by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This release from Afterburner Decals covers 13 F-4E's and three F-4G's of the 3rd TFW, 3rd TFS and 90th TFS. Period covered for the F-4E's is from 1978 up until Dessert Storm 1991. For the three F-4G's it's 1990.
2 x decal sheets, one Slightly smaller than A4. The other a little smaller than A5, this sheet has the wing walk ways printed on it.
6 x A4 colour profiles, upper and lower plan views.
2 x A4 colour weapon and store guides.
1 x A4 black and white common stencil placement guide.
Options included with this release are:
F-4E 68-0513, 13th Air Force Flagship, 1984. Euro I Scheme.
F-4E 71-1083, 3rd TFW Flagship, 1988. Euro I Scheme.
F-4E 68-0483, 3rd TFW Flagship, 1984. Euro I Scheme. RAAF Zap.
F-4E 68-0310, 90th TFS, 1984. Euro I Scheme.
F-4E 71-0237, 3rd TFS, 1987. Euro I Scheme. RAAF Zap.
F-4E 68-0312, 3rd TFW Flagship, 1981. SEA scheme I.
F-4E 69-0290, 90th TFS Flagship, 1983. SEA wrap around scheme.
F-4E 69-7261, 3rd TFS, 1978. This one seems to have the maintenance manual written on it. SEA scheme II.
F-4E 73-1199, 13th AF Flagship, Incirlik AB, Turkey, Desert Storm 1991. Egypt scheme I.
F-4E 71-1075, 3rd TFW Gunsmoke/ODS. Egypt scheme I.
F-4E 71-1086, 3rd TFW CO, Incirlik AB, Turkey, Desert Storm 1991. Egypt scheme I.
F-4E 71-1073, 3rd TFS Flagship, 1990. Egypt scheme I.
F-4E 72-1065, 3rd TFS, 1990. Egypt scheme I.
F-4G 69-0249, 90th TFS Flagship, 1990. Egypt scheme I.
F-4G 69-0291, 90th TFS, 1990. Egypt scheme I. This aircraft received a Mig Kill star.
F-4G 69-7551, 90th TFS, 1990. Egypt scheme I. This aircraft received a Mig Kill star [19/9/1972] as a F-4E, which was later disallowed!
As can be seen, there is a varied number of camouflage schemes, five in all, that come with this set. Each aircraft is illustrated with a colour drawing of the port side. Any variation on the starboard side is noted. There are colour side, upper and lower plan views to aid painting. There are also black and white side, upper and lower plan views to aid the location of stencils common to all aircraft. There are decals also for the ejector seats. The weapon guides for the F-4E and F-4G are useful, but as far as I can see there are no markings or stencils for them. The 3rd TFS Weapons and Stores guide gives information on the six different combinations of loads carried by Phantoms during Desert Storm. F-4E 69-7261, 3rd TFS, 1978 seems to have the maintenance manual written on it. It does not appear that all the stencils for it are on this sheet. Although Afterburner indicate that they are to release a decal stencil sheet for the F-4 in the very near future.
Quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. All the written stencils are sharp and legible except for the tiniest of stencils, that you would have to view with a strong magnifying glass. I like the attention to detail, such as the RAAF Zaps and the Gunsmoke awards on 71-1075. There are enough stencils and wing walk ways for two aircraft, but there is nothing to stop the modeller from using the kits stencils to be able to utilise even more of the above markings. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.
A considerable amount of work has gone into the research to produce this outstanding product. Another release that the folk at Afterburner Decals should be proud off. It does put the modeller on the spot though, which two schemes to depict. Highly recommended.