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F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit

Academy 1/72 F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2016 Manufacturer Academy
Subject F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12529 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy construction, nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $42.00

First Look

F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit
F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit
F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit
F-4J Phantom II 'VF-84' Kit

The Navy flew the F-4B extensively in Southeast Asia and as technology improved, the Navy ordered the F-4J to replace the F-4B. The F-4J featured an improved radar and higher thrust J79 engines. When Secretary of Defense McNamara's mandated replacement for the Naval F-4 faltered in development (the F-111B), the Navy performed a life extension program on their fleet of Phantoms. The F-4B received avionics updates and the resulting aircraft was designated F-4N, while the F-4J was not only given upgraded avionics, it also retrofitted with a similar flap/slat system as the later block USAF F-4Es. These updated F-4J aircraft were designated as the F-4S. These upgraded Phantoms soldiered on until the F-111B replacement, the F-14A Tomcat, could enter the fleet in sufficient numbers.

Last year, Academy released the first new-tool 1/72nd scale F-4J Phantom II kit in some time with markings for VF-96 including 'Showtime 100'. You can see the first-look here and our build of the kit here. Academy has reissued this kit with new markings, this time for VF-84 'Jolly Rogers'. As before, the kit is molded in white, gray, and black styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The surface detailing is finely scribed with no signs of mold flash. Among the features and options:

  • Basic cockpits
  • One-piece windscreen/canopies (closed)
  • J79 engine faces at end of intake ducts
  • Positionable landing gear
  • Positionable speed brakes

The kit includes the following external load options:

  • 2 x triple ejector racks
  • 6 x Mk.82 500 pound bombs
  • 4 x AIM-9 Sidewinders
  • 4 x AIM-7 Sparrows
  • 2 x 370 gallon outboard external tanks
  • 1 x 600 gallon centerline tank

The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:

  • F-4J, 155861, VF-84, AE/200, USS Roosevelt, 1970, CAG aircraft
  • F-4J, 155858, VF-84, AE/204, USS Roosevelt, 1970

While AMS modelers will want to add some details into the cockpits and ejection seats, this kit is engineered to be buildable by less experienced modelers. Most modelers will also want to paint their models but Academy is doing a nice job producing kits that will appeal to newer or lesser-skilled modelers.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this sample!