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1/72 - McDD (R)F-4C/D/J/E/EJ Phantom II by Finemolds - (R)F-4EJ & E released - F-4C/D/J in August & September 2021


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2 hours ago, Violet Club said:

Hi all,

 

I wonder how the FM kit compares with the Hasegawa offering ?

 

I don't know if Fine Molds will produce other Phantoms (B,C,D,H and G) ?

 

We are still waiting also for the first Phantom II, the F4H (never produced in 1/72 and in plastic

 

All the Best,

 

Violet Club

Unless they've screwed something up big time it's go to be  better than the Hasegawa kit with its simplified detail -  lack of intake trunking and decals for the cockpit and shallow wheel wells etc.

 

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2 hours ago, Violet Club said:

Hi all,

 

I wonder how the FM kit compares with the Hasegawa offering ?

 

All the Best,

 

Violet Club

 

 

Good morning,

 

I've completed the majority of the construction on my F-4EJ Kai kit, and have put some initial paint on it. To echo the statements of others, the details are far superior to the Hasegawa kit in all regards. That being said, the parts on the Fine Molds kit need more prep along the mating surfaces to ensure a tight fit. I didn't do enough initially during the build, resulting in some gaps that needed putty, and thereby destroying some of the amazing surface detail.

 

I do have one complaint, I think that the panel lines are a bit too fine. They are VERY fine, and I'm going to have to be very sparing with the paint, and will skip a clear coat before the decals. Otherwise I think they will be filled in and not take a wash.

 

I have two more on pre-order, the Panthers and RF-4EJ boxings that are forthcoming, and am looking forward to them as well.

 

Cheers!

Hoops

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On 2/1/2021 at 6:59 AM, Killingholme said:

Anybody know whether there are alternative marking options in the F-4E "Vietnam" boxing.

 

As soon as there are clues, or pictures, of the decals, you can bet they'll appear in this thread since folks like homebee and baldwin8 are following tweets here for news. Also, as soon as the decals are ready, FM will post them here as  they've done with their other Phantoms.

 

Gene K

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8 hours ago, Violet Club said:

I wonder how the FM kit compares with the Hasegawa offering ?

Some   of the advantages of the FM kit over the Hasegawa include:

 

__ Better moldings (Has' are old, and although still pretty good, are showing their age with softer panel lines and some flash).

 

__ Easier construction ... by far!!! For example, the separate fuselage top insert saves a lot of tedious effort to restore panel lines.

 

__ Better fit, in particular as concerns the intakes. Only problem I've encountered on the FM kit is the vertical stabilizer inset that needs thickness reduced. 

 

__ Features such as full intake and complete interior (which are lacking on the Has kit).

 

I have several FineMold Phantoms (and an embarrassing multitude of Hasegawa kits), and give FM an overwhelming :thumbsup:. But sentimentally still love the Hasegawa kits.

 

Gene K

 

 

 

.

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Violet Club,

 

Here's a link to a Youtube video that shows the construction of the FM Phantom where you can compare the parts and build sequence to the Hasegawa kit (assuming you are familiar with the venerable Has kit).  It's a full 34 minutes, but of course through Youtube settings you can speed it up/skip/jump, etc.  There's a lot to appreciate in how FM arranged the sprues to allow future variants. :hmmm:

 

Gene K

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On 01/02/2021 at 19:13, Gene K said:

Some   of the advantages of the FM kit over the Hasegawa include:

 

__ Better moldings (Has' are old, and although still pretty good, are showing their age with softer panel lines and some flash).

 

__ Easier construction ... by far!!! For example, the separate fuselage top insert saves a lot of tedious effort to restore panel lines.

 

__ Better fit, in particular as concerns the intakes. Only problem I've encountered on the FM kit is the vertical stabilizer inset that needs thickness reduced. 

