Thursday, August 15, 2013

British Phantoms: FG.1 and FGR.2 (F-4 K/M) in Royal Navy and RAF Service, 1966-78 (The Ultimate F-4 Phantom II Collection, Volume 4)

By Patrick Martin 978-3-935687-84-3 2012 Double Ugly Hardback; 160 pages , B&W and Color Illustrations plus Color Plates

Reviewed by Jim Bates

One of the early kits that remains in my memory is the Matchbox British Phantom.  As a young boy, nothing seemed cooler, and I've had a slight obsession with the Spey-engined Phantom ever since.  With such wonderful memories, what a great treat it was to open Patrick Martin's new book.  The 160-page hardcover has everything one needs on the topic.  Chapters include design and development, operational use, colors and markings, and squadron data.  Every page is well illustrated with many photos, most in color, with some black and white shots interspersed.  Also included among the text are color side-view drawings of some of the interesting markings that the Spey Phantoms have carried as well as an appendix illustrating the FG.1 and FGR.2 camouflage schemes with four view drawings.  Carrier operations with the Fleet Air Arm, and land based reconnaissance, strike, and finally air defense use by the RAF of the F-4 are covered, including a short segment on the Phantoms that participated in the 1969 Daily Mail Atlantic race.  While the book is more a general history of the type and not a detail oriented modelers book,  detail of interest to modelers can be observed in many of the photos.  About the only flaw I can see is that I need to wait for the second book that will cover the service after 1979.  Highly recommended to both the F-4 modeler and the Phantom fan.

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