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F-4B Kit

Eduard 1/48 Good Morning Da Nang Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2014 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject F-4B Phantom II Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1186 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch, Fabric
Pros Academy kit with Eduard flourish Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $100.00

First Look

F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit
F-4B Kit

Unlike most military aircraft developments, the F4H was a company-funded development that initially did little to interest the US Navy. Nevertheless, the Navy started warming to the idea of a powerful carrier-based all-weather interceptor. First flown in May 1958, the prototype displayed impressive performance with the help of its twin afterburning J79 engines. The Phantom II was born.

Developed as the guided missile interceptor, the F4H, re-designated as the F-4 in 1963, featured a powerful intercept radar, a two-man crew, and up to eight guided missiles. This aircraft was supposed to make the air-to-air gun obsolete. That didn't happen, but that's another story. Typical loadout for the aircraft was four IR-guided AIM-9 Sidewinders on the inboard stations, four radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles in semi-recessed bays under the fuselage, and three external fuel tanks, two on the outboard stations and one centerline.

The Navy operated a limited number of F-4As for a brief time while their preferred initial configuration, the F-4B was under production. Combat experience with the F-4B and advancements in avionics and engine technology led to the next USN version - the F-4J. The F-4J featured the new AWG-10 radar, the J79-GE-10 engines, slatted tail surfaces and drooped ailerons. When the next Navy fighter was cancelled (F-111B) and its follow-on was experiencing some delays (F-14), the Navy performed service life updates to its Phantom fleet with the F-4B and F-4J receiving avionics upgrades and airframe life extensions. The upgraded F-4B would be designated as F-4N while the updated F-4J would be designated F-4S.

In this latest limited edition release from Eduard, we have Academy's outstanding 1/48 F-4B Phantom II kit along with some resin, photo-etch, cloth, and decal enhancements. Unlike the initial Academy release, this kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 15 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Gone are the Multi-Colored Plastic parts, but all of the kit parts are in this release as well.

Among the kit's features and options:

  • Fuselage is molded in one part, just like the Tamiya 1/32 kits
  • Cockpits are nicely detailed including color photo-etched instrument panels and side consoles
  • Rear cockpit has correct starboard sidewall
  • Nice Brassin Martin Baker ejection seats w/fabric crew restraints
  • Optional seated crew figures
  • Optional boarding ladder
  • Photo-etched canopy sills and frames
  • Positionable canopies
  • Nicely detailed main gear wells
  • Choice of styrene main wheels and tires molded separately or Brassin resin wheels with masks
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Outer wing panels molded separately and can be folded (wing hinges not included)
  • Intakes have ducts to the compressor faces
  • Choice of styrene or Brassin resin afterburner chambers with turbine faces and nozzles
  • Positionable air refueling probe

External stores included for this version:

  • 4 x AIM-9B Sidewinder
  • 4 x AIM-7D/E Sparrow
  • 12 x Mk.82 Slicks
  • 2 x 370 gallon wing tanks
  • 1 x 600 gallon centerline tank
  • 2 x triple ejector racks (TER)
  • 2 x multiple ejector rack (MER)

This kit provides markings for five examples:

  • F-4B, 151492, VF-84, AG/206, USS Independence, USN, 1965
  • F-4B, 152238, VMFA-542, WH/1, Da Nang AB, USMC, 1966
  • F-4B, 152258, VMFA-323, WS/11, Chu Lai AB, USMC 1967
  • F-4B, 153020, VF-161, NF/100, USS Midway, USN, 1972, CAG aircraft
  • F-4B, 153019, VF-111, NL/201, USS Coral Sea, USN, 1972, Sqn Cdr's aircraft

The decals are provided on two large sheets and provides the distinctive unit and airframe markings as well as very thorough set of maintenance stenciling for the airframe and a nice set of stencils and markings for the weapons as well. Nice!

For a look at this kit build-up, take a look at our quick-build review.

I was skeptical that Academy could unseat Hasegawa as best F-4 kit maker in 1/48 scale but now I am convinced. Eduard takes the kit several steps above the standard Academy release. You may wish to use Eduard's Brassin weapons as they too build up nicer than the stock kit parts. With the Brassin details, color photo-etched cockpit parts, and nice markings options, these Eduard F-4 kits (Good morning and good evening Da Nang) are the best in 1/48.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!