Hasegawa 1/72 F-15C Eagle 'Aggressor USAF'
|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/72 F-15C Eagle 'Aggressor USAF'|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Another boxing with nice decals.|
The largest operator of the F-15 is the United States Air Force. The first F-15A flight was made in July 1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) was made in July 1973. The first Eagle (F-15B) was delivered 14 November 1974. In January 1976, the first Eagle destined for a combat squadron, the 555th TFS, was delivered. These initial aircraft carried the Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) APG-63 radar.
The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered production in 1979 with the models' first flights in February and June of that year. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements, including 2,000 lb (900 kg) of additional internal fuel, provision for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight of up to 68,000 lb (30,700 kg).
The F-15 Multistage Improvement Program was initiated in February 1983, with the first production MSIP F-15C produced in 1985. Improvements included an upgraded central computer; a Programmable Armament Control Set, allowing for advanced versions of the AIM-7, AIM-9, and AIM-120A missiles; and an expanded Tactical Electronic Warfare System that provides improvements to the ALR-56C radar warning receiver and ALQ-135 countermeasure set. The final 43 included the enhanced-capability Hughes APG-70 radar, which was carried forward into the F-15E. The earlier MSIP F-15Cs with the APG-63 were later upgraded to the APG-63(V)1, which significantly improves reliability and maintainability while providing performance similar to the APG-70. A limited number of F-15C aircraft have also been fitted with the APG-63(V)2 AESA radar.
F-15A and B models were utilized by Israel during the Bekaa Valley operation.
F-15C, D, and E models were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm where they accounted for 36 of the 39 Air Force air-to-air victories. F-15Es were operated mainly at night, hunting SCUD missile launchers and artillery sites using the LANTIRN system.
They have since been deployed to support Operation Southern Watch, the patrolling of the No-Fly Zone in Southern Iraq; Operation Provide Comfort in Turkey; in support of NATO operations in Bosnia, and recent air expeditionary force deployments
Opening the box reveals what is to many of us, an old friend. Hasegawa's F-15C/D kit was a brand new tool in the mid 1980's, incorporating the latest in molding technology of the time. It still holds up quite well and for many, is the best Eagle kit in this scale. It also looks like every other 1/72 F-15 kit I've ever seen as there really is only one way to mold an Eagle!
The cockpit section includes raised detail on the instrument panel and side consoles as well as decent detailing in the electronics bay behind the cockpit. Decals are also provided for the instruments if you so wish. There is an actuating ram for the canopy so it can be shown in the open position as can be the speed brake, which is normally closed except when using it or showing off at air shows. The modular design of the kit allows for either a single seat or two seat nose to be attached to the rest of the airframe. This forward section is split vertically while the fuselage is split horizontally. There are not any long intake trunks on this kit, though there is a blanking plate with a compressor face. Wings are build separately from the fuselage and slotted on at a later time.
One concession to the more modern F-15C/D is that the 'turkey feathers' exhaust is not included. The more open and complex-looking burner cans are provided and are to be built up, something that many may find to be a challenge since there are so many small parts. Typical of Hasegawa kits, no weapons are supplied. You have four long range fuel tanks provided, of which you really only need three. Phantom modelers will like having the spare to use on their late use F-4E/Gs. You are provided weapons pylons so if you want to pop the extra dollars for a weapons set, you'll have something to use them on.
What sets this kit apart from the other several dozen boxings is, of course, the decal sheet. There are markings for three aircraft from the 65th AS based at Nellis AFB. They are all in wraparound camouflage schemes. Two of them are in a light and dark grey scheme while the third is in a grey/green and brown scheme. Hasegawa decals are problematical at best. Some of the more current kit sheets have been just like aftermarket decals in terms of their reaction to setting solutions while other new sheets will be ruined by these solvents. Hard to say where this one falls, so the best thing to do is to test an unneeded markings to see how it reacts.
Eagle fans will be grabbing this one up as soon as they find it, thanks to the really neat markings in this boxing. The kit is a known quantity and will provide no surprises at all. It is one that you can get with confidence that you are getting a quality product.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for providing the review kit. Get yours at your local hobby shop or ask them to order it in for you. It won't be around for long, that's for sure. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page