 

__ Features such as full intake and complete interior (which are lacking on the Has kit).

 

I have several FineMold Phantoms (and an embarrassing multitude of Hasegawa kits), and give FM an overwhelming :thumbsup:. But sentimentally still love the Hasegawa kits.

 

I have to agree with Gene. Although I have over two dozen Hasegawa Phantoms, I decided to buy a couple of FM's and indeed they are amazing and (much) easier to build. Like Gene, I also have a soft spot for Hasegawa's F-4's, so mine aren't going nowhere. 😀

 

Let's hope FM decides to do in the near future the F-4G Wild Weasel also, but with the option for the later clear curved windshield.

 

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Edited by CharlieGolf2009
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2 hours ago, MiG-Mech said:

It's time for a F-4F. 

Wouldn't take much to "convert" the FM kit.   :wink:

 

As for other versions, I found the following tidbit in this interesting interview with Mr. Hiroshi Kumazawa of Fine Molds Co., Ltd., who was involved in the development of the "F-4 series":

 

Suzuki: Will the "F-4 Series" continue to develop in the future?



Kumazawa: We have received many requests from our customers. Currently only long nose, so of course I would like to make a short nose. Also, I would like to try the spema of Japan's flashy tactical competition.

 

Not sure what "spema of Japan's flashy tactical competition: means except perhaps that they would like to do more JASD schemes as Hasegawa did ad infinitum. (I personally hope they spend more effort on other marks, but their small-company customer focus likely will remain domestic ... despite the overwhelming potential of a broader marketing effort).

 

Maybe a Japanese reader can translate this properly: 

 

熊澤:お客様からご要望はたくさんいただいています。現状ロングノーズのみなので、もちろんショートノーズも作ってみたいですね。あとは、日本の派手な戦技競技会のスペマもやってみたいです。

 

Gene K

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44 minutes ago, Gene K said:

Maybe a Japanese reader can translate this properly

I'm not one of them, but I did learn enough to know that "spema" - "スペマ" - Literal transliteration = supema (because Japanese isn't fond of consonants without them being followed by a vowel) is in the Katakana alphabet, so has been borrowed from a different language. I suspect "spema" is a concatenation of "special marking", because transliterating all of that into Japanese is a real mouthful.

戦技競技 is "Sengi-Kyougikai" - usually shortened to Senkyou or Senkyō - the (usually) annual JASDF fighter meet. Which has always been an excuse for the participating squadrons to put some non-standard markings on their aircraft, while giving Hasegawa (and possibly now Fine Molds) an excuse to pop special editions of their JASDF fighter kits on a regular basis.

    Jonathan.

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There are so many special schemes from the many senkyos, it is obvious that they will do them.

 

It just takes time and effort for a small company

 

Andy

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:04 AM, Gene K said:

Wouldn't take much to "convert" the FM kit.   :wink:

 

As for other versions, I found the following tidbit in this interesting interview with Mr. Hiroshi Kumazawa of Fine Molds Co., Ltd., who was involved in the development of the "F-4 series":

 

 

 

 

Not sure what "spema of Japan's flashy tactical competition: means except perhaps that they would like to do more JASD schemes as Hasegawa did ad infinitum. (I personally hope they spend more effort on other marks, but their small-company customer focus likely will remain domestic ... despite the overwhelming potential of a broader marketing effort).

 

Maybe a Japanese reader can translate this properly: 

 

熊澤:お客様からご要望はたくさんいただいています。現状ロングノーズのみなので、もちろんショートノーズも作ってみたいですね。あとは、日本の派手な戦技競技会のスペマもやってみたいです。

 

Gene K

 

It is probably the "seed" or the "heart" not sperma, but if it was the heart then he should have said tamashii.

