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In-Box Review
1144
F-4EJ Phantom II
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Background
The F-4EJ was a version of the F-4E developed for the Nihon Koku Jieitai (Japanese Air Self Defense Force, or JASDF). Since the Japanese armed forces were at that time forbidden by treaty from having an offensive capability, the F-4EJ was optimized for the air defense role, with no provision for the carrying or delivery of air-to-ground weapons.

The F-4EJ was ordered on November 1, 1968. Two F-4EJs (JASDF serials 17-8301 and 17-8302) were built by McDonnell in St Louis and tested beginning on January 14, 1971. The next eleven (JASDF serials 27-8303/8307, 37-8307/8310, and 47-8311/8313) were built by McDonnell in kit form and were assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The first Japanese-assembled aircraft (27-8303) flew on May 12, 1972. Subsequently, Mitsubishi built 127 F-4EJs under license, bringing the total to 140. The last example was delivered on May 20, 1981. This was the last Phantom built.

(Source: http://www.f-4.nl)

The kit
Platz's F-4JE is packed in an end-opening box, which doubles as a colour guide with reference photos on the front and ends and the decals schemes on the rear. The kit contains a pair of separately bagged kits, each comprising:

23 x grey styrene parts
4 x clear parts
A display stand
Decals are provided for 2 colour schemes.

As you'd probably expect in this scale the kits are pretty simple and, while the instructions recommend the use of styrene cement, they are virtually snap-together models, as can be seen in the accompanying photo. The parts are quite cleanly moulded, with very neatly scribed panel detail. The slightly "soapy"-feeling grey styrene has a faintly textured surface, but polishes-up fine. On my kits there is a faint sink mark on the intake sides, but this could well be hidden by the national insignia.

Thanks to large locating pins on the main parts, the kit clips together very solidly and the fit is pretty good, although you'll probably want to run a bit of filler into the wing roots and nacelles. The "flying tailplanes" are separate and a tight enough fit to be left moveable, if you wish. There's a basic cockpit tub, with a pair of crew figures rather bizarrely moulded in clear styrene. The separate nose-cone is also transparent for some reason. The landing gear can be installed raised (with a 3-part stand provided) or lowered and the test-fitted model sits happily on its undercarriage, with no need for weight in the nose.

The one-piece canopy is thin and clear with sharply defined frames. Two drop tanks are provided, plus a centre-line pod and a pair of empty underwing pylons. Platz also market a separately-available weapons set and a load-out diagram is included for the various stores that carried.

Instructions and Decals
Apart from a safety guide, the instructions are written in Japanese-only, but the assembly is almost self-explanatory. The nacelles are mislabelled "L" and "R" on the sprues, but they're handed and will only fit one way. Gunze Sangyo, Tamiya and ModelMaster painting matches are given.

The decal sheet provides markings for two aircraft:

1. F-4EJ Kai 37-8312, 3rd AW, 8th TFS in a spectacular 2007 anniversary scheme.
2. F-4EJ Kai 47-8324, 3rd AW, 8th TFS, flown by LTC. M. Kuroha in standard camouflage in 1998.

The quality of the Cartograf decals is quite superb. The thin glossy items are printed in perfect register and even tiny text like the intake markings is legible. Amazingly for this scale, each scheme features comprehensive stencils! This is achieved by printing them on large panels of crystal clear carrier film, so it will be crucial to apply them to a gloss finish to avoid silvering.

Conclusion
Platz's F-4JE is a neat little model, simple enough to be an ideal weekend build, but complete with some truly exceptional decals. It will make for a spectacular addition to any 1/144 scale collection of Phantoms or JASDF aircraft.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Easy construction, neatly engraved details and superb quality decals.
Lows: Some simplified details as you might expect in this scale.
Verdict: Platz's F-4EJ should appeal to modellers looking for a quick and easy build and a truly spectacular colour scheme. Ideal as a desk-top model or to complete small-scale F-4 collections.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: PF-15
  Suggested Retail: 1,575JPY
  PUBLISHED: Oct 04, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.81%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.70%

Our Thanks to Platz!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2018 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Rowan Please check the link greets Steffen
OCT 10, 2008 - 11:34 PM
Cheers Steffen That's interesting! I haven't even looked at that review today, so I've no idea how the code got copied across! 'Pooters! Who says they don't have minds of their own! All the best Rowan
OCT 10, 2008 - 11:51 PM
Thank you! The broad military waist belt may make your "every day women" hypothesis a bit off but I know nothing about fashion (neither then nor today) so I am probably wrong. cheers Steffen
OCT 11, 2008 - 12:01 AM
All sorted now.
OCT 11, 2008 - 12:01 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Test-Fit
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Parts_1
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Parts_2
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Colour
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Decals
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Surface
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Cockpit
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Gear
  • Platz_F-4EJ_Jetpipes