Cutting Edge 1/48 F-4E(S) Peace Jack Israeli Recce Fighter First Look
|Date of Review||July 2007||Manufacturer||Cutting Edge|
|Subject||F-4E(S) Peace Jack Israeli Recce Fighter||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||CEC48492||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Impressive conversion for Hasegawa 1/48 F-4E||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||OOP|
Cutting Edge has produced an interesting variety of conversions in the past, and here is one that is quite interesting! This latest release from Cutting Edge transforms the Hasegawa 1/48 F-4E Phantom II into the extremely unique F-4E(S) Peace Jack. Peace Jack? What is that?
Israel needed improved reconnaissance capabilities and had wanted to use the US High Altitude Camera system (HIAC) used in the RB-57F Canberra. When a slimmed down camera became available in the early 1970s, the USAF and IDF looked into the F-4X program, giving the aircraft Mach 2.7 cruise and Mach 3+ dash capabilities. The project didn't work out as planned, but the IDF continued with the adaptation of the HIAC into a highly modified F-4E nose. The F-4E(S) Peace Jack was born. F-4E 69-7576 became the first Phantom to loft the big honking camera.
When I first heard about this project, I visualized a huge chunk of resin that would be grafted onto the nose of the Hasegawa kit. Not that many years ago, that really would have been the only way to produce a resin conversion of this type, but that was then. Today, Cutting Edge has mastered the art of resin casting and has not only produced a hollow-nose conversion, the interior of the nose has a complete HIAC camera on gimbals inside! Cutting Edge released a similar set for the 1/32 Tamiya F-4E last year.
The conversion is cast in gray resin and of course features nicely scribed details that will blend nicely into the Hasegawa kit. The set also includes a full set of clear resin windows which are perfectly clear (their process works wonders!) and allows you to see all of that detail you're installing inside the nose.
Most importantly, because this conversion is hollow cast, and the castings are about as thick as the styrene parts themselves, you're not adding much weight in the nose. Had this been developed in the 'old days', you'd need a serious nose gear strut to hold the nose of the aircraft up. With this conversion, the stock landing gear will work perfectly.
My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!