In-Box Review
F-4B Phantom II
Academy 1/48 F-4B Phantom II
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by: Andy Appleby [ TORCHY ]


The F-4B was the first variant of McDonnel's Phantom II to enter Squadron service with the U.S Navy in 1960, with a total of 649 being built. Later on in their lives, 228 were rebuilt to the -N configuration, receiving new electronics, engines and aerodynamic improvements to bring the aircraft up to the standard of the then-current F-4J. In 1962, 10 were accepted into the USAF under the designation F-110 Spectre> Shortly thereafter, the USAF's Phantoms were renamed to F-4C

First Impressions

On opening the box you are confronted by 14 multi-coloured sprues; 8 in white, 3 in black, 2 in medium grey , 1 clear, and a 1 piece fuselage. An 8 page instruction book is supplemented by a double sided weapon mounting sheet, a lovely double sided glossy colour decal placement plan and a superb decal sheet


The fuselage is a one piece moulding the same as the big Tamiya F-4ís so there's no joint line down the spine.

The engraved panel lines and rivets look fine and in scale and scream out for some washes.

The intakes are full length unlike the Hasegawa ones, and the inflight refuelling probe can be assembled extended or retracted.

The cockpit is very well done with the correct sidewalls. The only letdowns here are the seats with no belts (but you could always place the pilot and RIO figure in the pit) and the instrument panels have no decals for the dials but Iím sure the AM boys will come up with a ton on stuff here.

The exhausts are quite nicely done and will come up well with careful painting (or some AM resin)

There are 4 IRST pods, 4 variants of the fin tip with different ECM antennae, 2 nose cones, two pairs of horizontal stabilators plus shedloads of weapons which spell out a few more F-4ís too come

The instructions are plain, clear and easy to follow with separate a glossy sheet in colour for the decals and a 4 plan sheet for different weapon loads


The wings are again beautifully engraved and are the slim type found on the F4-B

These are marked B/N on the underside,more clues to more versions


Same as the wings,lovely molding

Landing gear

Superb,OOB just add some brake pipes from fuse wire


I think Academy have hit the spot with this one; at first look it seems the best in 1/48 Phantom out there

Decals and Markings

Stunning Cartograf decal sheet with over 250 individual decals to apply for a CAG aircraft from VF-111 Sundowners
Highs: A lovely new tooling of a classic aircraft
Lows: Seats and dials let this model down by 1%
Verdict: Plain seats and lack of dial decals let an otherwise stunner down. If you love Phantoms this is a must buy
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Suggested Retail: £35.00
  PUBLISHED: Nov 30, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Andy Appleby (Torchy)

Copyright ©2021 text by Andy Appleby [ TORCHY ]. 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.


Thanks for the review, Andy. Looks great, although I am holding out for the "C", which I expect will be along shortly.
NOV 30, 2012 - 05:52 AM
Now if they would be so good as to cater for us 1/72 modelers that would be fantastic.
JAN 23, 2013 - 03:09 AM
Been building this kit for nearly a month now. Simply amazing. One of the best engineered kits I've ever built. Joel
FEB 21, 2014 - 07:43 AM

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