Build Date: October 12, 2002.
F-15C of 1st FS, 325th FW at Tyndall AFB.
This model was built from the 1:48 Monogram F-15A kit (Kit No. 5801). The kit, without any modifications will produce an early F-15A. The kit is typical of the old molds from Monogram. When this kit was released around 1984 it was the best F-15 kit until Hasegawa released theirs. I had built both kits and I still think this is the better kit.
According Squadron Walk Around, the F-15’s cockpit is supposed to be painted with Dark Gull Gray (FS36231) – Gunze color No. 317. Instead, I used Gunze No. 57 – Aircraft Gray because Dark Gull Gray looks too dark “scale wise” when compared to the photos. The instrument panel and side consoles are sprayed with a mix of dark gray. The F-15’s avionics bay is painted with an unique chrome green color that is not available straight from a bottle. I mix this “chrome green” color as follows: 80% Gunze 89; 5% Gunze 15; 15% White. I keep adding white until I get a tone that looks right when compared to the photos in my reference books. Note: I heard that some aircraft have this area painted white.
The kit’s afterburner nozzle is replaced with the featherless nozzle given to me by Vern. The nozzle comes from an Academy/Minicraft F-15 kit. The diameter of the nozzle, where it glues onto the fuselage, is too small for the Monogram kit. I fix this problem by sawing out a portion of the Monogram nozzle to use as an adapter between the fuselage and the Academy nozzle. This worked out perfect but I’m sure the Scale Police will say the nozzle extends out a little too long when compare to scale drawing. I really don’t care. The nozzle interior is painted with an off-white color and then washed out with Testor gun metal. Then, I use a paper towel wet with thinner and wipe out until it looks dirty and burnt.
The two piece canopy is a very tricky assembly to do right. The clear canopy, also the wind shield, is not molded to fit exactly to the canopy base. I sanded the canopy edges down until I think it will fit well. I glued the canopy to the base after all the painting is completed. I had to glue it three times before I got it right.
The kit do not provide the Internal Counter Measure System (ICS) black boxes for the aft compartment of the cockpit. I made the AN/ALQ-135 ICS black boxes from the left over pour stubs from resin parts and I added handles and knobs to complete the look.
To bring the A model up to a F-15C, 3 more antennas are made and glued to the underside of the front fuselage per reference books.
The decals I used are for a MOD Eagle. I debated much as to the proper color to use for this model. The instruction said to use FS 36176 and FS 36251. I compared the color of the paints against reference photos and I decided the color right out of the bottle is too dark. I felt the model will look better and more to scale effect if I used lighter grays. Therefore, I painted the model with Gunze 308 (FS36375) and Gunze 337 (FS35237). Wheel wells and landing gears were painted gloss white and washed out with a mix of dark gray to bring out the details.
A coat of Future was sprayed onto the painted model and let dried prior to decaling. After decaling, a Gunze flat coat was sprayed over the entire model. The taped over area on fuselage is then painted with buffable Model Master Aluminum and Burnt Metal colors. A thinned out wash of Gunze clear blue was sprayed over a portion of the afterburner can to simulate the blueish-aluminum tone that I see on F-15. This is a very subtle effect and not to be overdone.
The kit stock decal looks nice but it was totally useless because the decals would curl up tight after released from the backing paper. The decals I used were SuperScale Decal No. 48-528 and SuperScale F-15 MOD Eagle Data sheet No 48-523. The model is of an aircraft from the 1st FS, 325th FW at Tyndall AFB.
I made the Sidewinder seeker head covers from thinned out styrene tube. The cap of the cover was made with a disk punched from a thin styrene sheet and glued to the tube. Paint them yellow and attached a set of rope to the missile fins. Covers are also provided for the heat exchanger exhaust ducts below each side of the rear fuselage. “Remove Before Flight” streamers are from the Monogram kit decals and tied to each location with fine wires.
The FOD covers for the intake ramp are stolen from my Revell F-15E kit.
This is a fine F-15 kit for the money regardless of whether one is upgrading the kit or not. It shape right and looks right. With some effort and TLC, it can be a fine addition to the display case.
- F-15 Eagle in Detail & Scale by Bert Kinzey
- World Air Power Journal, Volumn 9, Summer 1992
- Walk Around F-15 Eagles #28 by Squadron/Signal Publications