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Gene K

New Airfix 1/72 F-4 Phantom FG.1

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I haven't seen much on ARC about this new kit, so thought I'd repeat my Britmodeller post to get some comments from the ARC folks:GIzhe1r.jpg

 

I finally received my two Airfix FG.1 Phantoms yesterday from Hannants, and anxiously opened one of them to start a preliminary fit. I was impressed with the engineering and the many options in the kit, but was just a little disappointed in the molding – the panel lines are soft, and the fit of a few  parts required a little more fiddling than I anticipated (enjoyable modeling).

 

Of course I again had to shake my head in disbelief at the lack of prominent vents, but was surprised that Airfix had some other miscues , like: having seams on both sides of the wing tanks (should only be on left side of both tanks); having no lines separating the canopies from the frames (only on the one piece canopy);  not molding recesses in the folding outer wing pieces to mate with the main wing (Airfix “fixed” this in the instructions by having us file off the protrusions that were to have gone into the recesses); and including  TERs that look like nothing I’ve  seen (but  perhaps British Phantoms used a version different from the US?).

 

I had to do a double take on the stabilator slots – they are too lightly done, and the representation of the pieces that hold the slots proud of the stab appear to be lined up perpendicular to the leading edge instead of properly being parallel to the longitudinal axis of the acft (shades of the Academy 1/48 Phantom). I say “appear” because I had a hard time telling for certain owing to the indistinct moldings.  

 

Overall, this is an enjoyable build for me! I appreciate the small details as the wing fold and the inside of the Aux Air Doors, and the alternate vertical stab and wing center strengthening straps. The engineering, as of the intakes,  is terrific, but I especially like Airfix’s outstanding approach to giving the modeler options like the alternate positioning of the leading and trailing edge flaps, the radome, the speed brakes, and the front gear – all reasons for me to order “a few” more ... and hope the next itation will have some fixes.

 

Gene K

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Thanks Gene. I trust your opinion since you know the real McCoy. I'll buy it even though Im more in to 1/48. Just love the fat butted Brit one tho!

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11 hours ago, Gene K said:

 

 

Of course I again had to shake my head in disbelief at the lack of prominent vents,

 

Gene K

Hi, Gene.

 

Which prominent vents are missing? I had a look at my kit since you mentioned this and I think they're the ones on the rear fuselage just above the engine exhausts. They should probably have been on parts D6 and D7, but hey aren't there.

Are any others missing?

 

I like the kit and the numerous options and I plan to buy more myself. I'm also very happy that Xtradecal is releasing a whole series of British Phantom decals for it.

I wish there were crew figures in there. Since Airfix indicates the "in flight" and "ready for launch" options in het instructions, I feel they should have included them.

 

Cheers,

Stefan.

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12 hours ago, BillS said:

 I'll buy it even though Im more in to 1/48. Just love the fat butted Brit one tho!

 

Thanks, Bill.

 

Well ... I'm REALLY( !) trying to like this kit, but the fit is challenging. I don't mind fitting, sanding, fitting, sanding ...  but I was expecting more considering the state of art molding one sees with, for example, Academy "click" fits. I think the soft fit is a result of the very soft Airfix plastic. 

 

In short, it's a modeler's model kit.

 

3 hours ago, Stefan buysse said:

Which prominent vents are missing?

 

Stefan, yes those are missing, but so are the even more prominent ones on the top and bottom of the intakes. Thankfully it should not be hard for an aftermarket company (like Jeffrey's Hypersonic) to fashion new pieces (I'm not good enough to scratch with the precision required in this most visible area). Airfix's glaring (deliberate?) omission has been lambasted by many, and ignored by just as many, it seems. The subject came up many months before the kit was released, and the hope was that Airfix would at least respond with decals, but alas, nothing but very obviously bare plastic. 

 

Here's a pic of the bottom vents:

 

19Lpwfd.jpg

 

 

Gene K

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Apparently Airfix used a FG.2 (F-4M) as a referece, and the panel lines are therfore inaccurate for a FG.1. But this is just the same as with the RoG F-4F, which as a RF-4E fuselage and horizontal stab. Have my kit ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet to confirm that.

 

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1 hour ago, Gene K said:

 

 

Stefan, yes those are missing, but so are the even more prominent ones on the top and bottom of the intakes. Thankfully it should not be hard for an aftermarket company (like Jeffrey's Hypersonic) to fashion new pieces (I'm not good enough to scratch with the precision required in this most visible area). Airfix's glaring (deliberate?) omission has been lambasted by many, and ignored by just as many, it seems. The subject came up many months before the kit was released, and the hope was that Airfix would at least respond with decals, but alas, nothing but very obviously bare plastic. 

