F-4J Phantom II "VF-84 Jolly Rogers" by Zoltan Pocza
Brand: Hasegawa
Scale: 1/48
Review by: Zoltan Pocza


AircraftProfilePrints.com - Museum Quality Custom Airctaft Profile Prints



Phabulous Phantom....this classic fighter generates instant emotions in almost all of the modelers of modern jets and the aviation fans in general since 1958. With its history, success, the unlimited versions and modifications made the Phan to a really loved subject for all modelers and obviously air forces as well! The jet is pretty well documented, even though there were no digital cameras that time! Its robust, but beautiful shape, the famous smoke trails inspired lots of people. For me personally the Phantom is the first real, serious and powerful jet fighter of the History. Today there are only a few flying of them, but they always generate great interest!

The Kit

There are tons of  Phantom models on the market, different versions from different manufacturers in almost all available scales from 1/700 to 1/32. It's been produced in many different qualities as well. Long long time ago I had a simple, unmarked low quality kit without any box or instruction sheet, it was most likely a russian copy of an older kit. That time it was the only available kit here of the Phan. These days modelers have incredible amount of option, and they can sink into ASM (Advanced Modeling Syndrome) without noticing it. It's not only that the market is full of the Phantom kits, but the aftermarket sets, the unlimited amount of decals, books and everything else you might ever need to build your most awesome model ever!

Today we're going to review the Hasegawa 1/48 F-4J Phantom II. The Hasegawa Phantoms are obviously the most popular, and best kits in this scale. This kit shows love and long term thinking of the engineers making the masters. The whole part breakdown, the sprues show clearly that the plan was to cover pretty much the whole line of variations, whether it comes to the different wings, noses, stabs, engine, etc. This obviously makes this kit a bit harder to build than an average kit, but worth the investment! The 1/48 Hasegawa Phans have long production history, and clearly show the development of computer aided design.The kits are usually mix of old and new sprues, and you can see the differences. This kit is definitely one of the better ones, and includes new sprues mostly.

As usual the whole kit is molded in the light grey "Hasegawa" plastic. As we can expect from these high grade kits there are no issues with the molding, all details are crisp and accurate. Nice recessed panel lines and rivets adding a nice detailed look of the kit, and provide good base for weathering. I did not experience any flaws injector pin marks or anything else that predicts difficulties during the build process! As for the accuracy, it's not perfect, but this is the best offering in this scale, and it's considered good. As a few example, the panel lines are not accurate if you match them to the reference photos, especially on the nose. If you're really into accuracy, you might want to rescribe them, but in general they are not useless. Personally I would not risk rescribing it. The wheel reinforcement bumps over the wing roots are a bit too much pronounced compared to the real world one. These are not serious inaccuracies, but needs to be noted before we consider this otherwise awesome kit to a perfect one. I'm not saying it's bad, this is a really nice kit, it's just about the accuracy.

Click on the images to enlarge!


As usual with these kits, the decals are excellent in terms of quality and register accuracy. There is not much more to say about it. Markings for two units are included:

  • VF-84 Jolly Rogers
  • VMFA-451 Warlords

An extra instruction sheet is inserted to explain the placement of these decals, as the original instruction sheet if from an other F-4J kit (Showtime 100). It's really usual that manufacturers selling the same kit with different markings in separate boxing, sometimes even for different price! If you don't find these decals useful, you can find about one zillion aftermarket options to match your taste.

Instruction Sheet

As usual we get a really clean easy to follow instruction sheet that explains everything step by step, though experience modeles rarely follow these steps as recommended. The sheet itself is for another kit, but the difference is in the decals only, and as I mentioned above there is an insert matching the included decals.

Click on the images to enlarge!


Well, even though that this kit is clearly an older design than the F/A-18F offered by the same company in this scale, but this is definitely a really good, high grade kit, and it's obviously best in it's scale! The parts breakdown shows that the engineers had to match lot of criteria to let Hasegawa produce almost all existing version of the Phan, but they have done a good job! This kit can be built up into a really nice, and attractive model with some love and efforts!

Thank you for Hobby Link Japan (http://www.hlj.com) for the review sample!


Bookmark and Share

  Photos and text © 2009 by Zoltan Pocza

January 13, 2009