Monogram 1/72 F-4D Phantom II
KIT #: 5451
PRICE: I paid $10.00 for mine
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Chris Baltrinic
NOTES: Xtradecal X72072


The F-4C was the USAF version of the Navy's F-4B, though there were modifications to the Navy airframe to meet USAF requirements. The biggest visible change was the addition of wider wheels and tires using a lower air pressure than those used by the Navy. This resulted in the addition of bumps on the upper wing as well as bulged gear doors to accommodate them. Similar as to what was done to Bf-109s when they got wider wheels.

There were also changes in avionics systems to meet the needs of the Air Force, but basically they were quite similar to the F-4B. In fact, the first USAF F-110As (later changed to F-4C) were Navy F4H-1s (later changed to F-4B) on loan. Like the Navy Phantoms there was no internal gun for either this or the F-4D, though a centerline gun pod could be carried. Main weapons were the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-7 Sparrow missile, of which four of each could be carried. Initial delivery of USAF F-4Cs was in the gull grey and white scheme, same as the USN was using. In fact, the F-4C is probably the only Phantom II to wear every USAF camouflage scheme ever carried as when the Hill Grey scheme was adopted, several were painted in this manner for the last years of their life. The last F-4Cs were removed from service in the late 1980's after 25 years of hard use.

The next version was the F-4D. This had basically the same airframe as the F-4C but a much-improved avionics and weapons delivery system than the F-4C. These aircraft were finally retired in the early 1990s. Both the F-4C and The F-4D were exported, and while not in the same scale as the later F-4E, gave sterling service. Some may still be in use with the Iranian Air Force. Rumor has it that it is thanks to help from Israel in providing parts that keeps this and their Tomcat fleet still viable. (History section courtesy your editor because if you don't fill in a section, you cannot put a picture in it!)

For those who want to know more, a nice place to visit is


Everyone except the most junior modelers will likely skip this section as what salty modeler would be unaware of what you get when you open up a  Monogram Phantom?  Raised panel lines, tons of great detail and of course, more raised panel lines.

The most notable thing about the Monogram Phantoms  IMO is the cockpit detail. You are not going to find better detailed cockpits in this scale from any other kit.


Construction began where one would expect—the cockpit. I mostly use Polly Scale paints to paint interiors because they are easy to brush, airbrush and dry fast. The tub and instrument panels were airbrushed grey. Side consoles were painted black and dry brushed. A thin soapy solution of Steam Power Black was used to fill the instrument faces. Loading a fine brush then touching the center of the instrument filled the circular instrument face instantly. Once dry a second round was needed to ensure complete coverage. I know my limitations so no attempt was made to paint 1/72 instrument bezels black. Next the seats got painted black, green and dirty white. They were then dry brushed and finally a dark wash was applied.

Assembly of the major airframe components is straightforward. Actually, the whole kit goes together rather easily with one major exception and that is the intakes. Fortunately, panel lines are not that noticeable in such as small scale, because not many were left after gluing, filling, sanding, filling and sanding and sanding and filling and sanding the intakes. Speaking of sanding and raised panel lines--I used to get hung up on panel lines, especially raised ones, and would try painfully to preserve them.  That was not the case this time however.  I continued and sanded the upper wings and most of the fuselage smooth. However, some detail still remained, albeit in a much more subdued state. I did this because I decided that, for this aircraft and paint scheme,  raised panel lines in this scale were totally unrealistic.

Although there is nothing really wrong with them, I replaced the kit exhausts with spares I had left over from a Hasegawa “J” since the J contains engine parts for the B/C/D/N Phantoms as well. 

I elected to model a plane prepped for a mud-movings mission. As such, Air to Air ordnance became optional and was left off. The  750 lb bombs came a from a Hasegawa weapons set and the kit gun and ECM pod were used.


All painted external surfaces were painted with Mr. Color paints (which I believe are described as ‘synthetic lacquers’).  Camouflage masks were made by scanning the instructions sheet, reshaping/stretching in Photoshop, printing on card stock and cutting with a craft knife. The masks were then held in place with poster tack to get that ‘scale overspray’ look.

I used various shades of Alclad  for the painting bare metal areas around the tail (undoubtabley the most fun part of building a phantom in any scale--yes?).  Next an extremely thin layer of Tamiya black (with possibly some read brown added—I just don’t remember) was sprayed  over the metal areas, with extra being applied closer to the center fuselage and engines, and panel joints. After things were dirtied up with Tamiya, I went to work rubbing as much of the freshly sprayed paint off as I could. For this  I used a cotton swab and good old fashioned spit.

Not able to find any good Vietnam era markings in this scale, I opted for Xtracals sheet for  Phantoms based in England.  I must say these decals were a joy to use.  Beautifully printed, thin, and the white was as opaque as I have ever seen


 Although definitely not a good choice for a first time modeler, the  Monogram F-4s are great kits and come at a great price. Anyone with a bit of experience should be able to produce a fabulous Phantom with the plastic that comes in the box.


 Just the instructions and decal sheet ma’am.

Chris Baltrinic

March 2015

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