Academy 1/72 12550 F-15E 333rd FIGHTER SQUADRON USAF
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather multirole strike fighter derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic-warfare aircraft. United States Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker aircraft camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intake ramps. The Strike Eagle has been deployed for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, among others. During these operations the F-15E has carried out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and provided close air support for coalition troops. It has also been exported to several countries.
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle had been introduced by the United States Air Force (USAF) as a replacement for its fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs. However, unlike the F-4, the F-15 was designed for the air-superiority mission with little consideration for a ground-attack role; the F-15 Special Project Office opposed the idea of F-15s performing the interdiction mission, giving rise to the phrase “Not a pound for air to ground.” In service, the F-15 has been a very successful fighter, with over 100 aerial combat victories and zero losses in air-to-air combat as of 2007.
The guy driving the brown truck showed yesterday with a package. Who would it be? I’ll surprise myself. I opened the box from the bottom side. There I discovered within a nest of shredded paper this beautiful kit. I present you the new Academy 1/72 USAF F-15E 333rd Fighter Squadron! Ooh La la!You have to see this kit to believe it. Remember when Academy surprised us with their new Phantom F-4 II almost 5 years ago? At least to my personal experience, Academy made me revive that moment after opening this one. In case you missed the memo (I did) this plastic model is 100% NEW TOOLING. The sprue layout made good use of space during the tooling of this kit. Check and compare the pictures below with those from the F-15C MSIP II also from Academy Models. The box of the Academy 1/72 F-15E is much smaller than that from the F-15C MSIP II.
The overall molding was taken to a whole new level. The sprues and parts show very little to no mold lines. The first large part that welcomed me after removing the box lid was the lower fuselage.
My goodness, every single access hatch or cover and rivet is molded so good. The pictures below don’t do justice to the amount of detail printed on this kit.
The air intakes are molded in two parts. Let me tell you something. If someone told me that this kit was tooled and printed by Bandai, I would believe it. The detail is absolutely crisp on the wheels and engines that because the kit comes molded in dark gray, you would think it is resin and not styrene. The injection gates are very small and most of the parts are connected to them in inconspicuous spots ala Bandai Star Wars kits. The struts and landing gear linkages are nicely detailed. I can not praise the Academy 1/72 F-15E enough out of the initial reaction. How good these good looking parts interact with each other to build this kit is another $20 bucks as the saying goes in Puerto Rico.