228 OCU / 64 Sqn, RAF Leuchars, 1987
Fujimi 1/72 with Modeldecal markings and Flightpath crew ladders
The Phantom was one of the truly outstanding Cold War military aircraft. First flying
in 1958, it continues in service today (2020) with the Iranian, Greek, Turkish, Japanese
and South Korean air forces, some 62 years after it first flew. The F-
As the centre of the UK’s busy Northern QRA force, RAF Leuchars quickly became on
of the main UK Cold War bases. Two front-
With the arrival of the modern Tornado F.2 and F.3, in the early 1990s the Phantoms finally left RAF Leuchars although they remained in service for a few years more in Germany and in the less busy Southern QRA role.
Building Fujimi’s British Phantoms:
Back in 1987, Fujimi introduced the first of their superb 1/72 British Phantom kits,
an FG.1 of the Royal Navy. At the time, these kits were truly state-
The many differences between standard Phantom variants and those acquired by the RN and RAF were accurately depicted and the kits totally eclipsed the only other genuine British phantom kit available in 1/72, that from Matchbox.
The FG.1 was quickly followed by an equally good RAF FGR.2 variant, with non-
Despite the recent release of Airfix’s excellent (and growing) range of British Phantoms,
which feature multiple options for wing folding, nose-
Which is just as well, as I have a lot of the Fujimi kits in my stash!
More recently, Italeri have re-
There is little to report about building the kit. Fit is excellent all round with
one exception common to most F-
Phantoms have been one of my major “lockdown-
The real thing: 228 OCU Phantoms (photos Wikipedia)
74 Sqn, RAF Wattisham, 1988
italeri 1/72 with Kits-
At the end of the Falklands war in 1982, as naval aircraft withdrew, a permanent
The aircraft were carefully selected from US Reserve stocks at Davis-
One of the UK machines was subsequently re-
Building The Italeri Phantom as an F4J(UK):
This was a spur of the moment decision and not entirely well conceived; whilst researching
the FGR.2 above, I decided it would be good to have an F-
I knew the F-
So the offending slats were cut off with a razor saw and replaced with plastic card leading edge flaps, faired in and smoothed out with Tippex as a filler. It worked, although they are a little fragile in just the position where you are likely to pick the kit up (ask me how I know!).
The Italeri kit is not as nice as the Fujimi ones. Fit is OK, but the main undercarriage is very simplified. Panel lines are lightly raised, except for those that are very deeply engraved! The cockpit has plusses and minuses over the Fujimi. I think the layout is slightly better, but it doesn’t have a full floor and the canopy is in 4 parts, but without any tabs allowing you to display it open….. and it doesn’t fit well together closed!
Intake joints were very similar to Fujimi -
All in all, not as good as Fujimi or the new Airfix, but not a bad kit, roughly to
a similar standard as the Hasegawa 2nd generation F-
Those that I did apply were nicely thin though and settled well with a little Klear. I thought the yellows looked a bit insipid, but apart from the ”J” on the rudder (trust me its there) which cant be seen, they look OK once applied.
The real thing: 74 Sqn Phantoms (photos Wikipedia)
The real thing: Various Museum Phantoms around the UK (photos © Gengriz).
The pristine USN F-