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F-4EJ Kai

Hasegawa 1/48 F-4EJ Kai Phantom II Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2015 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject F-4EJ Kai Phantom II Air Superiority Camouflage Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07396 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, great details Cons Sparse cockpit detail
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

F-4EJ Kai Kit
F-4EJ Kai Kit
F-4EJ Kai Kit
F-4EJ Kai Kit
F-4EJ Kai Kit

Japan adopted the F-4 Phantom II in the late 1960s to replace the F-104J Starfighter. They selected the F-4E which was entering production for the USAF though the F-4EJ, as this variant would be designated, was not equipped for air refueling nor air-to-ground weapons delivery. The aircraft was built in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and entered service in 1972.

By the late 1980s, Japan wanted to update the capabilities of the F-4EJ by replacing the radar with the APG-66 (the same radar in the F-16) and add the capability to launch the ASM-1 and ASM-2 indigenous anti-ship missiles and support an array of indigenous air-to-air missiles as well. These upgraded aircraft were designated as F-4EJ Kai and equipped the last three squadrons to operate the F-4: 8 (Misawa), 301 (Nyutabaru), and 306 (Naha).

Hasegawa's F-4E Phantoms remain the best kits of the type in 1/48 scale as well as 1/72. They clearly show a love affair that the kit designers have with this subject and to date have produced just about every version of the Phantom that rolled off the production line. Their F-4EJ Kai kit is essentially their standard F-4E plastic kit together with an impressive decal sheet.

The kit is molded light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees of light gray styrene. The details on this kit (as are most of the Phantoms) are finely scribed. This kit also has a single tree of clear parts to position the canopies in the open position.

The standard external stores included in this release include:

  • 4 x AIM-9J/P Sidewinders (not used)
  • 4 x AIM-7D/E Sparrows
  • 2 x external 370 gallon tanks on the outboard pylons
  • 1 x standard 600 gallon centerline tank (not used)
  • 1 x F-15-type 600 gallon centerline tank

The box art reflects the AIM-9L/M carried on the F-4EJ Kai though none are provided in the box, but are available in their separately sold weapons sets.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • F-4EJ Kai, 67-8390, 302 TFS/7 AW, Hyakuri AB, JASDF
  • F-4EJ Kai, 57-8369, 301 TFS/5 AW, Nyutabaru AB, JASDF

The decal sheet provides an incredible number of maintenance stencils, all for one airframe.

I still recommend this kit to any Phantom lover!

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!