F4 Phantom WIP

Phantom F4-E

A friend of mine flew these in Vietnam. I’m hoping to replicate his aircraft and a couple of the missions he flew.

Current thumbnail:


This is just the base mesh that I’ll use later on to cut out panels and other details.


Nice one, did this as model kit when i was younger… you know those typical zigzag of the wings? It’s typical for a Phantom as far as i know and your friend will proberly spot it on first sight.
(And the slighty curved wingtips. :wink: )

@okidoki, That “zigzag” is the outer wing maneuvering flap (there’s also a pair on the inner wings, but they close completely against the wing surface and can’t be seen unless they are deployed). I haven’t modeled that part yet because I’m still trying to figure out exactly how it interacts with the leading edge of the wing.

I think the combination of angled wings and maneuvering flaps is what gives the Phantom such an aggressive & unique look.

Ah !! As kid the Phantom was one of my favorites but my models where just 1:72 and i never saw those details. . OMg i looked into mz old book about Airplanes ther is a detail drawing and:

  • inner wing flap
  • outer wing flap

:scream: i never saw this.

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Hi Mark.

Frank here, they guy who left you a comment on youtube about a project. I seem to have gotten to the age where I no longer know how to use websites since I can’t seem to find the DM link.

And btw, this phantom is looking sleek.

Panel cutting progress…


Nice crisp clean panel work, very neat !
I like the vented detail around the upper intakes, adds interest to the aircraft as they do on car models.

More paneling completed…


Exterior is more or less modeled and mostly UV unwrapped, but I’m still waiting for more information from my friend about what ordinance he was carrying on a particular mission (chaff corridor over Hanoi 4/7/1972).


Coat of paint. No weathering yet…


Looks good! Ever figure out what he was carrying?

Yes, I talked to him last week. His mission was laying a chaff corridor for bombers coming in behind him.

His payload: 4 side winders, 1 ECM pod, 3 Sparrows, 2 ALE 38 chaff dispensers under the inner-wing pylons and 6 M129 chaff bombs on the center rack. The ALE 38’s blew out chaff on the way to the target creating a long chaff cloud starting about 25 miles from the target. (The target was Dahmer bridge in Hanoi). The M129’s were dropped nearly simultaneously over the target to create a very large/dense chaff cloud for the following aircraft to fly into. This gave them extra cover from SAMs and AAA during their bomb run.

He was one of 4 aircraft laying down chaff. There were another 8 F4’s on the mission. 4 flying top cover for fighter protection and 4 carrying bombs for the bridge.


Interesting backstory into the tactics being used back then! Thanks.


Minor updates… some weathering and the cockpit is fitted out enough to be passable as long as nobody looks too closely at it.

I would really like to get all the stenciling on this aircraft, but I can’t find a good source. If anybody can point me to one, I would appreciate it.


Amazing… When look on this beauty I must remind myself that you actually separate panels. They fit perfectly… almost too perfectly. Do you think to add slightly different bump map to each. This is hard to achieve on model which are in “one piece”, so in most cases airplanes renders have “uniform” bump across entire surface.

Really like the way this thing is turning out. Now, as for me, I would go lightly on the “weathering.” Certainly the paint should have a matte finish, as it does, but I personally don’t think that it adds realism for something to be “dirty.”

@alekba & @sundialsvcs,

Thanks for the feedback. I always appreciate critiques and suggestions.

I’ll try to add a little distortion to the panels, but they’re pretty tight & smooth on the real aircraft, so it’s an effect that can probably be easily overdone.

I will try to pull back on the top dirt, but the bottoms of these planes are notorious for being grungy.

If it wasn’t leaking fluids, it’s probably because it was empty. :wink:


Yao this can be easily overdone, especially considering that military paint are usually more matte than commercial shiny :wink:
Camera angle and light have big role. I remember excellent Blender renders of small business jet. Author talk about this topic, he mention that around every rivet are small dent, this even have specific name. However this are almost invisible in most renders. Plane have shinny white paint smooth surfaces. Only on couple high contrast renders when plane was in hangar or partially in shadow, you can see how surface are “bumpy”.

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Hey Mark, awesome render!

What program are you doing the texturing in, and what are you using for the paneling? Just normal maps? Thanks and keep up the great work!


I mostly use Substance Painter for texturing, but I supplement it with Photoshop for some things. The panels are modeled individually. I did a YouTube tutorial on my paneling technique if you’re interested.