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Fine Molds 1/72 F-15J J-MSIP - Aggressor


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This past Wednesday I just got Fine Molds' brand new F-15J delivered to my door. Immediately I started fiddling with it and started construction.

 

So far I can definitely say this is not only the best F-15 in 1/72, but the best F-15 in ANY scale period. This is Fine Molds at their peak and their best kit yet. 

 

I really wanted a nice kit but I was let down by the GWH kit and the smooshed wide canopy and fat trailing edges. A problem scaled down from their 1/48 kit. The Platz kit was a step up, but the Matchbox-esque panel lines spoiled the whole package IMO.

 

The Fine Molds kit has fine, crisp, VERY nice surface detailing. Some of the best I have seen in 1/72. 

 

The detail is fantastic. The cockpit in particular looks great. Very fine raised details for the instrument panel and side consoles. The avionics bay behind the pilot's seat looks spot on. They even added some sidewall detail for the cockpit, which is something that often gets left out in this scale.

 

The only thing I can think of that is a minus is that the HUD in clear plastic is a bit on the thick and simple side. TBH, this type of part is a bit hard to mold well in this scale. Thankfully, I have some PE parts which will be a good substitute for the kit one.

 

The only other detail parts I will be using are the Fine Molds ACES seatbelts in their Nano Aviation line, along with the slime lights they released to complement their new Eagle kits.

 

The interior of the fuselage is one part that includes the main gear bays and the intakes + exhausts. I did one diversion from the kit instructions. I cut the internal bulkhead parts in half so that I could more easily putty and sand the seam in the intake trunks after assembling them. Once I get the seams smoothed out I will paint the trunks and put them into the fuselage.

 

The engineering of this kit is incredibly well-thought out. As with their Phantom kits the seams tend to run on actual panel lines and will make clean-up work minimal. In the photos I have dry fitted most of the components and so far fit is really nice.

 

As of now I have painted and fitted the cockpit in the nose. Using the decals over the raised details creates a very convincing and realistic effect. 

 

I'll also be painting this kit up in Aggressor markings with the help of DXM's awesome new JASDF Eagle Aggressor decals.

 

All I have to say for far is: THIS... KIT... ROCKS. One of the best I've built so far. Even Tamiya would bow in deference to these guys. I'm really looking forward to the twin-seater release coming out at the end of the year and the USAF F-15C in January 2024. Hopefully someone releases some good Louisiana ANG markings in 1/72. I always liked those Bayou Militia markings.

 

 

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I just got the exhausts done today. After painting and weathering them the assembly was really easy and straightforward. You first glue the set of three actuator rods onto each individual petal and then slide them into the ring-like base of the exhaust. The burner cans have excellent detail and assembly is a cinch. No more fiddling with individual rods as with the Hasegawa kit.

 

I added some of Fine Mold's Nano Aviation ACES seatbelts to the seat which adds a lot to the already-excellent kit seats.

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