The McDonnell-Douglas F-4 used an all-flying stabiliser, mounted with a severe anhedral on the shoulders of the rear fuselage above the engine exhausts. In an effort to improve the Phantom's manoeuvrability, and to correct a “mach tuck” problem a slot was added to the leading edge. Slotted stabs were retrofitted to many aircraft which were delivered without them. Modellers are advised to consult photographic evidence to ensure whether their subject was or was not fitted with them.
This is a complicated set, with many supplemental parts designed to make mounting the stabilisers as simple as possible. The resin parts are supplemented with a fret of etched brass parts for the cover plates and pivot guides. There are three different mounting options offered depending upon each individual modeller's level of bravery:
Stabilisers alone, replacing the kit parts;
Stabilisers and etched root plates;
Stabilisers and root plates, with the stabs deflected.
The instructions are very thorough, with detailed steps to mount the stabs in any angle desired. The last page includes a template to set the anhedral properly.
This set is designed to fit both the Hasegawa and the new Academy kit, with different fitting options provided.
The stabilisers are one-piece mouldings with finely engraved panel lines. The mounting tabs are designed to fit the Academy kit, but they may easily be trimmed down to a mounting post for the Hasegawa kit. Being resin, it may not be very strong, and might better be replaced with a length of wire or brass rod. Since they are otherwise identical, I'll include pictures of both the slotted and unslotted stabs in this review.
The photo-etch fret contains the root cover plates and guides. Air Force style triangular reinforcements are included if your model requires them.
The largest portion of this set is devoted to two different jigs to facilitate mounting the etched cover plates on the rear fuselage. These will be rendered unnecessary if the plates are not used.
update from the manufacturer
Since posting this review, I have been contacted by Hypersonic models who have explained a few matters.
"The stabs in the Academy kit have the heat resistant, inner panels significantly too narrow, by about 5mm, have some fictitious panel lines and the slotted stabs have the mounting tabs of the leading edge perpendicular to the edge, rather than in airstream orientation. The stabs also offer a detail and accuracy improvement over the Hasegawa stabs. The PE and the resin mounting parts came along while I made the corrected stabs, in part because I wanted to add more detail and provide a near fool-proof assembly gudie, in part because it always bothered me that on both the Hasegawa and the Academy Phantoms you can only mount the stabs in one correct position so I thought “I might as well...”."
Hypersonic Models products are available for purchase directly from their website
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE