u m m a r y
||60310 - F-4E Phantom II Early
||12000 Yen (Japan), $162 USD retail
|Media and Contents
||Injection molded plastic, white
metal landing gear, metal screws, and rubber tires
||Tamiya quality F-4E without the
conversion work. Both gun muzzles included
||Still has the battle repair patches
on the fuselage. Expensive compared to original F-4C/D release.
Phantom (Early Production) is available online from Squadron
Reviewed by Dave
Tamiya's new 1/32 scale F-4E (Early Production) kit is basically the F-4C/D
kit modified to make an early (i.e. “hard wing”) version.
The new parts come on two sprues, one in clear plastic and the
other in standard gray. The new clear sprue contains the new nose halves, as
well as both the short and long gun muzzles. The gray sprue contains the APQ-120
radar, the gun and associated ammo system, nose gear door parts, fin caps, and
associated odds and ends. Other changes to the original C/D kit include the
replacement of the short burners and unslotted stabilizers with the long burners
and slotted stab from the F-4J kit.
One main question that people who are familiar with the previous Tamiya F-4 kits
are asking is whether Tamiya did anything about the raised battle damage repair
patches on the fuselage. The answer is, unfortunately, no. All Tamiya did was to
chop the front of the fuselage part off to allow fitment of the new gun nose.
The long nose is molded in clear plastic to allow viewers to look into the nose
to see the radar and gun system. There is no provision for opening the radome so
those wanting to do this will have to cut the nose themselves and scratchbuild
the hinge. The clear parts are nicely done and relatively free of ejector pin
marks, but it will be interesting to see how many people go for the see-through
look that Tamiya intended. I suspect many people will paint the nose over and
either omit the radar and gun, cut open access panels or display the items
separately. Both the early short and later long Midas 4 gun muzzles are also
included on the clear sprue.
The M61-A1 Vulcan gun and ammo system are actually fairly nice and it would be a
shame to just omit or hide these parts. The APQ-120 radar is OK, but the radar
dish suffers somewhat from being molded in solid plastic. The real item is a
thin perforated dish which really needs to be done in photo-etch to do it
justice (the Eduard set for the Revell F-4F contains a perforated radar dish).
In addition, the four “T” shaped antennas surrounding the central antenna horn
are just plain posts molded on the Tamiya dish. Tamiya provides two new fin
caps, one with the ECM “acorn” and one without.
The cockpit is identical to the original C/D release. Ordnance remains the same
also, namely, four AIM-7s, four AIM-9Es, a MER, two TERs, twelve 500 lb Mk. 82
slicks (six with fuse extenders), outboard wing tanks, and ALQ-87 ECM pods.
Decals are typical Tamiya, nice registration but somewhat on the
Markings are supplied for two “JV” coded aircraft of the 469th
TFS, 388th TFW. One is “Betty Lou”, a sharkmouth bird based at Korat in 1968,
and the second aircraft has two “kill” stars and is listed as being based at
Andersen in 1973.
Overall, a nice, but pricey kit, and a fine complement to Tamiya’s previous
Phantom releases. It will be interesting to see if Tamiya modifies the kit again
in the future to make a late slatted wing F-4E, or even an F-4G.
Sample kit courtesy of my ever dwindling bank account.
Review Copyright © 2001 by Dave
Page Created 25 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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