Academy 1/144 F-4E Phantom II






469 TFS / 388 TFW (JV)


Scott Van Aken





If you don't know anything about the F-4 Phantom II, you are either younger than 10 years old or have been living in seclusion for the last 40 years!



To start off in 'reviewese'; it is 31 parts in olive drab plastic with a decal sheet for one aircraft in SEA camouflage. It has engraved panel lines (though the kit copyright is 1984), includes underwing drop tanks, and Sparrow missiles. However the missiles are designed for the wing racks and not the fuselage. While not unheard of, very rare for an operational F-4E.

Looking closely at the kit, one notices a few oddities. First of all the box art is of an F-4G, not an F-4E. A nitpick in 1/144. Next if one looks closely at the gun fairing, it looks quite odd indeed. More like a sugar scoop than that correct fairing. This will take a bit of work to correct. Such as filler and a file!! In fact, the nose looks a bit bulbous for an E and could possibly be shaped to do a C or D.

The 'interior' consists of two seat 'shapes'. Good enough for 1/144, eh? The drop tank attachment holes are basically out at the wing fold. A bit far away for a normal F-4 as they should be quite close to the main gear doors. The rest of the bits look OK for this scale, but frankly if DML did one (which it doesn't), it would be a better kit.

All of that aside, it will be interesting to see how this one builds and compare it to other small scale F-4s. It is unfortunate that more people don't build in this scale as it really gives a great opportunity to have a lot of aircraft in a very small space. If you want to build a 'slammer' that can probably be completed in a short time, this is the scale. Good luck trying to airbrush the camo scheme!!