F-15 models in 1/32 scale made by Meindert de Vreeze
Revell and Tamiya
see also the 1/72 pages...
The F-15 Eagle from McDonnell Douglas, now being produced by Boeing is an interesting modelling subject. In the large 1/32 scale there are a couple of excellent models of the F-15 available. This modelling report will deal with an F-15C and an F-15D of Revell and an F-15E of Tamiya converted into and F-15I.
But first lets have a short look at details of the real plane.
The Eagle fighter variants can be armed with different air-to-air weapons. The first variants, the F-15A single seater and F-15B two seater trainer can carry AIM-7 Sparrow missiles on lower fuselage corners, AIM-9 Sidewinder on two pylons under the wings, and have an internal 20mm Gatling gun in the right wing root. In addition, large fueltanks can be carried on the central and two wing pylons.
The first F-15A flight was made in July 1972, and the first flight of the two-seat F-15B (formerly TF-15A) trainer was made in July 1973. The F-15A became operational in 1976.
The F-15C and D versions were developed from the A and B and received avionics updates. They can also be armed with AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles and more modern versions of the Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. They also have a single large antenna pod on top of left vertical tail and some additional antenna. Otherwise, these later models look externally very similar to the earlier A and B versions.
Low-drag, conformal fuel tanks were especially developed for the F-15C and D models. The conformal fuel tanks can be attached to the sides of the fuselage. C and D models often fly without the conformal fuel tanks and without the P&W engine covers, called "Turkey feathers" to save weight. The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered US Air Force in 1979.
The F-15J was a version of the F-15C made for Japan with some special internal equipment. Externally it is very similar to the F-15C. Most were manufactured under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
The F-15E is a two-seat, dual-role, totally integrated fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and deep interdiction missions. The two crew members are a pilot and a weapon systems officer. The F-15E became operational in 1988. The rear cockpit is upgraded with new panels to include four multi-purpose CRT displays for aircraft systems and weapons management. Is also usually carries the conformal fuel tanks. The pilot's instrument panel also was improved with several instruments.
Also, the F-15E can make use of special mission equipment and pods, such as the low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night (LANTIRN). It consists of a navigation and targeting pod attached to the exterior of the aircraft. The F-15E has also the internal 20 mm gun and can also carry besides dumb bombs and guided bombs the usual F-15C missiles for air defence. In most cases it carries a couple of Sidewinder missiles to pylons for self defense. The F-15E has two larger antenna pods on top of the verical fins.
The F-15E was the basis for a special Israeli version. This F-15I Ra'am is a special version that entered service in January of 1998 in Israeli service. It is capable of a higher weights and some better performance than the F-15E. Missiles that can be carried include Israeli Python A-A missiles but also the normal loads of the F-15E can be carried, including the LANTIRN system. The Python 4 is compatible with standard AIM-9 Sidewinder missile capable launchers. Externally, the F-15I is very similar to the F-15E, but engine exhausts always carry the Turkey Feathers and on top of the vertical fins, only the flutter weights are carried. Below the wing, large cooling intakes are present of both sides of the conformal fuel tanks ("fast packs"). Also some chaff dispensers are located at the lower tailbooms near the engine pipes.
The F-15 was upgraded in several "Multi-stage Improvement Program" MSIP phases for the USAF from the mid 1980s. The MSIP mainly involved an APG-70 radar with improved missile capability for the AIM-120 AMRAAM and advanced Sidewinders. System updates and improved ESM capability were also deployed. The Japanese F-15J MSIP involves an APG-63 upgrade, F100-IHI engines, new ejection seat and the Japanese AAM-4 'type 99" missile. Link 16 and helmet mounted sights as well as AAM-5 "Type 04" missile are also envisaged for the JASDF.
From 2019, for USAF aircraft plans are to extend the F-15 usage until the 2030s with a joint multi mission planning system and the APG-82 radar. (next to the F-35 fleet).
Plastic scale models
In 1/32 scale, there are two kit manufacturers that issued F-15 kits in different versions, Tamiya from Japan and Revell from Germany/USA. (NOTE: I also made several 1/72 scale F-15 models: see the 1/72 F-15 page here...)
Also, later on they issued a modified kit in 1992 as the F-15E/D Kit # 04788, of which you could also make an F-15D. It has obviously a new canopy, two seats and slightly different forward fuselage parts than the "C".
From the F-15E/D kit, an "E" prototype
model can be made with iron bombs, but no special pylons. It has fortunately
the fastpacks, but they forgot the chaff/flare dispensers under the tail
booms that were fitted on operational types. When you want to make a F-15B
or F-15D, you have to correct the supplied F-15E instrument panels....
The Revell kits are very nice and typical of Revell. Accurate, not too complicated, acceptable detail and comes at a good price.
Some parts in the Revell kits are a bit simple to keep the kit's costs low, such as the cockpit seats, the radar detailling, the exhaust pipes (with or without "turkey feathers") and the "stores" are all there although a bit simple. Adding details in these areas and/or replacing some of these parts will improve the overall result.
But the Revell kits have engraved panellines but no fasteners/rivets details. It is noted however that on modern fighter planes these are flush and hardly visible.
The Tamiya kit has finer recessed
panellines than the Revell kits and has finer details, but it is expensive...
The three kits are to be finished
Revell F-15B trainer/fighter, to be finished in the 32 TFS Soesterberg,
Tamiya F-15E to be converted into a F-15I Ra'am: a version of the F-15E
as made for Israel with desert camouflage.
OK.... On to next [ PAGE 2 ....]
- Walk Around 28, Lou Drendel, Squadron Signal USA
- F-15, BunRin Do 1978/3, Japan
- Scale Models magazine, April 1994 about Tamiya F-15E, U.K
- see my 1/72 F-15 page here...
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Created October 17, 2004;
updated April 2019