Verlinden | F-4D Phantom II Detail Set

Reviewed by Mark Proulx

Shortly after the release of Tamiya's 1/32nd scale F-4C/D Phantom, a new detail set was released by Verlinden Productions for use with this kit. This is a review of that set, item #1406. The update set supplies the modeller with resin and photo etch products to replace the kit cockpit and install an AN/APG-109A radar in the nose, as found in the F-4D Phantom II.

Enclosed in the familiar Verlinden box, is a sealed plastic bag containing a number of green resin components, some wire and plastic rod, a large photo etch fret and instructions complete the contents. It is with this shipping method that the first of the problems arise. In the two sets that I have now seen, the resin seats have been damaged, with smaller details broken off. A different method of protecting the fragile resin pieces would be in order. Some of the larger pieces have significant amounts of flash that requires removal. It is very fine and should pose no problem to the modeller.


Verlinden has supplied the modeller with extremely poor instructions, necessitating the use of additional reference material. The images of the breakdown of the parts are drastically overexposed, making individual items difficult to discern; see attached scan. The instructions are vague, at best. For example, at no time do the instructions show where or how to install the instrument panels (items 11 and 27). The diagrams make it difficult to determine the exact locations of many of the photo etch items. The instructions for detailing the seats are too small. They refer you to the drawings and the box photo, which shows the seats without the required harness.


The side panel detail is identical to what Tamiya supplied in the kit with some very minor changes. I have included scans of all the side panels from Tamiya and Verlinden for comparison. I feel the detail in the Tamiya kit is sharper and more clearly defined on their plastic components, you can click each photo to get a larger photo to see more detail.

Verlinden makes up for the lack of sidewall detail in the Tamiya F-4 by supplying resin items for both fore and aft cockpits.

The instructions call for minor modifications of the inner fuselage to attach the right rear sidewall. The others simply need to be removed from their casting blocks and then glued on. Dry brushing should really highlight the raised areas of these parts.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, I have now seen three out of four seats damaged. Each is broken in the same place, on the upper R/H side of the ejection seat. Two of the broken seats still had this resin piece in the bag; once the broken resin piece was missing all together, making the seat useless. This can only mean that parts are being damaged in shipping and some parts are leaving the factory broken. The single undamaged seat does appear to be nicely cast in multiple components. Additional references will be required to make the harnesses, as they are not moulded onto the seat. Fine wire is included to make the pull handles for the ejection rings.

The instrument panels are virtual copies of the items supplied by Tamiya, similar to the side panels. Small changes have been made, as you will see in the attached scans, but some are virtually unnoticeable. In my opinion, use the instrument panels in the kit, as the use of clear plastic inserts more accurately represents the instrument dials. A shroud over the radarscope made of plastic tubing could be added with minimal difficulty.


Tamiya does not supply a radar assembly in the nose section of their kit. For those modellers that enjoy showing their completed kits with its radar displayed, this resin set will be invaluable. The radar is made up from a number of resin and large photo etch pieces. It does appear to look like the AN/APG-109A radar, with its eight dipoles, as referenced to Detail & Scale. Some cutting and sanding modifications will have to be performed on the fuselage by the modeller in order to install the completed unit.

Photo Etch

There are a number of photo etch items that could prove useful when detailing the Tamiya kit. Additional parts are included to detail the canopy, cockpit and radar. Verlinden also includes the static dischargers, something that is often overlooked, yet is so prevalent on modern aircraft. Completing the set are the formation lights that were installed on the Phantom later in its life.

I will leave it up to the modeller to determine if this set is worth purchasing given the fact that a number of the cockpit panels are virtual copies of Tamiya's kit pieces. Given the high cost of the Tamiya kit, it is difficult for me to recommend this set to everyone. For those that want to install radar in the nose, the Verlinden Update Set is the only option currently available with this feature.

© Mark Proulx

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016