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F-4G Phantom II Cockpit

1/48 scale for Hasegawa





S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4226 - F-4G Phantom Cockpit for the Hasegawa kit
Price: USD$33.46 available online from Squadron.com
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Cream coloured resin, acetate film, photo etched brass
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent detail and casting; comprehensive photo-etch; solid packing
Disadvantages: No painting instructions
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires' 1/48 scale F-4G Phantom II cockpit set is available online from Squadron.com




Newly released from Aires Hobby Models is 4226, a 1/48 scale mixed-media kit cockpit set for the 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit of the Mc Donnell Douglas F-4G Phantom.

Nice! That was my first impression as I examined the pieces of this new release from Aires. It certainly is very complete to say the least. It comprises fourteen resin pieces, a photo-etched fret containing a twenty eight pieces and a small piece of acetate that contains printed instruments for the front and rear cockpits. The resin parts are cast in the light cream coloured resin favored by Aires.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The photo-etch fret is pretty comprehensive too. It contains in the main, parts for the canopy rails, the instrument panels and the ejection seats harness. The metal used by Aires to produce these frets is soft and easy to work with, much like the lead you get from wine a bottle which is a good thing as it easy to manipulate and drape the belts and harnesses onto the seats to make them appear more realistic.

The casting of the resin parts really is great. The details are crisp and include the myriad circuit breakers that abound in the F-4's cockpit. I could not find any miscasts or pinholes in my sample at all. Flash is at an absolute minimum too.

I can not rave too much about the casting on this cockpit set. Have a look at the close-up pictures and you will see what I mean. The coiled lead to the portable light in the front cockpit is an example of this. Normally, you will see this lead as a one thick line with a few corrugations. On this set, Aires have actually cast it so that it is a coiled lead, just like the one-to-one-scale example. The undercuts too are really something else! Aires has paid attention to the removal process too by casting each part with a clear distinct line so you know where the pour plug ends and the part itself begins.

The cockpit tub is cast as a single piece with the front and rear bulkheads in place. I guess that they were thinking of ease of construction here rather than ease of painting. Still, much of the tub is dark gull grey anyway so it is not too much of a problem. The casting on the tub also includes the throttle handles in the 'off' or throttled back position. Aires seem to have been listening to comments made by modellers with regard to the fitment of parts too as the cockpit sidewalls (separate parts) will fit into a rebated groove cast into the edges of the tub.

Does it fit? A cursory dry-fit of the tub itself (less the sidewalls) into the fuselage of one my many un-built Hasegawa F-4 kits tells me that it is not too wide and the length looks all right. However, be aware that you will need to do a fair amount of work to modify the kit to have it fit properly. Aires do warn you though that "Thinning of the plastic parts and dry-fitting of the assembly needed!" but I guess that you would not attempt fitting one of these kits unless you were prepared to do a little cutting, filing filling, and sanding.

Is it accurate? Heck! Can I suggest that the cockpits of F-4Gs underwent constant changes with removal of outmoded equipment and installation of newer 'black boxes' in the thirty-odd years that the USAF alone flew it. Just what Block Number this cockpit set is meant to replicate is not advised by Aires.

A small instruction sheet is included. It carries 'exploded views' of the suggested assembly sequence as well as a 'parts map' to assist you in identifying the tiny resin parts.

What is missing though are painting instructions. Apart from a colour photograph of the painted and assembled kit on the box top, nothing else is included. But again, if you have gone to the trouble and expense of purchasing this kit you probably already have some reference on your shelves or know where to get it from.

The resin parts are packed in a zip-loc bag which is itself wrapped in a small piece of bubble wrap. The photo-etch fret and acetate sheet are placed into a plastic bag containing a piece of thick cardboard to keep them flat. Both of these are then placed in a relatively fragile cardboard box.

So is there a downside? In my opinion yes, the price. Squadron list 1/48 scale Hasegawa F-4G kits at $33.46. They list this set at $33.46.

Apart from the price, this kit is a cracker and is recommended.


Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 19 May, 2005
Last updated 19 May, 2005

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