Here it is, the final installment of the Academy 1/48 F-4B review. Seems like just a few weeks ago, when we posted with great excitement pictures of the new tooling for this model kit. It is here, from tiny plastic granules to a nicely engineered precision model kit on my shelf. I seldom do work-in-progress posts because of time limitations. But I had to make an exception for this one. It has been quite a while since the last time I felt a good bang for my buck.
The new 1/48th Academy F-4B does exactly that. The overall fit is absolutely amazing. It was the fit quality that made me go ahead and skip some steps during construction in order to paint parts as sub assemblies without having to waste time and resources masking areas.
The canopy parts for example, were painted off the model. And because they were to be displayed open, if you remove the masking tape carefully, you can reuse the mask inside. Yes, you have to paint the canopy frames black if you which to display them open to show your detail work in the cockpit.
As you can see in the pictures, some decals were replaced by actual paint. Decals included with the F-4B are printed by Cartograf. The kit includes 3 pilot figures, 2 seated and 1 standing. There are sidewinder missiles left to dress a kit or 2. Due to the leftover parts, it is hard not to notice that other versions of the Phantom II are a few tweaks to the molds away.
The model was painted using Testors Model Master Acryl Flat Gull Gray 4763 and Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. This are low contrast colors on their own. It is not until you give the model a wash (a pin wash in my case), that one will start to see and appreciate all the intricate and delicate detail. Every panel line and rivet becomes evident showing the great length Academy went thru with this kit.
Speaking of washes, this model was washed with a home made black painters oil mixed with generic mineral spirit. Half of the fuselage to the rear was selectively pin washed with Dark Brown wash from AK-Interactive (AK-045) for grime and grittier look.
Evidently, this is a well thought out project from Academy. Those Phantom fans looking for other versions, will be granted with them in the near future. The hardest part has been done already and properly achieved.
If we are to have a model of the year showdown, the new Academy 1/48th F-4B is an all round winner for 2013 in my book. Both, as a modeller and as a consumer expecting the best from my hard earned money.
I highly recommend this kit!
If you missed the work in progress, click here.