" Sundowners" VF-111

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Feb 14, 2011
Hi chaps ....Its only me ;D

As some of you know I havent been about much lately due to moving house .Thankfully the move is all complete now and I can try to get on with a bit of plastic bashing again :) . At the minute tho ,most of my modelling stuff including all of my projects are still sitting in boxes waiting to be unpacked ,and I cant do that until I have the new workshop sorted :( ...getting there tho .
However ,just a couple of days before the move this kit landed in my hands ,so it wasnt packed in the mountain of brown boxes marked 'Models' ;D And to be honest ,the temptation was so strong I just have to crack this one open (The force is strong in this one ) ;D

Ok ,The kit is Academy's 'New Tooling' of the famous Sundowners F-4B Phantoms . I must say ....Im impressed !!!!


The box arrives STUFFED with lots lovely plastic :) and very very nice detailing an all parts . Three colours of plastic are used much like the way Matchbox used to do back in the golden days , This allows the novice builder to assemble the kit without needing to paint ,you have light Grey for the topside ,White for the underside and Black for some detail parts ,But off course this one will get paint ;D ;D

I should also mention that this kit comes with some very nice touches .First thing to note is that it has a complete weapons loadout ,including drop tanks ,rockets ,various bombs ...etc in fact there is Four different options and layouts !
There is Three pilot figures included ...yes Three ! two seated & one standing ,which look to be very good ,we'll see how they paint up :)
The Fuselage is molded in one piece and sports some very fine engraved panel lines & rivet detail ,as does the rest of the airframe .
There is lots of detail in the cockpit including the seats ,and the landing gear is also well done ,In a nutshell the detail looks to be Excellent .
The Decals ...they are Carograf ....need I say more ! But there is quite a lot of them .Being a Phantom there is a stencil on just about every panel ,which again are perfectly printed .

Lets take a look at some parts (please excuse the not so great pics ,Im using a temporary set up at the minute ,but the pics will improve over the next couple of updates )

Note here the way Academy have protected some parts by using walls on the sprues ...nice :)


Did I mention there is extra parts in the box which enable you to build a number of different variants ;)


Instrument panels ....


No seams to get rid off on the top of the Fuselage :)


Check out the panel lines & rivets ,and details in one of the underwing bays ....


Loadout options ......


Colour & Decal guide , the black triangles are colours ,the rest are decals !!!!!



All in all .....very very nice :) I cant wait to get going ,I'll be building this alongside my Comp entry ,which Im also looking forward too ;D
Hope you'll join me for this ,should be a fun ride ;D

ps ...better pics on the first update ....promise ;)

What a sweet review Chris!!!

Looking forward to seeing this come together once you have the cave squared away.
Have sold a couple of these, and had a look at one, seems to be a really nice kit. Decals are going to take a few nights however! LOL
Like decals much? Lol.
Looks like a real nice kit, is it a new one ? Haven't seen this one around, it's gonna build up into a decent size when finished.
Lots of in-progress pics please. This one is next on my to-do list :)
It really is a beautiful looking kit on the sprues.
Yes this is a very nice kit - I've been tempted to get it too but I'm resisting mainly cos I still have the Hasegawa one in the same marking sitting on my shelf completed and I don't have room for another (so I keep telling myself ;D)
Nice to have you all along guys :)

Adam ,shouldnt be too long ,hope to be throwing some paint by the end of the week ;D

Scott , I have to say from what I got done tonight it is a nice kit ...my first ever Jet too ...ever ! ,I plan on doing all the stencils in two sittings ,one for the top and one for the bottom ,I want to get them done quick otherwise it could turn into a tedious slog :(

Rookie ,it is quite recent ,came out about the end of last year and yes it is a New tooling :)

Billb ,pics coming tomorrow ...stay tuned ;)

Anthony ,always nice too see you :) Yeah the move has been fun ....not ! but its done now ,So here we go again ;D

Dave ,there's nowt wrong with having two ;D ::)

I got a bit of time at this one tonight ,getting some sub assemblies together like the cockpit ,Seats ,undercarriage bays andthe engines .Didnt get time to take pics so they will be up tomorrow :)

Thanks guys .

Can't wait Chris! I have the same kit and look forward to building mine.Don't keep us waiting too long LOL!!
Nice review Chris. Looks like a wicked kit. Phantoms are one of those classic aircraft, nice choice for a first jet. Is it going to be a build straight out of the box?

I tlooks to be a great kit and the marking are awesome. Lokking forward to your build reports ;D
Thanks guys :) ...Sorry I didnt get the pics done tonight ,home late :( ,will do for tomorrow tho ...promise ;)

Jason ,pretty much from the box mate ,I will add the wiring to the rear IP where it can be seen just behind the front seat ,but thats about it ,dont think it needs anything ? ,I dont need to make belts as Im putting the pilots in there :)

Hi chaps ;)

Sorry about the delay ,things are still a little crazy around here !!

Ok then ,first update .
Started on the cockpit as per usual ,This is made up into sub-assemblies to allow for painting ,So I made up the two seats ,which are identical and actually quite nice ,although the black is hard to photograph ,come to think of it ,with the kit being three different colours its all a bit of a pain to photograph !! Anyhoo ,as i said ,the seats are quite nice and should look good under paint ,you could add some wiring to the top parts if you want ,or get some aftermarket seats ,but I think they'll pass once the pilots go in :)


Then I made up the main cockpit tub ,not really much too it ,at the same time I made the box for the front undercarriage ,then took the too cockpit bulkheads and removed the top left corner as per the instructions .Its important to remember this or it could ruin your day later on in the build ;)
The IP's were removed from the sprue and cleaned up for paint too .


Dry fitting .....


The onto the wings ...Already ???

The main lower centre section is the starting point , You need to make up the main wheel bays first and add them to the lower section .I suggest you make these up on a flat surface first and while the gue is still soft transfer them to the wing and manouver them into place to get the correct shape ,its not difficult but do get them in the correct place before they dry .
Once in place ,a few holes are drilled out for the bomb pylons ,then the top of the wing can be added and left to dry .




I have since dry fitted the fuselage ,just to check and it does fit perfectly with a nice tight join along both wings ;)

Thats all for now ,hopefully more tomorrow .

Thanks for looking .

That thing is all ready for flight! I actually like the multi color paint scheme in the cockpit. Most are monotone highlighted through dry brushing. This will catch your eye with the pilots in her. Nice Chris....at it again.
Thanks chaps :)

Anthony ,cheers mate ,there isnt any paint on the cockpit ...yet ;)

Adam ,thanks ,doing my best :)

Geegad , Thank you :)

Trying to get a bit more done tonight !

good god Chris there is some amount of decals in that

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