Superscale 48-445: RF-4C Phantom II

Units: Various




Scott Van Aken

All of these markings are from the last years of the RF-4C; which means the early 1990s as by 1995, they were, for all practical purposes, gone from active, reserve and ANG units. Based on the first USAF F-4s, the F-4C, the recce versions lasted some 5-7 years longer than their armed predecessors, even though many of them were built at the same time. All of these planes are the the last Phantom scheme of Hill Grey II which is basically FS 36118 and FS 36320. On all these aircraft, the demarcation line is very tight between the colors, so masking all or part of it wouldn't be inappropriate. The drawings are not very precise in determining if they had the early angular or later smoothed lower camera window panels, but your intrepid editor/reviewer has photos of these planes to help you out.

First is from the 192 TRS, Nevada ANG as flown during the RAM recce air meet. Though my image was taken sometime after this in late 1991, you can see that not only is the tail marking still there, but the aircraft is in excellent condition and the paint is semi-gloss. You can see that it has the older, more angular camera bay windows.

This is the Boss Bird from the 26 TRW and shows the markings on it that were applied during Desert Storm. Again, the plane is in good condition, though a bit more weather worn than the ANG Phantom.  This one also has the more angular camera bay windows. Shown in the picture but missing from the sheet is what seems to be a badge of some sort on the intake just above the wing root.

Finally, the Boss Bird from the 67 RW, taken on a less than perfect photo day in California. It is also in very good shape and though you cannot tell from this image, taken in 1992 just prior to the units disbanding, I can assure you that it also has the more angular camera bay window.

To build an RF-4C, you take your favorite Hasegawa 1/48 F-4C and buy the Black Box RF-4C replacement nose and the cockpit set. The other option is to build the Testors/Italeri RF-4C which will mean a less detailed plane, but you won't have to do any surgery. Finding it, however, may not be the easiest task! I should also mention that like all later Phantoms, if carrying a centerline tank, it will be an F-15 version.

FLASH!  Apparently Hasegawa is finally doing 1/48 Recce Phantoms, to be released sometime in 2004. Stay Tuned!

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