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K5054NZ

1/72 US Navy F-4J in 1970 - what are my options?

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Hi all,

After listening to an interview with the pilot I'm struck by a desire to build F-4J BuNo 155875/NK 201 “Dakota 201” of VF-142, as it was on March 28 1970 when LT Jerome Eugene (Jerry) Beaulier and LT Stephen John Barkley shot down a North Vietnamese MiG-21.

 

Unfortunately when it comes to non-UK variants of the Phantom I'm clueless. What is the best option in 1/72 for this aircraft in terms of accuracy and price? Is there one that comes with these markings so I don't need to shell out for an aftermarket sheet?

 

I'd be grateful for any advice!

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Regarding kits, Hasegawa is probably the best option in terms of detail and accuracy, but being a modular kit can be a bit fiddly to build.  Fujimi has a decent F-4J, although I don't know how hard they are to find anymore.  The other reasonable option is Monogram.  The biggest differences between the Monogram and Fujimi is that the latter has recessed panel lines and includes outboard pylons for weapons as well as the outboard tanks, while the former has raised detail but includes TERs on the inboard pylons and has better interior detail.  I think the Fujimi may be the easiest of the 3 main options to build.

 

Accurate Miniatures released the Monogram F-4J kit a few years back and one of the markings options was for VF-142; I believe it might be for the aircraft you are interested in but can't say for certain as I don't have my copy of the kit handy at the moment (it's at home and I'm not).

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I think markings were done by Fox One Decals (good luck finding one) and possibly by Superscale/Microscale even though earlier sheet used wrong fonts, outside that the ifs are Cam Decals, Aeromaster and Eagle Strike again OOP plus Print Scale decals but you better buy a extra set with stencils from a different brand as theirs are crappy and really I don't know how accurate they are.

 

For the kit your choice is between Academy kinda toyish due their bright decision of making it a quick assembly kit, Fujimi/Esci which are OOP, kinda pricey and very basic, lastly Hasegawa or if you don't mind raised panel lines Revell which is kinda better than Hasegawa but still it needs some work.

Hasegawa based their entire 1/72 Phantom line on a mix between USN/USAF variants, to better maximize their juju it placed lots of compromises so I suggest you to check tailhook topics, phantomphacts and a couple of other blogs to get a straight F-4J with no mistakes

 

Luigi

Edited by Mizar

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Accurate Miniatrures re-boxed the excellent Monogram 1/72 F-4J kit (okay, it has a few idiosyncrises) with superb decals for F-4Js of VMFA-333 (155526) & VF-142 NK-214 (155846) and an F-4S of VMFA-321 (153904). You may be able to use this as a basis for F-4J 155875 NK-201.  In box review here.

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Thank you gents, that's some very helpful information! As I said if it doesn't have Speys I've never looked at buying it, so I appreciate the help.

 

I'm in New Zealand so that makes the recent Academy offering a better option for me price-wise - over at Britmodeller it's been suggested to me several times as a good option - although I'll start looking at that and the Monogram kit in its various forms.

 

When looking for reference photos of Beaulier's aircraft all I found were profiles and decal sheets so I figured there would be options available. The only issue will be what I can justify paying when i only need the one option! 

Edited by K5054NZ

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