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Hasegawa 1/72 scale F-15C Eagle "Aggressor USAF"

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT | MILITARY
Kit: No. 00860
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Hasegawa, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322, www.dragonmodelsusa.com
Price: $36.95
Comments: Injection-molded, 145 parts, decals
Pros: Fine recessed detail; good cockpit interior
Cons: Poor fit in spots; afterburner nozzles difficult to build; no weapons
Issue Published: March 2008
Hasegawa's evergreen Eagle comes around again, this time with fresh aggressor paint schemes. Nearly 20 years old, the molds are starting to show their age with bits of flash and a few fit problems - but it's still the best 1/72 scale F-15.

The cockpit interior is well detailed, with a four-part seat, bulkheads, and lots of detail in the compartment behind the seat.

The fit problems are concentrated in three areas: intakes, exhausts, and between the main assembly and the nose. The roof of each intake is part of the upper main fuselage assembly, so the seams fall along the upper corners. The fit is not great there, and cleanup is crucial before and after gluing.

Assembling each "featherless" exhaust nozzle is tricky. You must align five segments into a cone, then attach 16 tiny pushrods to the outside.

It's hard to say where the problem lies in the fit of the forward fuselage to the main. The cross section of the two assemblies doesn't quite match. Interestingly, the joining of the two assemblies isn't shown in the instructions. Each is shown separately in Steps 3 and 6, and suddenly together in Step 7.

More fit problems showed up in attaching the dorsal speed brake and hinged canopy in the closed positions; perhaps they were meant to be open. The speed brake is thicker than its well, and the canopy edges and hinge tabs don't fit cleanly to the cockpit sill. I left the brake down, but decided to open the canopy. The installation of the safety brace (Part E2) right behind the seat isn't clear. The trough in Part E7 fits face-up onto two tiny teeth on the canopy sill. The brace attaches to it, then into a rectangular hole in the rear canopy base.

Three drop tanks are provided but, as with most of Hasegawa's modern aircraft kits, you don't get any ordnance. (Aggressors usually carry an inert Sidewinder and an air-combat data pod on the outboard stations of the underwing pylons.)

The decal sheet provides markings for three Eagles flying with the 65th Aggressor Squadron, 57th Wing: two in two-tone blue, and one in tan and brown.

Hasegawa's instructions suggest Gunze colors, but I found the two blues in Testors Model Master enamels: Flanker medium blue (Testors No. 2131) and FS35109 blue (2031). The decals went on fine over a clear gloss coat.

I spent about 37 hours on my Eagle, much of it cutting tape masks for the wavy "Flanker scheme." The finished model makes a fine example of an Eagle, and the snazzy aggressor scheme is a blessed relief from the seemingly endless fleet of gray jets.

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