Phantom FG.1/FGR.2 Auxiliary Air Intake by Aires

Published on
October 6, 2022
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$16.50
Product / Stock #
4505
Base Kit
Spey Powered British Phantoms
Company: Aires Hobby Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Aires Hobby Models - Website: Visit Site
Product Packing

On the underside of the F-4 Phantom and the British variants are two doors astride the centerline which open outward. These two small doors always open when the landing gear extended to provide extra cooling air to flow to the engines. The underside of the wing in all of the Hasegawa kits has these doors molded open, revealing the hollow void of the fuselage. Now in fairness, when the model is displayed on its landing gear, especially with stores, the emptiness is not that noticeable. But if you are a modeler who does not like open voids, Aires has a solution. This particular set is designed for the Spey powered British Phantoms, but Aires offers them for the USN and USAF variants as well; I am unsure of the differences if any.

This is a modest set, providing 6 pieces cast in resin. It includes the plumbed wells, replacement doors and the actuating cylinders. The resin doors are for the modeler who wants to replace the ones molded to the lower wing assembly, which lack interior detail. The parts are cleanly cast in cream-colored resin – the actuating cylinders being the most delicate. The auxiliary air intake wells feature stiffeners, cabling and plumbing and are quite nice. Pictures I have seen of the real assembly have even more plumbing, but these assemblies are far more realistic than just a boxing in of the opening. The doors match the prototype and provide more detail. They also eliminate the overly large rivet detail on the kit doors.

To install them, I removed the molded doors by scribing along the hinge side with a No. 11 blade until I cut through. I then cleaned up the opening and the mating surface. The wells are handed only really fit in one direction. The instructions are a bit unclear on this but the orientation is such that the deepest part of the well is inboard. I painted the wells MM Classic White and then painted the cabling dark gray and the connectors, silver. I used Warpigs Black Wash (WP001) to highlight the detail and give the well a grimy look. This was my first use of this product and really liked it. I then glued the wells into position inside the lower wing. For this review I chose to leave off the doors until I actually finish the model. By providing separate doors, you can easily paint and install them at a later time after the underside has been painted, decaled and a wash applied. On British Phantoms as well as US Navy Phantoms, these doors were red on the inside, as were the cylinders.

Overall this set is a nice enhancement that fills a potentially unsightly void and adds more detail to your favorite Phantom.

This item is recommended.

Thanks to Aires for the sample review item!

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