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marcinko

1/48 F-4 Phantom best kits

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I'm working on every Navy 1/48 Phantom released, including all the old ones. My top three are:

1. ZM

2-3. I still haven't decided which order to put these in yet, but it's between the Academy and Hasegawa kits.

4-5. Again, I'm not sure what order I want these in between the Monogram and AMT/ERTL/ESCI kits.

Everything else (Aurora, Revell, ENTEX, Testors, Fujimi) are far down the list.

 

Don't discount the ESCI and Monogram kits. With some TLC they can be made into some very, very nice looking models.

Monogram converted to F-4S

_8376251_orig.jpg

 

ESCI converted to F-4S

_5406385_orig.jpg

 

Edited by Darren Roberts

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Yet to build the ZM.

 

Academy has many nice touches. Can be finicky. Do not like the ejection seats but a much better cockpit then Hasegawa.

 

Hasegawa is the easiest and soundest on its legs when done.

 

Monogram, not bad. Canopy does not fit when closed but build it opem and your good to go.

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when it come to "long nose" variants, the best choice is Hasegawa. (E/EJ/F/G//RF-...)

 

stay away from Fujimi Phantoms...they are in 1/50, not 1/48...despite what's written on the box!

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Since you don't mention which version, here are my opinions that I posted when this question came up on Hyperscale last month:

 

F-4B/N: Academy is better than Hasegawa's, due to Academy's scribed panel lines and better detail. Academy needs a few fixes, though. 
F-4C/D: I would say Z-M over Academy, due to the better detail and the accuracy issues detailed below. Hasegawa's is easier to build than Monogram's, but they both have raised panel lines. Monogram's has a better cockpit than Hasegawa's. 
F-4E/F/G: Hasegawa. It will be interesting to see what Z-M and Academy eventually come up with. 
F-4J: Z-M. I think Hasegawa is a close second, ahead of Academy, due to the latter's higher initial cost to purchase and the need for additional $$ to fix accuracy issues . 
F-4S: Z-M. Hasegawa's needs a few mods to be an accurate F-4S, but it builds into a good-looking F-4S. Hasegawa has Air Force-style slats that are incorrect for the S and it's missing some other F-4S-specific details. Not hard to fix, just a little time-consuming. 
RF-4B/C/E: Hasegawa. There is no available thin wing RF-4B, but Royale Resin has parts to convert the thick wings. Testors had a 1/48 RF-4C, but it lacks the detail of the Hasegawa kits. I don't know how it stacks up to Hasegawa shape-wise. 
Phantom FG.1/FGR.2: Hasegawa is the only option and they are excellent kits. Just need some cockpit details and intakes. 

Overall, Z-M's kits are probably the best F-4s available. You'd have to buy some aftermarket stuff to bring the others up to the same level of detail that you get out of the box with Z-M. They do have some accuracy issues, such as an odd curvature of the aft fuselage over the engines. This was debated in great detail over on Plane Talking not too long ago. 

Academy's kits are very good, but they need to have the ACS scoops on the side of the nose corrected, and the break between the paint and natural metal areas of the stabilators is in the wrong place. An easy fix for the unslotted stabs, but not so easy for the slotted stabs. Academy provides intakes, but they're not correct. The center section of the front instrument panel needs to be moved forward about 1.5 mm. The rear canopy is too long, so the center section is pushed forward and the front canopy is shortened to make up for it, but it isn't really noticeable unless it's sitting next to Hasegawa kit. I've read that the Hasegawa canopies will fit the Academy kit. I'm not a big fan of the kit seats. Construction is a little fiddly, but the fit is pretty good. Once you fix all of the Academy kits' issues, you've paid about as much as you would for a Z-M kit.

Hasegawa's F-4s are the easiest to build and are generally accurate, but they need aftermarket cockpits, intakes, and afterburners to bring them up to a similar level of detail provided by the Z-M kits. Once you do this, you've paid almost as much as you would spend on a Z-M kit. 

 

Cheers!

 

Ben

 

EDIT:  Darren, that ESCI F-4 is gorgeous!

 

Edited by Ben Brown

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Thanks, Ben, nice rundown ... as usual.

 

Can you provide a link to the Plane Talking discussion, please? Since I don't frequent there, it's hard for me to search the site with their thread setup.

 

And as concerns the ZM rear fuselage "problem", has anyone there laid out cross sections against the supposedly correct Academy fuselage?

 

Gene K

Edited by Gene K

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There was an in-deepth review on Hyperscale a while back, will try to find it...best rear fuselage is actually on the Monogram kit! BUT ZM is the only one that reversers the profile of the panels in this area which makes them last in line! I know you do not believe it...but I really do not care!

 

PS: Found it...

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1483831281/1/Zoukei-Mura's+F-4J+rear+fuselage+controversy...

