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Digital Subscriptions > Scale Aircraft Modelling > December 2017 > WATTISHAM RHINO


Or the black art of making a Phantom FGR.2 in 1/32


The finished fin
The front Martin Baker
The starboard auxiliary intake
The dowelling former
The inner can with strips prior to sanding etc.
Both can components and the strip with marked actuators

Kit No: 60308

Scale: 1/32

Type: Injection Moulded Plastic

Manufacturer: Tamiya The Hobby Company/ Tamiya USA

Ihave always loved the British Phantom and to create a FGR.2 in 1/32 has been a dream of mine for many years, so when I saw Frank Mitchell’s conversion of the Tamiya 1/32 scale F-4J I knew I had to have a go. That was six years ago, I think. I did not of course work on the project full time and there were great gaps when I had to attend to other commitments.

One Christmas my dear friend Frank kindly sent me a pair of smash moulded cans and the game was on. I followed his method, The Frank Mitchell FGR.2 Method, which worked very well for me. It is a lot of work and not for the faint hearted or those short of stamina. I made some changes of my own to Frank’s method and I hope that if you decide to proceed with this build that you will too. Trust me, it is possible for the modeller of average competence, of which I am one, and the reward is great if you last the course.

The rumour of a 1/32 F-4K from Hong Kong Models is now beginning to show signs of life so if you get your skates on you might just beat them to it. Having said that, if HKM do produce one I will be one of the first at the dockside to meet the ship. It is of course vital to plan the sequence of events that produce the finished beast and I urge you to consider in advance how to vary the course proscribed by Tamiya. The first thing to take on board is that looking at pictures of the real FGR.2 is essential. I referred to books on the Phantom on a daily and nightly basis, checking details and confirming the appearance of the particular aeroplane I had decided to build. That aircraft was XV420, the only FGR.2 with a slotted tail. This meant that I did not have to source a set of unslotted stabilators. There are many photos of this plane at various stages of its life from the pristine to the rather tired, the latter being my finish of choice. Important to note is that certain details vary from time to time, stencils appear and disappear. This gives the modeller much latitude given the lack of available stencils for the British Phantom.

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