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Don

1/48 RF-4 Phantom. Which Kit Is "Good"?

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Hello all,

 

I have an interest in doing an RF-4 Phantom in 1/48. I have never done one, never owned one, and to be honest I can't recall ever seeing one built up with my own eyes/in person or even the sprues of one up close.  I am looking for some guidance from the RF-4/F-4 Phans here on ARC. I would prefer a USMC RF-4B or a USAF RF-4C but an Israeli or Greek RF-4E may be neat to build too. I don't need all the bells and whistles. Just a good fitting kit that is accurate in shape and outline (within reason obviously).

 

 I know there is the old Testors boxing of the 'B' and 'C' still floating about and that its to be avoided. There are the obvious Hasegawa RF-4's but they can be hard to come by and some are not cheap. I also know that the Hasegawa RF-4B is for a late version recon Spook, which is fine because the closeout schemes by VMFP-3 interest me and they were later model RF-4's. The Hasegawa RF-4C's seem to be the rarest and most expensive. Can a 'C' be built from the 'B' without too much hassle and cutting? In general, how are the Hasegawa kits fit wise? Any major issues? I believe Hasegawa fairly recently re-released their 'E' recon Phantom as it seems easier to find. Can a 'B' or 'C' be built from the 'E' kit?

 

Now, Italeri makes this kit:

2737_box.jpg

I know that its an 'E' but could it be made into a 'C' with the proper shorter exhausts sourced from another kit (Monogram F-4C for example)? How is this kit in general? I am reading mixed reviews on it. Is it a filler queen? I know its not as detailed as the Hasegawa kits (decals for the instruments, poor seats) but price wise I can get it cheaper then the Hasegawa offerings and it doesn't look too bad in the review videos I have seen.

 

I also understand that Academy and/or ZM may release an RF-4 at some point but nobody knows for certain when that will be.

 

So, right now my options are a Hasegawa version or the Italeri version.  Thoughts, opinions, reviews, suggestions....ALL are most welcome!

 

As always, thanks Gents!

 

Regards,

Don

 

EDIT: Spelling

 

Edited by Don

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I just recently sold my 1/48 Hasegawa RF-4E I suppose you could do a RF-4C out of it with some shorter F4C burner cans from a Hasegawa C/D kit.I have been lucky enough to find a RF-4B and a RF-4C Hasegawa kit.They are nice the C model allows you to build bothe early and late nose RF-4C"s.

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And the Italeri kit has roots in the old Esci molds.Poor cockpit and use of lots of filler.Testors RF-F B/C is not much better. As a former F and RF-4 Mechanic I have a lot of Phantom kits and books.

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Thanks guys! Good info.

 

So it seems I should focus on a Hasegawa RF-4. Are there any assembly or fit issues to watch out for?

 

I think the Hasegawa 'B' has two noses as well correct? The flat and rounder nose? Also, as I understand it, if you do the Hasegawa 'B' you don't have to remove the "bumps" on the wing upper surface as the instructions say to because the kit is actually a late RF-4B which used the 'J' wing which had those bumps on the wing top. Correct?

 

I notice on the Italeri kit the photo flash doors at the rear of the AC, below and just ahead of the vertical stabilizers, are molded closed. It looks like you can have the open on the Hasegawa kit(s)... yes?

 

Sorry for all the questions Gents!

 

I will look on EvilBay for a Hasegawa kit right now...

 

Regards,

Don

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I will have to look at my B kit on Camera bays 2 types. No real fit problems with any hasegawa 1/48 Phantoms.

Not sure on B 's and wing bumps which were trunnion covers I believe for the J wing and bigger landing gear and tires.10 or so late B's had the larger wing bump by the fuselage.Early B's had flatter wings by fuselage.

 

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Just checked my B kit both stlyes of camera bays are in that kit one on Clear sprue X one on clear sprue W. You'll need an Air Force style front nose door(dual landing lights) and Air Force wheels to do a RF-4C.

 

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Gonna jump on the bandwagon and add my endorsement for the Hasegawa Phantom. This has the most aftermarket and the best fit currently available. Who knows if ZM will ever get around to the Recce birds.

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Great info everyone. I am currently searching for a Hasegawa kit.

 

As always, ARC 'ers come through with top notch intel:thumbsup:!

 

Thanks all and regards,

Don

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I found this thread too late,  looks like  you have a lot of good advice here.  I can only add that The RF-4B "USMC" is the easiest to find RF-4B. 

 

The kit goes together very well, the best part is the way the side camera windows fit. They fit from the outside, and it is impossible for them to fall into the fuselage.    The only problem with the Hasegawa RF-4 series is that they are not in continuous production.

 

If you want to build an early RF-4B, Royale Resin has a Hasegawa thin wing conversion set 

 

Once you decide what you want to build, you just need to be conscious of  which burner cans you need to use, slotted or un slotted stabs, and slatted or unslatted wings. If you are not sure, ask here on ARC, as you can see we have lots of phantom experts. 

 

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5 hours ago, Don said:

Thanks guys! Good info.

 

So it seems I should focus on a Hasegawa RF-4. Are there any assembly or fit issues to watch out for?

 

I think the Hasegawa 'B' has two noses as well correct? The flat and rounder nose? Also, as I understand it, if you do the Hasegawa 'B' you don't have to remove the "bumps" on the wing upper surface as the instructions say to because the kit is actually a late RF-4B which used the 'J' wing which had those bumps on the wing top. Correct?