 

Regarding flashy schemes I have counted around 20 if not more camouflages that are readily available through the internet by stealing the camouflage scheme from instructions and I had them sorted somewhere on my PC but I either lost that document or forgot to save it upon exiting so here is a part of it, I'm not including aircrafts painted with standard camouflage and some stripes here and there ala early F-15DJ aggressors

 

07-8428 301 Squadron 1984 #428 Mig-21 Silhouette decals and instructions available from Hasegawa 00752 1/72 and 1/48 09617 box

07-8429 306 Squadron 1982 #429 decals and instructions (incomplete) available from Fujimi G4 box (2nd edition), complete scheme available from a Koku Fan magazine

07-8430 305 Squadron 19XX #430 decals and instructions available from Fujimi 1/48 F-4EJ box (can't find its code)

07-8432 302 Squadron 1984 #432 decals and instructions available from one of the early 1/72 Hasegawa F-4EJ that had an extra set of decals on it

07-8432 302 Squadron 19XX #432 decals and instructions available from Fujimi G-4 (1st and 3rd edition) Testors No.687 1/72 box and also from Fujimi 1/48 F-4EJ box (can't find its code)

17-8437 301 Squadron 1992 #437 decals and instructions available from Tomytec AC-112 1/144 F-4EJ box

17-8438 305 Squadron 1992 #438 decals and instructions available from Tomytec AC-122 1/144 and Tamiya 1/32 F-4EJ box

27-8305 305 Squadron 1982 #305 decals and instructions available from Tomytec AC-111 1/144 F-4EJ box

27-8305 301 Squadron 1999 #305 decals and instructions available from Hasegawa 00058 1/72 box

47-8328 303 Squadron 1981 #328 snatched from a Koku Fan magazine

47-8329 301 Squadron 1999 #329 decals and instructions available from Hasegawa 00058 1/72 box

47-8335 306 Squadron 1982 #335 decals and instructions available from LS 1039 1/144 F-4EJ box

47-8338 306 Squadron 1984 #338 snatched this build from a Japanese blogger

47-8347 306 Squdaron 1984 #347 decals and instructions available from one of the early 1/72 Hasegawa F-4EJ that had an extra set of decals on it

57-8354 301 Squadron 1992 #354 decals and instructions available from Hasegawa SP-73 1/72 box

57-8357 301 Squadron 19XX #357 decals and instructions available from Fujimi 1/48 F-4EJ box (can't find its code)

67-8383 305 Squadron 1992 #383 decals and instructions available from Hasegawa SP-73 1/72 box

77-8397 303 Squadron 19XX #397 snatched from a Koku Fan magazine

77-8398 301 Squadron 19XX #398 Mitubishi F-1 silhouette, decals and instructions available from Tomytec AC-119 1/144 F-4EJ box

87-8407 306 Squadron 1981 #407 decals and instructions available from an early Hasegawa P-2 1/48 box (option was latter removed cause wiffle you)

87-8414 301 Squadron 1980 #414 decals and instructions available from Tomytec GK-101 1/144 F-4EJ box

97-8424 303 Squadron 1980 #424 Aero-Master did a decal sheet with this aircraft, sadly the camouflage scheme it's incomplete, Koku Fan magazine has the complete scheme

 

they should prioritize aggressor schemes instead of wasting decal film and ink for flying beer cans

 

Luigi

 

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The senkyos are just one excuse for a special scheme - anniversaries, retirements and other special events could result in a much more extensive paint job - Andy's thumbnail being a case in point. And while Hasegawa's coverage has been extensive, it hasn't been comprehensive.

For the JASDF 50th Anniveresary in 2004, Hasegawa did special editions for the white 302 Hikotai special, and the blue 501 Hikotai RF-4E, but didn't touch the yellow 301 Hikotai special:

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(Fortunately Syhart did a set in 1:72)

Or the 8 Hikotai special:

 

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Which should be do-able with some masking tape and the grey-backed stencils from the DXM Sea Camouflage F-4EJkai set.

 

So there are plenty of options for Fine Molds to re-market their kit with different markings to try and increase sales volumes.

