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Finally; a new 1/72 Phantom


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On 3/19/2021 at 7:47 AM, sakai said:

Let me see your "non-horrendous" puttying. And your building in general, you've been just talking.

 

Well, I didn't really want to get into "My Dad can beat up your Dad" thing, but you keep on denigrating a really good kit, so as you requested, here's an example of the puttying (or lack of) I did last night on the latest FM Phantom (F-4E) ... did the same on the other five FM Phantoms I have under construction/modification. tzmqCqA.jpg

 

I certainly agree that the kit has a few areas (as in my example) that need a tighter fit, but not at all to the degree (ALL seams ) you keep pronouncing.  

 

I get your point, so let's let this contest rest, please.

 

Gene K

 

 

 

 

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On 3/18/2021 at 10:43 AM, pollie said:

 

 

In other news:

Yesterday (wednesday 17 March) three JASDF Phantoms of the testunit made a last flight from Gifu airbase. The Phantom no longer flies in Japan. The very first JASDF Phantom, number 17-8301, was part of this formation. Phorever in our hearts!

 

Hi, Pollie.

 

Thanks for the news. I gathered that it was going to be some time in March, but your post here is the only announcement that I've seen. To my surprise, I didn't see anything about it on the Scramble message board.

 

Our kits may be in the same container on that ship...I got the same message.

 

Cheers, Stefan. 

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The FineMolds Phantom is an interesting story and also a fascinating insight into Japanese way of thinking and doing business.

A lot of questions have been asked in the past and also some criticism (on my part also) of the way the Phantoms are made and distributed. I believe as part of an answer to this here is what they said today (google translation):

 

Since our company was introduced in various places, I would like to explain again what is Fine Molds?

 

Fine Molds Co., Ltd.

Plastic model maker in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture

From design to mold manufacturing to molding (mass production), package design and instruction manual manuscripts, box packing, the president + 7 employees + 3 part-timers (+ 5 dogs), a total of over 10 people. . .

 

8VamkJQ.jpg

 

The workshop! As far as I can say this is THE WORKSHOP, the one and only workshop where everything happens. 

 

ljIKsAF.jpg

 

zptfVas.jpg

 

I belive the archive and research "base" corner.

jbGfHUQ.jpg

 

Illustration desing.

 

qByQtpT.jpg 

 

 

FineMolds is a very small company! It is not a big kit maker with unlimited resources and man power. I believe this explains a lot about what is happening at FineMolds. They do the best they can. Remember there is not only Phantoms in FineMolds range of products! I don’t think they will re-release FP37 or FP38 kits (or any other released so far) in future but I am sure the actual plastic will make it into new boxes with different markings. So far every month a new boxing of the Phantom was released. Lets hope they keep up this trend!

 

Now there is an interesting side to the Phantom kit story. My friend in Tokyo was repeatedly unable to purchase the kit from local kit shops. The demand was so high in comparison to the supply. Simply not available!

On the other hand there are countries where modellers are not so interested in this kit, but the importers have stocks of them!!! With great help from my friend Pal we did order together the very first release (October 2020) FP 37 kits. We did have a look at different sources for the kit including Japanese e-shops and others. Then some fellow modellers from forums suggested one shop here within the European Union. The Japanese shops did have at least one version (the Yellow anniversary one) for sale (if remember right at 41 Euro but it had 2 additional Nano sets included in it) but with 4-5 weeks for delivery. Also the postage cost added to the original price. One also have to take into account that once the kit arrives in Europe there will be VAT added to it as well as import tax almost doubling the original price of around 31 Euro.

In comparison to this the e shop in a neighbouring country had the kit at 39 Euro and the kit was on my friends doorstep within one week with absolutely no additional cost!!! We did order several kits and some additional parts so there was not even any postal charge on the kit. I would say an excellent deal! OK this was that very first release F-4EJ kit and not the latest Vietnam F-4E version. But the kit is here!!!!!!!!!

 

Have to express my sincere thanks to Pal for his help and generosity!

 

Best regards

Gabor

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2 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

The FineMolds Phantom is an interesting story ... .

 

Thanks, Gabor.  Do you know what the former connection is between the President/employees and Tamiya?

 

Good to see FM has been advertising for skilled mold workers, likely spurred by the Phantoms' success. :thumbsup2:

 

Gene K

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That was very interesting, Gabor! Thanks for sharing.

 

The picture of their HQ was funny. I know they aren't a big company (compared to Hasegawa or Tamiya) but that was  interesting to see nonetheless. 

 

I wonder how many employees those two heavyweights then have? Or a bit smaller companies like Fujimi or Aoshima etc.?

