SUBJECT: JASDF F-4EJ Kai Phantom II - 302 Sq. “The Last Phantom”
MANUFACTURER: Platz/F-Toys PF-27 :1800
I have to confess to you that I’m not really into grey, whether it is on a battleship, a Dodge Charger or a F-15 Strike Eagle. I can’t get excited about painting a warbird that is a deep neutral grey, with some lustrous medium grey highlights over a stunning light grey belly. So these special liveries produced for airshows really appeal to me. Japan has produced some really colorful and exciting examples in the last decade.
In 2019 several special F-4EJ Kai Phantom’s were presented by 302 squadron to commemorate the end of their JASDF service, like this white one with the red eagle logos. There is a companion Phantom that is gloss black with nearly the same markings, and it looks like Platz
has a whole slew of these “Last Phantoms” scheduled for release this year. The original Phantoms began service in 1974 and the Phantom II’s were introduced in 1992.
This kit is branded as a Platz/F-Toys
collaboration. The original mold is from 2006 and has been released many times by now. A few of these old F-Toys kits have been real stinkers, but after a close look I’m pleased to say that this one looks like a real winner. Often these 1/144 scale kits come with two complete kits in one box, but in this case there is only one, understandable since the Phantom is a BIG PLANE. I remember the first time I saw one in person at a warbird museum near Corning NY (which I believe is no longer there). I was stunned by how huge it was sitting right next to an F-14.
IN THE BOX
6-ish grey sprues
1 clear sprue (canopy)
Instructions/paint /decal guide
There are a lot more parts to this kit than the instruction’s five build steps would imply, 60 or so by my count (16 or so are not used in this version, but you’ll have eight spare missiles for the parts box). They do include closed gear-bay doors if you want to pose it in-flight, though no stand is provided. Some parts are not on sprues at all, like the fuselage halves, wings, cockpit and drop tank. The tailhook on this review copy arrived bent, but not broken. There is no telling how many hands have handled and how many times this little box has been shipped back and forth across the globe.
The instructions are brief, and in Japanese with some English. For instance, there is a box that declares “Attention!”… and the rest is all in Japanese. I hope the warning is not too important. The B-side has vivid painting and decal illustrations with the colors callouts (Mr. Color and Model Master) and decal numbers.
The dark grey plastic is common for Platz
. It is crisp and very nice to work with. The panel lines are well defined and should take a wash beautifully. I did some initial test fitting. The fuselage halves fit together really firmly via large pins. There is only a slight seam along the dorsal side that will need a little filling. The marriage of the wing and fuselage is perfect, so good in fact that you can probably wait till after the decals are applied to join them. The fit is so sure that you won’t even need glue. When finished it will measure roughly 5” long by 3.25” wide.
They even provide you two human shaped blobs for the cockpit. There is not much to see in the office, and once aided by the closed canopy, the mere suggestion of pilots are a fun addition. If I didn’t know what they were supposed to be and had to make a guess, I’d say they are chimpanzees in space suits.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
The decal sheet is printed by fan-favorite Cartograph. The livery is bright and perfectly in register. Resolution is great. I can clearly read even some of the very small white type; “Phantom Final Tour…”. The leading edges of the wings are to be blue, for which they provide four decals, two for each wing. They are designed to wrap around from the top to the bottom, eliminating any seams along the front edge. They also give you decals for the canopy paint. The 1/144 P-47s I built had these included, but didn’t fit very well. Have your masking tape ready as a backup.
All in all, this is a beautiful kit; another winner from Platz
Thanks again to Platz for the opportunity to review this great kit.