spitfire variants were fitted with the teardrop “bubble” canopy. Even though it was used in a number of different Marks, including Mk. IX, it is most commonly associated with Mk. XVI, as due to the shorter production, a much higher percentage of them received this upgrade. Still, the “razorback” Mk. XVIs were also quite common, being virtually indistinguishable from the standard Mk. IXs, which is the case for the TB995 ZF-O. As the model is significantly smaller than my usual jets, I wasn’t able to include as many working features as usual. Still, it has movable flaps, a working tail, and working landing gear.
  9. Juliusz D

    [MOC] SAAB JA-37 Viggen

    Thank you all for your comments. I must agree that Viggen is a particularly strange aircraft when it comes to shaping, but at the time of its design, such features as canards or thrust reverser, were the only way for it, to meet the requirements of Flygvapnet. I've never understood, why such unique aircraft has never gained more popularity both within lego and modeling communities, as it is truly one of its kind.
  10. Juliusz D

    [MOC] SAAB JA-37 Viggen

    The Saab Viggen is one of the most innovative and original designs in the history of aviation. It also happens to be one of my personal favorites, so here it is, my latest model of JA-37 Viggen. About the jet The history of the Viggen can be traced back to the late 50’m when the Flygvapnet started looking for a replacement for their highly successful platforms, namely A 32 Lansen (air-to-ground) and J-35 Draken (air-to-air). However, due to the defensive doctrine of neutral Sweden, heavily based on the dispersed system of road air bases, and a large percentage of conscript soldiers, the requirements set upon the new design were very unique, requiring STOL (short takeoff and landing) capabilities and extreme ease of maintenance, all while delivering adequate performance in a wide range of missions. As a result, the design finalized in 1962 sported a number of features previously unseen in a supersonic fighter jet, including canards, a canted delta wing, a state-of-the-art CK 37 central computer, one of the very first of its kind, and thrust-reverser in an engine equipped with an afterburner. The prototype of the first generation Viggen was flown in February 1967 and subsequently was developed into a number of more specialized versions: AJ-37 (strike/fighter), Sk 37 (training), SF 37 (reconnaissance), and SH 37 (sea reconnaissance). The second-generation Viggens were exclusively fighter JA-37s. In comparison to the previous versions, the JA-37 utilized a new, more powerful RM8B engine, a slightly elongated fuselage to accommodate it (by 8 cm), a tail of increased area (taken from the Sk 37), and a brand new avionics, including the PS-46/A radar, capable of guiding the BVR, Sky Flash missiles (Rb.71). Over the years the JA-37, as well as other versions of the plane, were subsequently updated. In the case of Jakt-Viggen, the following updates should be mentioned: Mod A (1982-85, introduction of the datalink capability), Mod B (addition of Rb.74 – AIM-9L, expansion of the datalink), Mod C (1992, addition of the auto-gun capability), Mod D (2001, new avionics architecture centered around new CD 207 central computer, glass cockpit, addition of Rb.99 – AIM-120B), and finally Ja-37Di, which featured additional changes for increased interoperability with NATO forces. Thanks to those upgrades, the Viggen remained a very capable aircraft until the very last day of its service, which was the 25th of November 2005, and even then, its retirement was forced mainly by economic factors, rather than inadequate performance. About the building process The JA-37 was one of my very first “favorite fighters” I can remember, and even though later it was replaced in my mind by MiG-29/F-14/Tornado, I have been always very fond of it. Also, it is such a unique aircraft, and having the opportunity to see it in person dozens of times, it always strikes me as a very original design, truly one of a kind. Surprisingly, there are only a few LEGO models of it, which might result from the fact that Sweden was its sole user, and as a result, it was never a "mainstream" jet. Among my favorites models of it are without a doubt Viggens by Stefan Johansson and a recent model of JA-37by SIGEZO. Still, both present a bit different approach to mine, so there were quite a few things I had to figure out on my own. I have been thinking about building a Viggen for a long time, however, I had no idea how to approach the cockpit section, which is quite tricky but essential to give the model a true, “Viggen vibe”. The problem with it is two-fold: first, its cross section has a distinctive, double curvature, which transitions smoothly into the windscreen. Secondly, there is a very strong sloping of the windscreen itself. For years I was not able to get around those things, but finally, the experience gained during building the F-4 provided me with a much-needed breakthrough. The next problematic part are cranked delta wings, with 3 different angles: 45, 57, and 63 degrees. It took a lot of optimizing, to make the leading edge look acceptable. The next challenge, was the main landing gear, as its tandem arrangement is extremely difficult to capture in LEGO, not to mention incorporating the necessary functionality. Even its final form the main landing gear is very much a compromise, and I had to look for especially tight-fitting combinations of the elements, to make it sturdy enough. The last thing was to get the fuselage right, and here, similarly as in my Phantom, the 2x1x3 arches combined with hinges proved invaluable. I would say that the final result is not bad, especially considering that I didn’t have very high expectations. About the model The model represents a SAAB JA-37 Viggen Mod C in a 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the JA-37 serial number 37410, which served in the F 16 unit until it was retired on 08.10.2003 with 1943 flying hours. It was one of the last JA-37 Mod C in service and currently is preserved at Osterlens Flygmuseum in Sweden. As usual, the model possesses a number of features: an openable cockpit, working flaps on both wings and canards (a unique feature for Viggen), working and folding vertical tail (another rare feature, enabling easy storing in hangars), retractable landing gear, and working thrust reverser. The loadout comprises one centerline 1500 liters tank, 2 Rb.71 BVR missiles (Sky Flash), and 2 Rb.74 (AIM-9L) WVR, infra-red missiles. Originally, I was thinking about the splinter camo, which was commonly featured on JA-37C (but never on JA-37D), but it would have required too many building compromises and extensive sticker work, for which I was not prepared. Still, as I didn’t want to make a boring, all-grey model, I opted for the “Red fin” Viggen, which turned out to be pretty ok. For more photos, check my Flickr gallery
  11. Juliusz D