 

Here's a pic of the bottom vents:

 

19Lpwfd.jpg

 

 

Gene K

 

And a picture of the vents on top of the intakes that they missed.

 

hJGOb6t.jpg

 

They also missed the small grilles above the burner cans.

 

yOGcgsN.jpg

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Besides those issues, the inboard pylons lack any panel lines at all, so they'll have to be scribed or replaced.  As Gene mentioned, the CBTEs (Carrier Bomb Triple Ejector) are pretty bad.  I asked at Britmodeler and U.S. TERS are the same for modeling purposes, so I would substitute ones from Hasegawa's weapons sets or another kit.  The AIM-7s lack the external conduits, and the wings/fins have no airfoil shape, so again they'll have to be replaced.  The major selling point for this kit is that it has full intakes, which have been a huge issue with past kits, given how easy it is to look down those gaping intakes, but the lack of the aforementioned grilles means some type of resin replacement or serious scribing needs to be done on them.  I don't feel that this kit is up to their recent high standards; hopefully they rebound with their new B-25.

 

Regards,

Murph

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7 hours ago, Lancer512 said:

Apparently Airfix used a FG.2 (F-4M) as a referece, and the panel lines are therfore inaccurate for a FG.1. But this is just the same as with the RoG F-4F, which as a RF-4E fuselage and horizontal stab. Have my kit ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet to confirm that.

 

 

The inaccuracy claim relates to the FGR2 fin, which - like the RF-4C - incorporated an HF antenna, which wasn't on the Navy FG1 (nor the ILS antenna).

The differences are shown here . 

 

While in the vicinity, the ram air intake at the base of the fin leading edge also has a slight flare to the lip. not seen on J79 engined Phantoms.

xv497%20(57).jpg

 

Regarding the intakes, the 'splitter plate' and secondary ramp are wider and includes an extra bay at its aft open end (on the underside, 4 instead of 3 as in the USAF one in the previous post) and the suction hole pattern is different to J79 versions. The  intake vents are also wider than the J79 versions, with the ones on the underside also having a central brace for the louvers.

 

xv497%20(188).jpg

 

The upper vents, again unlike J79 versions, are braced at the edge.

 

 

Phantom%20Hendon%20by%20Alessio%2007.jpg

 

Regarding the kit generally it has many good new features which are welcome on a Phantom kit, but disappoints with the omission of what to many are important details (the intake vents, engine bay vent, pylon detail, missile detail. Wheels too, although resin wheels are usually necessary). It's doubly frustrating when those omissions heve been successfully included on previous kits.

 

I was hoping for a better quality kit to the highest modern standards, especially as it's likely the last 1/72 scale Spey Phantom we'll see for another 25 years (by which time I may not be up to kit modeling). It would have been nice to have something to hang those half dozen or so stashed Modeldecals on with a minimum of fuss to keep occupied until the HKM big one is released.

Edited by chek
extra caption & clarity

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Thanks for the great ref shots, chek -- invaluable for this kit!!

 

Murph, every time I pick the kit up again, I agree with you more and more about it not meeting standards. Could you give me a link, please, to the thread in which you're discussing the Phantom on Britmodeller? 

 

Think I'll hold off on further purchases for now and open up my large stash of Fujimi kits to check for cross kitting ideas like flaps, intakes, radar, front windscreen, and interior. As an aside, Fujimi TERs are first rate in my opinion, as are the FGR.2 pods -- agree chek?

 

Jeffrey, are you out there with thoughts?

 

Gene K

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Gene K said:

Could you give me a link, please, to the thread in which you're discussing the Phantom on Britmodeller? 

 

 

LINK

 

Gene,

  It's currently 19 pages and counting.

 

Regards,

Murph

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3 hours ago, Gene K said:

 

 

 

Stefan, yes those are missing, but so are the even more prominent ones on the top and bottom of the intakes. Thankfully it should not be hard for an aftermarket company (like Jeffrey's Hypersonic) to fashion new pieces (I'm not good enough to scratch with the precision required in this most visible area). Airfix's glaring (deliberate?) omission has been lambasted by many, and ignored by just as many, it seems. The subject came up many months before the kit was released, and the hope was that Airfix would at least respond with decals, but alas, nothing but very obviously bare plastic. 

 

Gene K

 

Thanks, Gene.

 

Aargh, these vents aren't there?!

I haven't begun construction, so I hadn't noticed yet.

All in all rather frustrating: many nice features, but also some bad omissions.

 

Cheers, Stefan.

  

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So, honest question: why would I buy the Airfix kit instead of a Fujimi?  Fujimi's seems to be more accurate, finer detailed, easier to build and cheaper ($23 from HLJ vs. $30 for Airfix at Hannants)  Are the intakes the only improvement?

