RAF Phantom FGR.2, Phan Rang, Vietnam-March 1970-Finished!

Started by AeroplaneDriver, July 17, 2009, 10:03:03 AM

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GRRR!!!!   :angry:

I won a kit lot on ebay a few weeks ago, two Monogram 1/48 F-14s, Airfix 1/72 NATO Weapons Set, and Fujimi 1/72 Phantom FGR.2.  I thought it was a nice little lot to get for under $30, but when they arrived I was very dissapointed to discover that both Tomcats were started, and the Phantom was completely assembled, with the gear up , tanks and pylons mounted, and the canopy glued on, but with nothing painted but the burner cans and cockpit.  At first I thought I must have missed something in the listing, but nope, nowhere did the guy mention that the kits were anything but complete and unstarted, but I figure I might as well make the most of what I got, so I'm gonna finish off the Phantom.

There hasnt been any seam filling done, and he overdid it a bit with the tube cement, but overall the construction isnt too bad, definitely salvagable.  Since it's the great Fujimi kit there arent really many seams needing more than a quick scrape with a sharp blade to get rid of the cement residue and a quick pass with a sanding stick.  Fortunately the guy did a pretty nice job with the 'pit, though I may try to get the canopy off so I can put some crewmembers in there, since it will have to be an inflight display. The hardest thing is going to be getting the inside of the intakes painted I think.  

So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Jeffry Fontaine

You seem to be having a lot of bad experiences with acquisitions lately.  Was there nothing in the auction description that warned you about the condition of the kits? 
Unaffiliated Independent Subversive
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg


OK, managed to pry off the pylons and stores (except centerline gunpod), and the horizontal stab to facilitate cleanup and painting.  It doesnt look like the canopy is going to cooperate, so instead I'm leaving it on for now, and will replace it with a new one from another FGR.2 kit (since they all come with an open 4-piece canopy and a closed 1-piece part I have some in the stash that wont be used).

I'm not shooting for perfection on the seams, so a little quick cleanup seems to have taken care of most of the issues.  A coat of silver primer is drying now, then I'll see what else she needs done before painting.  

Couple of ideas for the finish so far are:

Irish Air Corps-Richard did a great IAC profile of an FGR.2 a while back, and it would fit into an alt-history I did that sees Ireland becoming a NATO member in the 80s.

Canadian-F-104 replacement in Germany

Australian-Instead of/replacing Mirage

90s RN colors (it's an FGR.2, but close enough!)-maybe in the Kosovo campaign with LGBs or Desert Storm with ALARMs

Present day RAF in Afghnaistan-A handful brought out of mothballs after retiring c.2000.  Weapons load of GBU12s on the aft Sparrow bays, laser designator in the RH forward bay (the strike camera is already glued into the LH Sparrow bay and it aint budging!), mix of rocket pods/AGM-65s/dumb bombs on the wing pylons, and the centerline gun.

So far I'm kinda leaning towards the Afghanistan machine, though that may change as the afternoon progresses.
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Quote from: Jeffry Fontaine on July 17, 2009, 11:00:50 AM
You seem to be having a lot of bad experiences with acquisitions lately.  Was there nothing in the auction description that warned you about the condition of the kits? 

No kidding!!!   :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Here is the text of the listing copied and pasted:

This auction is for a lot of 4 kits of various scales.

1- 1/48 tomcat Monogram

1- 1/48 Tomcata Monogram

1-1/72 hi-Tech series, RAF/NATO weapons kit

1-1/72 british phantom FGR.2 Fujimi

Also included are 2 decal sheets for the 1/48 f-14A Tomcats

Thanks for looking

Not a damn thing about them being started/built/incomplete!

I've emailed the seller complaining about this, so we'll see....
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


That sucks on the pull, AD - seriously sucktacular that you got the shaft like that.

I'd vote for either the RCAF TacAir bird in Germany, or the Afghanistan Machine - those two are the ones that catch my eye.  Third is the Irish bird, just because Ireland is cool and I think I saw the profile and liked it.
Putty-fu, Scratch-jutsu and Bash-chi, the sacred martial arts of the What-If. Mastering them, is Ancient Chinese Secret.

Just your friendly neighbourhood Mad Scientist and Ship-whiffer.

Overkill? Nah, it's Insurance.  So are the 20" guns.


The Afghan bird does it for me, something to give the Harriers a bit of back up out there. loaded to the hilt with LGB's also sounds favourite, especially the ones designed to upset the cave dwellers. :wacko:
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!


Well I was leaning strongly towards the Op Herrick 'Toom, in a "Flashman" type scheme like my Raven GR.1 from last year, but when I got the gray on I just wasnt happy.  I'm in an 'organic color' mood at the moment, so now I'm thinking of a new idea; a freshly delivered Phantom deployed to Da Nanag, serving alongside the Hunter F.12 I just completed, and in similar camo, with the SEAC roundels....

Also, to update on the situation with the ebay seller who neglected to mention in his listing that the kit had been built...the guy replied to my email apologizing profusely.  He said he meant to put in the listing that they were started, but simply forgot.  He said he has a lot of kits to dispose of due to failing eyesight and to let him know what I like and he'll send me something for free.  The guy was so nice about it I'm just gonna tell him thanks and not to worry about it.  At least he did a nice job putting the Phantom together!!
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


OK, the camo is on...I decided to go with the same basic scheme as the SEAC Hunter I finished yesterday.  This will be a newly delivered Phantom deployed to Da Nang to support the ongoing British involvement in Vietnam.  RAF Phantoms were deployed to Vietnam from 1970 until the British withdrawal in 1972.  This aircraft will be wearing the wraparound SEAC camouflage, with the two-tone blue SEAC roundels which were replaced by the standard red/blue roundels by 1971.

