Before I start, I must admit that the British Phantom has been one of my favourite aircraft since I went on a week long summer camp to RAF Wattisham (Phantom FGR 2's of 56 Sqn) in 1983, so I might just be a little bias!
Anyway, about an hour ago a delivery driver knocked at my door with a package from Airfix containing the two (yes two) F-4's I ordered when this new release was first announced at the end of 2016. After calming myself down enough to open up one of the boxes, I was absolutely thrilled with what I found inside.
The surfaces are very nicely indented with fine panel lines and other detail, and the options just keep on coming! I think you could probably build this kit 20 times and not have two in the same configuration. Alternate parts are included for weapons (live Sparrows or drill rounds, three tanks, Sidewinders, thousand pound bombs (4) or naval type rocket pods (4)), open or closed canopies are included, so no trying to get the 4 part open one into a closed up position, tail fins with or without the RWR fairing on top, extended or retracted inflight refuelling probe, alternate wing tips for extended or folded, straight nose or folded or folded with radar displayed, extended or normal nose wheel leg, and flaps, slats and tail planes set for flight, take off or parked.
There is nice cockpit detail, full intake trunking, and detailed radar unit. The multi part ejector seats have moulded on firing handles and belts, but a strange omittance is that there is no crew, which is puzzling as an in-flight and launch option are included. They will have to come from the spares box.
Three Royal Navy Options are included, all in the same scheme, but different units, and enough stencils to send you potty!
Anyway here are the Sprues
Sprue F the clear parts, includes Radar dish, and two canopies.
Sprue A fuselage halves, folded wing tips and two alternate belly centre sections, one with added re-enforcement plates.
Sprue B, extended wing tips, wing top surfaces, intakes and alternate fins.
Sprue C, more extended wingtips (?) flaps, under fuselage section and rudder.
Sprue D, engine exhausts, cockpit and general parts.
Sprue E, Weapons
Sprue G, mainly parts specific to a naval phantom, so maybe a FGR 2 is on the cards?
Stencil placement guide on an A3 sheet, looks like an evening or two's work.
One of 3 A3 painting and markings guide.
Just some of the 111 construction stages.
Decals, just look at all those stencils!
I will be starting these two kits as soon as my Fortress III is done ( maybe before then) and intend to use the kit decals for a navy bird about to do a catapult launch (with spares box crew), and also use up some of my Modeldecal markings for either a Raspberry Ripple RAE machine in Phantom 25th Anniversary markings, or specially marked low vis 111 or 43 Sqn machines. Maybe I'll get another 2 and do all of them.