Airfix 1/72 F-15E Strike Eagle
The F-15 series of fighters first flown in 1972, was conceived to counter the new Soviet Mig-25 interceptor. The F-15 was designed as an air superiority fighter from the outset, with the A-D models being dedicated air-to-air combat aircraft. In the late 1970's the F-15 was adopted to the ground attack role as the F-15E Strike Eagle multirole fighter. Some additions and changes from the air superiority versions include the conformal fuel tanks (CFT's), LANTIRN targeting system and reinforced landing gear. Since the Strike Eagle was introduced in Desert Storm, it has served in the Balkans and continues to support US and Coalition Forces abroad.
This is an older kit from Airfix, as the raised panel
lines indicate. My copy was dated 1993 with the box showing some aging. To my
knowledge it is one of the few 1/72 F-15E's that includes the long inboard CFT
pylons. For internal stores, the kit comes with three external fuel tanks, AIM-7
Sparrows, Sidewinders and a full loadout of cluster bombs.
The decal options are for a 4th TFW bird from Operation 'Desert Storm' in 1991 and a 4th FW bird from RAF Lakenheath in 1992.
As with any
model, I prepared this model first by washing off all the parts with soap and
water. Once the water had dried off and weather was permitting I primed the
model using a plastic spray primer from the local hardware store.
With most aircraft assembly began in the cockpit. After the cockpit was assembled and painted I moved on and finished other subassemblies and painted where required. Once I was ready the model was nearly completely assembled with the exception of the wing mounted fuel tanks and bombs to allow access for painting. For my build I chose a loadout of 12 cluster bombs and 4 Sidewinders. The fit of the kit was great, and a minimal amount of filler was used to seal so gaps between the upper and lower fuselage.
Of note, during test fitting the model seemed like it might be tail sitter. So to correct the balance of the plane keep it upright, I hot glued some counter weights at the front of the plane.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
My favourite party of model building. The model was
brushed painted using Citadel acrylic paints. F-15E's come in a simple and easy
to paint dark grey scheme. To replicate
this I used Citadel Foundation's "Adeptus Battle Grey" colour. The Foundation
line of Citadel paints are wonderful for those who like to brush paint, it took
only two coats before I was satisfied with the model. Burner cans were painted
Citadel "Boltgun Metal" and lighter metallic surfaces were painted with Testor's
After the application of paint, a gloss clear coat was applied to prepare the surface for decals. I used Krylon's acrylic clear gloss spray. To enhance the model a bit I applied Citadel's "Badab Black" wash to the landing gear and engine areas.
I chose to use the markings for the 4th TFW bird. Airfix decals aren't the greatest in the world. I had troubles with some of them easily breaking up and when applied they seemed to bleed out a white adhesive that had to be cleaned up at the end. But, in the end the model was successfully decaled. To finish the model a coat of Krylon matte varnish was sprayed and the wing fuel tanks were added.
The raised panel lines will undoubtedly put off some modelers, but I quite enjoyed the kit. It was relatively cheap and hassle free to assemble. I can't comment on the accuracy of the model, but it looks like a Strike Eagle to me and I like it. I would recommend the model to those who want an affordable Strike Eagle but do not want to spend a small fortune.
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