F-15E Strike Eagle

Published: July 30th, 2019     
Product Image
Box Front
Reviewed by: 
Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Platz
Price: $23.99
Product / Stock #: FC-11

The Model

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a development of the F-15. The concept of the Strike Eagle was to produce a bomber aircraft which also had fighter capability. The biggest visual differences between the E model and earlier F-15s are the two-seat cockpit and the addition of conformal fuel tanks on the sides of the fuselage.

This F-15E is a reissue of a kit previously sold as part of a multi-kit collection from F-Toys which contained an AV-8 Harrier, An A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-15E. The kit is designed to have the parts pressed together, with little or no glue needed. As such, there is some filing and sanding required to get an acceptable fit. You get two aircraft in the box, and decals for 3 planes.

Assembly

The assembly is pretty simple. The seats are glued in the cockpit, the instrument panel is inserted, and the cockpit assembly is placed between the forward fuselage halves. I glued the fuselage parts together. This was a mistake.

Step 3 is assembling the main part of the fuselage, top and bottom halves. Be sure to put in the two exhausts at the rear of the fuselage before assembly. If you don't you have to cut the connection between the exhausts and insert them individually. Yes, I had to do that. Also in step 3 is putting on the vertical stabilizers and the intakes.

The cockpit area has a fair-sized hole which takes a dowel from the front of the rear fuselage. The dowel has a ring which will fit into a slot in the cockpit. The dowel forces the cockpit halves apart until the ring fits into the slot. Unless you glue the cockpit halves. Then you have to file the ring down to get it into the hole without damaging the cockpit. Yes, I had to do that too.

Even with all this, this assembly took less than 2 hours. Very fast.

Step 4 starts by attaching the conformal fuel tanks, which go on nicely, with no problem. The tough part of this step is drilling two holes in the bottom of the fuselage, one 2 mm from the front and one 3 mm from the front, along panel lines. These are for the two sensor packs under the fuselage. The tough part for me was finding a metric ruler which was readable with millimeters on it.

Painting

Step 5 on the instructions is painting the aircraft. I decided I'd like to do the F-15I from the Israeli Air Force. I had a little trouble seeing the paint scheme on the instruction sheet, so I scanned it and printed a version about two times as big. The other problem many modelers may have is that the colors are given with Mr. Color and Model Master paints. Unfortunately Model Master doesn't produce some of the colors. My bad habit of buying a lot of paint which I may not need paid off here, and I had the MM paints.

I put on a coat of Future to give a gloss surface for the markings.

Decals

The decals for the Israeli Strike Eagle were wonderful. They came off the paper nicely, allowed some adjustment, and stayed where I put them after I used a tissue on the excess water. But that's what we've grown to expect from Cartograf, who are a top decal maker.

Final Assembly

After the decals sat overnight, I put a coat of clear flat over the whole aircraft, which made the decals blend in nicely.

Then it was time for Step 6, the "fiddly bits", which I leave off anyway because I break things while doing decals. The guys at Platz/F-Toys seem to know this about me. The two sensor pods, the underwing fuel tanks, the bomb racks and the landing gear all went on with very little trouble. Tamiya Extra Thin cement works beautifully on these parts.

The final assembly was the canopy. This assembly is designed to simply snap into place on the cockpit opening. But it kept wanting to open up a seam between the fuselage and the bottom of one of the canopy sides. I took care of this with an application of Micro Krystal Klear. I used some tape to hold the canopy on until the glue set.

Overall Evaluation

Recommended. The kit is simple but goes together well. Some work is needed to get all the parts to fit cleanly because the parts are designed to stay together without glue, which compromises some of the parts fit. The decals are so very good. Also, this kit will stand up to pretty rough handling. I managed to paint and decal the whole model without damaging the two prongs at the tops of the vertical stabilizers.

Many thanks to Plats/F-Toys for this nice kit, and thanks to IPMS USA for providing me with a different F-15 for my display.

  • Box back
    Box back
  • Decal sheet
    Decal sheet
  • Instruction 1
    Instruction 1
  • Instruction 2
    Instruction 2
  • Painted front
    Painted front
  • Painted left
    Painted left
  • Painted right
    Painted right
  • Decals left
    Decals left
  • Decals right rear
    Decals right rear
  • Decals front
    Decals front
  • Finished left
    Finished left
  • Finished rear
    Finished rear
  • Finished right
    Finished right
  • Finished front
    Finished front
  • Finished bottom
    Finished bottom

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