scale models

MDD F-4E Phantom II AUP “ARES, The God of War”

70-years Anniversary of 338 Squadron “Ares”, 117 Wing, Hellenic Air Force, Andravida, Greece, 2023

Although I have already built a greek Phantom, I could not resist building another when this new special scheme became available. In 2023, the first F-4E that ever entered service with the Hellenic Air-Force, was given this special decoration to celebrate the 70-year anniversary for the 338 Squadron “Ares”.

This time, I used the new Meng F-4E kit, as it needs less modifications than the Zukei-Mura F-4E Early. Still, it did require some modifications in order to represent accuarately a Hellenic F-4E AUP (avionics upgrade program) Phantom. I figured that the best way to get the extra needed parts (cockpit instrument panels, antenass) was to get Zeus Projects’ resin upgrade set. It was made for the Zukei-Mura kit, so it contains some parts that the Meng kit does not need (slats, outer wings). Also, I had to do some minor modifications in the cockpit in order for the new instrument panels to fit.

I started with the cockpit. I replaced the instrument panels with the new resin ones. I also scratchbuilt sidewalls. I added some cabling on the back side of the rear instrument panel (that would be visible behind the pilot seat). I used resin ejection seats from Aires. For the instruments, I used the decals from the Meng kit, re-arranged to fit the new panels.

Having finished the main assembly, it was time for the painting. I started with the metal areas behind the engine nozzles and on the stabilators. I used various shades of AK Xtreme Metal colors to simulate the typical Phantom burned and shooty look. After I was satisfied, I masked them up in order to proceed with the main campuflage.

I started with grey Mr. Surfacer Primer 1500. On top of that, I used Tamiya Black Panel Liner to mark the panel lines, instead of pre-shading. Additionaly, I touched-up some areas with subtle brown tones.

Then, it was time for thin layers of the main camouflage colours, using MRP paints. Afterwards, I used lighter and darker shades as post-shading. I tried to replicate the dirty, worn-out look of the greek Phantoms.

Finally, I masked and applied the black and yellow for the anniversary theme.

Then, it was time for the decals. I used a set from Zeus Projects for the 263562356523653 stencils. After I finally finished, I toned the stencils down with a very thin, almost transparent layer of the main camouflage colours.

Then, I applied some weathering, using clay wash (Flory Models), oils and some pastels.

Finally, I added an AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening pod from Eduard on the front left under-fuselage missile rail.

The work in progress

The finished model

Products Used

Meng “McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II”1/48LS-017
Zeus Projects F-4E HAF AUP conversion set for ZM1/4848-002-R
Master Model F-4 Phantom II – Pitot Tubes (long nose versions)1/48AM-48-050
Eduard AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening pod1/48648237
Aires Martin Baker Mk H7 seats – (F-4 version) 1/484142
Grand Models F-4E AUP 72-01501 “ARES The God Of War” Decals1/48GMD48001
Zeus Projects F-4E “Aegean Ghost” complete stencils (Grey)1/4848-006