Are you referring to the original Academy F-15E or the recent reissue?
No matter really, as the more serious fit problem parts still remain like the fuselage and intakes. The newer issue Academy F-15s have added and updated parts like; wheels, weapons, pods, and cockpit details; neither of which really affect the main build process. Understand the Academy 48th Eagle kits have some major shape errors. The engine bulged are quite exaggerated, but even worse is the raised area around the speedbrake, which is quite erroneous. The canopy is a bit too wide, while even more so is the spine just aft of the canopy.
The Academy F-15s are not easy builds, though careful attention to alignment with lots of filling and sanding will yield good results. Here are some building tips I developed during my builds:
- The first thing you’ll want to do is fill in all the sink trenches on the base of the stabs, vertical tails, wings, under wingtips, and fuselage sides.
- Mate the “upper wing halves” to the upper fuselage before joining the upper and lower fuselage halves. The wing fit is bad enough as it is, but this method will help eliminate unnecessary filling and sanding. Just be sure to mate the surfaces as clean as possible.
- The intake ducts are an absolute nightmare. First off, they have excess structure, in form of the upper forward extended rails. Removes these rails. Next, shave down the sides of the forward lower lip extension until it fits snugly into the lower fuselage intake walls. Fill and/or remove the punch marks from the intake halves. Now assemble the upper and lower intake duct halves, making sure to take care of the seam work left behind. Install the left & right intake ducts into the lower fuselage, making sure to align the lower lip extension in between the lower fuselage LE intake sidewalls. Blend the intake ducts into the LE intake walls.
- Once the fuselage haves (& upper wing) are joined, add alignment tabs to the inside of the forward fuselage, where the forward fuselage mates. I made 6 tabs; 4 on the lower and 2 on the upper joint, using 20 thou plastic card stock. The tabs are critical for making a solid fore to main fuselage joint. Typically, when the forward fuselage is built up, the aft sides are angled in too far. The tabs will spread and help align the forward fuselage sides to the main fuselage.
This should cover the main building issues with the Academy F-15, as the rest is gravy compared. Hope that helped you out.