Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Milspec Waterslide Decals
Decal Sheet ID 72-019
Decal Sheet Title F-4E 4th TFW
Types Featured F-4E

Milspec Decals sheet 72-019 provides markings for a single F-4E, 79-0040, assigned to the 4th TFW at Seymour Johnson AFB during 1984. This may be correct, although phototographs show it in this scheme during 1982/3. The sheet actually provides for the aircraft in two slightly different schemes, as follows:

  • Blue/green/yellow/red fuselage stripes (separated by thin white bands), with "SJ" tailcodes in black, outlined in white. Black "AF74-040" serial numbers.
  • Marked identically but with the serial numbers replaced with a large black "4", outlined in white.

In both cases, the aircraft is painted in the 'wraparound' South East Asian scheme, comprising Dark Green FS34079, Medium Green FS34102 and Tan FS30219. The stars'n'bars differ from scheme to scheme and Milspec provide alternatives for these. For both, the fin tip is painted black and this is provided as a decal although it would probably be better painted.

It should also be noted that this aircraft carried the AR/ARN-101 mod and TISEO.

A minimal set of stencils are provided, although at this point in time the F-4 did not carry many such markings so the sheet is usable.

Unfortunately, Milspec have not researched the decals and they are almost completely wrong. Images are relatively easy to obtain - in fact this aircraft is actually featured in the Wikipedia article on the F-4! Firstly, the tail numbers are unusual in that they should be smaller than usual and of the format "AF74 1040" (not 040).

Secondly for the second option (using the "4"), the "SJ" tail code is smaller than usual, appearing to be closer to 18" than 24".

Thirdly, the white backing to the tailcode and "4" is to the right or left of the black codes (depending on side), not below.

And finally, the bands on the fuselage should be separated by white which is about 1/2 the thickness of the coloured bands - however Milspec have them almost the same size.

Milspec have tried to resolve this by providing an insert with replacement "SJ" and "4" markings, but these may not be correct either - it is hard to tell without seeing them on the model.

The instructions are full colour and provide 4-views of the main aircraft and a separate "tail" view of the alternate markings. However, no information is provided about either do not provide any further details for either sets of markings - the aircraft was actually flown by the commanding officer of the 4th TFW.

Unfortunately, the instructions are also completely wrong - the images depict an F-4G whilst the aircraft is an 'E, and was later converted to a QF-4E. Furthermore, the serial depicted on the instruction sheet is 79-1040, which is completely ficticious.

The decals are actually a collaboration, being marketed as "Milspec", produced by Custom Aeronatical Miniatures (CAM) and designed by Phantom Graphics.

My original review suggested that this could be a useful sheet, but having identified all of the above errors, the sheet cannot be recommended as it is not completely accurate.

Review and images by Chris St Clair