Fujimi's F-4K Phantom is a nice looking kit in the box.
Finely engraved panel lines, weapons choice of fuel tanks (3),
gun pod, Sidewinder, and Sparrow missiles. If only a certain
other Japanese company would put armament back in their kits…….Decals
are included for 4 versions (all Royal Navy)
As is usual for aircraft kits, I started construction with
the interior. The cockpit consoles and instrument panels have
nicely raised details, but decals are also provided for these. I
liked the look of the decals, so I took the easy way out -
sanded off the molded details and applied the decals. Sidewall
details are also provided as separate pieces. The interior
pieces were painted medium gray, and the seats black. The entire
interior was given a black wash, and then dry-brushed with a
lighter shade of its original color. When all the painting was
done, the cockpit was glued into the right fuselage half, along
with some fishing weights to make sure the aircraft rested
correctly on its landing gear. I could not figure out how to fit
the rear cockpit sidewalls, so I left them out. The fuselage
halves were now joined together. The fit of the halves was
excellent. I didn't glue the "spreader" on the bottom
of the fuselage because I may need to pry the halves apart to
get a good fit at the wing roots.
The inside of the intakes needed to have some molding circles
filled in. When this was done they were painted white. The
intakes were attached, and the fit is the best I have seen on
any F-4 kit! The front intakes (parts 11) were way oversized,
and had to be sanded down to fit the molded on fairings.
The wings (one piece bottom and 2 piece tops) fit together
perfectly. The fuel tanks also had an excellent fit (I am using
all 3). In order to ensure a smooth fit on the bottom, I glued
the front fuselage bottom (part 8)on to the front of the wing
assembly before mating the wings and fuselage. The wing assembly
was now added to the fuselage. I used .010 plastic strip along
the seam of the lower front fuselage to align the upper and
lower parts. A small bit of filling was also needed where the
intake and wing bottom edges meet.
Two styles of nose gear are provided: one "normal",
and the other extended for take-off. I chose the extended one (I
always liked this look of the British Phantoms). While the
landing gear is very finely molded, the parts for the main gear
legs are reversed on the directions. Part 36 should be the left
gear, and part 37 the right. The gear bay doors all have molding
circles that need to be filled in before painting.
The fit of the canopy was excellent. Once this was masked off, I
painted the F-4 white and dark sea gray. Model Master paints
were used throughout. I subtly darkened the panel lines with
darker shades of the base colors. The nose was painted black.
When all these colors were dry, and the masking removed, I
applied a coat of Future. The decals settled down after 2
applications of Solvaset, but the light colors were slightly
After the decals had dried, I sprayed on another coat of Future.
The natural metal areas around the engine exhausts were painted
steel. The remaining small parts were lastly added, and the
model was now completed.
It really can be a pleasure building some of these
"shake and bake" kits…..now where is that Airfix
Do-17 I was going to build??????