This is truly the golden age of modelling. We’ve gotten past the 90s and 2000s where we are introduced to a slew of new kit manufacturers, and now in the second decade of this century those manufacturers are hitting their stride with releases that is dizzying in its pace. The subject matter available to a modeller today is incredible.
Case in point: 1/48 F-4 Phantoms. At the end of the 20th century, there was only one kit to go for if you wanted an F-4. Hasegawa of Japan ended all debate on what a Phantom kit should be with their impressive family of Rhinos, covering everything from early US Navy Bs to JASDF and Luftwaffe Js and Fs.
On display here are two members of that classic squad – Italeri’s re-release of the 1980s vintage Esci. Not bad for their time, they still build up into superb replicas.
Yes, Revell, Italeri and Esci had 1/48 Phantoms then, but when Esci shut down you were left with the chunky, raised panel excuses of a kit with unfortunate gaps in engineering.
In 1/72 and 1/32 scale the F-4 was well covered by Hasegawa and Tamiya as well, but it was in quarter scale where it really looks impressive, in my opinion. In 2015 Academy of South Korea released their new-tool F-4B, and finally modern plastic technology has caught up with a favourite subject.
Up in a future article, we will tackle the Academy kit in a full build!
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