Hasegawa 1/72 F-15K Slam Eagle Kit Build Review
By Chuck Holte
|Date of Review||March 2014||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-15K Slam Eagle||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||02070||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Accuracy, Decals, Extra Parts||Cons||Some fit issues|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$47.95|
For a look at our first-look of this kit, look here.
The F-15K Slam Eagle in my review is assigned to the 122nd Fighter Squadron (Jaguar), 11th Fighter Wing of the Republic Of Korea (RoK) Southern Command, at Daegu (Taegu) Air Base, South Korea.
Over the years, there have been several different kits of the F-15E Strike Eagle in 1/72 scale. Most had accuracy issues with the way the Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) and associated weapons pylons were portrayed. Fortunately, Hasegawa have come to the rescue with their latest issue of the Strike Eagle F-15E (Kit#1569) and the Slam Eagle F-15K kits. Both kits include the parts needed to build either version, the "E" or "K," such as the larger tires, bulged main gear doors, engines, new communications and counter measures antennas as well as various pods and weapons, and of course the aforementioned CFTs and weapons racks.
The top opening box also contains a lot of unneeded/unused parts included on frames from earlier issues of the Hasegawa kit. Oddly, with all the extra parts and weapons, the kit did not include air-to-air missiles. I raided Hasegawa Weapons Set VIII for four Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to go with the kit provided Mk 20 Rockeyes. The new "E/K" unique parts are engineered to fit well and capture the look of the aircraft.
Unfortunately, the basic fuselage is unchanged from earlier issues of the two-seat Eagle. It still suffers from a challenging join of the forward fuselage with the aft fuselage behind the cockpit, in the midst of the engine inlets, ramps, ducting, and speed brake. Not a show stopper, but it will take a little practice fitting and adjustment to avoid an unsightly joint in that area.
Otherwise the assembly is quite simple and only minor filling and sanding was required. Cockpit detail consists of high relief depictions of the various panels, screens, switches and detail that can be painted or decaled. I hand painted the front and rear instrument panels and used the decals for the side consoles. I found the kit's cockpit and ejection seats quite adequate for the scale, but some modelers may want the more detailed effect of available aftermarket resin and PE sets.
I primed the assembled model with rattle-can Tamiya Fine Surface Primer and airbrushed Model Master Enamels for the final color, a 50-50 mix of FS36118 Gunship Gray and FS36231Dark Gull Gray for scale effect. I subsequently airbrushed two coats of Future acrylic to prepare the model surface for decaling.
Three pages of the 10 page instruction sheet were devoted to colors and markings for the two aircraft on the excellent decal sheet, 02-004 (my choice) and 02-039. The sheet also provides generic tail numbers for the modeler to portray any of the 60 aircraft in the ROK inventory. After decaling, a final airbrushed coat of Floquil Flat brought back the desired finish.
I enjoyed building the new F-15 fighter-bomber kit from Hasegawa. I don't often take the time to weaponize my models. In this case, I wanted to load up the Slam Eagle to highlight its dual role as a "bomb truck" with a lethal air-to-air capability. As an in-the-box bonus, I counted over 130 unused parts when my build was finished, good for fattening up the spare parts stash. My thanks to Cybermodeler for the opportunity to build and review the Hasegawa F-15K Slam Eagle. Highly recommended for the experienced builder.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!