In Part 1, We worked through the cockpit and assembly of the basic fuselage. In Part 2, we’ll get the wings done and the fuselage finished and button up things for its first set of paint.
The fuselage includes several pieces indicating future variants of the Phantom. The rudder top cap is a separate piece and glues easily in place. Make sure your alignment is straight with the rest of the rudder on this part. There are two different rudder caps so make sure you select the correct one. The front radome is added and with a light sanding fits wonderfully into place. It is keyed but make sure it is in the correct orientation. If not, it will look really weird. Lastly, the top spine of the fuselage can be added. Not the need to add a hole for an antenna. This part took a light sanding and fit well.
The wings are next but first, you need to build the intake trunks and the engines. The engines consist of five parts each and could be super detailed if desired. The can be seen through the bottom blow off doors and prevents that empty look through the bottom. The parts fit is excellent. There are tabs on the aft end of the engine so make sure not to cut them off (voice of experience here). The intakes have ejector pin marks. Fill these before assembly and they clean up well. Once glued together, fill the seam and then paint white. Set them aside while we prepare the wing to receive them.
First things with the wing is to drill/open the holes needed. I like my Phantoms with lots of things underneath so I opened the holes for all four wing pylons and the belly pylon. There are five other smaller openings that need drilled out also for future additions. Once cleaned up, the main gear wheel wells are glued in place and the gear bays sprayed white. Don’t forget the bottom of the top wing and the inner edge of the gear bay which is molded to the fuselage.
Once ready, the top of the wings can be glued in place and the fit us great. The flaps, and ailerons are separate and I built them and set them aside for painting. I added the leading edge slats and they fit very well and being a single piece, there is no seam on the front to worry about. Don’t miss the hump on the wings needed for the “J” version. They have an outline for its location.
Now we are ready to join the fuselage top and bottom. Fit is snug around the intakes but slides right into position. Fit is superb; take your time and the back sections line up really well. Glue slowly around the perimeter kit and you won’t need much putty.
I added the wing tips and built a jig to ensure the correct angle of 12°. Fit is good but the jig helps get the correct angle. A little putty was needed here and there to get the fit perfect.
Lastly, the two intakes are prepared for mating to the fuselage. There were a couple of light ejector pin marks on the inside of the intakes. They were easily sanded out and the inside of the intakes painted light gull gray. The kit calls for insignia white but references I found show both the splitter plate and intake painted light gull gray so I painted it that way. Before joining the splitter plate and outer intake, don’t forget to add the sensor. There are then added to the kit and the fit is good requiring only the slightest amount of putty. Fit with the inner intakes is superb and give a really nice demarcation between the intake color and the white of the inside intakes. A small amount of putty was needed but not much as the fit was good.
This kit is fantastic. In Part 3, we’ll get the kit painted and all the under wing things done and wrap the kit up.
My thanks to the wonderful people at Zoukei-Mura for the opportunity to review the kit.