Cutting Edge 1/32 600 Gallon 'WRM' Drop Tank First Look
|Date of Review||November 2006||Manufacturer||Cutting Edge|
|Subject||600 Gallon 'WRM' Drop Tank||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||CEC32179||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||A cost-effective (and nice) detail for the F-15 AND the F-4G||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||OOP|
Cutting Edge has produced an interesting variety of conversions in the past, and here is one that is quite interesting! This latest release from Cutting Edge provides a nice F-15 centerline drop tank with a twist.
A twist? This tank was developed for the F-15 Eagle and carried routinely by the F-15A/B/C/D models. The F-15C/D could carry conformal tanks which became standard fit on the F-15E Strike Eagle. These conformal tanks reduced the drag of these external tanks.
When McDonnell Douglas designed the tank, it had a unique ball and socket retainer on the rear of the tank. The ball on a strut on the rear of the tank would engage a socket mount on the underside of the fuselage. When the tank was jettisoned, the pylon release would push the tank straight down, but the ball and socket would hold on to the rear of the tank until the tank was well clear of the underside of the aircraft. This design was intended to overcome centerline tank jettison problems on the F-4 Phantom II and the design worked well.
The design worked so well that at some point, the F-4G Wild Weasel would be refitted with the F-15 centerline tank and ball/socket mount. This configuration would become standard on all F-4G Weasels.
So what does this mean to you? If you've acquired one of the various aftermarket conversions to alter the Tamiya or Revell F-4E Phantom II kits into the F-4G Weasel, you're still stuck with the Phantom centerline tank. Your choices are to:
- Not carry the tank (it was done, but not that often)
- Carry the Phantom centerline (not a good choice at an IPMS contest)
- Rob an expensive 1/32 F-15 of its tank (okay, but what are you going to use for a gas bag on the Eagle?)
- Use this set to provide a cost-effective and nicely cast alternative
The tank is hollow-cast, so it won't weigh much more than the styrene tank. It has minimal molding blocks on the inside edges of the tank halves which will make clean-up a snap. Of course, the ball and socket mounts are also included. Here is a look at the instructions:
My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!