I’m not going to bore you with a history of the F-4. Suffice to say this the USAF version with an integral M61 Vulcan cannon in the elongated RF-4C nose. This was the most numerous Phantom variant with 1,370 built. There have been over 30 boxings of this aircraft in 1/144. This kit is a rebox of Platz’s earlier kit with some changed parts to represent the F-4E. Looking through the reviews and details of the various kits Platz’s kits are among the best.
The kits arrive inside a sturdy end opening box. The kits are each in their own bag with the smaller parts and canopies bagged separately inside their respective kits. The decals are bagged separately. There is a single double sided instruction sheet. Each kit is made up of 54 parts, 53 in grey plastic and 1 clear. There are also 3 parts not used.
The instructions are in 6 steps and are clearly laid out.
- Step 1 is assembling the cockpit and it’s nice to see there are raised details on the instrument panels and cockpit consoles.
- Step 2 is painting the cockpit and adding the pilots. The detail on the pilots seems a little soft, but in this scale it won’t be noticed.
- Step 3 is putting the fuselage halves together wiht the cockpit and some other smaller parts. The locating pins are very big for this scale, but they seem to work. I build a 1/72 kit with similar over sized locating pins and it all worked out well. There might be mention of putting weight in the nose cone but I can’t read Japanese. If you’ve built a few modern jets you will know to look out for this.
- Step 4 adds the one piece wing and engine nozzles. There’s mention here of fitting the undercarriage doors in the closed position, but obviously that’s only if you’re going to build the aircraft with the wheels up. The wing has holes for the missile pylons and drop tanks so these will need to be filled if you don’t want to fit those.
- Step 5 is painting and decals.
- Step 6 is fitting the missiles; 4 Sparrows, 4 Sidewinders, and drop tanks and adding the undercarriage, canopy and a few other last parts.
The parts show a nice level of surface detail for this scale with some good recessed panel lines. The canopy has a couple of pins to aid location.
Paints are called out in Mr. Color and Model Master.
The decal sheets show minimal backing film and are all in register and the colours look good. There are 3 decal options:
- SEA scheme F-4E 34th TFS, 1970 70-0269
- SEA scheme F-4E 421st TFS, 1972 69-0336
- White/Red YF-4E 6512th TFS, 1983 65-0713
One of the original YRF-4C prototypes was converted into the YF-4E. The YF-4E was used in the development of the F-4E fighter and in later fly-by-wire Precision Aircraft Control Technology (PACT) and Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) test programs. It is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The kit is currently on sale for around $20 from HLJ.
A very nice double kit combo of the F-4E with nice decal options and a good level of detail.
Many thanks to Platz for sending the kit along for review.