1/48 Revell British Phantom FGR Mk.2 – Build Log

31st October 2014

This is the first Phantom I’ve built since about 1978, and since I got back into the hobby I have to say it’s been one of the most fun builds so far…

It seems that with this kit, you build the cockpit, and the rest of the kit builds itself. Ok it didn’t help where this was my first resin pit and I experienced a ton of inertia in getting started (fear of the dark I suppose), but once the resin was out of the way the journey towards getting the fuselage sorted out and the wings on was both straight-forward and enjoyable.

Having said that, there were a few minor kinks in the road, the first of which was dealing with the air intakes…

As you can see below, the view down the intakes is straight onto a slab of plastic with two dirty great strengthening bars across it (as shaded in green Sharpie)…



I’m not using any AM (After Market) parts for the intakes so decided that it’d look better if you looked down the intakes and saw nothing. So out came the plastic surgery tools and before you could say “just a little bit off the ears” the intakes were knocked through to make one big living area…

By the way, I do have the Eduard PE FOD covers set for this kit, but I’m don’t fancy using it for this one.



In order to add to the illusion of “nothingness” in the intakes I gave them a retro coat of flat black. I say “retro” because I wish I had planned ahead and painted the inside of the fuselage halves black before assembly, it was a bit of a job to squirt the paint in through the intakes 😉

But then again, I spend my day job having to plan this, and plan that; predict what might happen in scenario B and then consider what happens if scenario C happens (or doesn’t). In other words when it comes to modelling I like to forge on without too much of a plan and see where it takes me. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do my research and all that, but am equally happy to bumble through a sequence of ill-prepared cock-ups on my way towards completion.



Right, next job was to attach the intakes. To do this I glued the front of the intakes first, and when that was dry I coaxed the rear lower edge of the intake into position using a styrene sheet wedge. That way I could get as much of the intake to line up as possible…




With the intakes attached, it became evident that I had a huge hole in the bottom of each intake that would need to be sorted out.

I’ll come back to this in a bit…




Another thing I noticed is that beneath the fuselage between the wings there are two auxiliary engine intakes that are moulded open. They look like a bit of an afterthought the way they were done, like the bloke in the Hasegawa sculpting department was told “You can go on the works outing only when you finish those auxiliary air intakes, by the way the bus is leaving in 2 minutes!”.

The intakes aren’t going to be very visible, but there are two ‘orrible ejector pin marks on them and they are as bumpy as a bag of walnuts so they’ll need a bit of fixing up…




A bit of action from my trusty #2 Trumpeter chisel soon got them looking a bit better. I’m not going for perfection here as I want them to still look a bit “random” so that if you do pick up the finished model and turn it upside down (my family members have been trained never to do that in real life), it would look a bit “technical” in there.



The instructions call for a red finish (and who am I to argue?) so they got a coat of neat Tamiya flat red.

Yup, looks a bit like a tarts boudoir and will need a bit of manning up.



A scruffily brushed coat of Citadel Nuln Oil soon made the intakes look a bit more industrial. I don’t know what a Nuln is, but I bet they go like stink when oiled!




Other jobs at this point included fitting the upper part of the tail and the antennas on each side…

BTW you can see the jaunty angle that the pitot tube is at. It’s been snagged a few times and when I’m not working on the tail area I keep a bit of card taped over it to protect it.

I would wager a pork pie with anyone that I still manage to snap this off before the end of the build 😉




The nose was a game of two halves…



And here’s a shot of her resting on the wing assembly and starting to look like a Phantom.




Ok, by this stage I had procrastinated the intakes as much as possible. All the other parts that could be done had been done. There was no more ironing left in the pile, the washing up had been done (twice), and I almost dug out the Hoover when common sense prevailed and I thought “how hard can it be”?

Those big gaps under the intakes are going to need to be covered up so that when you look into the front of the intakes you don’t see a great big bit of missing intake floor.

To start with I scribbled some pencil around the area that I needed to cover…



Then I held a piece of styrene sheet over the hole and rubbed it onto the pencilled areas…




This gave me a rough outline of the shape that I’d need.




The shape was cut out with scissors and wedged into the hole.

At this stage I’ve aligned it so that the inner surface of the styrene sheet is level with the inner surface of the fuselage but only at the left hand edge marked with a green scribble.

The aligned edge was glued in place, and when dry the right hand edge as you look at the photo was aligned and glued in place.




You can appreciate the angle of the dangle in the following photo…

And also see the triangular gaps in the sides that will also need to be filled…



Filling the sides is pretty easy, just a case of cutting small scraps of styrene sheet and gluing them in place.



Here’s the same shot from another angle…




And here we are again with the other side of the intake being filled with styrene sheet…




“Look into my intakes, not around the intakes but into the intakes… 3.2.1…”

Now when you gave lovingly into the intakes the gaps are now noticeable by their absence. A bit of paint and it should give the desired effect…




Just a quick tidy up the trim the excess styrene away using an exacto knife to make sure the wing assembly doesn’t foul on anything…



And another shot of the same showing how it looks from the side…




I’m probably making this intake thing look a much bigger job than it actually was, but one more gotcha stood in the way of me being able to call it done (the intakes not the Phantom)…

Because the engine nozzles aren’t a perfect fit in the rear of the fuselage it would be possible to look into the intakes and see daylight somewhere inside the fuselage. To eliminate this I decided to make a styrene bulkhead to act as a light block.

To get the correct shape to be cut, I used an offcut of thick copper electrical wire and fashioned it (cunningly) into the shape of the interior of the fuselage.




The shape was then transferred onto some styrene sheet, mirrored and then cut out.



This isn’t a prefect fit but it’s near enough to be glued in place.




A quick brush coat of Tamiya flat black on the inside face will make it invisible when gazed at from the front…




And here it is fitted onto the rear of the fuselage. As usual I used CA glue with activator to tack it in place and then used a bead of PVA to secure it in place so that if it gets knocked at a later date it won’t ping out of place.

Note: The unit of measure of a “bead” varies depending on where you come from. Where I come from a “bead” is approximately equal to half a bottle as it would appear from the photo below 😉




Well, we’re getting very close to getting the wings on now (honest)…

One last little job was those auxiliary engine intakes (I though the Sea Harrier had a glut of intakes but the Phantom seems to be no stranger to sucking air in from all kinds of orifices). The little job was that if someone dared to pick up the finished Phantom, and on pain of death, turn it upside down, they’d be able to peer into the intakes circled in red (I mean circled in red on the photo below, not that the person would be circled in red, although they may circled in red marks from having been beaten for picking up my Phantom), and they’d see the nasty grey plastic of the fuselage as circled in blue.



So in place of all that previous text I could have simply said I took a large hairy stick, and painted the bottom of the fuselage black.

Again, no points for style here, just something that isn’t ‘orrible grey plastic is good enough.




And last of all for this update, I attached the photo etch to the wheel wells. Not sure how long that will last if I paint the wells and then stuff them full of white tack before I spray the fuselage? I can see me pulling out a lump of white tack with all kinds of expensive photo etch embedded in it. Will have to ponder that one – any suggestions welcome there 🙂



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I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

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