In-Box Review
AHM 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' F-4E Phantom II
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Associated Hobby Manufacturers ( present incarnation is INTERNATIONAL HOBBY CORPORATION ) was a multi-faceted hobby powerhouse c.1960‘s-80’s. Modelers of that era no doubt had some of AHM’s products.

AHM Airplane model kits

Model railroaders and war gamers of OO [1/76] through TT [1/120] (including E and QO SCALE [1/96], OOC SCALE [1/100], 3mm SCALE and TM SCALE {a version of TT}[1/101.6]) desiring aircraft had, and still suffer from, a small selection to choose from. AHM filled the void with a good selection of common and popular aircraft, c.1927-53, and a Third-generation jet fighter, the subject of this review. These were packaged in flat boxes that opened from the end, and uniquely decorated with faux woodgrain paneling and brass plaque that framed the subject artwork.

AHM also released model kits of different aircraft in 1/87th scale.* They were in the 'All the worlds aircraft - Historical Aviation in Scale Models' product line. There have been at least three series of aircraft. All models were released in 1974 or later.* Information received from Wayne Calder: several of the kits were actually made in 1/100. These later turned up as Roco models. Additional information received from Jens Mehner: "having almost owned all of them at one time or another, I can assure you that none of them was in 1/87 scale, with the possible exception of the "Spirit of St Louis", the only one I never had, they were all more or less in 1/96 scale."

“Information received from J.D.: "I was the purchasing director Far East for AHM in the mid 70’s. We took over the Cox line of built-up planes and produced them in both kit and built-up models. I don’t recall just how many we did, but it included some like “Spirit of St. Louis” as well as the StuKa, P-38 Lightning, most of the famous WWII fighters (US mainly) and the F4 Phantom. The built ups were nicely done."

Series Name Kits

1 'The Golden Era' (6)
2 'The Famous World War II Fighters' (6)
3 'The Classic War birds’ (?)

SK-1 1 P6E Curtiss 'Hawk' 1/100
SK-2 1 Grumman F3F-3 1/97
SK-3 1 F4B4 Boeing 99 1/100
SK-4 1 P26A Boeing 'Peashooter' 1/99
SK-5 1 Ryan 'The Spirit of Saint Louis' 1/110
SK-6 1 Lockheed Vega 'Winnie Mae' 1/100
SK-7 2 Mitsubishi / Nakajima A6M 'Zero' / 'Zeke' 1/103
SK-8 2 Kawasaki Hien K1-61-1 'Tony' 1/100
SK-9 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 1/100
SK-10 2 Messerschmitt BF-109E 1/100
SK-11 2 North-American P51D 'Mustang' 'Miss America'-version 1/87
SK-12 2 Curtiss P-40 'Warhawk' (Flying Tigers decals) 1/96
SK-13 2 Bell P-39Q 'Airacobra' 1/102
SK-14 3 McDonnell F-4E 'Phantom II' 1/90
SK-15 3 Lockheed P-38L 'Lightning' 1/89
SK-16 3 Junkers Ju87G 'Stuka' 1/85 ? ?
McDonnell F-3B 'Demon' (announced but never issued)”[ibid]

1/87 (HO scale) is 21% smaller than 1/72
1/87 15% larger than 1/100

The kit

This is one of the AHM aircraft acquired and reissued by Roco, as part of their Roco MiniTanks product line.

Forty white styrene parts and a clear single-piece canopy make up this kit. The pieces are well molded with almost no flash, and no mold marks. Surface detail is mainly recessed panel lines, with a few raised lines. The recessed lines are wide. The raised ones are razor-thin. Airfoil trailing edges are out-of-scale thick. Interestingly, the front two AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles are molded onto the bottom of the wing.

AHM liked the idea of movable control surfaces. The rudder and flaps are positionable, they just snap into place.

They did not like the idea of the nose pitot tube and did not include one.

The canopy is awful. Fairly clear but the framing is huge and inaccurate. And it is brittle, and cracked.

A cockpit of sorts is included. It is the amorphous plug common to models of the era. It keeps the fuselage from being see-through.

You can not see through the intakes into the fuselage–good. You can see through the exhaust nozzles into the fuselage–bad.

The interior of the main gear wells is detailed. Basic detail graces the interior of the gear doors.

The landing gear struts have good, but incomplete, detail. The wheels are nothing more than donuts.

The configuration provided is for long-range CAP: three drop tanks, and a basic weapons load of four AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles. No bombs (as shown on the box art) or extra air-to-air missiles are provided.

AHM stated the model is BUILT TO PRECISE SCALE, advertising it as 1/87 scale. From the tip of the pitot-less nose to the rear tip of the vertical stabilizer, the fuselage is 8.08 inches (estimated as 8.625 in. with pitot). The wingspan is 5.08 in. The F-4E is 63 ft long with a 38.62 ft wingspan; this scales to 1/93.5 for length and a 1/91 span. With pitot tube, the scale length would be 1/87.

Decals & scheme

Basic markings: national insignia, serial number, warning and rescue markings. No unit code, though this is shown on the box. The 30 /- year-old decals are well registered, not thick, and no carrier film noticeable.

The painting guide, such as it is, is printed on the back of the box. No hint as to what colors to use. Only the South East Asia (SEA) "Vietnam" Scheme 2 is shown.


I have collected most of the models in this series. My AHM F4B-4 built into a pleasing model. Overall, the fit was very impressive.

For aircraft modelers, these are niche models. For model railroaders and war gamers, they offer the opportunity to supplement vehicles propelled by beast, and engines of the steam and diesel, with aviation. While most of these kits are not rare, you will have to search to find them. They vary in price, mine have cost from a few dollars to over thirty dollars.

I greatly enjoyed building the stubby Navy Boeing, and look forward to building this Phantom!

*Used with permission of 87thScale.info
Highs: Highs: Unique scale for aircraft modelers, ship modelers, model railroaders and war gamers. Control surfaces are positionable. Good detail for the scale.
Lows: Lows: Limited decal choices. Wide recessed panel lines. Limited external load. No painting information. Not quite to-scale.
Verdict: This kit will give HO model railroaders a modern jet fighter with appreciable detail.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: SK-14
  Suggested Retail: $16.00
  Related Link: AHM Airplane Model Kits
  PUBLISHED: Dec 18, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. 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.


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  • Fuselage, intakes, stabilizers, drop tank sprues
    Fuselage, intakes, stabilizers, drop tank sprues
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    Wing, gear, J-79 exhaust nozzle, gear door sprues
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  • Landing gear
    Landing gear
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