 

Edited by anj4de

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2 hours ago, Ben Brown said:

Since you don't mention which version, here are my opinions that I posted when this question came up on Hyperscale last month:

 

F-4B/N: Academy is better than Hasegawa's, due to Academy's scribed panel lines and better detail. Academy needs a few fixes, though. 
F-4C/D: I would say Z-M over Academy, due to the better detail and the accuracy issues detailed below. Hasegawa's is easier to build than Monogram's, but they both have raised panel lines. Monogram's has a better cockpit than Hasegawa's. 
F-4E/F/G: Hasegawa. It will be interesting to see what Z-M and Academy eventually come up with. 
F-4J: Z-M. Academy's is a close second, with Hasegawa's not far behind. 
F-4S: Z-M. Hasegawa's needs a few mods to be an accurate F-4S. Hasegawa has Air Force-style slats that are incorrect for the S. Not hard to fix, just a little time-consuming. 
RF-4B/C/E: Hasegawa. There is no available thin wing RF-4B, but Royale Resin has parts to convert the thick wings. Testors had a 1/48 RF-4C, but it lacks the detail of the Hasegawa kits. I don't know how it stacks up to Hasegawa shape-wise. 
Phantom FG.1/FGR.2: Hasegawa is the only option and they are excellent kits. Just need some cockpit details and intakes. 

Overall, Z-M's kits are probably the best F-4s available. You'd have to buy some aftermarket stuff to bring the others up to the same level of detail that you get out of the box with Z-M. They do have some accuracy issues, such as an odd curvature of the aft fuselage over the engines. This was debated in great detail over on Plane Talking not too long ago. 

Academy's kits are very good, but they need to have the ACS scoops on the side of the nose corrected, and the break between the paint and natural metal areas of the stabilators is in the wrong place. An easy fix for the unslotted stabs, but not so easy for the slotted stabs. Academy provides intakes, but they're not correct. The center section of the front instrument panel needs to be moved forward about 1.5 mm. The rear canopy is too long, so the center section is pushed forward and the front canopy is shortened to make up for it, but it isn't really noticeable unless it's sitting next to Hasegawa kit. I've read that the Hasegawa canopies will fit the Academy kit. I'm not a big fan of the kit seats. Construction is a little fiddly, but the fit is pretty good. 

Hasegawa's F-4s are the easiest to build and are generally accurate, but they need aftermarket cockpits, intakes, and afterburners to bring them up to the same level of detail provided by the Z-M kits. Once you do this, you've paid about as much as you would spend on a Z-M kit. 

 

Cheers!

 

Ben

 

EDIT:  Darren, that ESCI F-4 is gorgeous!

 

For the Hasegawa ? Academy intakes , just substitute  A2zee intakes..

For the A/C intakes on the Academy , Hypersonic have  a fix, lus a host of upgrade/ corrections for ZM and Hasegawa and Academy...

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4 hours ago, Ben Brown said:

Since you don't mention which version, here are my opinions that I posted when this question came up on Hyperscale last month:

 

F-4B/N: Academy is better than Hasegawa's, due to Academy's scribed panel lines and better detail. Academy needs a few fixes, though. 
F-4C/D: I would say Z-M over Academy, due to the better detail and the accuracy issues detailed below. Hasegawa's is easier to build than Monogram's, but they both have raised panel lines. Monogram's has a better cockpit than Hasegawa's. 
F-4E/F/G: Hasegawa. It will be interesting to see what Z-M and Academy eventually come up with. 
F-4J: Z-M. Academy's is a close second, with Hasegawa's not far behind. 
F-4S: Z-M. Hasegawa's needs a few mods to be an accurate F-4S. Hasegawa has Air Force-style slats that are incorrect for the S. Not hard to fix, just a little time-consuming. 
RF-4B/C/E: Hasegawa. There is no available thin wing RF-4B, but Royale Resin has parts to convert the thick wings. Testors had a 1/48 RF-4C, but it lacks the detail of the Hasegawa kits. I don't know how it stacks up to Hasegawa shape-wise. 
Phantom FG.1/FGR.2: Hasegawa is the only option and they are excellent kits. Just need some cockpit details and intakes. 

Overall, Z-M's kits are probably the best F-4s available. You'd have to buy some aftermarket stuff to bring the others up to the same level of detail that you get out of the box with Z-M. They do have some accuracy issues, such as an odd curvature of the aft fuselage over the engines. This was debated in great detail over on Plane Talking not too long ago. 

