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F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Furball Aero-Design FPE-003
F-4S Detail Set (for the Zoukei-mura kit) -- 1:48

 

The 1:48 scale Zoukei-mura F-4S kit was released in 2017 and it is, by far and away, the F-4S that scale modelers have been awaiting and deserving for a few decades now (see our review HERE).  However, there’s a few places on the kit that could certainly benefit from some finely detailed photoetched metal parts.  Here, decal manufacturer Furball Aero-Design provides a small but very useful fret of PE parts to add more detail (and one missing feature) to your Zoukei-mura F-4S.

This set consists of 17 really great looking photoetched metal parts.  They include the frames for the low-voltage strip formation lights (a.k.a. slime lights) on the nose, fuselage, and tail. While the kit supplies these lights as decals, the PE parts here will confer a more realistic, slightly raised frame for the light assembly itself.  The structural reinforcement “beef-up” plate for the starboard side of the vertical stabilizer is also included.  Unfortunately, one of the slime light frames was a little bent on my sample, but flattening it out when removed from the fret will be straightforward and completed maybe requiring 10 seconds of work.

Inner canopy frame parts are included and feature nice surface detail and very fine (and all-important, in my opinion!) canopy locking hooks.  Parts are also provided for the front canopy seals with attached rear-review mirrors.
           
Most importantly, there are parts for the VTAS (Visual Target Identification System) attached to the left and right pilot’s inner canopy frame.  The VTAS feature a pair of box-like sensors that was a forerunner of today’s JHMCS.  The VTAS tracked the position of the pilot’s head allowing an F-4S driver to look in the direction of a visually identified target.  The VTAS then slewed the radar to that position to lock up the bogey.  It’s a pretty distinctive feature of the F-4S, and its absence is the one big oversight in the Zoukei-mura kit.  Here, the VTAS sensor faces look very accurate, but even with the folded-up metal mounts on the inner canopy frames (parts 7 and 8), I am not sure the VTAS sensors will achieve a proper scale thickness.  The offset angle of the VTAS boxes will be achieved by the differential lengths of the folded mounts, but the sensors themselves might be just a little too thin for 1:48 scale.  Using some slightly thicker plastic card instead of the photoetched backing plates (part #12 in this set) might be the best way to go.     
           
Overall, this is an awesome set and frankly important to use if you’re serious about building the most accurate Zoukei-mura F-4S that you can.  I’ll certainly be using it when my F-4S reaches the bench.

Many thanks to Furball Aero-Design for the review sample. You can find them on the web at http://www.furballaero-design.com/default.asp and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FurballAeroDesign .

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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