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F-4B Phantom II- aircraft carrier diorama
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McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is surely one of the most famous jet fighters. Images of this legendary, Mach 2.2 capable machine, wreaking havoc over Vietnam, are quite likely to be familiar to all of you. A tandem-seat fighter-bomber designed as a carrier-based interceptor, entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force quickly followed the suit, and at the end, eleven other nations operated aircraft of the Phantom family. Some of the air forces still use them, even though more than fifty years have passed since the first one rolled out of the production line. Total number of 5.195 examples completed, some of them license built in Japan, makes it the most numerous American supersonic military aircraft.



Legendary Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown once said that Phantom might look like hell when it’s about to land with the undercarriage down, but is a great aeroplane to fly. Talking about landing gear, I am sure that some of you have seen the pictures of ridiculously long extendable nose wheel that British have installed on their Phantoms.



When I was deciding what color scheme to choose, the attractive VF-51 Screaming Eagles based aboard USS Coral Sea, seemed a good idea. Plain white stickers were cut to proper size, some of them painted with grey paint and detailed with marker pens, and some of them just with the latter ones. I guess the nose of my Phantom will be a nightmare for any LEGO purist, because one can quickly realize that this is a non-LEGO piece. I won’t tell you what it is, try to guess, I can only say that grey was not its original color… I tried to build it with LEGO, but lacking the suitable pieces, and not wanting to copy ideas used by other builders, I decided to use this thing at the end. The cockpit frame was made with the help of the stickers which also enabled me to angle it a little bit.



The MD-3 Tow Tractor is a pneumatic tired, diesel powered tractor intended for towing all carrier based aircraft. Designed in early 1950’s, it managed to establish a good reputation and remained in service for years- with some improvements of course. I really like the way this small yellow MOC turned out, I actually like it more than the Phantom itself. But sssh, don’t tell this to the big bird!







I found an old Verlinden painted flight deck section and I said to myself that it can do no harm if I use it here.



Rear view with the engine exhausts and the arresting hook lowered.



Phantom had numerous loadout options, combination of bombs, fuel tanks and air-to-air rockets, being a common one. I tried to make the clothes of deck crew as accurate as possible, and I hope I’ve managed to capture the atmosphere of a busy day aboard USS Coral Sea.







The ‘in-flight’ shots were made with the help of over twenty five years old East German fishing line I found in a drawer (reminiscent of ex-YU times). How ironic, American plane, hanging in the air, completely dependent on quality of Eastern Block product, hehehe…








I don’t know why, but I’m somehow attracted to this photo. And I think it is just calling to be photoshopped with a sunrise over Gulf of Tonkin or something similar in the background.



