1/144 Academy IDF F-4E Kurnass 2000

Gallery Article by S K Loh on July 10 2013



Depicted here is a modified Academy 1/144 F-4E kit to an IDF F-4E Kurnass 2000. The IDF received the first lot of F-4E Phantoms in late 1969 deo the US and having inducted them into operational status, the F-4Es were baptized “Kurnass” (Sledge Hammer). In 1980 the IDF embarked on a local upgrade programme for her F-4E Phantoms and the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) took on the contract at its facility at Ben Guiron Airport. The upgrade involved the avionics as well as some structural strengthening and more to the aircraft. Air-to-air refuelling probes were fitted on them.  

The IDF 201 SQN aka “Ha Achat” (The One) received the first production Kurnass 2000 in April 1987. Of the 204 F-4Es acquired, some fifty-five aircraft were upgraded to Kurnass 2000 by 1989.  

The modification of the Academy kit to make it look like the IDF Kurnass 2000 involves mainly scratch-building the leading edge slats on the main wings and the refueling probe. More accurate AIM-9 missiles and pylons were also scratch built. This was followed by the usual enhancement/corrections to the kit to remedy the inherent flaws found on this kit.


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I created the decals for S/N 676 belonging to 201 SQN based in Ramon AB. It was originally S/N 276 prior to the upgrade. The kit is painted the standard IDF unique camo from pre-mix basic Tamiya/Hobby colours to lend it the best shade possible. Light weathering was applied. I just could not resist adding on the “kill markings” on its nose which was not found on the original aircraft. A ‘what-if’ afterthought.

Enjoy the photos!!

S K Loh

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Photos and text © by S K Loh