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The five additional employees, the dogs are of particular interest!!!  : )  : )   : )

 

Imagine they are Security Service! : )  : )  : )  : )

 

 

I know for example Eduard few years ago had about 110 people working for it including the cleaners.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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47 minutes ago, GeneK said:

 

Thanks, Gabor.  Do you know what the former connection is between the President/employees and Tamiya?

 

Good to see FM has been advertising for skilled mold workers, likely spurred by the Phantoms' success. :thumbsup2:

 

Gene K

 

 

Hi Gene,

 

Sorry I dont have any personal connection* to FineMolds so have absolutely no additional knowledge apart from what they post on different sites.

 

* Well, last year I did write to them and we did exchanged few letters but that is all. 

 

Yes, FineMolds is advertising for some time now for new personal for the workshop. Hope they find!

 

Wish FineMolds luck with the work they do! 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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1 hour ago, janman said:

(compared to Hasegawa or Tamiya) but that was  interesting to see nonetheless. 

 

I wonder how many employees those two heavyweights then have? 

 

Quick search on big G shows about 1200 - 860 employees at Tamiya. 

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Gene, nice work on your Phantom so far :thumbsup:

 

Regarding the spine, I wonder if Fine Molds intentionally made it that way for those of us who want to make a maintenance diorama

https://www.super-hobby.com/products/F-4-Phantom-Big-set-for-Academy.html

 

https://blackdog-model.com/_obchody/blackdog-model.shop5.cz/prilohy/12/a72088-1-72-f-4-phantom-big-set-2.jpg.big.jpg

 

Yes, it's meant for the Academy F-4J but I wonder if they can be tweaked for the FM kit. 

 

And Gabor, wow! Great post.  So that's what the Fine Mold company looks like.

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On 3/21/2021 at 12:22 PM, GeneK said:

 

Well, I didn't really want to get into "My Dad can beat up your Dad" thing, but you keep on denigrating a really good kit, so as you requested, here's an example of the puttying (or lack of) I did last night on the latest FM Phantom (F-4E) ... did the same on the other five FM Phantoms I have under construction/modification. tzmqCqA.jpg

 

I certainly agree that the kit has a few areas (as in my example) that need a tighter fit, but not at all to the degree (ALL seams ) you keep pronouncing.  

 

I get your point, so let's let this contest rest, please.

 

Gene K

 

 

 

 

Cannot see any picture(s), please re-post.

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5 hours ago, JackMan said:

Yes, it's meant for the Academy F-4J but I wonder if they can be tweaked for the FM kit. 

 

JackMan,

 

Great thought, but I wouldn't want to attempt any "tweaking" for the FM Phantoms (issued so far). The Japanese Phantoms initially had the Air Refueling system disabled ... but the hardware was still there, including the AAR door. The aircraft could still be refueled on the ground, but not while airborne (I don't know the technicalities). Full AAR capability was later restored.

 

Since the J model didn't have the on-spine AAR door, the plumbing in the conversion kits would need a major (!) overhaul!! :hmmm: I don't have a picture of an exposed panel-off USAF spine, sorry.

 

Gene K

 

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12 hours ago, GeneK said:

 

Since the J model didn't have the on-spine AAR door, the plumbing in the conversion kits would need a major (!) overhaul!! :hmmm:

 

Good point! I never thought of that.

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On 3/21/2021 at 11:22 PM, Stefan buysse said:

Our kits may be in the same container on that ship...I got the same message.

 

I'll post here immediately upon receiving the kit, Stefan. Let's see if they were really in the same container 🙂 

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On 3/22/2021 at 9:44 AM, ya-gabor said:

 Fine Molds Co., Ltd.

Plastic model maker in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture

Fine Molds stands out from all the other Japanese kit makers as they are located a staggering 65 km (40 miles) away from Shizuoka 🙂 

 

Companies like Tamiya, Fujimi, Hasegawa, Platz, Asuka are either from Shizuoka or very closeby (Hasegawa). It seems these companies are all related in one form or the other....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Monday 5th of April will see the release of the next FineMolds Phantom version. This time it will have new sprue for the recon containers of the Japanese version RF-4EJ. One should not confuse this with the TRUE recon RF-4's. This is a standard F-4EJ converted to carry out special missions. 

 

JQHxle0.jpg

 

qMP6ffj.jpg

 

 

Dear FineMolds

So what will be the next kit??????????

 

Best regards

Gabor

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2 hours ago, ya-gabor said:

So what will be the next kit??????????

 

Next logical baby-step for FM (to keep the income stream coming in) would be a late model F-4E ... hopefully with the slatted wing. Then an F-4G.

