with Astra Decals decals
492nd FS, 48th FW, US Air Force, UK 2003
This page is dedicated to Doug C, who flew this plane and provided the patches.
Revell’s F-15E Strike Eagle is one of those truly great kits, made even better by the bargin price tag. There are only two problem areas to me: the fit of the canopy when closed is very poor, and the nose wheel buckles under the weight of the finished kit. Other than that the fit is outstanding and the detail superb. It needs no aftermarket goodies, and I didn’t add any. The boxing I had didn’t come with any air-to-ground ordnance, so I loaded this bird to the max with LGBs from Hasegawa Weapon Set D (I needed to get two of them for the 500lb bombs!). I also replaced the kit targeting and navigation pods and pylons (which are fine) with Hasegawa examples. The Sidewinders came in the box and the AMRAAMS are from an old Hasegawa F-16 kit. I’ve attached them to the wrong pylons — the AMRAAMS should be on the outboard shoulder pylons. Oh well. I wanted to build this kit in the markings of an F-15E flown from nearby Lakenheath by a friend of mine — 91-0133. I eventually managed to get some markings from Astra Decals in Belgium that enables any F-15 (C or E) from Lakenheath to be built. I had no pictures to work from, so the markings might not be quite correct. I couldn’t make the pilot and WSO names for the nose either, so the plates are blank representing the deployment to Turkey in 2003. The decals were impressive in their printing and instructions, but not good in application. They were very stiff and refused to respond to setting solutions. I even used Daco Products Extra Strong decal solvent with no result, and they are the manufacturer behind Astra Decals! So I got some pretty bad silvering of a lot of the markings.
Year bought: 2000 (Antics, Guildford)
Year built: 2003 (Victoria Road, Cambridge)