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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Phabulous (Red Devil) Phantom - 1/48th Monogram F-4J Phantom II

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Here is yet another of my Monogram Phantom kit builds. First released back in the 80s it is still a respectable kit. It has the typical Monogram features of a nicely appointed, raised cockpit detail (although not correct in the rear pit for a J), correct shape, finely raised panel lines, and an affordable price. The fit in some places may be less than stellar, however I had this kit in the stash from way back and after opening it up to have a look again I was inspired to have another go at it, despite its age.

Quick Notes:

  • J model Phantom however rear cockpit has Airforce type consoles instead of Navy sidewall panels (Rear main instrument panel seem to be correct)

  • Nicely detailed ejection seats (partly molded into the pit)

  • Panel lines for Air Force refueling probe is still on spine and should be removed - Navy refueling door could be scribed on right side of nose

  • Fit of the engine intakes is a minor problem (across the F-4 series)

  • Underside wing fit with aircraft nose requires careful fitting and possibly some filler work to join smoothly

  • Raised panel lines and detail make sanding seams problematic as detail is removed in the process (or you could sand off the panel lines as I did on this one)

  • Separate speed brakes can be positioned open (although the actuator is molded into the well, so you will have to deal with that)

  • Horizontal stabilizer fit will require trimming as they sit too far off the fuselage

  • Air Force "arrowheads" on stabilizers should be removed for Navy "J"

  • Outboard wing tanks are molded onto pylons

  • Glass fit is OK but not great (can be positioned open or closed)

  • TER are molded onto inboard pylons, basic Air-Air armament (sink marks are often present in the Sparrows) come with the kit as well as bombs and a centre-line tank

This time around, my Monogram Phantom II was constructed in the markings of the USMC VMFA-232 "Red Devils" as I had partial markings left over from an earlier Shamrocks build. A little modification to the markings was necessary as I wanted a red tail version... into the spares for a rescue.

End Result:

Better F-4J kits are now available on the 1/48th scale market, however the Monogram Phantom II kits still produce a good result, that definitely looks the part, at a very reasonable cost. I still recommend and build these old classics when I can pick them up at a good price.

Completed build #229 - December 2019 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5805 kit.

Feel free to ask any questions or comment on the build - Keep on building what you want, how you want and enjoy the build - Cheers

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