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1 hour ago, MoFo said:

Are the intakes the only improvement?

 

There's also the option for the poseable flaps, folded wings, and the folded nose with radar.  I haven't assembled them, but the ejection seats are probably better in the Airfix kit too.  

I have a Fujimi kit in the stash, with a set of Seamless Suckers intakes, and all thing considered, I prefer that over the Airfix kit, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't get more of those intakes before they went out of business.  

 

Regards,

Murph

Edited by Murph

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Depending on how critical you are of shapes, the Fujimi (and Hasegawa 1/48) don't have sufficient 'shoulder' to them. Together with the forward rake of the intake lip and the downturned bottom lip, the Spey Phantom intake looks to have a 'cranked down' look which for me is a major characteristic. Airfix get the shape much more correct, but let it down by skimping on the details (louvers on the top and bottom and bleed hole pattern on the secondary ramp).

 

18700401278_cf70f18502_h.jpg

 

Also, the rear fuselage underside should be straight-through, being just a cover over the engines, as below:

7085195267_359749f613_b.jpg

 

but for some reason Fujimi has them showing a nipped in tuck, which spoils the lines for me. The Airfix and Fujimi kits are compared below, but the area was one of the things Matchbox did well on their 1975 kit.

38866357245_c552844bcc_o.jpg

 

Gene, I haven't had the opportunity to compare pods yet, but my impression of the Fujimi EMI pod was it was a bit delicate looking, and I was likely to replace it with the sturdier looking Matchbox one when I got round to doing a recce squadron aircraft (if I can find it). The Airfix RN three-tier, two inch 36 shot rocket pods look good as long as they don't suffer from short-shots, which happened on one of my Airfix 1/48 Sea Vixens. The RN rocket pods are quite different to the two-tier SNEB pods the RAF used (not just on Phantoms), which weren't suitable for carrier use.

39241978204_2637274e6f_b.jpg

 

Edited by chek
clarity

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Re the vents. “There’s no there there”. The US guys will get it!

Well, the airfix Phantom will look like paradise to me since my latest torture is the old Hevller 1/72 EC-121 “Cancelation” tarted up with Fisher Models upgrades. I like to call this “Miliput” city!

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7 hours ago, Murph said:

...  I'm kicking myself that I didn't get more of those [Seamless Sucker Brit] intakes before they went out of business.  

 

I need to check my resin pile since I used to buy Seamless Suckers. I had always hoped someone like XMM would  come out with a complete, correct seamless intake for the Fujimi kit. Since that was over a decade ago, hope has died.

 

chek, know of any workarounds for the Fujimi intakes that include the shoulder slope? 

 

Getting back to the Airfix kit, looks like the Fujimi intake piece with the vents could be made to fit and a cast made. I'll donate the pieces, Jeffrey!

 

Gene K

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Gene K said:

chek, know of any workarounds for the Fujimi intakes that include the shoulder slope? 

 

Getting back to the Airfix kit, looks like the Fujimi intake piece with the vents could be made to fit and a cast made. I'll donate the pieces, Jeffrey!

 

Gene K

 

 

Sorry Gene, I wish I knew of one already. Though to be frank, the Fujimi vents themselves are a little anaemic, and while better than nothing, aren't at all accurate in width, shape or layout.

 

There was a concerted effort on LSP a few years ago to contribute and collate enough data for producing a replacement conversion for the over priced Cutting Edge Spey Phantom, but it didn't proceed when Hong Kong Models announced their 1/32 scale kit. But I still have copies of the intake measurement photos.

 

I'm not sure if Jeffrey at Hypersonic uses CAD or old fashioned skill and craftsmanship but If your suggestion for him to consider issuing a Hypersonic  replacement appeals to him, he's welcome to the data I have. I also have an ex-43 Sqn. FG1 30 miles away which was being resprayed in FAA colours before Christmas, so obtaining any further info required wouldn't be too difficult.

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18 hours ago, Gene K said:

 

I need to check my resin pile since I used to buy Seamless Suckers.

 

 

They were one of the last sets they issued before the owner died, so they weren't on the market long.

 

Regards,

Murph

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1 hour ago, Murph said:

 

They were one of the last sets they issued before the owner died ... .

When I was living In Oklahoma, I used to see Robert Brown at many of the shows from Texas to Missouri. He was from Wichita -- really nice guy!! Don't know what caused his passing, but he was only mid aged.

 

Gene K

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He was a neat guy. Think cancer got him. BTW, he was from Wichita and might have worked at McConnell. I have some 1/48 ones including some for Spey jets. Anyone want them?

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