McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom

...Number 28 in the FlightCraft series from Pen & Sword

Title: McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom
Author: Geoff Coughlin
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-39908-642-4

Number 28 in Pen & Sword's FlightCraft series of books for modellers, covering a particular favourite for so many of us. A 96-page soft-cover book split between the design and service of this famous Cold War era jet, and the second half filled with some really stunning model builds in a mix of scales.
The first 32-pages start with a useful Introduction to set the scene for the service life of the Phantom, before getting into the wider design and Development story, featuring the various marks and their service in US Navy, Marine and Air Force as well as the RAF and Royal Navy types. These also include the point that this front line aircraft was also the mount for both the US Navy Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds display teams. This is followed by coverage of the F-4 in foreign service, covering the likes of Japan, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Germany and others. All of this detail is well illustrated by some marvellous and colourful photos. Colours and Markings comes next, with 8-pages of first-class colour profiles which I am sure will inspire modellers to want to try some out. That leaves the second half of the book, pages 41 to 96 filled with no less than 13 beautiful model builds. They vary in scale, including 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32, from a good mix of different manufacturers which gives a good idea of the popularity of the Phantom with kit manufacturers over the years. As well as Hasegawa there have been some lovely kits by the likes of Revell and Tamiya, along with the stunning new kits by Zoukie Mura, which feature in 4 of the 13 showcased builds. Not only some very colourful models, but all well illustrated with very high-quality photography that shows off the models as they deserve.
There is so much in here for the Phantom enthusiast and modeller to enjoy. With a wide variety of colour schemes in service with so many operators, I am particularly attracted to some of the highly colourful examples operated by Japan before it went out of service there in 2020. While widely replaced in service these days, there are still some nations which continue to operate the 'Phabulous Phantom'. Another fine addition to the FlightCraft series.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin