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RF-4C Phantom II “U.S.A.F”


Hasegawa 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 09557
Scale: 1/48
Price: 3200 Yen (Japan)
Contents and Media Injection molded plastic
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Both camera noses included
Disadvantages: Numerous instruction sheet errors
Recommendation: Recommended


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Reviewed by Dave Williams



Ever since Hasegawa released their RF-4E kit (kit PT 30) earlier this year, many have been wondering if the kit could be made into a RF-4C. These questions continued with the subsequent RF-4B release (kit PT 31). The answer was that both kits would need some modification to make a RF-4C. The RF-4E kit had –Kai wings, with different wingtip antennas, and lacked the short burner cans. The RF-4B kit was much closer, but only had the slotted stab. Now, the waiting is over as Hasegawa has finally released their kit as a RF-4C version.

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly given how Hasegawa stretch their molds, the kit is basically the RF-4B kit, which was for one of the last few RF-4Bs that has the thick wing like the RF-4C/E, with non-slotted stabs instead of the slotted stabs. Carried over from the RF-4B kit are new instrument panels and new-tool short burner cans (the latter unused in the RF-4B kit). Also, you get both the flat and round camera noses. Unfortunately, you only get the original centerline tank in the kit and the high-speed F-15-style tank as included in the RF-4E kit is omitted. Similarly, the chaff/flare dispensers that go on the rear of the inboard pylons, which again were in the RF-4E kit, are also omitted in this boxing.

Although it looks like all of the correct parts are physically in the kit, Hasegawa has made a number of errors in their instruction sheet. First of all, the instructions have you add the quilted right sidewall to the rear cockpit as in the RF-4B kit. This panel is unique to the Navy and British version of the F-4 as the refueling probe was mounted on the other side, and should be left off for the –C version. In addition, the instruction omit telling the modeler to fill in the unused panel lines for the Navy-style refueling door on the side of the fuselage (the RF-4 fuselage comes with panel lines for both USAF and USN types scribed into the plastic – the “unused” lines are meant to be filled in). The wing is the hard wing from the –J kit and, although the instructions correctly show the removal of various bumps from the top and bottom of the wing, they still have one add the insert panels with the catapult hooks on the wing underside. Fortunately, the correct non-hook inserts (parts L8 and L9) are on the sprue and should be used instead. Finally, although Hasegawa includes some nice new-tool short burner cans (parts T3 and T4), the instructions inexplicitly mark them as “not for use” and they tell you to use the long cans as in the RF-4E kit. To my knowledge, USAF RF-4Cs were not refitted with the longer burner cans as fitted to later F-4 versions, and the box photo of one of the marking options clearly shows the aircraft with the short cans.

Decals are included for two aircraft. The first is from the 15th TRS 18th TFW PACAF in Euro One camouflage with special “Shogun” markings. The alternate option is for an aircraft from the 12th TRS 67th TRW from Bergstrom AFB in the Hill Gray scheme.



These are Hasegawa decals, although in running my finger over them, they seem a little thinner than the usual thick kit decals and will probably work satisfactorily out of the box. In a continuation of the instruction sheet problems, the instructions have you build the PACAF aircraft with the flat nose, while the box photo of the real thing shows this aircraft fitted with the round nose.





Overall, this is a good kit that we have waited for a long time, but it is a little disappointing that the instruction sheet contains so many errors that should have been picked up earlier, IMHO.

Note that this kit is one of Hasegawa’s gold-bordered “limited” boxings, but it isn’t clear if the “limited” relates to the RF-4C version, or just the specific decals in the kit.


Sample courtesy of my ever dwindling bank account.

Dave Williams
IPMS/USA 19050

Review Copyright © 2004 by Dave Williams
Page Created 01 June, 2004
Last updated 01 June, 2004

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