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Academy Hobby Model Kits F-15 build

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Hi all,

On a recent walk round Belfast, I happened upon an excellent model shop called 'The Modellers Nook' behind Castlecourt, I'm sure some of you may know it. But it was my first visit. They had a good selection of kits, in various scales and subjects, from a variety of manufacturers. What caught my eye was a 1:144 scale F-15 from Academy, for a very reasonable price. They also had in stock an F-14 Tomcat from the same maker, which I may well also pick up. Anyway the Eagle.

The kit comes on two main sprues, as well as a separate clear canopy, and has a good, if fiddly due to their size, transfer sheet. The moldings required very little if any clean up of flash, which is always nice!

The main body of the aircraft goes together as two separate sections, the cockpit and nose and the main fuselage and wings and tail-planes, both of which go together themselves in the normal two half moldings way. The issue with this way of doing it though is that the join between the nose and the rest of the fuselage is hard to get neat without a noticeable gap. This could always be cured with filler however. Another area which made a nuisance of itself was the tails; they just didn't want to sit fully flush without gap on the body. Some filing of the bottoms of the tails went some way to aiding this. The air intakes are made up of the sides on the bottom fuselage molding, and the tops on the top. This for me meant that the sides wanted to move in somewhat from perfectly joining with the top, but holding them that little bit longer after gluing makes this less an issue.

The landing gear I felt was excellent in terms of detail for this scale, and really looks the part once painted up and on the aircraft. They come as two pieces, the strut and wheel, which fit together very well, with just a wee drop of glue to make the bond. The afterburners/jet outlets/whatever the proper term is, are separate from the fuselage, which makes painting them easier. Top tip: put a small piece of blue-tac inside them and stick on a cocktail stick, makes painting easy and quick. I gave these pieces a light brush of smokey black weathering powder to finish them off.

Also underneath are four missiles, which attach to the aircraft in what I thought a curious way. There are no lugs to go into holes on the body, you just put a dab of glue on one side of the fins on them, and glue straight to the body. It works out very well in this scale.

For the paint scheme, light grey and dark grey are called for for the camo scheme. However, I felt that the grey plastic the kit is molded in was close enough to the light grey when I looked at prototype photos, so saved myself some bother there. Up to yourself if you think paint is the better way to go, I took the 'easy way out' of that one. The transfers are printed clearly, with not excessive carrier film round them. They're just fiddly buggers due to their size!

The canopy, while not vac formed, is actually quite fine, and looks well on the model. I managed to get it on without any clouding from the glue; yes! The cockpit has no interior detail whatsoever, being just a flat plastic area on top of the nose. But what can you expect in such a small scale. No paint is specified for this area, so I went with a dark green since that seems to be a popular interior colour. A spray all over with acrylic varnish finished the paint job off and sealed the transfers. Just make sure to do this before you attach the canopy.

In conclusion, this kit was fun to put together and very affordable to buy at £2.99. Very glad I found the wee model shop, I'll certainly be back. For those who aren't in the Belfast area, the kit can be gotten cheaply on Amazon too. As I mentioned, there were a few areas that weren't just perfect, but overall I'm very happy with this build, it was good fun and that's the main thing. Well, one of the main things anyway!

I had hoped to include pictures with this post, but the up-loader didn't want to co-operate, perhaps they were too large a file. So I've uploaded them to Flickr, and the link to the album is:


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