Hasegawa 1/72 F-15E Strike Eagle
If you like modern aircraft, then undoubtedly the F-15E StrikeEagle is one that you know quite well. Seeking a dedicated medium strikeaircraft that could also defend itself if need be, the USAF looked to GeneralDynamics and McDonnell/Douglas for modifications of current planes so therewould be some commonality with aircraft already in the inventory. GD offered animproved version of their F-16XL, an enlarged Falcon with a large deltoid wingin place of the normal wing/stabilaor of the Falcon. MD came up with what wasbasically an F-15D with fas-pacs and additional hardpoints. Since the McDDproposal was so similar to the Eagle already in production, they were given thenod to develop the new plane.
McDD took one of the prototype aircraft, 71-291, and outfittedit with all the unique components and systems that would be part of the newStrike Eagle. Tests went very quickly and were almost trouble-free. The newF-15E was able to carry a prodigious amount of ordnance and still be able tocomport itself just like a 'normal' F-15 once the ordnance was dropped. The restis now history as the F-15E has proven itself to be extremely capable in battleas it has been blooded in the Gulf War and the Balkans in the last decade
When I had heard that I was being sent an F-15E for review, Iwas pretty excited about it. I was expecting the newer molding of the Hasegawa1/72 F-15 with all the appropriate F-15E mods such as the bulged gear doors andthe rather complicated looking exhaust as well as the seeker pods under theengine intakes. That isn't what is in the box. I should have guess at it seeingthe box art, but was a bit disappointed to see the older F-15C/J kit with somenew sprues, mostly dedicated to a new fin, airbrake, fas-pacs, and an array ofweapons and pylons peculiar to the Strike Eagle. In a nutshell, you can buildthis kit as 71-291 and no other Strike Eagle. Even calling it an F-15E is a bitof a stretch. However, you can build it as a normal F-15B/D should you wish todo so, though it will leave you with a LOT of spare weapons and you won't haveany underwing fuel tanks as those are not supplied (see the holes in the righthand sprue).
With that out of the way, let's take a look at what you get inthe box. For one thing, you do get a lot of plastic with this one. As Imentioned, this is the older F-15C/J kit with the raised panel lines. That inand of itself isn't really all that bad as the Hasegawa kit was one of thebetter ones for a long time. To their credit, the additional sprues are also ofthe raised panel line type.
You get a complete cockpit tub with a couple of acceptableseats. Decals are used for the instrument panels and side consoles, which is thenorm from Hasegawa in this scale even today. All of these parts have ejector pinmarks on them, the ones on the seats quite prominent. In fact, things likeinside of gear doors and the missiles all have rather prominent ejector pinmarks that will have to be filled or sanded off. This is also true of thelanding gear and the weapons that are included. Considering the number ofweapons, that will keep the sanding stick busy for a while! Many of the largeparts are scratched up from having all the sprues (except the clear one) in thesame bag, but this is normal for Hasegawa and we have learned to live with it.
The instructionsare typical of Hasegawa kits in that they are superb, giving the requiredpainting instructions and referencing them to Gunze paints. You have two optionsfor camouflage on this one. Both are for 71-291, but one is in Charcoal LizardCamouflage as shown on the box art and the other in standard early F-15 colorsof FS 36320 and 36375, the 'Compass Ghost Grey' colors. The decal sheet is quitecomplete with the myriad of stencils carried by modern jets. It also has theblue stripes for the training ordnance (which appears to be some sort of clusterbomb and Sidewinders). The sheet is typical Hasegawa which means that they are abit thick, but should work quite well. Use of any setting solution with thesedecals is at your own risk as sometimes you get away with it and sometimes it isdisaster!
While this can be made into a very nice model, I am disappointedthat this is the older kit. I would have thought that Hasegawa would have usedtheir newer mold F-15. However, they didn't and that is that.
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