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Luftwaffe RF4 E Phantom II


Norm 83A/B Lizard Camouflage Markings




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and  Description M48-02 Luftwaffe RF4 E Phantom II - Norm 83A/B Lizard Camouflage Markings
Scale: 1/48
Price: USD$16.96 from Squadron.com
Contents and Media: M48-02 Two full-sized A5 decal sheets (including S48-02); 3 x A4 sized full colour instruction sheets (five sides); 1 x double-sided black-and-white stencil placement diagram.
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Fourteen featured aircraft but any Norm 83A/B RF4 E may be depicted; highly professional and polished package; exquisite decal printing by Cartograph; artwork of very high standard; perfect registration and crisp printing; helpful notes; comprehensive stencil diagram; excellent reference source available from AirDOC (Luftwaffen Phantoms)
Disadvantages: No accurate reconnaissance Phantom available straight from the box
Recommendation: Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Brett Green


AirDOC's RF4 E Norm 83A/B Decals are available online from Squadron.com


F i r s t   L o o k


AirDOC's latest decal release covers any Luftwaffe RF4 E* Phantom II finished in either the Norm 83A or Norm 83B Lizard Camouflage schemes. Both schemes used the same colours (two greens and a grey) in different wraparound patterns.

AirDOC release M48-01 comprises two A5 sized decal sheets, three double-sided, A4, full-colour instruction sheets and a black-and-white stencil marking guide.

Fourteen aircraft are featured in full colour illustrations on three A4 sized instruction sheets. In addition to ample individual numbers and eight German national markings, the decals include a number of special markings. These permit some interesting variations on the plain wraparound finish, including a bold tiger-striped tail, a commemorative scheme with black, red and yellow fin, and several examples of nose art.



It should be noted, however, that the RF4 Es not finished in Norm 83A/B Lizard camouflage (including the all-black machine from Aufklrungsgeschwader 52 featured prominently on the front illustration) cannot be depicted straight from this sheet.

The instructions are particularly nice. AirDOC has gone to the trouble of providing high quality renderings of the subjects. The illustrations have an authentic feel for light and shade as well as providing a clear indication for placement of markings. The satin sheen paper has been printed with a background photo of a real RF4 E Phantom.

Each aircraft is described in brief text, and the colour instructions include separate top and bottom plan views for accurately painting both the Norm 83A and Norm 83B Lizard Camouflage Scheme.

The decals themselves have been printed by Cartograph of Italy. The quality of the decals is second to none. Carrier film is almost non-existent, the colours are beautifully saturated, registration is perfect and even the tiniest stencils are so crisp that they may be read under a magnifying glass.

The comprehensive double-sided A4 stencil marking guide is fairly daunting due to the sheer quantity of tiny decals supplied, but the instructions are quite clear. Patience will be required to finish the job though!



Almost enough markings are supplied to complete two machines, but an additional stencil sheet may be required for walkways and the fin flash. Indeed, the main markings could be stretched to cover two German-based machines and two US-Based Holloman Phantoms. 

I assume that the stencil sheet will also be released separately at some stage as M48-02. This will permit more options to be used from the main sheet.

The only real potential drawback to this sheet is the lack of a suitable reconnaissance Phantom in 1/48 scale. General notes in the instructions are helpful in this respect. AirDOC recommends using Paragon's 1/48 scale RF4 B/C/E Early Profile conversion kit in conjunction with Hasegawa's F-4J (yes, J) kit. A number of additional suggestions are made about further corrections and improvements.



C o n c l u s i o n


This is an impressive and highly professional offering from AirDOC.

The colour artwork, notes, stencil markings and wide variety of schemes makes this a self-contained reference and decal resource. However, the availability of the new AirDOC book on Luftwaffe Phantoms (reviewed elsewhere on HyperScale) is the icing on the cake. All the subjects on this sheet are covered in colour photographs in this new publications.

Anyone contemplating a Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom II in 1/48 scale should consider buying this quality product.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Andreas from AirDOC for the review sample.

* German sources use the terminology "RF4 E" instead of the US designation RF-4E

Review Copyright 2001 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 07 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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