For an organisation with limited resources, the relatively small addendum sheets required for most of the senkyo specials will probably more cost effective than a larger sheet for the more detailed / spectacular specials.

    Jonathan.

 

 

 

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On 2/5/2021 at 12:16 PM, Silverkite said:

 ... they should prioritize aggressor schemes instead of wasting decal film and ink for flying beer cans

Luigi,

 

What do you mean by "flying beer cans"?

 

Thanks to you and Jonathan for the comprehensive posts!!! :thumbsup:

 

One of these days I'll catalog the five large storage boxes I have of unbuilt 1/72 Hasegawa JASDF Phantoms :blush:... and try to fight the urge of putting FineMolds Special Schemes along side of them. 

 

Gene K

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2 hours ago, Stilwell said:

The senkyos are just one excuse for a special scheme - anniversaries, retirements and other special events could result in a much more extensive paint job - Andy's thumbnail being a case in point. And while Hasegawa's coverage has been extensive, it hasn't been comprehensive.

For the JASDF 50th Anniveresary in 2004, Hasegawa did special editions for the white 302 Hikotai special, and the blue 501 Hikotai RF-4E, but didn't touch the yellow 301 Hikotai special:

spacer.png

 

(Fortunately Syhart did a set in 1:72)

Or the 8 Hikotai special:

 

spacer.png

 

Which should be do-able with some masking tape and the grey-backed stencils from the DXM Sea Camouflage F-4EJkai set.

 

So there are plenty of options for Fine Molds to re-market their kit with different markings to try and increase sales volumes.

For an organisation with limited resources, the relatively small addendum sheets required for most of the senkyo specials will probably more cost effective than a larger sheet for the more detailed / spectacular specials.

    Jonathan.

 

 

 

I am just doing the research for the next book Jonathan, and i was also surprised at how few of the senkyo aircraft are covered by the likes of Hasegawa. As you say, the special markings applied to the airframes are pretty limited, and should be easy to reproduce as an additional decal sheet. Even aftermarket companies could have a go, but haven't done so in the past. It seems strange, but then we love Japanese aircraft, and may be there isn't a market for them?

 

Andy

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13 hours ago, Gene K said:

Luigi,

 

What do you mean by "flying beer cans"?

 

Thanks to you and Jonathan for the comprehensive posts!!! :thumbsup:

 

One of these days I'll catalog the five boxes I have of unbuilt 1/72 Hasegawa JASDF Phantoms :blush:... and try to fight the urge of putting FineMolds Special Schemes along side of them. 

 

Gene K

 

Anything related to anniversary events painted with flashy colors that are not aircraft from Red Flag, Aggressor and Tigermeet :P

 

Luigi

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On 2/5/2021 at 3:11 PM, Red Dot said:

I am just doing the research for the next book Jonathan ... .

Andy,

 

I don't know the subject of your book, but in case you haven't seen this, here's a great write up on Japanese special markings, in particular on the commemorative schemes. 

 

Will be interesting to see what happens to these great airframes after retirement ... the article above states that some Phantoms have departed for preservation at air bases from where they once flew  ...

 

spacer.png

 

and some, I'm sure, will go to museums ... if they aren't sold.  Hmmm  :hmmm:.

 

Iran, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey still operate Phantoms, but I think
the most likely customer would be South Korea (certainly not Iran!).
The Japanese Phantoms, I KNOW, are in great condition since that's the
Japanese way!

 

Gene K

 

 

 

 

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As you say Gene,  that really is a good write up. It will be interesting to see if the kit and decal companies get the details right. I will also take a look at my texts too, so thank you.

 

As for the retired aircraft, there are quite a few being preserved, but mostly outside, within air base boundaries, where they will be very hard to see and photograph. Phantom 440 is slated for the air force museum at Hamamatsu as it was the last F-4 ever built, which is good news.

 

The bad news is the the T-28 and Vampire, old and one off airframes, will be stored outside!

 

Oh well

Andy

 

 

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My friend Craig @baldwin8 and I have been speculating on possible future FineMolds variants, and our latest spur is this photo on one of the Twitter feeds on the FineMolds page (I fixed the perspective)

 

rhtsgBt.jpg

 

So ...

I asked a friend in Japan for help, and his wife gave the following  candid translation of the "sloppy kanji" (her words).

 

B N -- upper and lower wings
C D -- nose is short
J -- front (same as C & D), aft (lower wings)
S -- upper and lower wings
E -- upper and lower wings
F -- a combination?
G -- various things are different 
RF -- don't even wanna think of it
overseas F -- No way
British -- Gimme a break

 

Being a coarse outline, it's incomplete and not very correct, but it's really encouraging if, in fact, it indicates (further) that FM is looking at other variants.

 

In keeping with Plastic Model axioms, I'm doing my part to encourage further FM production by having started conversions of FM kits to an F-4C, RF-4E, slatted F-4E, and an F-4J.  :penguin:

 

Gene K

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Gene K said:

British -- Gimme a break

 

A heartache for many on these forums. I think the only common parts may be the cockpit control sticks!!!!      🤣🤣🤣

 

Considering the way these kits have literally flown off the shelves, how could they not continue the family. 1/72 makes it easy to find room in your display case for at least a couple.

The slatted wing or short nose C/D  path would be the easy path to a future variant.

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9 hours ago, Gene K said:

Andy,

 

Iran, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey still operate Phantoms, but I think
the most likely customer would be South Korea (certainly not Iran!).
The Japanese Phantoms, I KNOW, are in great condition since that's the
Japanese way!

 

Gene K

 

 

 

 

Iran is also the only place you could see an operational F-14A Tomcat.

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On 2/6/2021 at 5:11 AM, Red Dot said:

I am just doing the research for the next book Jonathan, and i was also surprised at how few of the senkyo aircraft are covered by the likes of Hasegawa. As you say, the special markings applied to the airframes are pretty limited, and should be easy to reproduce as an additional decal sheet. Even aftermarket companies could have a go, but haven't done so in the past. It seems strange, but then we love Japanese aircraft, and may be there isn't a market for them?

 

Andy

 

I agree.  I was really surprised at the number of different schemes that the Japanese Phantoms flew when I got the book "Defenders of Nippon"

https://www.scalemates.com/books/defenders-nippon-f-4-phantom-ii-peter-fearis-peter-scott-glenn-sands--118141

 

As for aftermarket, Platz did a few Senkyo sheets (in 1/72 & 1/48) for JASDF Phantoms, Eagles, F-1/T-2 and F-2s which seem to turn up periodically and then suddenly fly off the shelves.  There's definitely a market for them. Maybe the FM Phantom release will spur them on to make more? 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Jackman said:

 

I agree.  I was really surprised at the number of different schemes that the Japanese Phantoms flew when I got the book "Defenders of Nippon"

https://www.scalemates.com/books/defenders-nippon-f-4-phantom-ii-peter-fearis-peter-scott-glenn-sands--118141

 

As for aftermarket, Platz did a few Senkyo sheets (in 1/72 & 1/48) for JASDF Phantoms, Eagles, F-1/T-2 and F-2s which seem to turn up periodically and then suddenly fly off the shelves.  There's definitely a market for them. Maybe the FM Phantom release will spur them on to make more? 

 

 

I doubt that very.much Jackman, as Platz rarely release new sheets. 

 

Even companies like DXM, who are prolific with JASDF markings, don't do the old stuff

 

Andy

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On 05/02/2021 at 21:11, Red Dot said:

It seems strange, but then we love Japanese aircraft, and may be there isn't a market for them?

I don’t think the Senkyo is that well known, even in Japan.