Academy's kits are very good, but they need to have the ACS scoops on the side of the nose corrected, and the break between the paint and natural metal areas of the stabilators is in the wrong place. An easy fix for the unslotted stabs, but not so easy for the slotted stabs. Academy provides intakes, but they're not correct. The center section of the front instrument panel needs to be moved forward about 1.5 mm. The rear canopy is too long, so the center section is pushed forward and the front canopy is shortened to make up for it, but it isn't really noticeable unless it's sitting next to Hasegawa kit. I've read that the Hasegawa canopies will fit the Academy kit. I'm not a big fan of the kit seats. Construction is a little fiddly, but the fit is pretty good. 

Hasegawa's F-4s are the easiest to build and are generally accurate, but they need aftermarket cockpits, intakes, and afterburners to bring them up to the same level of detail provided by the Z-M kits. Once you do this, you've paid about as much as you would spend on a Z-M kit. 

 

Cheers!

 

Ben

 

EDIT:  Darren, that ESCI F-4 is gorgeous!

 

I have not made the look see yet, but the Hasegawa camera shroud might fit the ZM kit. The Hasegawa kit comes with both styles used on Phantoms. Need to dig out the Hasegawa kit for a serious look see. If by chance it does work OK, I'll bee needing a third ZM F4c kit!

gary

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4 hours ago, Gene K said:

And as concerns the ZM rear fuselage "problem", has anyone there laid out cross sections against the supposedly correct Academy fuselage?

I've taped electrician black tape strips on rear fuselage of an Academy F-4J and a ZM F-4S. It's difficult to match the strips positions perfectly because the breakdown of the kits is different... and because I used Eyeball Mk.1.

 

zmAcadF4.jpg

 

Here's the Academy. You can see that the engine bulge - spine junction crease begins to become a curve at the second strip (convention: 1st strip is towards the front of the fuselage). The fuselage cross-section shape is er... let's say a "stretched S and a half" (convex-concave-convex)

academyF4J.jpg

 

Here's ZM's F-4S. You can see that the engine bulge - spine crease starts to become a curve at the 4th strip. The "stretched S and a half" cross-section shape is really there at the 6th strip. On previous strips, top of engine bulge "disappears too late" so the rear fuselage has "shoulders". Convex-convex cross-section.

zmF4S.jpg

 

 

Edited by Laurent

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So, in short, on ZM the engine bulge - spine crease extends too far back. It should fade out earlier. Is this the issue? Just want to confirm this is what everyone is talking about. 

 

If this is the case, I personally don’t find that to be too difficult to fix, but want to confirm. 

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7 hours ago, anj4de said:

There was an in-deepth review on Hyperscale a while back, will try to find it...best rear fuselage is actually on the Monogram kit! BUT ZM is the only one that reversers the profile of the panels in this area which makes them last in line! I know you do not believe it...but I really do not care!

 

PS: Found it...

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1483831281/1/Zoukei-Mura's+F-4J+rear+fuselage+controversy...

 

 

That is the best comparison I have seen. I will still buy ZM though.

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

I've taped electrician black tape strips on rear fuselage of an Academy F-4J and a ZM F-4S.

 

Thanks! Definite difference.

 

So the Academy kit is the most correct according to "other evidence", I gather. If ZM acknowledges and  alters this fuselage section, then good. If not, I'll continue to get the rest of the line above any others out there.

 

Thanks again.

 

Gene K

 

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1 hour ago, Janissary said:

So, in short, on ZM the engine bulge - spine crease extends too far back. It should fade out earlier. Is this the issue? Just want to confirm this is what everyone is talking about. 

 

That's the crux of it.  It also means that the way it "fades out" looks a little funky.

 

9 minutes ago, Gene K said:

So the Academy kit is the most correct according to "other evidence", I gather.

 

Pretty sure Monogram is generally considered 'most correct'. 

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25 minutes ago, MoFo said:

 

Pretty sure Monogram is generally considered 'most correct'. 


It's funny how with all the modern research info and measurement tools, so often we find Monogram still did a better job.

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11 minutes ago, mawz said:


It's funny how with all the modern research info and measurement tools, so often we find Monogram still did a better job.

I can't remember who said it, but it was spot on. The Monogram Phantom just has more "Phantomness" than any other kit.

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5 hours ago, Janissary said:

So, in short, on ZM the engine bulge - spine crease extends too far back. It should fade out earlier. Is this the issue? Just want to confirm this is what everyone is talking about.

Middle fuselage fuselage has a convex-convex cross-section. Rear fuselage has a convex-concave-convex cross-section. ZM has delayed the cross-section transition too much. If you simply add Milliput to make the crease disappear earlier, the concave area will be too small. You have to remove a lot of plastic from the top of the rear engine bulge before doing that.

