1200 yen SRP
Scott Van Aken
Unless you are really new to military airplanes, you know that the Phabulous
Phantom is the greatest jet aircraft ever to take to the skies. It is true. Not
only was it the mainstay of the US Navy, US Marine Corps, and the US Air Force
for well over a decade, but it also served in a number of other nations around
This kit is the British F-4K so it would be appropriate to have a bit of
background on that version. The United Kingdom bought versions based on the U.S.
Navy's F-4J for use with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
The main differences were the use of the British Rolls-Royce Spey engines and of
British-made avionics. The RN and RAF versions were given the designation F-4K
and F-4M respectively, and entered service with the British military aircraft
designations Phantom FG.1 (fighter/ground attack) and Phantom FGR.2
(fighter/ground attack/reconnaissance). Initially, the FGR.2 was used in the
ground attack and reconnaissance role, primarily with RAF Germany, while 43
Squadron was formed in the air defence role using the FG.1s that had been
intended for the Fleet Air Arm for use aboard HMS Eagle. The superiority
of the Phantom over the English Electric Lightning in terms of both range and
weapon load, combined with the successful introduction of the SEPECAT Jaguar,
meant that, during the mid-1970s, most of the ground attack Phantoms in Germany
were redeployed to the UK to replace air defence Lightning squadrons. A second
RAF squadron, 111 Squadron, was formed on the FG.1 in 1979 after the disbandment
of 892 NAS.
Fujimi came out with their British Phantoms in the late 1980, they were much
welcomed by fans. At last, we had a modern Spey-powered 1/72 F-4. Unlike
their slightly earlier US Phantom series, this one had a nice cockpit that
actually fit well. It still used decals for instruments, but in this scale
it is not that big a deal for most.
So here we are over 25 years later, and it is still the best British Phantom
kit around. Hasegawa never did a series, probably because they'd have to
mold so many new parts and because Fujimi already had one, though they did
produce the type in 1/48. No one else has stepped up to the plate. I have
built several of these and they are kitted in four different varieties. They
do the F-4K, F-4M, FG.1 and FGR.2. The early ones do not have the antenna on
the fin but are otherwise the same plastic.
Like most Phantoms, there is a single piece tub into which one places a fair
seat, control sticks and instrument panels. These do, however, have
additional rear seat side panels. Intakes are also typical of most kits with
the splitter and inner intake in one piece with the outer intake put on the
top. This then gets attached to the fuselage with no additional trunking.
There are intake probes included.
Wings are a one piece lower wing out to the fold with the upper halves
including the outer wings. Ailerons are separate. There is little wheel well
detail. I should mention that the nose gear well is molded into the lower
forward fuselage, which fits to the front of the wing. This kit offers both
a single piece and multiple section canopy.
Stabs are a single piece. Gear is nicely done and Fujimi molds the main
wheels and tires separately. Gear doors have to be cut as they are molded in
one piece. The kit also comes with the proper burner cans for the Spey
variant. For things under the fuselage we have the usual four Sparrows, four
Sidewinders with pylons and outer wing tanks. The centerline can have either
a fuel tank or a gun pod.
are well done with the usual Gunze paint references. All four markings
options are in extra dark sea grey over white. The extra dark sea grey
quickly faded so many will use just dark sea grey for this. The four units
are the box art squadron, 767 squadron, which did not last very long. The
other fleet unit was 892 which flew the plane until the Ark Royal was
decomissioned. The other two options are 700a Squadron which was a short
lived development unit and the Phantom Training Flight. Decals are nicely
printed, but will be a bit thick and may not be viable if they are too old.
There are aftermarket replacements if one wants.
Bottom line is that this is still the best British F-4 in this scale and well
worth the effort of picking up if you find one at a reasonable price.
Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved.
Thanks to me for picking this one up when it was on sale.
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