Two generations of RAF aircraft serving in Vietnam...a Hunter F.12 alongside a brand new Phantom FGR.2
So I got that going for me...which is nice....



Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?


I love yout Phantom the way it is now :wub: :thumbsup: uh... I mean: as tail-less UAV... :blink: Or will you turn it less "what-if" as completion step?
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Quick update pic as the decals are going on.  SEAC Roundels and 54 Sqn markings are on, now time to tackle the mass of stencils.  While I'm doing this I'm getting the 'pit and gear bays ready on my OWGB too.

More later!
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Ok, stencilling is finished (damn, there are a lot of them!). Weathering next, then the fiddly bits go on.

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


OK, she's done!  My second model of the year (even though it was mostly built when I got it).  


The history of British involvement in Vietnam has been written about extensively over the past four decades, however a brief review of Operation Manticore will help place this model in context.

As the US became more embroiled in the Vietnam Conflict in the late 1960s President Johnson continued to pressure British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to provide material support for the war.  Johnson saw British involvement as a valuable public relations tool as opposition to the war grew at home.  Despite Johnson's continued requests for combat troops, Wilson continued in his opposition to British involvement.  The prickly nature of the personal relationship between the two men did nothing to improve Johnson's chances of success.

The situation changed on September 19, 1967 when a Viet Cong bomb exploded in a Saigon nightclub killing 21, including four British nurses working for the International Red Cross.  This act of terror opened just enough of a door for Johnson to approach Wilson again, and gave Wilson just enough justification at home to accede to the request.  To make the British deployment more palatable on the home front Wilson proposed to Johnson that the request for military assistance should come from Australia.  Perhaps correctly so, Wilson felt that coming to the aid of a Commonwealth nation would be more readily accepted by the British people than helping the USA.  

So, after much backroom political negotiation 42 Commando, Royal Marines became the first British military unit to deploy to Vietnam in June 1968.  Two RAF squadrons also deployed in support of the Marines, 78 Sqn operating Westland Wessex helicopters and 20 Sqn operating Hawker Hunters.  Within a year this small contingent  had grown to over 6,000 troops, including Royal Marines, the Black Watch, elements of the Parachute Regiment, Royal Artillery,  Ghurkas, and SAS & SBS special forces.  The RAF contribution grew to include three squadrons of Hunters, two of Canberras, four Wessex units, a number of transport aircraft, and a flight of Vulcan heavy bombers.  Two squadrons of Hunters were based with US forces at Da Nang, while the remainder of the fixed-wing combat aircraft were based at Phan Rang alongside Australian forces.  

Even though support for involvement was short-lived on the home front, more British units deployed to southeast asia over the following two years, peaking at 24,000 combat troops in country in late 1970.  RAF involvement grew to involve Hunters, Canberras, Strikemasters, Vulcans, Victors, Phantoms, and Eagles.  The Royal Navy also contributed forces to the campaign, including the aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and Ark Royal, along with their Scimitar, Sea Vixen, Buccaneer, and Phantom aircraft.  All together British combat aircraft flew over 29,000 sorties during the conflict, dropping millions of pounds of bombs, and shooting down 37 enemy aircraft.  

As public resistance grew, both in the UK and the US, Britain began drawing down forces in late 1970, with the last British troops leaving the theater in September 1972.  In total 65,328 UK service personnel served in the Vietnam theater between 1968 and 1972.  Casualties were heavy, with 1,935 killed, 7,445 wounded, and 89 Missing-in-Action.  A total of 55 aircraft were lost to enemy action; 12 Wessex, 1 Belvedere, 2 Sea King, 4 Scout, 11 Hunter, 4 Canberra, 9 Strikemaster, 5 Phantom, 2 Eagle, and a Vulcan, as well as 4 RN Buccaneers.

One footnote to this bloody and divisive conflict came to light in the 1980s, when it was revealed that the nightclub bombing that acted as the catalyst to British involvement was actually engineered by the CIA.  This bombshell could have been the death knell of the "Special Relationship" were it not for the close personal relationship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.  Reagan's heartfelt public apology to the British people, and Thatcher's acceptance of the apology led most people to chalk the incident up as one more example of the turbulent times that were the 1960s.

This model represents a Phantom FGR.2 of 54 Squadron RAF, deployed to Phan Rang in March 1970.  It still wears the WWII-style two-tone blue roundels that were worn during the first years of involvement in the conflict.  By 1971 all aircraft in theater had been repainted with the normal red/blue or red/white/blue markings.  The aircraft is painted in the standard early Southeast Asia pattern camouflage of tan and dark green, in this case in the later wraparound camouflage, which replaced the light gray or silver lower surfaces in late 1969.  This aircraft is shown flying under the callsign DALEK 21, as it appeared on March 18, 1970.  It is part of a CSAR mission to rescue a downed Royal Navy Buccaneer crew, who were both recovered with minor injuries.  Two Phantoms provided CAS for the rescue mission, which was carried out by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter, with a USAF O-2 aircraft acting as a forward controller.

This aircraft survived the war, and is currently on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Awesome Job!!!!!!! Like your Backstory & the Markings!!!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: You did a Model of  one of My Favorite Jets in a Proper & Military Way that was Super Cool :mellow: Thanks for Posting!!! :cheers: