Academy 1/72 F-15K Slam Eagle ROKAF Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2017||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||F-15K Slam Eagle ROKAF||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||12554||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice details, simple construction||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.00|
The F-15K Slam Eagle is a derivative of the F-15E Strike Eagle that is produced for, and partially produced by South Korea. The first production batch is powered by GE F110 engines while the second production batch received the advanced Pratt and Whitney F100 engines. While the F-15E and F-15K share most of the same external features, the F-15K has the APG-63(V)1 radar along with radar warning, electronic warfare, and communications systems produced by South Korea. Like the F-15E, the F-15K can employ the AIM-120 AMRAAM, and with the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, the AIM-9X Sidewinder. The F-15K can also employ a wide range of weapons including the AGM-84 Harpoon and Slam variants.
Here we have the lastest release from Academy - the 1/72 F-15K Slam Eagle. This tooling is essentially a reissue of their recent F-15E Strike Eagle kit with a change of decals, the addition of stickers and multi-colored plastic. Even the box art features the same two Eagle poses that are rearranged slightly along with a change of markings.
When you look at the parts in this box, the surface details look better than most 1/72 scale kits and even some in larger scales. The engineering of this kit is outstanding and then you notice that this gem is a snap-together model. The kit is molded in dark gray, light gray, silver, white, and black styrene, this kit is presented on eight parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus a separate lower fuselage half and one tree of clear parts.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Easy assembly
- Nicely detailed cockpits
- Instrument panels have nice relief details including MFDs and analog guages
- Side consoles are represented as decals
- One-piece canopy molded closed
- Positionable dorsal speed brake
- Intake ducts down to engine faces (choice of Pratt or GE compressor faces)
- Detailed afterburner chambers
- Choice of GE nozzles or GE featherless nozzles
- Separately molded nose and main wheel hubs and tires
External stores include:
- 12 x GBU-38 500lb JDAM
- 2 x AIM-120C
- 2 x AIM-9X
- 2 x 600 gallon external tanks
- 1 x AAQ-13 LANTIRN pod
- 1 x AAQ-14 LANTIRN pod
- 1 x AAQ-33 Sniper XR pod
- 1 x AAS-42 IRST
Markings are provided for four examples in decal form and only the first example as stickers:
- F-15K, 02-001
- F-15K, 02-029
- F-15K, 08-047
- F-15K, 08-061
So a few notes on this release:
- The cockpit is nicely done but the canopy is molded closed
- The F100 featherless afterburner nozzles are not some of the better details in this kit though if you're building the earlier F-15Ks, the GE nozzles look fine
- There is no mention of ballast being needed with this kit but the separately molded radome snaps onto the forward fuselage assembly, so if you keep the radome off until you're almost finished (you may want to finish it with a slightly different hue anyway), you can add ballast with no problems
While I'm still trying to understand the target audience for these detailed snap-together kits, Academy is not alone in this space. Meng produced the P-51D and F-35A in 1/48 scale that was also a detailed snap-together model and has been well-received by the 'traditional' modeling community. We'll see if Academy can strike a similar note with the F-15E and this F-15K.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!