Between 1961 and 1966, 649 F-4B Phantoms were produced. The first production version of the Phantom was powered with J-79-GE-8 engines providing 10,900 pounds of thrust in military power and 17,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner.The fighter was capable of carrying 16,000 pounds of ordnance on five hard points, fitted with six Sparrow missiles or four Sparrows and four Sidewinders.
By the time Revell introduced its 1/72 scale kit of the McDonnell F-4B Phantom II in 1965, the aircraft had already established a noteworthy performance record. However, it can be said the Phantom's best days were still to come.
Revell's Phantom II (No. H110-100) was an advanced kit for its time. The crisply molded body features recessed panel lines on the flaps, rudders, and aileron, and subtle raised engraving for rivets and sheet-metal panel joints. The interior includes two pilot figures and simple engraving.
The jet intakes and exhausts are accurately represented by multiple parts. The landing gear is well-detailed for the kit's era, with moveable wheels and landing-gear doors that can be configured open or closed. Auxiliary fuel tanks and four Sparrow missiles detail the exterior. Three-color Navy decals dress the finished Phantom, and a two-part stand allows the aircraft to be displayed in flight.
Revell's instructions include a seven-paragraph summary of the plane's history and records - as of the 1965 publication date - plus painting instructions and diagram . The well-done box art of a plane on a Navy carrier flight deck further adds to the kit's appeal.
The kit has been reissued with revised box art several times, starting in the mid-1970s. While all the parts remain the same, the difference in sprue arrangement indicates tool reconfiguration. Along the way, the display stand disappeared, although the parts for the in-flight version are still present. Additionally, more decal options were included. A quick eBay search turned up several reissues priced $15-20.
Revell's Phantom II kit was a great kit 40 years ago and still has tremendous character and appeal today, making it an excellent kit for a beginning aircraft modeler or a relaxing build for more experienced hobbyists.