Zoukei-Mura Inc. 1/48 F-4J Phantom II Marines Kit Build Review
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||June 2018||Manufacturer||Zoukei-Mura Inc.|
|Subject||F-4J Phantom II||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48008||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautiful molding, excellent detail||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$75.00|
For a look at this kit out of the box, look here.
This Zoukei-Mura Inc. 1/48 F-4J Phantom II is well-engineered for sure. The cockpit fits very nicely within the fuselage halves. The top hump plug fits OK, but not great. The canopy mechanism housing will take some fiddling to get just right.
The wheel wells fit great and the wing top looks like it will go down without any problems. I do like the detailed instructions.
I would have liked a little more play in the lower center wing/fuselage and intake areas. The tolerances are tight and if something is not absolutely perfect, there is little room to play with. My build came out OK in these areas, but barely so.
Careful when installing the rear fuselage exhaust plates that surround the base of exhaust cans. Make sure that they are flush with the fuselage surface even if the fit will leave a small gap on the area that will be hidden by the exhaust cans.
Everything else is going great and it is fun to be building such a well-designed kit.
Using gloss enamel or lacquer paints always takes more time. I used gloss white from Testors and gloss gray from Xtracolor. I did two coats for each color with 24 hours drying time between coats. First went the white and then the gray.
I used the clear one-piece canopy and glued it to the fuselage with white paper glue to protect the cockpit from over spray. I also masked the rear natural metal areas from getting over sprayed.
The next step was to paint the red background colors. I decided to paint the intake lips because I did not think the decals would ever work. Red is also a difficult color and I applied two coats, so I could have enough base for sanding it down with polishing cloths.
I also decided to use my leftover Furball decals for a Phantom that had all the antennas on the top fuselage. The kit instructions show how to install more antennas than F-4J usually had. The Furball choice I made had the top antennas in black.
I started laying down the myriad of decals and the went down fine but the anti-glare decals would not work. They are supposed to follow the fuselage panel lines, but they would work. I decided to mask and paint them instead.
The rest of the decals and details went on fine.
The canopies took a while to get them on and maybe this was one of the hardest parts of the kit for me. Take your time and be careful with the fit.
And here it is, completed!
My sincere thanks to Zoukei-Mura Inc. for this review sample!