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New Academy USN F-4J ”Showtime 100”

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. During the Vietnam conflict Lieutenant Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Lieutenant William P. Driscoll flying an F-4J, call sign “Showtime 100,” shot down three MiG-17s and went on to become the first American flying aces of the war. This Forces of Valor replica is based on their F-4J Phantom II “Showtime 100” fighter jet, as seen in Vietnam.

 

Academy 1/72 USN F-4J ”Showtime 100”

Here on this side of the pond model kits in the quarter scale tend to have more followers than the 1/72 smaller cousins. But wait until you see the MCP (Multi Colored Parts) from the latest Phantom F-4J from Academy models. The kit features exquisitely engraved panel lines rivaling those from their previous 1/48 offerings also from Academy. The fuselage has been molded in one piece so we don’t have to deal with sanding and/or filling and loosing the small details in the process.

F-4J P-VF-96 NG100

The jet canisters are a one piece deal with nicely feathered detail on the jet engines. Even the ‘eyelets’ on the fuselage are reminiscent to the ones on the larger 1/32 Phantom F-4J from Tamiya. The cockpit for this scale is very well appointed with raised details and bezels should you decide to paint them instead of using the provided decals. And speaking of decals, they are very nicely printed without color runoffs or bleeding between details. Get this, since the Academy 1/72 F-4J is considered a snap-on model, it also comes with regular stickers for those without any experience working with water slide decals. The marking offered is for the well known ‘Showtime 100

The box is marked as ‘Intuitive With Loads of Details’ and believe me, it really is!

The clear parts are very clear with no flow marks. Except that there is a hair line from the molding process that will need some buffing with #1,500 wet/dry sandpaper and Meguiars headlamp polishing compound or even CD/DVD scratch remover will do the trick removing this mould line. As I have done this numerous times with other aircraft model kits, I find this quite easy to fix. The only downside that *I* found and remember when I say *I* I mean *me* is that the clear canopy is a one piece deal. This leave that nicely detailed cockpit in the dark. Before I close this, the ejection seats are very nicely molded and quite usable out of the box; but if you want to go the resin route be my guest. The landing gear is crisply molded and the detail on the tiny wheels is outstanding. Check out the pictures and remember that you can always click on the higher resolution version.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

With a $42 MSRP (USD) and around a $32.00 (USD) street price, this kit is absolutely recommended.

My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for the review sample.

George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.
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