Zotz Decals | ZTZ32 074: Colorful F-4J Phantoms, Part 1
Reviewed by Kevin Williams
As are many in the world today that have a love of aviation, I too am a confirmed Phantom Phanatic. I can still recall the days when I first began to see the Phantoms flying around here in St Louis, being eventually flown in force by the 131st TFW, MOANG. My initial reaction was, "what an ugly beast", but as time wore on, I learned to love the old girl, and began to really appreciate her unique style. Unbeknownst to me, she was destined to go down in the historical record as a truly remarkable and capable airframe, being pressed into service for fighter, interceptor, reconnaissance, tactical bomber and close air support missions, all roles where she was regularly flown with great success, a truly iconic machine, and one that is easily one of the most recognizable fighter planes in the world.
This set from Zotz, being dedicated specifically to the J model Phantom (two of which are Navy machines, the other two being Marine Corps aircraft), are a welcome addition to the decal market, as there have been precious few sheets (in my opinion), dedicated solely to the highly colorful J series versions of this iconic workhorse aircraft.
Three sheets are included, two large and one smaller (national insignias), and they look very comprehensive. Initial reactions are quite favorable, as opacity and thinness seem to be to a very high standard, and printing also seems to be perfectly in register, with minimal carrier film. A fair amount of detail stenciling (but not general airframe stenciling), and other miscellaneous bits are also included. Appropriate slime lights, fuselage and wing walk panels will need to be sourced elsewhere, as these are not included.
The instructions are well detailed with research contributions from several sources. These are printed on heavy gloss paper, and are very nice, adding a certain element of class to the overall presentation. General painting, stencil (where appropriate) and decal placement details are included. These markings are bound to be popular for use on the Tamiya kit. With such a nice selection of markings (four machines), I doubt that modelers will need to look much further for aftermarket decals for their J type Phantoms, and if they do, they can look into Zotz sheet 32 075, Colorful F-4J Phantoms, Part 2!
Instructions and Profiles
There are four different airframes depicted on this set (two Navy, two Marine Corps), those being (in no particular order):
- F-4J 153823, VF-84 (Jolly Rogers), USS Roosevelt (Navy)
- F-4J 155510, VF-102 (Diamondbacks), USS Independence (Navy)
- F-4J 155786, VMFA-122 (Crusaders), (Marines)
- F-4J 155733, VMFA-312 (Checkerboards), (Marines)
(At this time I must confess that I’m reviewing these without having consulted any references, as I would typically only do that when undertaking modeling a particular subject from the sheets, which I will do when the time comes.)
Overall, I’d say that if you have a 1:32 F-4J in need of some seriously cool decals, and enjoy the more colorful paint schemes, then I can highly recommend using this set as a great addition to your 1:32 Rhino.
Thanks to Eli from Zotz for the review samples.
Recommended Reading/Reference Material
SAM Publications, The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Part 2
Osprey Publications, USN F-4 Phantom II Mig Killers 1965-70
Osprey Publications, USN F-4 Phantom II Mig Killers 1972-73
Daco Publications, Uncovering the US Navy Q/F-4B/J/N/S Phantom
© Kevin Williams 2016
This review was published on Saturday, April 23 2016; Last modified on Tuesday, April 26 2016