Hasegawa 1/72 F-111E Aardvark


04036 (K 36)


$30.00 when new


Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1989 release. 170 parts.


A simplified, interim variant ordered after the F-111D was delayed, the F-111E used the Triple Plow II intakes, but retained the F-111A's TF30-P-3 engines and Mark I avionics.The weapon stores management system was improved and other small changes made. Crandall described the F-111E as "all analog, just like the A model, but It worked".

The F-111E was first ordered in 1968. Its first flight occurred on 20 August 1969 and achieved initial operational capability late that year. 94 F-111Es were delivered between 1969 and 1971. The aircraft were initially delivered to the 27th TFW at Canon AFB for a year or so for training and workup, then all were assigned to the 20th TFW at Upper Heyford, UK until 1991. It saw action during the Gulf War. Some F-111Es received an Avionics Modernization Program and improved TF30-P-109 engines in the early 1990s. All were retired to AMARC by 1995


Back in the late 1980s,Hasegawa produced the entire series of F-111s and also produced some Limited Edition boxings (actually just decal switches). These seem to have pretty well disappeared from store shelves and catalogues, though they can still be found.

As you can expect, it is superbly molded with no flash or sink areas that I could spot right away. There are some ejector pin marks on some of the smaller pieces that will have to be dealt with. Typical of Hase 1/72 kits, the cockpit instrument panels and side consoles are decals. The canopy cannot be displayed in the open positions, but the plastic is very clear so the interior can easily be seen. The rather complex intake shapes are well done as is the equally complicated main gear bay.

The wings can only be displayed in the forward position as the slats and flaps will prevent them from being swept back. The fuselage opening is also not large enough to permit this. There are no missiles or bombs included but there are large drop tanks and some other missile that I believe is a Durandel included along with a MER so you can fill the pylons. A gun pod is also provided for the centerline.

Instructions are superb and provide Gunze paint references as well as general and FS color references. Markings are provided for two aircraft. Both of them are with the 20th TFW. One is a standard aircraft in the standard SEA camo with black underside. The other is the box art aircraft with the white fin that was the wing's bicentennial scheme.The decals are well past the 'use by' date, though you might still be able to use them despite the yellowing. Fortunately there are aftermarket.


In 1/72, the F-111 has been modeled by Airfix, ESCI and Hasegawa. The ESCI kit can be found in AMT and Italeri boxes, but the Hasegawa kit is still the best on the market. Its lack of availability has escalated the price on the second hand market so some fairly intense searching will be needed to find one at a reasonable price. As a note, Hobby 2000 has released the reboxed Hasegawa kit, but at an even higher price. If you find one, you'll discover that it will be a fiddly construct as are most modern Hasegawa multi-mode kits, but the end results will be most pleasing.

September 2023

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