 

I notice on the Italeri kit the photo flash doors at the rear of the AC, below and just ahead of the vertical stabilizers, are molded closed. It looks like you can have the open on the Hasegawa kit(s)... yes?

 

Sorry for all the questions Gents!

 

I will look on EvilBay for a Hasegawa kit right now...

 

Regards,

Don

Don,

 

I have the RF4b kit in 1/48 & 1/72 scale, and it has some issues so I found out later in the game plan. There were actually two different RF4b's, but one is rather rare. The way I understand it, the Marine version has the wrong wings. Yet Royal Resin did do the correct wings. I have the set in 1/48th, but have not really done a serious comparison between the two . The Hasegawa kit comes with both style camera fairings, and have wondered if a fellow could simply use one or the other on the Academy kit. Don't have the Academy kit to see if it even fits, but the idea has been in and out of my head more than once. I want to do an RF4C of 1972 Vietnam era someday. Might wait for ZM to do an F4C, and go from there

gary

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2 hours ago, Kurt H. said:

I found this thread too late,  looks like  you have a lot of good advice here.  I can only add that The RF-4B "USMC" is the easiest to find RF-4B. 

 

The kit goes together very well, the best part is the way the side camera windows fit. They fit from the outside, and it is impossible for them to fall into the fuselage.    The only problem with the Hasegawa RF-4 series is that they are not in continuous production.

 

If you want to build an early RF-4B, Royale Resin has a Hasegawa thin wing conversion set 

 

Once you decide what you want to build, you just need to be conscious of  which burner cans you need to use, slotted or un slotted stabs, and slatted or unslatted wings. If you are not sure, ask here on ARC, as you can see we have lots of phantom experts. 

 

my conversion only came with the wings! Why?

gary

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So if I buy the Hasegawa RF-4B it will come with the wrong wings for any Marine Corps RF-4B's? I thought I read that you can build a late model USMC RF-4B as flown by VMFP-3 in the late 1980's early 1990's before retirement straight OOB. Such as:

6179524762_ee2a67a144_b.jpg

Or...

f4-vmfp3-real.jpg

No...?

 

Thanks again fellas!

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8 minutes ago, Don said:

So if I buy the Hasegawa RF-4B it will come with the wrong wings for any Marine Corps RF-4B's? I thought I read that you can build a late model USMC RF-4B as flown by VMFP-3 in the late 1980's early 1990's before retirement straight OOB.

No...?

Yes, I believe you can. There have been at least two Hasegawa RF-4B boxings (PT-13 and 09973 Limited Edition). The markings in both boxings are correct for the parts provided, which yield planes from the last batch (thick wings/slotted stabilators).

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You are correct, The USMC kit (pt31) is what you need for a late RF-4B. The kit named  'USMC'  has the decals for the black phantom in the box. The included thick wing is  correct for the later RF-4B,  just not the earlier thin wing variant. 

 

There were also at least two special boxings of the RF-4B.   09839 "VMFP-3 special" and  09973 'VMCJ-2'   

 

It gets confusing. It would have been easier if  late RF-4B was designated RF-4J , which would have been a more accurate designation. Also, if Hasegawa offered a scribed panel line B/N then they could have offered an early RF-4B by using the sprues for the B/N wing.  

 

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The last 10-12 RF-4B's were built with the later wings.You would need to watch your serial numbers and markings.

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Again, I really do appreciate all the time and effort you gents have spent on my questions. Much appreciated :thumbsup:! Upon further digging I found that RF-4B's in the 157342 through to 157351(the last RF-4B delivered) serials all had the late 'J' type wings that come in the Hasegawa boxing. The only trick is to make sure to get the correct nose on the front. But seeing as how both noses come in the kit its just looking at reference picks to nail the right nose down for the specific airframe. So doing either of the jets in my pictures posted above ^^^ would work for an OOB build. Whew!

 

Question...why two noses? Did all recon Phantoms have two noses?

 

One has to wonder why Hasegawa hasn't jumped up and re-released the 'B' and 'C' recon spooks before either Academy or ZM gets theirs on the market? Heck I'd be in for at least one each.  

 

Regards fellas!

Don

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The later nose was more streamlined.I was a jet mechanic in 1969 at Shaw AFB SC when I 1st saw a late RF-4C with the later nose which was mainly the camera windows and doors on nose bottom.I wish someone had a list of the serial numbers with the later nose. I have the AeroFax RF-4C book by Jay Miller with the serial numbers of the RF-4C and Block numbers no no breakdown of the nose bays.

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Some JASDF or Luftwaffe RF-4E boxings have only one nose on the sprues. The RF-4B box is very versatile but take care: it contains only the navy style pylons.

The RF-4B is still available on the market, also the JASDF RF-4E. Both for economic prices, e.g. when you order at Hobbylink Japan.

Should you like to pimp your recce spook there is a set from Aires with open cam nose, cockpit, wheel wells and nozzles.

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Thanks! I was wondering why the different noses. And yes, a book that listed which nose was on which AC would be quite helpful. Then again, could a nose be changed from one AC to another in case of damage or parts reclamation? Or were the noses non-transferable?

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After looking at the photos in the Detail and Scale Revised edition F-4C/D RF-4D book I don't believe the doors were interchangeable.Jim Rotramel took some pics for the boolk he may know more.Sheet metal surrounding said doors looks different also.

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The RF-4E (JASDF) kit that I have has different wings from the "regular" RF-4C or E kits.

The RF-4C does pop up on eBay fairly often, but the bidding quickly goes well north of what I can spend. :dontknow:

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