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Tamiya 1/32 Phantom F-4J Build

Finally, 80 hours working on this beautiful model and I can just consider it done. This beautiful Phantom F-4J is part of a group build from the Fine Scale Modeler’s Forums. I guess I was the 1st one from the group build to finish this project. For this group build I chose Tamiya’s kit # 60306. I might say that out of those 80 hours, around 15 hours went into the ejection seats. I’m an OOB builder for the most part, but I wanted to take this F-4 Phantom another notch and added the beautiful Eduard Brassin set which features nice photo-etched parts an a clean accurate resin casting.

Tamiya 1/32 Phantom F-4J

The Eduard Brassin set Eduard Brassin 1/32 F-4B/J/N/S  632002 Ejection Seats. I have to agree with Eduard, this is one beautiful ejection seat set. Also to spice up the cockpit, I added some photo-etched mouldings around the canopy. These were parts bashed from the set 1406 from Verlinden Productions.

I originally ordered the set to build the open radome ala Tamiya’s 1/32 F16J Viper. After receiving the set, I had second toughts and decided to go with the closed radome. Having in hand the Verlinden set, I was able to compare ejection seats from Verlinden and the Eduard Brassin. Yup! I’m glad I did ordered the Eduard Brassin set.

The Tamiya F-4J 1/32 is a beautiful kit with no mayor fit issues. In fact, fitting is so good, that I literally painted 90% of the kit on the sprues and/or small pre- assemblies. I like colorful markings on my aircraft kits, so I decided to go with the provided WARLORDS decals. There is only one issue, for such a well molded kit not to mention the price tag, the included decals leave a lot to be desired. Adding insult to the injury, Tamiya is a bit to say the least, bureaucratic.

They want us to mail unused decals in order to issue a replacement set. Man, our modeling time is so limited, why making it harder. I can stop by and order missing parts or decals for a $15 kit no questions asked. Luckily for me, there was a good fellow in the group build building a 1/32 Phantom and kindly provided the decal set he wasn’t going to use.

This is one great model kit with plenty of out-of-the-box details and plenty of room for either after market or scratch build details. Other than the brittle decals and the lack of a friendlier way for replacement parts, I would definitely recommend this kit. Well worth the price tag.

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.

  • Hutch

    So, Jorge, are you recommending aftermarket decals? The boxing I have has the Marine decals, but I am curious as to if the decals will hold up.

    Take care,

    • George Collazo

      Hello again Hutch. After my experience with these decals, I would suggest you 2 things:

      1- Use Micro Set Liquid Decal Film for the large markings. This will hold them together and wouldn’t shatter as it happened to me. Having used Liquid Decal Film in the past with positive results, I would give it a try.

      2- Get AM decals.

      I didn’t have any problems with the remaining decals. It was those two that pretty much gave me the headache. I managed to save the one from the other side. But the one on the right side was beyond repair. Thank goodness the late Berny came to the rescue and sent me his. With the ones that Berny sent me, I noticed the same pattern; a very thin clear film on them.

      • Hutch

        Thanks…good to know. I have my eye fixed on some Jolly Rogers markings, if I don’t go the kit decal route (but I do like them)….we shall see.

  • Paul Woods

    How were you able to apply the Eduard seat stencils? I have tried a dozen times, but nothings seems to work! All I get are smudges, overspray, getting disasterous results.

    Beautiful work, by the way! I hope to get to your level of skill one of these days!


  • Ed

    Hello, wow! Great job….beautiful
    I’m just getting back into model building after many years. My first model is this F-4J marines.
    I would like to ask questions as I begin my build, actually starting tomorrow.
    If your available that would be great.