Revell 1/72 F-22A Raptor
KIT #: 04386
PRICE: $ 22.50 MSRP
DECALS: Seven options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New mold kit so you can toss those prototypes


OK, I admit it. I'm not a huge fan of grey jets. Don't get me wrong, I build models of them and enjoy the experience, but I'd just as soon build something with a nice camouflage scheme than multiple shades of grey. Yet that is how modern aircraft are painted and while I hope it is a phase they will soon leave behind before I die, I doubt it.

Right up there in the 'greys r us' category is the new F-22A Raptor. This incredibly expensive aircraft is the latest in the USAF inventory and has been slowly entering squadron service for the last few years, starting with the training unit at Tyndall AFB and then moving to the 1st FW at Langley AFB near Norfolk, VA (hey, just like the F-15 did 30 years ago).

Modern jet aircraft have a gestation period that is longer than the development and service life of planes of the 1930s and 1940s. Probably due to the need to incorporate and combine a nearly bewildering array of systems into an integrated package. Gone are the days of 'kick the tires, light the fire and off we go'.

The F-22 won a competition against the Northrop YF-23 that was too close to call as both aircraft performed the mission superbly. In the end, it was either a political decision against Northrop (who has never had really good relations with the politicians) or the 'fact' that the YF-22 would be easier to construct (though to many it made little difference) that gave the (hey how about a bribe and a nice lunch) Lockheed crew the nod.

Despite the fact that the plane has been in service for many years, your editor has never seen one (or a Super Hornet for that matter), as these planes just don't seem to hang out around here. Of course, those that fly the plane say it is just the best that there ever was and I'm sure they are 100% correct. One thing I know, there will never be the numbers built to match even the F-15 for production as the cost per unit of modern high-tech military jets is such that the Air Force and whomever also gets the plane (any bets on Israel), won't be able to afford a lot of them. 


This is a Revell AG new mold kit and I have to say that it looks simply superb. The molding is crisp and well defined with no flash, no unsightly ejector pin marks and what looks like a well engineered kit.

Cockpit consists of a four piece seat, instrument panel and two control sticks (a la F-16). Intake truking is two piece and will require some concentrated effort to remove the seam. Same goes for the exhaust where the exhaust petals can be built in either open or closed position. There is an extensively done bomb bay and much of the plastic provided is dedicated to this particular area. As the Raptor carries all its weapons internally (more stealthy, you know), there are a myriad of options for the central bay. The two outer ones each carry a single missile while the inner can be configured for a mix of weapons. Revell provides AAMRAAMS and JDAMS for this area (don't you love acronyms). For the terminally lazy amongst us, Revell has provided the option to basically blow off a sprue and model the aircraft with the bays closed or use up more plastic for retraction struts when we cut the doors for the open position.

The only real 'things under wings' are a pair of non-stealthy drop tanks. Revell also provides us with what I assume is a gold-infused canopy that is molded in a clear yellow. It can be posed either open or closed. Perhaps this should have been mentioned first, but the fuselage is molded as an upper and lower half with wings that is split horizontally. Of course, you spotted that right off by looking at the sprue layout. All the wheel wells and weapons bays are separate and fit inside the lower fuselage half.

Instructions are standard Revell with 59 well illustrated construction steps. All paint references are for Revell paints and you have to mix all the exterior colors. Fortunately, the FS 595 numbers for these are also provided. The rather large and well printed decal sheet is by Cartograf so you know you'll need your strongest setting solution if you use such a thing. All the units operating the type at the time of this kit's release are provided. Four are for the 1st FW at Langley with the 1 FW boss, two different 94 FS markings and one for the 27th FS, two are with the 90th and 302nd FS at Elmendorf Alaska (looks like the ex-Luke reserve unit's number has been transferred to keep all the Tuskegee units going), and one is with the 43 FS at Tyndall, a unit that I believe, used to be at Elmendorf.  The sheet also includes missile markings as well as airframe data markings.


So there you have it. Modern jet fans will be delighted with this one as it is accurate and doesn't cost $50. Painting it will be interesting, but the end result should be  well worth the effort.


Didn't use any.

December 2006

I came, I saw, I bought, you now know what to expect for your loot.

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