Caracal Models CD 48176: QF-4B Navy Drone Phantoms

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

Unlike the USAF, the Navy used Phantom drones in various test programs. This was either as a chase aircraft or to test systems that could prove hazardous to the pilot if something went wrong. It was only after several years of missions that they might be expended as a full scale target. Usually it was versions of the Firebee that were blown to bits.

Once all the QF-4Bs were expended, the QF-4Ns and QF-4Ss were left in their standard colors with large international orange patches or in some cases in the very end, no additional colors at all. There are a variety of 1/48 kits available and these markings should fit any of them, though one cannot guarantee the tail stripe as it may prove to be a bit long or short.

The sheet provides markings for seven aircraft running the full operational life of the plane.

There are five options on this sheet. All are painted in International Orange with black nose areas and either black or dark grey intake walkways. All are from test units and several are the same unit after going through name changes.

Two of them are from the Naval Air Development Center with different tail designs. One is from the Naval Missile Command and two are from the Pacific Missile Test Center. For the PMTC, the two options differ by serial number and that the latter does not have the PMTC marking. For that one you simply cut it away. You are also give the badges for the PMTC in case you want to paint the blue fin stripe.

The decals are superbly printed by Cartograf and you are supplied sufficient common markings for one aircraft.

October 2020

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