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F-4D early Phantom II Cockpit

1/48 scale for Hasegawa





S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4245 - F-4D (early) Phantom Cockpit for the Hasegawa kit
Price: listed as around 11.00 / AUD$25.00
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Grey coloured resin, acetate film, photo etched metal
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-4D Phantom II cockpit set will be available online from Squadron.com




Aires continues to work its way through F-4 Phantom series and this newly released set is for an early build F-4D. It is a 1/48 scale mixed-media kit cockpit set for the old 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit.

If my memory serves me correct, the F-4C/D was the first of the 1/48 scale Phantoms and it was released way back in the early eighties (and is not currently in production). It was well ahead of the competition of the time but is dated now. One of the main problems, apart from the raised panel lines, is the lack of detail in the cockpits. This new set from Aires will rectify the latter for you.

It comprises eighteen resin pieces, 50 odd photo-etched ones as well as and a small piece of acetate that holds three printed instruments and a reflector glass for the gun sight. The resin parts are all cast in the new mid-grey resin that Aires have just started to use.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Of late, Aires seem to have adopted the Tamiya approach of casting everything in one piece, rather than separate, tiny and fiddly details. I'm sold on this approach as it means fewer parts to prepare (and lose!). The downside though is that it is harder to detail paint the parts. As an example of this new approach, the main tub of this set is cast with the throttle handles in place.

The detail on the resin cast parts is simply superb. They are crisply cast and would easily be the best I have seen from Aires. The set in the main is cast as a tub with separate one-piece sidewalls, front and rear instrument panels and seats. The balance of the resin parts includes front and rear control columns, radar scopes and internal parts for the canopies.

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

Does it fit? A cursory dry-fit of the tub itself (with taped one sidewalls) into the fuselage of one my (too) 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. To be fair though Aires do warn you that "Thinning of the plastic parts and dry-fitting of the assembly needed!"

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.

The resin parts are packed into a zip-loc bag which is then itself wrapped in a small piece of plastic 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 flimsy cardboard box.

Nice stuff from Aires.


Thanks to Aires for the review sample.

Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 30 June, 2005
Last updated 29 June, 2005

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