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That's it Laurent...you would need to remove plastik and re-sculpture the S-line profile...and that of cource symetrically left and right. I am sure someone can do that...me, deffinitely not! What bugs me the most is that ZM just sits there quitely acting like nothing has happened...pumping out new kits with new sprues (the -S has an all new wing) and leavong the faulty part in the kit! A prime example of what should be done is AMK. Their first 48 scale KFIR has a wrong fuselage profile as well. It is missing the typical Mirage "coke bottle" profile. AMK acknowledged that and now has a new kit out there with a corrected fuselage sprue. Not to mention Eduard and their first 109G attempt...the new one out now is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes every now and then...but mistakes in those cases like the ones here can be corrected and would help the company to maintaine it's reputation.

 

 

cheers

Uwe

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26 minutes ago, anj4de said:

What bugs me the most is that ZM just sits there quitely acting like nothing has happened...pumping out new kits with new sprues (the -S has an all new wing) and leavong the faulty part in the kit! A prime example of what should be done is AMK. Their first 48 scale KFIR has a wrong fuselage profile as well. It is missing the typical Mirage "coke bottle" profile. AMK acknowledged that and now has a new kit out there with a corrected fuselage sprue.

The difference is that AMK (and Eduard) owns its toolshop while doesn't. ZM has to pay for a modification to be done and before that evaluate the cost/benefit ratio of the modification. AMK has just to find an idle toolshop timeslot. You have to take in account the way the company works before comparing them.

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4 minutes ago, Laurent said:

The difference is that AMK (and Eduard) owns its toolshop while doesn't. ZM has to pay for a modification to be done and before that evaluate the cost/benefit ratio of the modification. AMK has just to find an idle toolshop timeslot. You have to take in account the way the company works before comparing them.

...right...that's of course true. Maybe we should primarily give our money to companies who go through the expense of creating their own infrastructure rather then just delivering 3D drawings, let others do the work and then just put their name on the front.

All in all the ZM Phantom is a very nice kit...but with that still not corrected issue just too bloddy expensive. I have one...but I won't buy another one unless they get their act togther...

 

cheers

Uwe

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1 hour ago, anj4de said:

...right...that's of course true. Maybe we should primarily give our money to companies who go through the expense of creating their own infrastructure rather then just delivering 3D drawings, let others do the work and then just put their name on the front.

Isn't that what RoG does ? But in their case even CAD design is subcontracted (BraZ Models, etc).

Not owning the toolshop has pros & cons. Pros is the capability to retool and have tight quality control during the tooling phase.  Cons are need to invest to buy the machines, tooling quality is difficult to improve (need to sell the old machines and buy more capable ones... cash needed again), need to keep machines & operators busy even if the kits tooled aren't very profitable, incapacity to adapt to market's tempo.

Anyway what I think ZM didn't do or did not do well is CAD validation in order to assess the geometry of the CAD model.

Edited by Laurent

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Here is a comparison of three different fuselages with a cross section template at FS 453.30., all of course held in the same scale position for FS 453.30 (took me lots of attempts to take pictures as I constantly slipped off the mark...)

Hasegawa fuselage:

Hasegawa%20fuselage.jpg

Fit is ok, the "S" curve radius is perhaps a little to tight, but close enough I think.

Academy:

Academy%20fuselage.jpg

Quite a gap at the top of the shoulder - the "S" is too shallow/the engine shoulder slopes away too much.

Zoukei Mura AFTER lots of sanding (not quite finished yet). Unfortunately I don't have a second (original) fuselage at hand, but trust me, a LOT of plastic has gone (you can see the area where I completely went through the original plastic and into my white packing from behind):

ZM%20Fuselage.jpg

I'm not quite there yet, but close. I actually need to bulk the shoulder area back up slightly. I also use another template for FS 414.00 and constantly cross-check with the other side in various other places using a profile gauge.

J

Edited by JeffreyK

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26 minutes ago, JeffreyK said:

Here is a comparison of three different fuselages with a cross section template at FS 453.30., all of course held in the same scale position for FS 453.30 (took me lots of attempts to take pictures as I constantly slipped off the mark...)

Hasegawa fuselage:

Hasegawa%20fuselage.jpg

Fit is ok, the "S" curve radius is perhaps a little to tight, but close enough I think.

Academy:

Academy%20fuselage.jpg

Quite a gap at the top of the shoulder - the "S" is too shallow/the engine shoulder slopes away too much.

Zoukei Mura AFTER lots of sanding (not quite finished yet). Unfortunately I don't have a second (original) fuselage at hand, but trust me, a LOT of plastic has gone (you can see the area where I completely went through the original plastic and into my white packing from behind):

ZM%20Fuselage.jpg

I'm not quite there yet, but close. I actually need to bulk the shoulder area back up slightly. I also use another template for FS 414.00 and constantly cross-check with the other side in various other places using a profile gauge.

J

 

...I am looking fwd to seeing the outcome of this! Looks very prommising already. Do you have a picture of your template held against the fuselage before you started sanding? Should open even the closest eyes...;-)

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