login   |    register

In-Box Review
Phantom FG.1 upgrades
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 upgrades
  • move

by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]

Originally published on:

With regard to aircraft that have operated from the decks of a British aircraft carrier, there can be little doubt that the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 was the most spectacular. Purchased to replace the Sea Vixen in the role of all-weather fleet defence, the Phantom was the largest and heaviest aircraft ever operated from a British carrier and required a special breed of airmen to fly them.

As one of the most successful jet aircraft of all time, the American McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom was to see service with a number of overseas air arms, with Britain being a significant operator. Originally purchased by the Royal Navy as a modern replacement for their De Havilland Sea Vixens, Fleet Air Arm Phantoms would have the primary role of defending the fleet at all times and in all weather, with a secondary role of strike attack. Designated Phantom FG.1, these Navy jets certainly made for an impressive sight and were some of the most attractive aircraft ever to serve with Britain’s armed forces. Operating this huge aircraft from the relatively diminutive deck of HMS Ark Royal required a number of significant modifications to these Phantoms, as well as to the ship itself – they would also require the very cream of Britain’s fast jet pilots to operate these fighters successfully.
Info from Airfix

FG.1 Phantom wheels
Item No -672 174
Price -7,45 €
Link -FG.1 Phantom wheels

This is the only Brassin set that has been released by Eduard so far for Airfix's Phantom FG.1, and is a straight replacement for the kits wheels.
Packed in a plastic blister box, the resin parts are sandwiched between the clear front and a foam backing. A small mask set is packed in a separate compartment.
The instructions are in the back of the packaging.

Casting is superb with no discrepancies in the resin.
Each wheel is on a casting block, and a quick pass with a razor saw or even a scalpel will remove them.

As already mentioned, these wheels are a straight swap for the kits offerings and are a lot more refined. Both the main and nose wheels have a nice tread pattern on them which is rather a lacklustre affair in the kits ones. The main wheels are weighted so you will need to position them correctly on the model.
The nose wheels are not weighted.
The hubs of the wheels are a lot more detailed and seem to be slightly larger then the kits. The brake area on the hubs is far superior to the kits, which is basic to say the least.

A small masking set for the tyres, so the hubs can be painted are in the pack, and will cover both sides of each wheel.

A set of instructions is supplied, but why you would need them is anyone's guess lol. Colours for the tyres and hubs are supplied on the sheet.

If you are going all out to improve the already pretty good kit, then these wheels will help add to it.

FG.1 Phantom undercarriage
Item No -72668
Price -9,95 €
Link -FG.1 Phantom undercarriage

One large plain fret is in the cardboard backed re-sealable bag with a quite large set of instructions.

This set replaces and enhances the detail for the undercarriage bays, legs and doors.

Both nose gear doors are replaced, as well as etch detail for the nose gear bay and a new cradle for the leg.
Oleos for the nose gear leg replaces the thicker kit parts. The instructions show the nose gear in the "launch" position, but being photo etch the part can still be used for the normal "taxing and stored" position.

Two of the three main gear doors are replaced and the bays have some inserts for the bays which enhance the detail in the rather plain area of the kit.
As with the nose gear leg the oleos are replaced on both main legs.

Another area that gets attention is underneath the air intakes, which have some photo etch vents, which sit over the top of the rather cruder kit part.

The instructions are easy to follow with any parts replaced clearly marked. No internal colours are given.

A nice set which will benefit the undercarriage, but will only be seen if you turn your model upside down lol.

FG.1 Phantom set
Item No -73625
Price -18,75 €
Link -FG.1 Phantom

Eduard’s FG.1 Phantom set comes in the standard re-sealable bag, and contains two brass frets and one clear acetate sheet.
One of the frets is pre-coloured, with the other being plain.

The pre-coloured fret holds parts for the ejection seat, instrument panels and other small details for the cockpit.
The plain fret holds parts for the cockpit sidewalls, afterburner rings and parts to improve the canopies. Also on the fret is interior faces for the underwing spoilers.

The first part to be given an update is the ejection seats.
The moulded on harness's need removing as well as the pull handles.
Both of these are replaced, along with some detail for the top of the seat.
The harness's are a four part photo etch, and will look a lot better then the kits rather thicker harness.

Next up is the cockpit. Basically all the instrument panels get the Eduard treatment and replace the decals supplied. This will give a more 3D look to the cockpits.
Better looking rudder pedals fit onto the kits cockpit tub, but how much of these you will actually see is debatable.
Parts for the inside of the cockpit tub add detail, but I would imagine getting the bang seats into the tubs will now be a tight squeeze.
New HUDs with a clear sheet for the screens replace the cruder Airfix offerings.

The two air intakes get a pitot tube to install inside them, but as these are going to be small and delicate I would suggest leaving these off until the build is near enough finished.
New two piece afterburner rings fit straight over the kits parts.
The underwing spoilers get more detailed inside faces, along with some P.E actuators. These are only fitted if you have them deployed.
The last parts are rear view mirrors for the canopies.

The build sequence is in the black on white drawings we all love and know, with markers given for replacing, removing and bending certain parts during the build.
The instructions are clear and easy to read, but no internal colours are given for the unpainted parts, so checking with the kits instructions and a bit of reference work is required.

This set is well worth the effort, just for the cockpit areas alone, and really does jazz up the detail.

FG.1 Phantom Zoom set
Item No -SS625
Price -11,25 €
Link -FG.1 Phantom Zoom

This set is basically the same as the 73625 set above, but without the plain fret, so just covers the cockpit area of the Phantom.

FG.1 Phantom Mask set
Item No -CX506
Price -7,45 €
Link -FG.1 Phantom Masks

Eduard's mask set for the Airfix Phantom comes pre-packed in a sealed bag with a cardboard insert.
Packed inside you will find one set of masks and a small set of instructions.
The masks are the typical Eduard yellow Kabuki tape type masks, and have the portions to be used already cut out, so you just have to weed the excess off the sheet.

The set covers the two main canopies, the windscreen, the center glazed section and all four wheels.
The main canopy masks only deal with the edges, so a suitable masking material for the center sections will need to be used.
The windshield and center section of the canopy have full masks.
The masks fit both the 3 piece open canopy and the one piece closed canopy.
The masks for the wheels are to mask off the tyres so the hubs can be painted. Both sides of the four wheels are covered.

The instructions are printed on a small single sided page and are easy to understand and the diagrams for the placement of the masks is straightforward.

As with all recent Eduard kits and update sets the instructions can be found online on Eduard's website.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Nice sets which will add some much needed detail to key areas.
Lows: The price for all the sets will cost more then the base kit.
Verdict: The cockpit set alone is worth the price for the added detail. The rest of the sets will add greatly and should make a well detailed Phantom.
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: see text
  Suggested Retail: see text
  Related Link: Phantom FG.1 upgrades
  PUBLISHED: May 13, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Andy Brazier (betheyn)

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright ©2021 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. All rights reserved.


What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move