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1/32 Tamiya F-15E Strike Eagle

by William Tsang

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Model : Tamiya 60312 F-15E strike eagle with bunker buster

Scale : 1/32

Decal: From Kit

Accessory: Edward 32031 photo etching parts.

Markings: 335FS 89-0489

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This is my first big scale aircraft model since my teenage days of casual cut and glue. The amount of work to complete this model was beyond my imagination. I used to build models casually, you know, just cut it glue it and decal it and a week of work used to be my patient line. This is the first model that I did it with my “heart”. 

 

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My kit is the new one with bunker buster which incorporates many new decals, however I have chosen the original 335FS chief because of their significance in “Desert Storm”, and the chief had set a piece of history in radically taking out an air target using a guided bomb! I made good use of the extra fuel tank, the GBU-28 and AIM-120 included in the box, which is a treat. 

It is hard to find detail reference photos of this particular squadron for up to date weaponary set up however, well I bet, 2 x AIM-120, 2 x AIM9, 2 x GBU-10, 2 x 610gallon tanks and 1 GBU-28 is a logical setup if so happened. Didn't choose the AGM-130 for authenticity reason though it is nice looking, because no data pot included in the kit. Every parts fit well and are accurate, but some extra aftermarket parts or scratch built components were made to get that touch of details, and to bring it up to display quality did took me a fair bit of sanding, filling and painting time; I am talking about months if you only spend couple hours of leisure time off work.

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I used mostly Gunze paints both Lacquer based and acrylic based. For that body color, I couldn’t find a suitable gray from the range, so I mixed 2 parts of Gunze 331 with 3 parts of Gunze 305. For the Shiny engine cover, I used the new Gunze super metallic – plate silver as an alternative to the Alclad that most of US modeler would use. The body was furnished with Gunze 1000 surface as an undercoat after sanding, then 3 rounds of custom mixed gray. After an enamel wash, I used the new Gunze super clear UV cut (it claims blocking UV and slow down discoloring) for gloss coat preparation for decaling. Finally topped with Gunze water based matt top-coat. ( it took all 3 cans! ). 

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 Looking at the finished model, I think the Mudhen is no doubt the best looking fighter of all time. A sturdy display box is a must, so to keep it from getting dusty and out of reach of children.  I would like to express my thanks to various people including my wife for this wonderful gift, and her mental support during the build, also Keith Pardini and Douglas Chan for various advice, especially to Douglas Chan for several modeling tips, who I always chat via email, thank you “ Si Fu”. They both too display their model in this gallery.  

 

To see my article about modifying kit figures to new poses...click on the picture to the right

 

Regards

William in Hong Kong

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Photos and text © by William Tsang 

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