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F-4E Phantom
Early Production





S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 60310 - F-4E Phantom II Early Production
Scale: 1/32
Price: 12000 Yen (Japan), $162 USD retail
Review Type: FirstLook
Media and Contents Injection molded plastic, white metal landing gear, metal screws, and rubber tires
Advantages: Tamiya quality F-4E without the conversion work. Both gun muzzles included
Disadvantages: Still has the battle repair patches on the fuselage. Expensive compared to original F-4C/D release.
Recommendation: Recommended.


Tamiya's F-4E Phantom (Early Production) is available online from Squadron

Reviewed by Dave Williams




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 thick side.



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.

Dave Williams
IPMS/USA 19050

Review Copyright © 2001 by Dave Williams
Page Created 25 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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