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Modern (1975-today): USA
Modern aircraft of the United States.
1/48 Academy F-15E?
MARPAT (J Hogan) said
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 - 10:25 PM GMT
Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone has built the 1/48 Academy F-15E? Thanks Guys!
ViperEnforcer (Mike Valdez) said
Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 10:19 AM GMT
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.

Mike V
Fly-n-hi said
Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 08:19 PM GMT

Quoted Text

Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone has built the 1/48 Academy F-15E? Thanks Guys!

Is this the kit you are asking about:

I just finished this one 5 or 6 months ago.

The main trouble areas were the wing to fuselage seams and the seam where the nose section joins the main fuselage. To get the wings to join as flush as possible I cut off the tabs and sanded down the part of the wing that mated to the fuselage. I found that to be really helpful. The CFTs needed a little bit of attention but they weren't too bad. I scratch built the two missing weapon stations that are supposed to be on the sides of the CFTs.

The kit decals are horrible. I'd recommend getting some AM decals.

I thought it built up into a pretty descent kit. Here's how mine turned out:

kemo (Eric Kemeliotis) said
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 02:16 AM GMT
As a matter of fact I am...and want to throw it against the wall. The fit is horrible, the canopy has a seam down the center. Major filling needed. BUT...I am not giving up and will work through the issues and have it ready for the November show. GOOD LUCK.
ViperEnforcer (Mike Valdez) said
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 05:13 AM GMT

I actually ditched my first Academy F-15C back in 92, as I experienced quite a few major fit and filling issues. A few years later, I took another stab at one and managed to get it built up for a client. The only reason why I built the Academy F-15s I did (4 in total), was because I had picked them up so cheap when I was stationed in Korea; $8 a pop. It wasn’t until later on that I significantly researched the subject and found out just how inaccurate the Academy kit was.

Having also built the Hasegawa F-15, I doubt I will ever built another Academy kit, even the new releases I just picked up. It's just not worth the effort when i can build a Hasegawa kit (which is no walk in the park either) in about a third less the time & effort.

As for the canopy seam; that is a result of the 3 piece mold. In order to get a more accurate "bubble cross section" to the canopy, the outside mold needs to be made in 2 parts. The payoff is you get a bubble cross section canopy (though the Academy one is a bit too wide) that looks a hell of a lot more realistic than a flat sided F-15 canopy. After you've done a couple of them, the seams become simple enough to remove.

Mike V
Orangebarrelman (Matt Roberts) said
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 05:35 AM GMT
I'm not going to go into the accuracy debate...I'll lose to Mike every time. But I can recommend his fix to the nose attachment problem with the .020 (or larger - depending on what size plastic you have in the stash). It is a big problem with most non-Hasegawa F-15 and F-14 kits - is the nose to fuselage join, and the use of tabs to help force the join flush means much less fighting seams that have the intakes getting in the way.

The later Eagles that have been released in the last year have been great for the amount of newly tooled sprues and revised sprues they have added to the kits.

The new boxings are the F-15E Operation Iraqi Freedom, F-15K 'Slam Eagle' - South Korean Airforce, and F-15I 'Ra'am' Israeli Airforce.

One of the biggest pluses compared to the earlier "Strike Eagle' are the correct CFT pylons, which to me are most noticible change and the correct bulged main gear doors - those cover the beefed up main gear on the Strike Eagle airframe.
ViperEnforcer (Mike Valdez) said
Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010 - 07:39 AM GMT
Good point Matt, but I already covered that

No matter though, as it's good highlight the importance of adding alignment tabs for the main fuselage to forward fuselage joint. I also have the same approach when building the Hasegawa F-15 an F-14. Hell, I even reinforce the Revell F-15E fore fuse to main fuse joint.

Yes, the added weapons sprues are nice (at least the ones with the correct dimensions) as are the CFTs. Lots of good stuff to use on other kits

Mike V
MARPAT (J Hogan) said
Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 02:16 AM GMT
Hey all, thanks for the tips. Maybe I should run screaming from the kit then lol. I should have mentioned this earlier but it was the Academy F-15E Operation Iraqi Freedom, probably not going to make much difference. As this is my first fixed wing this will be an interesting task lol. I just finish reading this book called fire strike 7/9 and it is about a British JTAC who at the end of his tour had a rack up of over 200 confirmed kills on Taliban fighters. But he really felt he owed his life to 2 American F-15 pilots call signs Dude1/3 and Dude1/4 who came in on a broken arrow call doing shows of force (Hitting mach one while doing a sharp turn above an position) at an altitude of 30m, and doing some mighty impressive CAS. I noticed that the Decals for the Academy OIF F-15E are almost the same, that was the selling point for me lol...