Comments

 I made it 
  October 14, 2013
Quoting Julian Townes Really awesome! Would it be possible for you to send me the instructions for the tow tractor? I want to make a similar diorama but with an F-14 and white tractor. Yours would be perfect. Thanks!
Thank you for liking my model so much, but unfortunately I have to disappoint you; I never make any instructions... :( Hopefully you can figure out how this one is made out of existing photos, no very special techniques have been used, just normal bricks found in majority of car MOCs and tiles put on top of it. The least I can give you is this adress, you might find it helpful for your project: http://www.carrierbuilders.net/element/element.php?id=998 Have fun!
 I like it 
  October 11, 2013
Really awesome! Would it be possible for you to send me the instructions for the tow tractor? I want to make a similar diorama but with an F-14 and white tractor. Yours would be perfect. Thanks!
 I like it 
  October 5, 2012
Excellent work! Very detailed and realistic model of the Phantom!!!
 I like it 
  October 2, 2012
Excellent design, looks just like the real Phantom. If you want to try to make a lego nose download LDD(it's free) and just build whatever nose you want and buy it. I choose to make a F8 Crusader instead of the Phantom cause I like the Crusader more, but thats all personal preference.
 I made it 
  August 22, 2012
Quoting David Roberts This is an absolutely brilliant rendition of the Phantom II. You'captured the shape very well indeed! I think that you should have kept going and given it a Lego nose, but you choice works great. Excellent to see your mention of Eric Brown. Will you build a Fleet Air Arm version with that super-long nose wheel :) ?
Thanks for the comment! No, unfortunately I won't try to build (or rebuild) the British Phantom, because one of the reasons why that version looks so good, is its color scheme. And because I don't have enough properly colored pieces to make it, I have to dissapoint you (at least for now). Unless I'll try the photoshop...
 I like it 
  August 22, 2012
This is an absolutely brilliant rendition of the Phantom II. You'captured the shape very well indeed! I think that you should have kept going and given it a Lego nose, but you choice works great. Excellent to see your mention of Eric Brown. Will you build a Fleet Air Arm version with that super-long nose wheel :) ?
 I like it 
  June 10, 2012
This looks better than my F-4!I don't really like the nose,but I can understand why you decided to use that nose style.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2012
One of, if not the best F-4 in Lego! Great work!
 I like it 
  May 23, 2012
Fine looking dio. Shame about the dodgy nose-job though... ;-)
 I like it 
  May 20, 2012
wow it is amazing. nice detailing.
 I like it 
  May 17, 2012
You're welcome! Well the nose-thing got me curious so i had to see if anybody else made the same guess at what it was. I certainly came close i see :-D Descriptions often add an extra dimension to the build and can be quite educational as well. I also find it interesting to read about the techniques and solutions to building problems other builders use :-) Oh, about the photo-shopping idea: Gulf of tonkin would be quite fitting if you do add a background.
 I made it 
  May 17, 2012
Quoting Ezechielle Imagelego Hi! You have been blogged on the LEGO Militaria blog! http://legomilitaria.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/mini-supercarrier/ (don't forget to use Google trad if you don't speak French!) ;-)
Well, that is a pleasant surprise! Thank you very much!
 I like it 
  May 17, 2012
fantastic !!! :-)
 I like it 
  May 16, 2012
I love it :)
 I like it 
  May 16, 2012
Hi! You have been blogged on the LEGO Militaria blog! http://legomilitaria.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/mini-supercarrier/ (don't forget to use Google trad if you don't speak French!) ;-)
 I made it 
  May 16, 2012
Quoting Builder Allan Excellent shaping and really nice details. I don't know the F4 in detail but from what i know of it, your build here looks quite accurate. Nice to see studs on the wings - reminds me of when i was a kid and flat tiles were not as abundant in sets as today :-D I am gussing a christmas decoration for the nose? I thought it kinda looked like a porcelain 'pine tree' that was popular here one season. And then i read it had originally been green! Oh, and though i was born a 'westerner' i appreciate the humor in your fishing wire thoughts ;-)
Thanks! And I appreciate the fact that there are people who actually read the description, and even though a little bit surprising, also the comments... You came close enough to make me feel obliged to tell you what that thing really is. Yes, it is a pine tree (or spruce tree, doesn't matter), but it was a part of an old TOMY set from early 90's. In place of a proper trunk,it had a funny white stand, which I of course omitted here...
 I like it 
  May 16, 2012
Excellent shaping and really nice details. I don't know the F4 in detail but from what i know of it, your build here looks quite accurate. Nice to see studs on the wings - reminds me of when i was a kid and flat tiles were not as abundant in sets as today :-D I am gussing a christmas decoration for the nose? I thought it kinda looked like a porcelain 'pine tree' that was popular here one season. And then i read it had originally been green! Oh, and though i was born a 'westerner' i appreciate the humor in your fishing wire thoughts ;-)
  May 15, 2012
The plane is excellent. However, the nose is off, and the missiles need some work.
P. Voranc
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  May 14, 2012
I will honestly say, I think this is the best war plane I have ever seen built out of real bricks. It is a hair clunky, has a ton of personality, and looks mean, just like a real F-4. Absolutley KILLER!
 I like it 
  May 14, 2012
that looks awsome
 I like it 
  May 14, 2012
it looks fantastic! just like the real thing!
 I made it 
  May 14, 2012
Quoting Marty Fields No idea what it was, but your modifications to the Lego canopy have worked well. I take it that it is paper or tape forming the splitters at the front of the air intakes? I am sure there must be a Lego solution to this. Any ideas people?
Thanks! Yes, there is a LEGO solution that might be suitable for this particular part. I wanted to attach some angled pieces to the side of the plane and SNOT it afterwards, but I have already finished the construction when I realized what I am facing. Tearing up even only the lower part of fuselage, could have ended in a disaster, because the canopy is very fragile. I've already figured out some LEGO solutions to various problems, and I'm looking forward to implement them in my future builds...
 I like it 
  May 14, 2012
Amazing!
  May 14, 2012
No idea what it was, but your modifications to the Lego canopy have worked well. I take it that it is paper or tape forming the splitters at the front of the air intakes? I am sure there must be a Lego solution to this. Any ideas people?
 I made it 
  May 14, 2012
Thank you all for your comments! And as for the nose thing- I won't tell you yet what it is, but keep in mind that it was green at the beginning, if that helps you in any way... :D
P. Voranc
 I like it 
Hi-Jak .
  May 13, 2012
AH-the F4 is my all time favorite,with F-14 following close at hand. Very nice job.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Fantastic looking Phantom, the tarmac vig sets a great scene!
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
That is a beautiful F-4 and a great scene. Your decal work is excellent, it enhances the design rather than overwhelming it. I like how you did the cockpit and the whole design is very accurate.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
excellent
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Nice. I like how you got all the curves done nicely.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Great work! What is piece did you use for the nose cone?
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Wow! Nothing to say anymore.... (still wodnering about that nose). If u could manage to build that plane in my scale i could have a use for it.... :)
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
nice plane and very accurate, just a lot of studs on the wings.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Awesome! I love US fighter Jets! And this is just amazing, but just wondering, is that nose made out of a baby bottle pop cover?
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Well done!
  May 13, 2012
Fabulous build. I also like your support vehicle. But that nose..! Aircraft noses are notoriously difficult to do in Lego so a slightly blocky appearance is perfectly forgivable. I, however, just avoided the problem and went for fighters with angular noses!
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Good job getting the shape right, the only thing i can complain about is the nose and the way the cockpit lays on it.
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
if you ignore the nose of the phantom, fantastic build, instantly recognisable:)
 I like it 
  May 13, 2012
Excellent looking phantom! Is that a custom nose you used for the plane? I am not familiar with a part like that.
 
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