Revell Germany

1/48 F-15E Strike Eagle model kit

Product # 04550

Product Article by Matthias Becker

 

A lot of model kit for cheap money. That´s how the 1/48 scale Revell of Germany F-15E Strike Eagle model kit could be described. 

Parts with outstanding precision make every modelers eyes shine and put all other kits in this price region to shame.  And if this wasn't good enough, Revell includes an outstanding decal sheet, that was designed by Danny Coremans from Astra Decals in Belgium.  Even the smallest stencils like those on the exhaust nozzles are featured. Absolutely fantastic. The modeling community can only hope that Revell will also commission this expert for upcoming kit releases. 

The building plan starts with the cockpit assembly. The arrangement of instruments and displays on the instrument panels is very precise. Every switch is where it belongs. Though Revell also offers decals for the instrument panels dry brushing will bring a more realistic result. The two ACES II ejection seats that come with the kit are also among the best I have seen in this scale so far. 

A little annoying is the fact that the front landing gear has to be glued into position before the forward fuselage are glued together. There is a risk of damaging the gear during later assembly and this also makes it neccessary to mask the gear when painting the fuselage later on.  All other parts go together very easily. Only the conformal fuel tanks demand a little attention.  I wonder why Revell rated this kit "Skill Level 5" which means that it is "difficult" to build.  In my opinion the kit is very easy to build and even a beginner can make a good looking model out of this kit. 

The exhaust nozzles that come with the kit are another highlight. They are made of 23 (!) parts. Every single actuating rod has to be glued into position. The result is a fantastic looking pair of burner cans especially when you do not paint the inside of the cans flat black but paint it with a mixture from white and beige and then give it a wash with pastel chalks. This gives the burner cans a much more realistic appearance, since the insides of the real cans are made from ceramics. 

The kit comes with two underwing drop tanks, four Sidewinder missiles and the two LANTIRN pods.  No other ordnance is included, but that is o.k. in consideration of the low price. 

Two different aircraft can be build with the decal sheet.  An F-15E from 57 WG from Nellis AFB, Nevada and a F-15E from 48FW 494FS from RAF Lakenheath, Great Britain. This aircraft participated at the 1998 NATO Tiger Meet at Lechfeld and was painted in the typical Tiger sheme. 

The Tiger stripes are also featured on the decal sheet, but applying them can get a little tricky since there is one big decal for each side of the fuselage and the adhesive of the decals is very strong. That makes it difficult to slide them into the perfect position.  My tip: cut the decals into three segments before applying them. In combination with some decal softener like Mr. Mark-Softer from Gunze the result will look like an artful airbrush. 

Final conclusion: this kit is a real price wonder.  1/48 scale kits of this quality usually cost three times as much.  This Revell kit is the evidence that a great kit for a fair price is possible.   

Matthias Becker

Photos and text © by Matthias Becker