F-4E Phantom II Cockpit Set

Published: June 18th, 2014     
Reviewed by: Steve Collins - IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Price: $26.50
Product / Stock #: 7272
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

The Aires F-4E cockpit set is typical of most of their cockpits. The set is made up of resin, photoetch, and an acetate sheet. Cast in a medium grey resin, the detail is very sharp and very complete. Included in resin in the set are the cockpit tub with both side consoles and the rear bulkhead of each pit molded in, side panels for each side that have detail for both pits, the rear instrument panel with detail of the back side of the instruments on the upper half of the panel, the front instrument panel cast in place with the glare shield and radar reflector glass, two seats without belts, and a sprue with both control sticks, a control grip for the radar, the radar display unit for the back pit, the scope hood for the radar, throttles for both pits, and an insert for the canopy bow between the seats.

Included on the photoetch are the belts for the seats, the instrument panels, rudder pedals, face curtain handles, mirrors, and detail for the hooks for the canopies. The acetate sheet contains the instrument faces for both panels, as well as an outlined combiner glass for the pilot's display. As you may be able to notice in the photos, I gave the resin pieces a wash before initial photography to show the depth of the detail.

As I said before, the detail is very sharp and very complete. Some if it is pretty delicate, such as the control grip for the radar and various bits of plumbing on the aft bulkheads. However, painted and highlighted carefully, it really stands out. And, having sat in more than a few of the real ones, it's pretty accurate looking to the naked eye, too. The belts are a bit tedious to put on the seat but look very good when finished.

There is some sanding and fiddling (fettling?), as well as a bit of trimming, to be done to get the cockpit to fit into the nose of the Hasegawa kit. However, when you get it in place, it really improves the look of the kit. And, though it says it's for the Hasegawa kit, I believe it could be made to fit the Fujimi F-4s with a bit of work and a bit more cutting (one would at least have to remove the piece that goes across the middle of the Fujimi cockpit area.

So, is it necessary? No, not really. Is it nice? You betcha! The level of improvement is extremely high. Take your time, use your references, paint carefully, sand and trim even more carefully, and you'll see a huge change in the presentation of your model of the venerable bent-winged bug-sucker. Recommended.

Thanks to Aires Hobby Models for supplying the cockpit set and thanks to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

  • Kit contents
    Kit contents
  • Cockpit sides
    Cockpit sides
  • Cockpit
  • Cockpit painted
    Cockpit painted
  • Cockpit painted
    Cockpit painted
  • Instrument panel painted
    Instrument panel painted
  • Cockpit sides painted
    Cockpit sides painted
  • Seats
  • Seats
  • Seats
  • Seats

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