F-15 Eagle Plastic scale model in 1/72 scale
... continued from page 5....
Hasegawa released a kit #02100 for the F-15J MSIP I / II in 2014. The kit offers a choice of the JASDF MSIP I or MSIP II.
For the F-15 users, the "Multi-stage Improvement Program" MSIP started 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. Upgrade with Link 16 and helmet mounted sights as well as AAM-5 "type 04" missile are also envisaged for the JASDF in the 2020s.
The Hasegawa kit which is basically the same mould with sprues [A,B,C,D] was discussed on page 1. But you get 2 extra sprues [K] and [T] and an etched metal fret [MA253] for the upgraded F-15J MSIP I or MSIP II.
What is provided?
(a) a different instrument coaming (part #T6) with different instrument decals.
(b) lightning protection strips on the radar nose cone (etched metal).
(c) a few different RWR antennas #K1 and #K2 on the fuselage ends.
(d) re-enforcements strips on the vertical tail (etched metal).
(e) for MSIP I: a IRST fairing #T1+T2 in front of the windshield.
(f) for MSIP II: pair of IEWS bulges on the intakes (kit parts #T3 and #T4).
(g) GPS antenna at the cover plate under the canopy (part #T5).
(h) for any upgraded F-15 MSIP, also the airco exhaust grill on the right near the cockpit should be removed (fill and sand).
Decals are for a JASDF test wing aircraft at Gigu AFB of either a MSIP I or MSIP II. These sport the standard "ghost grey" F-15 schemes with overall Fed.Std colours FS36375 with areas of FS36320 on top and sides.
The schemes are a bit dull with no special squadron markings.
For that reason, I did some research to find a more colourful F-15J MSIP scheme. It turned out that the 306th squadron of the 6th Air Wing at Komatsu Air Base in September 2017 had special markings.
In fact, Hasegawa released this in kit #02272 with this scheme for a F-15J MSIP I "KOMATSU special markings". This kit also has decals for a normal F-15J of the 303rd squadron with an Air Show livery. I managed to buy this kit.
with the decalset of kit #02272:
Both will be made.
I opted for the F-15J MSIP I. (option "1").
This kit was made as discussed on page 3 with the general notes and assembly suggestions.
The fuselage and forward section were completed first, filled and sanded. Than followed the wing halves ensuring a symmetrical fit. The vertical tails were not yet fitted but the horizontal stabilizers were set. These can be set tilted/ turned a bit when desired.
Above the "bulge" on the intakes for the MSIP I are seen and the GPS fairing at the canopy plate. A new instrument coaming is provided. (for the MSIP II the bulges are not installed but a special tracker fairing in front of the wind screen).
The model got again the "ghost grey" scheme similarly as described on page 3. Also, the metal exhausts and "wash treatment" was given as seen on page 4.
The decals for the 306th squadron aircraft were fine but it was difficult to fit the vertical tail markings. I removed about 1 mm on the forward edge. At the base, it was needed to cut the each tail decal in a few sections. The horizontal flat area was not covered with decal. I had to mix some blue-grey paint to cover this.
The model was completed with details and semi gloss varnish as with the other kits.
The F-15J MSIP is capable to fire the new AAM-4 missiles. They are fitted at the "Sparrow" stations. I had found some of these in the Platz F-15J kit. These were painted FS36375 with off white head, decalled and installed.
The AAM-3 were also made and are more commonly seen on JASDF F-15 jets. The wing (also fuel tank) pylon with launch rails were installed.
F-15J, 306 squadron, JASF, Komatsu, 2017
AAM-4 fitted on fuselage station and AAM-3 on wing pylon
note the absent airco grill and details in canopy
.. at Komatsu air base, Japan
... over sea flying
Yep... even more 1/72 F-15 models to follow in the future...
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Created this page June 17, 2021