|KIT:||Minicraft/Hasegawa 1/72 F-15B Eagle|
|PRICE:||$2 at a swap meet|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Hasegawa kit.|
The side of the box says 'Manufactured in the USA under license from Hasegawa Model Company'. Now I have to say that I knew that Minicraft had a long standing relationship with Hasegawa and had been selling the Japanese kits as they came from Japan, but only with US instructions added in. I'd assumed that during the 1980s, that Minicraft had merely repackaged Hasegawa kits and added their own instructions and decals. The wording on the box leads me to believe it might have been otherwise.
Regardless, this is the Hasegawa F-15B kit only without wing pylons or Sidewinder missiles, though it does have Sparrows. Molded in white to assist with painting, this kit has the standard fare of the day in that the finely done detailing is raised, not engraved. Cockpit is two generic looking seats, two sticks and a tub. For the instrument panels and side consoles, one can put decals on the smooth surfaces. The canopy can be posed open as can be the speed brake, but the latter was almost always closed on the ground. Normal for even today, the gear doors are one piece and need to be cut to have the gear down. As mentioned, no wing pylons or Sidewinders, but sparrows and a centerline tank are provided. I don't recall if this needs any weight, but most of us will put some in.
The instructions are quite well done with four construction sequences and colors called out in generic or FS 595 numbers. The instructions state that the interior is FS 36270 Neutral Grey, though I do believe that FS 36231 Dark Gull Grey is more appropriate. Markings for one of the pre-production aircraft in a striking Thunderbirds-like Bicentennial scheme. The Scalemaster decals are well done, but like most of the markings from this company, the red has bled into the clear surround, meaning that if one wants to use them, each red section will have to be carefully cut out. It is assumed that one will paint the airframe white so no white markings are given. The bleeding problem also makes all the data markings unusable. Aftermarket will be the only way to go.
I have seen a number of Hasegawa Eagles built up and they do make fine models when done. The lack of wing /pylons/weapons isn't a problem for me as I bought the kit for the landing gear and wheels to use on another, more complete kit that was missing them. However, those looking on the auction sites for this kit do need to be aware of that and the decal situation.
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