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Modeller's Datafile Number 13

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
A Comprehensive Guide Part 2
US Navy and Marine Coprs Variants

by Andy Evans

SAM Publications



S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Modeller's Datafile Number 13
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
by Andy Evans
illustrated by David Howley
SAM Publications
ISBN: 0-9551858-4-X
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 128 pp. plus double-sided, double A3 width fold out drawings and covers.
Price: 15.00 + p&p available online from SAM Publications
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: An excellent reference for Phantom modellers; provides great inspiration
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Ken Bowes

Modeller's Datafile Number 13 is available online from Squadron.com




By any benchmark the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II must be considered a successful design, with over 5000 built and used not only by the US Navy (the original customer) but also the Marines and Air Force, along with many allied countries (and one that is no longer), and being sufficiently durable to still be in service from the 1960s until today. Given such a diverse subject, it is not surprising that a detailed publication intended to aid modellers understand and build the aircraft has to be spread over three volumes. This book is volume two, covering the original customer, the US Navy as well as the US Marine Corps. Volume One covered the US Air Force Phantom experience and Volume Three will deal in depth with export users.

As has been the case with other books in the Modeller’s Datafile series, the book is a combination history and detailed technical reference. The first seven chapters step production model by model from the YF4H-1 to the QF-4S, with a short text accompanied by many illustrations, both overall and detail of the subject model, along with extracts from relevant NAVAIR pubs, some of which a of great use for the modeller and others of general interest, such as carrier circuit procedures and the ejection sequence.  The middle of book includes seven pages of nicely drawn colour profiles and four views of US Navy and Marine Corp operators, which are unsurprisingly quite colourful given that the Phantom served in the heyday of bright unit markings and was being withdrawn as the Tactical Paint Scheme began to herald a drab gray fleet.


  • Modellers' Datafile 13 Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Modellers' Datafile 13 Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Modellers' Datafile 13 Review by Ken Bowes: Image
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The second half the book switches to operational history with a look at the Vietnam experience, followed by chapters on flying the Rhino on land and at sea, use by the Blue Angels and a summary of US Navy and Marine Corps Units who were equipped with the type. Previous Modeller’s Datafile to my mind have suffered from variable quality in the modelling section, but this volume is definitely one of the better ones. Eight build and conversion articles are included, including two in 1/32 Scale from the Tamiya F-4J and six in 1/48 from the Hasegawa series. Many of the models are by Hyperscale regular David Aungst and are very nice. Finally the book includes a number of appendices listing available kits and aftermarket items as well as a set of 1/72 scale plans. Overall this is a neat package, nicely complementing Volume One. I for one will have Volume Three on my shopping list when released later this year.

Strongly Recommended.

Thanks to SAM Publications for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright 2008 by Ken Bowes
Page Created 13 May, 2008
Last updated 13 May, 2008

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