1/48 Monogram/DB Models F4H-1 Phantom II

Gallery Article by Darius Aibara


I have always liked the look of the F4 Phantom and was intrigued by the prototype F4H-1 when I first saw photographs of it in the Aerospace Publications book "F4 Phantom - Spirit in the Sky".  Some years ago DB Models (a UK producer of resin conversion bits) brought out a series of conversion sets for the prototype Phantom II - the F4H-1.  They produced two sets: the first for the prototype and carrier trials aircraft; and the record breaking aircraft "Sageburner" and "Skyburner".   I have used the first set which provides a new resin nose and front ejection seat with a single piece vac-formed clear canopy that  covers the front and rear cockpit stations.  You have to match this with the kit supplied windscreen.  White metal cockpit instrument panel details are also provided. Decals are provided for the red trim, Phantom II logos and F4H-1 serials.


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The conversion set is designed to be used with the 1:48 Hasegawa F4B/N kit, however I am somewhat averse to carving up expensive "Tamigawa" kits and so I opted to use a second hand Monogram 1:48 F4C kit and some filler.  The resin nose mated quite well to the Monogram Kit, however the Monogram cockpit needs some re-working as they mould the lower ejection seat parts integral with the cockpit tub.  I cut the lower tub and seats away and re-built the tub with plastic card.  The rest of the kit went together as per the instructions, the only remaining surgery being to the pylon strengthening plates on the underwing surfaces, which need to be removed.

The model was primed with white auto primer, which also formed the lower white of the US Navy scheme and Humbrol gull grey was brush applied to the upper wings and fuselage.  I mixed a shade of gloss red enamel to match the decals and brush applied it to the fin, wingtips, nose and centreline tank.  For added interest I folded the wingtips using the Airwaves etched metal wingfold set.  This is also designed for the Hasegawa kit and needed a slight trim to fit the Monogram wings.  Plastic card aerials and steel rod pitots completed the job.

Darius Aibara


Photos and text by Darius Aibara