No matter whether you purchase a Revell or a Tamiya F-4 Phantom II, the exhausts are hideous. Yes, Eduard makes a set of photo etch that will bring the Tamiya "burner cans" forward somewhat, but the kit nozzles themselves are the wrong size.
Several manufacturers have offered resin after-market upgrades, including Cutting Edge and Eduard, both of which are too small. The Sierra Hotel ones are sold out and difficult to find. Now GT Resin has added a set of J-79 exhaust "burner cans" to its product line.
Developed by General Electric in the 1950s for Mach 2 flying, the J-79 powered a bevy of famous aircraft, including the F-104 and B-58, and most famously, the F-4 Phantom II. Over 17,000 were produced in the US and abroad under license.
the contents of the box
Inside the usual GT Resin nondescript white box are six pieces of gray resin comprising the after end of the engine, the afterburner chamber and the exhaust nozzles.
These burner cans not only are better-detailed than any styrene kit parts by either Revell of Tamiya, they are also the correct size. The Revell kit exhausts are both too large in diameter and too short in length (the full afterburner chamber is not included, either, but shortened, presumably for the purpose of saving some styrene). In fact, the kit length looks more appropriate to the early "short" version of the engine used on the F-4B.
At $25 for the set, they might seem pricy, but the only other part of the aircraft that calls out more for upgrading is the kit cockpit (the lack of seamless intakes can be gotten around with a set of FOD covers like those from AMS Resin. And the texture and detailing really jump out, with all sorts of ways to add scorching and weathering that will stand out. Compared with other AM makers, they're actually the most-reasonable.
Installation is pretty straightforward: you cut off the pour plugs on the afterburner chambers and nozzles, then glue them together with the fans at the rear (take note to position the tabs correctly). Then install in the kit. Simple.
Not only would I think you insane if you tried to upgrade a Revell or Tamiya kit exhaust with Eduard's PE set, I would say you were wasting your time and money. These AM burner cans bring instant improvement to either kit, and are highly recommended as good value for money.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: GT Resin's usual high level of molding, casting and details. No kit parts for either Tamiya or Revell can match these resin burner cans.Lows: None apparent.Verdict: Highly recommended for 1/32nd scale Phantom IIs.