 

Of course the bigger local money maker for FM would be the RF-4E, but that's a larger financial investment, so better to keep milking the long nose kits to build up capital.  After that success will come the short nose kits ... .

 

Poof ...  opps, I just woke up from my wonderful FM Fantasy. :thumbsup2:

 

Gene K

Edited by GeneK
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Dreaming Gene?!?!   : )  : )   : )

 

Actually a slated wing late F-4E is just as big investement as making a recon RF-4. For the late 4E one would need all new wings both top and bottom as well as the wing tips, probably a new top for the fuselage back . . .

Using the same main fuselage electrode it is possible to make the basic shape (so there is no need for a new big brass piece) and adding some new surface details on it with separate small electrodes for the RF-4E details. The nose part is of course also needs to be made. Chances are for a real recon RF-4E I would say minimal at the moment. Far more likely to see a late slated wing F-4E. 

 

If one looks at the work FineMolds is doing at the moment then it is obvious that no new Phantom version is in making. A 350 scale ship is what we have seen in the past months in tool making. 

 

eSpDYU7.jpg

 

SZISueH.jpg

 

All we can hope for at the moment is another "re-release" of the already made sprues in a new box with new decals.

 

Best regards

Gabor

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Does anyone else also feel that they are dealing with a Hasegawa style model when trying to put the FM F-4 together or am I too old-minded?

My humble opinion is that it definetely is not as easy as a modern Tamiya to put togehther but perfectly detailed compared to other contemporary models as advertised.

 

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On 4/1/2021 at 11:57 PM, ya-gabor said:

If one looks at the work FineMolds is doing at the moment then it is obvious that no new Phantom version is in making. A 350 scale ship is what we have seen in the past months in tool making. 

 

 

Unbelievable that FM would let this golden opportunity go to waste. Surely they must have done the market research to know that a slatted wing F-4E and F-4G are in high demand?

 

I sure hope they strike while the iron is hot rather than sit around and let some other company eat its lunch. 😧

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i ordered the USAF version on march 10th from HLJ, but the order is still open/backordered.. does this pretty much mean i missed out on it? i was able to get the EJ Kai version even though i ordered it at the same time.

 

just wondering if i should start looking elsewhere or hang tight and fine molds will produce more?

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4 hours ago, playertwo said:

just wondering if i should start looking elsewhere or hang tight and fine molds will produce more?

 

Hi Playertow,

 

Based on what is known FineMolds is producing batches of kits, like the Yellow or Blue special version and this Vietnam Early version in given numbers and that is all (unfortunately). The same Phantom plastic goes on sale later (almost each month) with other markings and in a different box. But as far as I can tell they are not going back to previous box versions with particular markings with a re-issue of the given kit. Producing "limited" batches is a business policy used by many other kit companies also. 

 

 

Hi JackMan,

 

Making the 350 scale ship does not mean that they have no intention to produce other Phantom versions in future. I believe making the ship, as well as some AFV, some figures, some WW2 aircraft at the same time is a healthy business and product mix in FineMolds range, providing sets in the catalog not only catering for Phantom Phreaks.

 

Best regards

Gabor 

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7 hours ago, playertwo said:

just wondering if i should start looking elsewhere [for the F-4E] or hang tight and fine molds will produce more?

 

Elsewhere?? Not sure where you'll be able to find the SEA F-4E since they went pretty fast according to Japanese Twitter feeds. You need a friend in Japan who can check out some of the local shops, but even then, It would probably be easier (relative term) to find an EJ and source some SEA decals for it. HobbySeach looks like they have some of the EJKai and RF-4EJ kits  left ... for now, but those would require a little more surgery than a plain EJ to get an E model.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear there was much distribution outside of Japan for any of the FM Phantoms. 

 

Gene K

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7 hours ago, GeneK said:

 

Elsewhere?? Not sure where you'll be able to find the SEA F-4E since they went pretty fast according to Japanese Twitter feeds. You need a friend in Japan who can check out some of the local shops, but even then, It would probably be easier (relative term) to find an EJ and source some SEA decals for it. HobbySeach looks like they have some of the EJKai and RF-4EJ kits  left ... for now, but those would require a little more surgery than a plain EJ to get an E model.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear there was much distribution outside of Japan for any of the FM Phantoms. 

 

Gene K

 

 

dunno, found a few places that have it on pre-order..

 

https://www.aviationmegastore.com/mcdonnell-douglas-f4e-phantom--early--usaf-vietnam-war-expected-june-2021-fine-molds-24fp41-scale-modelling/product/?action=prodinfo&art=177062

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/4536318720416/

 

 

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