    [MOC] McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

    Thanks! Unfortunately, I am not making any instructions, as I honestly have no idea how to translate some of the techniques to Stud.io or other software. Also, it's a bit too time-consuming for me, as usually I'm optimizing the internal structure of my models at least several times, so to make an instruction, I would have to simply destroy a finished model to see what's inside.
  12. Juliusz D

    [MOC] McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

    I started with the blueprints from E.V. Resin's book "McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Variant by variant". Sadly, they turned out to be inaccurate. Then, I switched to these ones, which I was able to verify as 100% accurate, based on the original, factory drawings.
  13. Juliusz D

    [MOC] McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

    Thank you! I must say that the Phantom turned out to be surprisingly "Lego-friendly" when it comes to making an actual model. Also, I was very lucky to find high-quality blueprints of F-4J, it made a huge difference, even when compared with my early WiP versions.
  14. Juliusz D

    [MOC] McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

    Thanks! Here is the underside, together with a closer view of the landing gear. In general, all pictures can be found on Flickr.
  15. F-4 Phantom – 5195 units produced, 63 years of production/service, dozens of monographs, modelling plans, etc., what can go wrong? Well, actually quite many things. Still, after a few setbacks, here it is, my latest model About the jet The history of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II started back in the mid 50’, with the first flight taking place on 27th May 1958. Initially, the F4H-1 (the initial designation before the tri-service unification) started as an unsolicited proposal from McDonnell Douglas, which actually didn’t get much interest. Only after the problems of other Navy fighters led to the necessity of acquiring a new general-purpose fighter, the Phantom as we know could get its chance. After winning the competition against the Vought’s F8U-3 Crusader III submission, the F4H-1 went to service in 1961, with a new designation of F-4B (starting in 1962). Even though F-4B was a revolutionary design for it time, it still had a number of deficiencies, with the most serious ones being slightly too high approach speed, and its AN-APQ-72 radar lacking the look-down, shoot-down capabilities, performing poorly against the ground clutter. As a consequence, after delivering 649 F-4B, in late 1966 McDonnell introduced a new, improved version – the F-4J. This version featured a revised and strengthened internal structure, more powerful J79-GE-10 engines (the smokeless, 10B version was introduced later in 1978), new, wider tires (resulting in bulges on the top part of the wings), a few aerodynamic improvements for decreasing the approach speed (changes to inboard leading edges and slotted stabilator), and most importantly, new AWG-10 radar, with solid-state elements and prominent look-down, shoot-down capabilities. The F-4J served through the Vietnam war until the late 70’, together with the F-4B, and later F-4N (upgraded F-4B). After that, starting from 1978, the selected 265 F-4J underwent an upgrade to F-4S standard (the initial idea was for 302, but the number was reduced), featuring smokeless J79-GE-10B engines, improved electronics, and leading-edge maneuvering slats, similar to those on USAF’s F-4E. In this variant, Phantoms served until 1987 in USN, and 1992 in USMC. In the meantime, 15 F-4J were also sold to UK, to fill the gap left by FGR. 2 Phantoms (F-4M) deployed to the Falkland Islands. These aircraft, known also as F-4J(UK) Phantom F.3s, served from 1984 to 1991. Interestingly, they were greatly appreciated by the RAF pilots, with most of them considering them superior to British Spey-engined variants, mainly due to the much faster response of the J-79 turbojets, in comparison to Rolls-Royce Spey 203 turbofans. About the building process While I’ve always appreciated the F-4, I was never a “Phantom Phanatic”. In fact, the idea for this model came to me by accident – I was a bit stuck with other projects, and thinking about different solutions, the idea that 2x3x1 curved slopes would make for an excellent Phantom fuselage went through my mind. I thought that these easy, boxy shapes of F-4 would make for a nice relax after the complex shapes of my F-14 and MiG-29, and so I started. Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake at the very beginning – I used the blueprints from the book, without validating their correctness first, which later cost me a lot of headaches. Before going further, I should mention some of the F-4 models by other people, which were a huge inspiration to me. Of course, there is an excellent F-4B by Mad Physicist, a beautiful F-4B by Carl Greatrix, and a whole series of different F-4s by Justin Davies. However, from the viewpoint of my model, three Phantoms were of particular importance to me. The first one is F-4N by Jonah Padberg. Even though I’ve ended with a very different cockpit design, I’ve started with the modification of his 3-stud wide canopy and angled cockpit section. The next model is a F-4B by Maks, who made an excellent, SNOT version of the Phantom, which to a large degree influenced some of my design choices. Lastly, there is a huge, 1/15 scale F-4J by crash_cramer, which might be my favorite LEGO model ever. Similarly, as in the case of my F-14 Tomcat, I tried to emulate some of his techniques in a smaller scale. The first assumption was to go for the 3-stud wide canopy, similar to my MiG-29. Such a solution is much more accurate in this scale and makes the model look much more realistic in my opinion. In fact, I’m so pleased with the outcome here that I will likely rebuild my F-14 in near future to a similar standard. The construction itself started with the wings. I’ve always come under impression that similarly to F-15, the angle for the leading edge is 45 degrees. Well, not really. Instead, the angle is 51 degrees, which effectively eliminates any plate-based solutions, leaving the brick-built wing as the only valid option. So instead of getting a nice, simple, sturdy 45 degrees wing, I had to go with a brick-built one, which combined with the main landing gear solution and folding mechanism, proved to be a nightmare. After figuring it out, the next challenge was to design the angled cockpit area. Here, the solutions from Jonah’s model were of great help. With those two pieces in place, the rest went relatively smoothly, leading to the stage presented in WiP pictures. And then, having 85% of the model ready, I checked the validity of my blueprints. I was able to get my hands on the original F-4 factory drawing on the Aviation Archives website, and all my drawings turned out to be off by a considerable margin. Fortunately, I’m not the only person dissatisfied with the quality of available blueprints, and I was able to find this awesome website, with a set of 100% accurate drawings, based on the factory ones, including the cross-sections. That was good news, the bad one was that my fuselage was too short, too high, and too wide. So I had to lower the whole fuselage by a plate, elongate it by 2 studs, and modify it from 10-stud wide, to 9-stud wide. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard, but after lowering the fuselage, it became evident that the angling of the front section is too steep. This, in turn, required a complete revision of the already most problematic section, consuming an awful lot of time. But after all these problems, I finally got a model, with which I am quite satisfied. About the model The model represents a McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II in a 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the F-4J from VF-96 squadron, BuNo. 155800, callsign “Showtime100”, deployed on the USS Constellation aircraft carrier in Vietnam, around 1972. This particular aircraft, on the 10th of May 1972, was credited with 3 MiG-17 kills, being flown by pilot Lt Randy Cunningham and RIO Lt(jg) Willy Driscoll. This effectively made them the only Navy aces of the Vietnam war, as they already had 2 kills on their account. You may also note that they flew a “borrowed” plane, as the name on the cockpit is that of Lowell “Gus” Eggert, who later commanded the USS Constellation from 1974 onward. As usual, the model possesses a number of features: openable cockpits, working flaps, foldable wings, working horizontal and vertical tails, retractable landing gear and tailhook. I’m rather pleased with the functionality, as most of the features, especially the landing gear, are much more reliable than in e.g. my MiG-29. The loadout comprises 4 AIM-7E Sparrows, 4 AIM-9G Sidewinders, and a centerline 600 gal. fuel tank. Also, under the wings, there are outboard pylons for two 370 gal. fuel tanks, which are visible on some of the photos. The credit for the stand design goes to Jerac. There is a small discrepancy in the camouflage – in principle nearly all USN phantoms had an all-white underside, with an exception of some late 80s’, extremely dull, low-vis versions. Unfortunately, due to the brick-built nature of the wing, I was unable to make them white on the bottom. For a moment, I contemplated utilizing huge white stickers, but it wouldn’t look all that great, and it would make the wings extremely modification-unfriendly. Still, the final effect is not that bad. So, please enjoy, and let me know what is your opinion on this model. Flickr gallery