Building the Spanish F-4C "renaissance" from the Academy kit 1/48 scale

by Jose Angel García © Modeler Site

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One of my favourite aircraft has always been the F4 Phantom. Since long ago, I wished I could make a 1/48 F4C of the Ejército del Aire (Spanish air force) but the kits available to carry out my project were too poor. It was then when this fabulous Academy kit that was the best fighter aircraft manufactured up to the moment appeared. I could not leave the opportunity of making my favourite aiplane of my beloved Ejército del Aire.

Speaking about an iconic plane for me and that meant a high jump in technology for Spain, I thought to make something completely different to what could be seen up in modelling for the time being. I’ve always loved painting challenges making different things or even “extravagant” ones. We’re in 2013 and starts an arduous process of knowing how and which way I could do something that would never have seen. In this case, I decided to make what I didn’t know if would be capable of getting and will explain you here…

As this would be one of my “bipolar” works, On the one hand , I thought of achieving the American original painting of one of the 36 planes Spain bought to USA in 1972. At first, would be about the modern F4E but finally arrived the most obsolete (even some F4C that had seen service in the Vietnam War. By that time, I had already decided that this paint would be achieved by trying to match a black and white photo, this means that the North American part of the model would be painted in white and black.

For the Spanish part, I went to read a bit about these aircraft history to see if I could find some interesting landmark that made me decide for any aiplane in particular. After many hours searching for information, I saw that one of our aircraft had dashed on February 14th 1974 in a highway close to Torrejon ( base). And that in the accident, crewmembers, captains José Martín Ruiz and Manuel Fernández Herrín had died. I just had my second painting Spanish scheme just to remember these two pilots died in the accident.

Now I had to search for information about the C12-25 121-13 registration number the aircraft took in Spain to know which had been its unit in the USAF and know all their data. Finally and after a long searching, I found everything regarding the aircraft, it was a F4C with SN 64-0881 that belonged to the 92nd TFS (81st TWF) and with tail registration number WT AF64 881…After all I got it, now I knew this Spanish aircraft origin.


Another challenge was how to face the painting. Up to now they have been painted with a longitudinal division, I mean a different scheme each side. But I wanted make something different here and I thought I could do a kind of “transition” namely, It would be soft transition of the white and black of the North American painting scheme to the Spanish one.

This is how I started to find the way of getting that transition Finally, I used some color profiles of a Spanish F4C and with the help of tools of an Image editor software, I converted the rear part of the image to white and black, then after being printed, it would act as guide. Now I could start with my F4C.


As always I started with the interior cockpit and as the one provided with the Academy kit didn’t convince me, I decided to replace with a resin one that needed the usual adjustments.

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