1/144 Hellenic RF-4E Phantom

Gallery Article by S K Loh on May 2 2013



Depicted here is a Hellenic RF4-E Phantom converted from the 1/144 Revell F-4E/J Phantom II kit.  The Revell kit is almost identical to 1/144 Academy kit that I have used so far.  It suffers the same flaws i.e. the scoop-like gun fairing and the drop tanks guide holes are a tad off from the main landing gear position.  In addition, the canopy appeared somewhat “bubbled” (this I realised after fixing it into position).


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I decided to modify the F4-E kit into a RF4-E when I chanced upon a picture of a Hellenic RF-4E S/N 7519 from 348 TRS “Matia” (Tactical Recon Sqn) which carried the first special anniversary markings in 2005.  I had to scratch-build and reshape the nose and the camera housing to make it resemble an RF4-E as best as I could.  I added scratch-built AIM-9 missile and pylons as well as a centerline drop tank.  The main drop tanks were repositioned inward close towards the MLG as usual.  Unfortunately S/N 7519 suffered some maintenance setbacks and was grounded.  A second special marking RF-4E S/N 7487 was commissioned to commemorate the 30 years of HAF RF-4E with 348TRS as well as 50 years of F-4 Phantom in May 2008.  There are many bigger scale model kits scale in the market that carries this decal marking.

It was quite a challenge to create the decals especially the artwork on the vertical fin and on the front side of the fuselage.  Glad it turned quite alright. 

As for the paint scheme, the RF-4E carried the ‘Norm 83” Luftwaffe colours as they were ex-Luftwaffe Phantoms and HAF operated with its as-is colours.  I pre-mix the shades to depict this colour scheme.  Light weathering was done with a light wash.

I had wanted this kit ready in time for the Greek Independence Day on 25 March but was held back as I had problem with my airbrush and compressor that require some corrective maintenance.  That explains the a little rougher than normal paintwork as it would be tough to do a complete re-work given the size of this kit. 


S K Loh

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Photos and text © by S K Loh