Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA19001: McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom II 37+86, Jubilaumsmaschine 40 Jahre, JG 71 “Richthofen”, Wittmund 1999. Production of only 750 pieces. RRP £79.99
McDonnell Douglas produced 175 F-4F Phantom IIs for the West German Air Force with the maiden flight taking place on May 18, 1973. Deliveries of the F-4F began in September 1973 and lasted until April 1976. These aircraft were assigned to two interceptor wings, JG-71 “Richthofen” and JG-74 “Molders” and two ground attack wings, JBG-35 and JBG-36. In 1999 F-4F 37+86 was given a special paint scheme to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of JG-71 “Richthofen”. The colors represent the red of Manfred von Richthofen and the tulip of Erich Hartmann.
The F-4J was the last version produced for the USN and USMC. The “J” version was basically an upgraded “B” version with new radar and avionics as well as a better engine that required a longer afterburner nozzle. One of the most noticeable changes to the “J” version is what isn’t there; the infrared seeker under the nose was deleted. Also missing was an internal gun but Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles were used for intercepting. Between 1966 and 1972 there were 522 F-4Js built. The F-4J had the distinction of scoring the only USMC air-to-air combat victory in Vietnam and it also was the last US operational aircraft in South East Asia. In mid 1970 the F-4 Phantom II was being replaced by the new and improved F-14 Tomcat.