by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionThe following introduction is as supplied by Revell of Germany;
The F-15 E is probably the most powerful Air Superiority Fighter in the USAF. It can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.5 at high altitude. Developed in 1984, as a further development of the F-15D. This two-seater is used for both air-to-ground operations with a heavy weapon load as well as an interceptor for night and all-weather missions. The F-15 E has advanced radar and infrared systems, multifunction displays for both navigation and weapon delivery and additional fuel tanks and numerous external attachment points. With the high-performance AN / AGP 63 on-board radar, targets up to a distance of 160 km (100 miles) can be detected and engaged with one of the numerous weapon systems. With a maximum weapon load of up to 11 tons the F-15E is able to accommodate a wide range of different weapons systems, including laser-guided JDAM and Paveway series bombs. It mastered its baptism of fire in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. The aircraft we have selected is nicknamed Tiger Lead and together with the Manhattan silhouette is a reminder of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001. She received the nose livery during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
ContentsThis model is packed in one of Revell of Germany’s end opening boxes and as any of you that have read my reviews know, is a box design I am not keen on. My reason for this is that I prefer the tray and lid boxing as it means you can keep all of the parts and subassemblies together. With that said it is up to the task of protecting the kit contents. Inside the box you will find:
7 light grey sprues
1 clear sprue
1 decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An advisory note
First impressionsAfter a good look over the mouldings included with this model I would class the moulding as fair. My reasons for this are that there are mould seams that will need correcting on the canopy and there is also flash present on some parts. Also present are flow/cooling lines on quite a few parts, but these from what I can see do not look to have affected the finished surface. A search of the contents also turned up a date of 2000, more on that later. The only other issue I have is that some of the sprue gates are a little on the large size which may result in damage to parts as they are removed.
CockpitThis area of the model look to be surprisingly accurate as regards layout, I compared areas against my reference. The instrument panels look very good for those with the skills to paint them well and if you don’t want to tackle that Revell of Germany has supplied decals, but realistically you will need to sand away the moulded detail which seems a shame due to its accuracy. The ejector seats also have reasonable detail including a portion of the harness, the harness will however benefit from some aftermarket additions. Another aspect I like about this area is that Revell of Germany has called out the painting instructions as you go.
UndercarriageThe undercarriage is a mixed bag as the front wheel is one of the areas suffering flash. Disappointingly the front wheel is also not supplied as weighted, which is a shame as the rear wheels have been supplied weighted. With that out of the way everything else looks a fair match to my reference. One thing those that like to add their own touches may consider is the addition of brake lines at a minimum and some wiring if you want to really add some bling. The front landing gear is missing both the landing and taxi light from the front strut.
Intakes and Exhausts
The jet intakes have been well replicated, having a good depth and the first stage of the compressor, however very little of this will be visible when the model is completed. The same cannot be said of the exhausts as they have been tackled very well and that detail is clearly visible. I suggest that the cone is painted before you add the variable parts of the exhaust nozzle. The detail that Revell of Germany has supplied here makes this area one of the high points of the model. If you take care with the painting of this area it should be quite an eye catching aspect of the model.
BodyworkI am going to cover the wings, fuselage and tail in a single area as the model is supplied with the fuselage, wings and horizontal stabilizers as a single moulding, and it is this moulding that confuses me as I have two identical sprues of the upper hull with these parts attached. The recessed panel lines are well replicated on the model, but a check against my reference indicates that a number of them are missing and a few are in the wrong place; however unless you are stickler for accuracy regarding the panel lines I would fill the one around the nose as it is the most notable inaccurate line. Moving on the shape and form of the model does appear accurate and so due to the very good price of this offering I can live with the panel lines as the panels are right. The 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon is nicely replicated nesting in the right wing root. The large air brake on the spine of the aircraft is also nicely replicated with Revell of Germany having replicated the hydraulic line detail on both the actuator and the recess in the fuselage.
CanopyThe canopy of the F-15 is large and gives the crew a good view around the aircraft, being such a prominent feature of the F-15, I was a little upset to see a very pronounced seam line along the full length of the main part of the canopy. For some of us this is an easy problem to overcome, but it is still a pain. I purchased a polishing kit while at Telford which ranges from 1500 grit down to 12000 grit and I put this to work on the on the seam line. First I removed the raised seam with a No 11 scalpel blade and then worked through the nine grades of paper in the polishing set, the result saw the seam line completely removed in about 15 to 20 minutes and so this problem can be overcome. A plus side to the canopy is that you can finish the model with the canopy open or closed.
WeaponsRevell of Germany has supplied quite an impressive weapons selection with this model, and if you like to have your models armed to the teeth this is one model that provides that ability. You are provided with:
4 sidewinder missiles
2 600 gallon fuel drop tanks
4 GBU-10 Paveway bombs
2 GBU-15 bombs
2 Lantirn pods
1 data link pod
2 sparrow missiles
I should also say that I am impressed with the detail that Revell of Germany has put into the rails and mounts.
Finishing OptionsRevell of Germany has supplied 2 finishing options for this model which are:
AF 87-0169 ‘Tiger Lead’ 391st FS, 366th FW, Mountain Home AFB
AF 89-0474 ‘Demo Team 2011’ 336th FS, 4th TFW, Seymour Johnson AFB
ConclusionThis model of the F-15E Strike Eagle Revell of Germany has a few issues, but none of those problems cannot be overcome with a few modelling skills. I am impressed with the supplied cockpit detail straight from the box and the large amount of ordnance supplied. For those who are not overly concerned with 100% accuracy, I would only worry about removing the recessed panel line on the nose cone as it is an identifier of the F-15E and the seam line in the canopy has to be polished out if for no other reason than it is unsightly. Despite its problems this model is still worth picking up due to the very competitive price and as a result its value for money.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
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