Written by 10:23 am On the Bench

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 F-15E Strike Eagle Pt.2 – Construction

Work continues as I attach the nose to the fuselage. There’s a somewhat ugly seamline here which requires getting rid off. Good thing is there’s no rescribing needed as it’s not meant to be a panel line.

The gun port is a simple upper and lower join which results in an ugly seamline in a place that’s very difficult to reach. Really Hasegawa? I spent some time here carefully getting rid of the seamline. The result is not perfect but I hope painting it will hide some of the shoddy work.

Based on references I removed four of the antennas on the bottom.

Next are the CFTs which like the real thing, are separate parts and need to be attached into place.

Happily, they fit without fuss.

The CFT bomb racks and lower pylons go on next.

This bomb truck is finally coming into shape.

I’m surprised that no one has brought this up in the various builds I found online, but with the way the windshield is molded, there’s simply no way to avoid a cut mark on the clear plastic. I tried my best to buff this down and dip in Future but it only improved a little.

The other issue is how the engine exhausts were designed. Each is made up of a ring where I have to er… ring the petals around. And then I have to attach two actuators to each petal. The petals don’t attach positively and I have to do repeated adjustments to get them to form a circle around the ring. The result are gaps between some of the petals which I had to carefully fill with putty or a piece of plastic card.

It looks OK under a coat of paint and washes but I really don’t like Hasegawa’s approach here. At least they fit well into the kit though!

Next is to paint the exhaust areas with Vallejo Metal Color Pale Burnt Metal.

Next I need to tackle the weapons. I’m modeling a Strike Eagle flying during Operation: Enduring Freedom so it will be quite heavily armed. I first labeled the mounting points to keep track of which bomb goes where.

I found an archived version of this interesting loadout chart from the defunct website www.f15strikeeagle.com.

But what is a FACE pod? From the Warthog Combat Loadouts site:

FACE was born of a battlefield challenge in Afghanistan—the mountainous terrain and its effect on “line-of-sight” Command and Control communications with CAS aircraft. Our warfighters were meeting the challenge by using a combination of airborne-based platforms such as AWACS and Joint STARS, as well as ground-based radio relays. However, this was placing a tremendous strain on these low density/high demand assets and preventing these assets from being employed in their primary role. Enter “FACE”.

How does it work?
FACE delivers seamless “beyond line-of-sight” communications between ground C2 elements and CAS pilots by integrating an Iridium satellite radio modem and a small VHF/UHF radio into an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod.

Based on a picture I found on the Phase Hangar Resin website, it looks like a modified ACMI pod. So I took the ACMI pod from a Hasegawa Weapons set and modified with plastic rod.

The rest of the stores were:

  • AN/AAQ-13 pod and fuel tanks from the kit
  • GBU-12, GBU-31, AIM-120, AIM-9 from Hasegawa Weapons Set
  • GBU-38 from the Academy F-18E/F kit
  • AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER pod from the Academy F-16C kit

To aid in fit, I added pins and holes onto the stores and pylons.

A last detail I added was aurora film onto the HUD to give it a prismatic look.

Because it’s a overall single color, I decided to add a preshade and random mottling to see if I can add some variation to the inevitably boring looking finish. Painting can now begin!

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt.2 – Construction | Pt.3 – Painting & Finishing

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Tags: , , , , , , , , Last modified: 14 June, 2024