Revell 1/72 F-22A Raptor

KIT #: 04386
PRICE: $22.00
DECALS: Seven options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES:  

HISTORY

There is a brief but good history about the Raptor appearing in the preview and therefore there is no point in repeating.

THE KIT

The list of combat jets continues to expand with recent release by Revell of the Lockheed F-22 Raptor. The kit is moulded in good quality light grey plastic and represents in every detail the latest multi-role combat aircraft now in active service with the USAF. The few visible panel lines and fin detail are well represented. The kit parts come in separate sealed bags which avoid any risk of scratching the smooth surfaces of the kit parts. In spite of the large number of parts that makes up the kit, there is a simplified method of assembly by following the sequence of stages in the 12 page instruction sheet. The fit of parts is so precise that it is worth noting, a clear indication of the state of the art method used to produce the kit.

CONSTRUCTION

There are 61 stages of construction and each one is well illustrated making it easy to follow. The assembly starts with the 4 part filigree ejection seat and cockpit interior and colour detail clearly marked for a careful paint job as we go along. Having a complete cockpit the next stage is the twin jet exhaust nozzle and the intake ducts that snake upwards and inwards concealing the engine face from the radar compartment and away from the weapons bay. There are three internal weapons bays having detailed interior consisting of reinforced brackets integrally cast against the bay walls. The main weapons bay carries AMRAAM guided missiles or a combination of AMRAAMs and GBU-32 JDAM bombs. The outer two weapons bays carry sidewinders each of which is mounted on an internal rail. The three separate weapons bay housings fit very well to the lower fuselage which is split horizontally. The wheel wells and intake ducts sub assemblies also fit to the lower fuselage section. The cockpit assembly is inserted and glued to the upper fuselage half. Before closing the fuselage the tail planes are located in place which can be made moveable if so desired. No nose balance weight is needed. There is a choice of the rear engine exhaust clam shell doors. The next stage is the nose wheel, and this consist of six detailed items and two wheel doors. The interior wheel well structural detail remains visible when the doors are in place. A scrap view shows the position of the wheel doors in relation to the main wheels. The only spot that one needed to attend to was the rear of cockpit detail part which houses the cockpit hinge mechanism. I have found that in order to close the canopy, part item 46 required trimming down until the canopy rests in place. However I was unsure if it was the kit or me but still it was a simple problem to sort out. The hydraulic lift mechanism requires to be shortened as it is supplied in the extended position for an open canopy. A crystal clear canopy is provided and is fitted at the final stage. Going back to the weapons bay, my choice went for two AMRAAM missiles. I did not select the sleek missiles supplied with the kit but the instructions showed a different AMRAAM, an AIM-120. This I have available in a weapons set and my choice fell on this type of weapon which the instructions show in stage 60. Each of the two side weapons bay take a single AIM-9M or AIM-9X missiles.

COLORS AND MARKINGS

Full colour painting guide is provided quoting Revell mix for each respective 3 tone grey camouflage. This is the usual Revell habit to mix paints in proportions out of several Revell paints. FS numbers are quoted FS36375, FS 36251 and FS36176 so that I went for paints I am more used to. These made things easier than going about mixing paints in % proportions indicated. In general as far as the kit assembly goes my only reservation is that the locating holes to take the various pylons in main bay are not deep enough and this also applies for the holes to take the undercarriage legs. So it is advisable to drill deeper using 1mm drill. Besides stores, the sprues also contain two large under-wing fuel tanks that continue to decorate the model. With the undercarriage legs in place one can go about painting the wells and weapon bays semi gloss white, leaving the wheels to be fitted at a later stage.

The decals are printed in Italy for Revell GmbH contain no less than 166 items and covers the first three operational squadrons with ample of stencilling to spread all over the surfaces. Decals also provide instruments for the main panel and side consoles. I found that those detail decals that go on the upper fuselage are a little too conspicuous which needed toning down with a mist of airbrush mix of varnish with a little grey while those that go on the underside were almost invisible when applied on the lighter grey underside. The squadron markings are those of 94th commander aircraft based at Langley airbase VA, USA 2006, another belongs to 27th Sq, commander aircraft also based at Langley and the last option for an aircraft of 90th and 302FS based at Elmendorf AB, Alaska in 2007. A forth one is for an F-22A-10 commander aircraft of 43rd FS based at Tyndall AB Fla USA, 2007.

CONCLUSIONS

This is an impressive model which greatly differs from the YF-22 prototype seen in early releases by other brands. The kit goes together very well particularly the difficult intake ducts that fitted so well and is a clever piece of design engineering with a convincing result. No filler whatsoever was used throughout the build. I regard this kit as a wonderful release by Revell which makes into a truly pleasing model, a must for the present day military model enthusiast.

Carmel J. Attard

November 2008

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