The F-4 Phantom needs no introduction. It was by far the Western world's most successful supersonic fighter-bomber aircraft of the Cold War, and has been described as “The world's largest distributor of MiG parts”. The F-4E was the USAF's definitive fighter version, armed with an under-nose M-61 20mm cannon and 8 air-to-air missiles.
This kit comes stuffed into a small box, which upon opening does not have a great deal of air inside. Two complete kits are squeezed inside, each in their own separate plastic bag.
The fuselage is made up of two halves, which lock together very positively, reminiscent of a snap-together kit. There is a one-piece cockpit tub with separate ejection seats, instrument panel and bulkheads. I have seen 1/72 kits with fewer cockpit parts! There are also crew figures to be installed if the modeller wishes.
The wing is one piece, and includes the arrestor hook. Landing gear are one piece, which is understandable in this scale. Optional doors are provided for retracted gear, but there is no stand.
Two styles of stabiliser are provided, but only the slatted verstion is applicable to this model. The other is marked “not for use” on the instructions.
Three drop tanks are provided, each in one piece. There are 4 Sidewinders plus their underwing pylons, and 4 Sparrows. No bombs are provided in this box.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it will look like a Phantom.
Decals and Markings
3 Colour scheme options are provided for USAF aircraft. 2 are in the SEA camouflage of 2 greens and tan over light grey, and one is overall white with red-orange test panels. Each option has a slightly different shark mouth.
The decal sheet includes an addendum with properly printed national insignia to replace the WW II style insignias printed on the main sheet.
- 1. F-4E 70-0269 of the 34th TFS in 1970;
- 2. F-4E 69-0336 of the 421st TFS in 1972;
- 3. YF-4E 65-0713 of the 6521th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB in 1983.
It's tiny! The test fit (without glue or tape) is posed beside my Shaeffer pen.
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