1/72 F-15E Strike Eagle model kit

Product # 01906 from 2,600 Yen (US$30.88) from Hobbylink Japan

Product Article by Dean Reynolds on Oct 27 2010


"Iraqi Freedom Nose Art"

An all-weather ground attack strike fighter, the F-15E Strike Eagle has won its place of respect in recent conflicts such as the First and Second Iraq War and peacekeeping missions over Afghanistan. It is designed to do the work of several aircraft, as a high-speed long range interceptor or bomber without needing fighter escort or electronic warfare aircraft. As with most modern aircraft the F-15E excels in a multitude of missions, from close air support to bombing, to long range patrols, and is always a welcome sight to friendly troops with its distinctive dark grey camouflage and conforming fuel tanks under the wings.

Hasegawa has released a few F-15’s over the years, and the latest to join the eyrie is the F-15E Strike Eagle featuring Iraqi Freedom nose art, which in contrast to the deep gray of the aircraft is actually quite colourful, and would compliment a collection of modern warfare kits quite nicely!

There are two aircraft options this kit has to offer: Firstly Dragon Betty II, a US Air Force 4th Fighter Wing F-15E of the 336th Fighter Squadron (Rocketeers), And secondly an unnamed F-15E featuring Taz, the cartoon Tasmanian Devil also of the 4th Fighting Wing, 336th  Fighter Squadron (Rocketeers).

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The kit comes on 9 grey plastic sprues with one clear sprue for the grand total of 199 parts. The canopy comes in two parts, so the modeller can either have it open or closed, and is thin and clear without any issues.

Cursory glance of the grey sprues shows them to be of a high quality, the panel lines are recessed (albeit perhaps a little too subtly) and so makes it an entirely different beast from the past issue with raised panel lines that modellers have complained about for so long! The detail on the various parts is really excellent in some areas, especially the cockpit, which has a lot of very fine detail especially on the instrument panels. There is no photo-etch for this kit, so you will have to source some belts and harnesses for the ejection seats. The decal sheet has decals for both instrument panels, as well as the instrument consoles on either side of the two crew.  Overall the exterior detail is similar to the Academy 1/72 F-15, so the panel lines are all present but a lot of the fine rivet detail is absent. The engines come with separate afterburner nozzles which was a really nice touch and again makes the kit very appealing, with good detail on both sides. As mentioned before some parts do have light flash but there are very few prominent ejector pin marks so you will not have to be sanding for long!

The weapons supplied in this kit are substantial but by no means comprehensive, there are LANTIRN pods, external drop tanks and a large quantity of Rockeye cluster bombs, but no other armament, so for those of you interested in anything else it will have to be aftermarket!

The decals are of very high quality: thin, with extremely fine printing, legible warning instructions to ground crew, and the register on the decals is spot on. The only complaint i can make is that they have for some reason decided to make the cartoon character Taz’s face orange instead of his usual beige, making him look rather bizarre!

All up an excellent kit and a huge improvement on the past offering, and definitely will become a favourite with those who love the “Mudhen”!

Special thanks to Hobbylink Japan for supplying this review sample.

Dean Reynolds

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Photos and text © by Dean Reynolds