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In-Box Review
KC-135E Stratotanker
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by: Peter Mollenhauer [ B17-PETER ]

The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refuelling aircraft. It and the Boeing 707airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80prototype. The KC-135 was the US Air Force's first jet-powered refuelling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratotanker. The KC-135 was initially tasked to refuel strategic bombers, but was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers.

The KC-135 entered service with the United States Air Force(USAF) in 1957; it is one of six military fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service with its original operator. The KC-135 is supplemented by the larger KC-10. Despite increased maintenance costs, studies conclude many of the aircraft could be flown until 2040. The aircraft will eventually be replaced by the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus.

First Impressions

After opening the stable cardboard box, you find five sprues, four in light grey plastic and one with the clear parts. All are separately packed in plastic bags, so everything is well protected from scratches.

The fuselage halves have fine detail, cockpit interior is a no-show, but one wouldn’t see much anyway when the model is finished. The loading door area is very well detailed on the inside , just in case someone wants to cut it out to display it in the open position. The cockpit window section comes as a single clear part and there are decals for the windows, too, if you like.

The wings come in upper and lower half parts with some good detail in the main undercarriage bays.

The horizontal stabilizers look well with nice detail.

The engine nacelles are also very well defined, Minicraft give us Pratt & Whitney TF-33-PW-102. Maybe the outlets are a little thick. Maybe you want to drill them out a little.

Landing gear
The landing gear consists of 10 separate wheels and three legs. No flash here.

I didn’t measure the parts or the length and width of the model, because I never do. First test fitting with the fuselage parts and wings was excellent, probably no filling needed. When finished it will pretty much look like a Stratotanker as I saw it already built at a model exhibition this spring. There and then I decided that it was a Must-Have for me.

Decals and Markings

The decals are manufactured by Cartograf and look superb. You can choose between two Air Guard KC-135Es, Kansas or New Jersey ANG, the later one with an attractive Tiger Meet 2004 scheme. Both machines are painted in Air Mobility Command Gray FS36173.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very good panel lines, no flash, fitting seems to be excellent, detailed undercarriage bays, attractive decals.
Lows: In my opinion there are none, but it comes at a price.
Verdict: Strongly recommended
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: 14627
  Suggested Retail: € 34,95
  PUBLISHED: Jun 20, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Peter Mollenhauer (b17-peter)

Started modeling at the age of ca.12 with aircraft kits mostly, made a few excursions into the odd ship, some cars and a few 18-wheeler truck and trailer combos. While studying law I returned to building aircraft and refined my skills. From around 1996 till 2010 I hadn't much time for that hobby, bu...

Copyright ©2021 text by Peter Mollenhauer [ B17-PETER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Looks pretty good, thanks. That's on my long list too. Though I have a Welsh Models KC-135A vac kit already in the queue. Would be nice to see them side by side...
JUN 21, 2014 - 04:32 AM
Peter, Thank you for a very concise and detailed review. Just might have to add one to my stash for a future build. Joel
JUN 22, 2014 - 04:19 AM
Cool review. Actually got to fly on the 135A's when I was a gas passer with the 92nd A.R.S. while stationed at Fairchild A.F.B. in Washington state. Great job and beautiful views when you put power to the boom and opened the window back there. Have to pick up a kit.
SEP 29, 2014 - 12:41 PM

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