Hasegawa 1/72 F-15C Eagle 'Oregon ANG 75th Anniversary' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2018||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-15C Eagle 'Oregon ANG 75th Anniversary'||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||02268||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$47.99|
In 1969, McDonnell Douglas was awarded a contract to develop the Air Force's next generation fighter. The Vietnam air war had caught the service without a suitable all-weather fighter and as an interim measure, the Air Force purchased their own variants of the Navy's F-4 Phantom II. Given the rapidly declining kill ratios from World War II through Korea and into Vietnam, what was needed was a true air superiority machine. The resulting design was very large, but the F-15 Eagle was the first production aircraft that produced more thrust than it weighed.
The F-15 has seen combat in a number of conflicts around the globe and in USAF service, remains undefeated. The F-15Cs came online in the late 1970s and have been periodically updated with newer avionics and weapons, but given its age, the aircraft is reaching its end-of-life. When the nose broke off of a Missouri ANG Eagle several years ago, the aircraft was found to have structural problems which were thought to have been mitigated, but have recently resurfaced. In the latest planning cycle, the USAF has tentatively cancelled the latest round of avionics updates for the F-15C/D while the newer F-15Es will get the updates.
Hasegawa has reissued their 1/72 F-15C Eagle kit with a special decal sheet commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Oregon ANG. It is rare to see a USAF Eagle with so much special art on the airframe. This Hasegawa tooling has been around since 1988 and has received a few updates over the years. This tooling should not be confused with the original Hasegawa F-15 tooling released in the mid-1970s as the 1988 release as a do-over that included scribed panel lines.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Nicely detailed ACES II ejection seat (no pilot restraints provided)
- Nicely detailed avionics bay behind the cockpit
- Positionable canopy
- Featherless F100 afterburner nozzles
- Detailed wheel wells and landing gear
- Positionable speed brake
The kit includes four 600 gallon external fuel tanks (only three needed) but is one of those kits that doesn't include weapons (these are sold separately in their armament sets). The instructions also show the weapons loadout that can be obtained by the armament set (4 x AIM-9L/M and 4 x AIM-7F). This might be a problem for some modelers, see notes below.
Markings are provided for one example:
- F-15C, 79-041, 114 FS/143 FW/OR ANG, special scheme, 2016
In addition to the distinctive markings, the decals also include a basic set of airframe stenciling.
- The aircraft depicted in this kit is a MSIP II aircraft. The kit is a pre-MSIP I layout. The antennas and other details can be replicated in this scale rather easily.
- As a MSIP II aircraft, this F-15C carries the AIM-9X and AIM-120 as depicted in the box art. While you can swap missiles easily, you'll also need to change out the missile rails under the wings as the kit's rails were the early AIM-9 only type. The revised rails are thicker and can carry the AIM-9 and AIM-120 interchangeably.
- The aircraft is wearing the standard Mod Eagle paint scheme under the special markings.
The above can be considered minor, but it is a shame that at this price, Hasegawa didn't update the tooling to match the subject since all of the F-15Cs still in service are MSIP II. Since the current MSRP for the 'standard' F-15C in this scale is around $24 USD, it is a bit breathtaking to think that this kit has a $24 decal sheet and still needs updates to properly render the subject.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!