 

Whereas the NATO Tiger Meet is a Public Relations event as well as being a military exercise, with Spotters Days to allow access to a limited number of people who have an interest, I understand the Senkyo is rather more private – despite having an active interest in JASDF operations, I haven’t seen advance notice of the Senkyo dates and location in the last decade. I assume they are available, if you know where to look, and I assume the enthusiast community do turn out, but I suspect the amount of people who go there is lower that the attendance for a Japanese air show.

 

The Japanese military aviation magazines, like J-Wings, will usually cover any special schemes, and the schemes may hang around for months afterwards before being painted back into standard colours (I understand the Senkyo is normally held in August, and I have seen specials still painted up in November / December), but whereas a specially painted aircraft in Europe can be displayed at multiple airshows in multiple countries before it is repainted, in Japan the special will go to the Senkyo and maybe the show for the base of its own squadron. So the amount of exposure is comparatively limited, and hence the interest it generates.

 

As for Hasegawa, I suspect their production of special editions is thanks to a strategy of getting a return on their previous investment – the tools are bought and paid for, so use them, but in a manner that gives the most return with minimum outlay / risk. So we were treated to multiple single and twin-set special editions of their T-3 trainer kit, with that year’s special editions from Shizuhama and Hofu bases: Nice bright colour schemes which, while they may have not got much attention in the enthusiast community, are attention grabbing on the shelves of the local hobby shop. Enough to shift a volume of units large enough to make the special edition worthwhile. Not enough to invest in a tooling upgrade to kit a T-7 to allow that strategy to continue.

But for the fighters: I suspect if I looked back through Luigi Silverkite’s list, it would have started with kits that contained marking options with multiple aircraft from multiple squadrons at that year’s Senkyo, but finishes with kits that cover one (maybe two) aircraft from one squadron. Because Hasegawa are not interested in shifting as many kits as possible, only as many kits as produced in the special run for the minimum of investment, they don’t have to make the special edition as attractive as it can be. They can just pick the most attractive / attention grabbing scheme from that year’s Senkyo, and kit only that. The whole run sells out in a few months, Hasegawa’s assets get utilised, the modellers get a subject we have seen in the magazines, everyone is happy.

 

I suspect if Hasegawa tried to milk the market with more special editions each year, then saturation and subject fatigue would set in – the subjects become more obscure and less popular, the specials start to hang around on the shelves longer and the shops start to question their order size. Better to maintain a seller’s market, and under supply.

 

After all, despite the F-15J special editions, Hasegawa haven’t revised their F-15J kit to include the current aerial fit and arrestor hook fairing configuration (even though they have a sprue for it in their latest F-15E kit), carriage of AAM-3 (except by special edition), AAM-4 and AAM-5 missiles (even though they have had the tooling for the latter for a couple of years now, and the former are in their JASDF weapons set) and the low-vis markings used on 204 and 304 Hikotai aircraft on Okinawa.

 

The aftermarket decal manufacturers could be different. It is more of a surprise to me that we haven’t seen more sheets covering multiple types and squadrons in Senkyo special markings (or same type & squadron, but multiple years), in the same way that someone like Xtradecals do update sheets for particular years. If the stencils are left to the kit decals, it should be possible to get a decent number of different subjects on one aftermarket sheet, to make it more attractive.

But I assume that the aftermarket decal manufacturers decided that the market wasn’t large enough for the investment required.

 

Given the apparent popularity of the current kit, Fine Molds will hopefully feel that they can do some more special markings editions before they reach market saturation. And given their timing, they are almost exclusively limited to "old" schemes...

 

Anyway, while writing this I dug Green Arrow's Senkyo Schemes 1979-2000 out of the bookshelves (I assume that is the title; my Japanese isn't that good), so i'm off to leaf through that for a bit.

 

   Jonathan.

Edited by Stilwell
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  • Homebee changed the title to 1/72 - McDD (R)F-4C/D/J/E/EJ Phantom II by Finemolds - (R)F-4EJ & E released - F-4C/D/J in August & September 2021

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