Hasegawa 1/72 YF-4E 'Edwards AFB'

KIT #: 00294
PRICE: 2400 yen SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited Reissue (2002)


To most knowledgeable and intelligent people, the finest jet fighter of the 60s and 70s was the F-4 Phantom II. Those lacking proper perception will undoubtedly differ in this matter, however, it isn't too late to come to your senses! :o)

Other than perhaps the Mig-17 or Mig-21, no other post-Korean war jet has been built in greater numbers. Certainly no other non-Soviet designed aircraft. There must have been a reason for it. It certainly isn't simplicity or ease of maintenance. The Phantom was one of the last Western fighters where the airframe was designed first and then room was found for other equipment. Nowadays, ease of maintenance is as important as any other factor. It certainly wasn't designed to be stealthy. Nothing like two smoke trails following several tons of hurtling metal to make yourself visible! It also wasn't designed to be quiet. If you have ever been around the beast without proper hearing protection, your ears will definitely be ringing.

What made it such a success is that it was able to perform a variety of missions and perform them all well. Probably your first decent multi-mission aircraft. It was an interceptor, a (unwilling) dogfighter, a superb ground attack aircraft, a night fighter, a level bomber, a SAM suppression aircraft, and according to its pilots, a blast to fly. Before that, aircraft were generally specialized. After the Phantom, there were still purposefully built aircraft, but it lead the way to today's multi-mission aircraft.

This particular kit is of an aircraft that started its life as an F-4D, but was chosen to test the various modifications to an F-4E. This included later engines and the gun nose. This also required a new radar set to fit into the slimmer nose section. This aircraft spent its life at Edwards AFB, and I believe it is part of the Edwards museum collection.  


 This kit is basically a standard F-4E with a new set of decals. During most of its life it would not have carried pylons and even fuel tanks would not have been a normal fit due to its test status. However, all those are included.

The kit has held up well considering the zillion pressings done over the years. I just gave it a cursory examination and will get more into it when I get around to buildi
ng it, but there are a LOT of pieces that won't be used if using the kit markings. Instructions are standard fare for Hasegawa with the usual Gunze paint references. You are provided the standard F-4E decal sheet with a small addendum sheet for the painting and decal placement for the limited edition boxing.  All the colors should be easy to locate in a variety of paint lines. The decal sheet is very nicely printed and includes the high visibility panels. Unfortunately, they are in red and these panels are supposed to be International Orange so you will be wanting to paint these areas. You can use the kit panel decals as masks, I guess. 


I would have to guess that Hasegawa has done 50 or 60 different boxings of this kit, whether it is a USAF plane, one for the German Air Force, Japanese version, or the other nations that have and are flying it. It is a tad fiddly, thanks to all the inserts and most of us have found the clear bits don't fit all that great closed, but it is one most of us have built on multiple occasions so there will be no surprises. I should also mention that the kit is for the aircraft in the later years of its life. Initially it had the short gun muzzle and did not have the reinforcement plates on the stabs.


References? I don't need no steenkin' references!

July 2019

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