Platz 1/72 F-15J Tengu Warriors
The Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather air superiority fighter based on the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle in use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The F-15J was produced under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The subsequent F-15DJ and F-15J Kai variants were also produced. Japan is the largest customer of the F-15 Eagle outside the United States. In addition to combat, F-15DJ roles include training. The F-15J Kai is a modernized version of the F-15J. The F-15J is almost identical to the F-15C with some Japanese avionics.
There has actually only ever been 2 companies make kits of the F-15J variant in 1/72, Hasegawa and Platz. Hasegawa has done 2 toolings of this kit in 1974 and 1988 and Platz’s tooling is from 2015.
In the Box
The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box. The sprues are all in one bag apart from the clear sprue which is in its own bag. The decal sheet comes in its own bag too and has a protective sheet on it. The instructions are on 8 glossy black and white pages.
The sprues have fine recessed panel lines and small attachment gates and are the usual good quality we expect from Platz. The level of detail is very good with no obvious issues. There are approximately 200 parts in the kit, depending upon some choices you make during the build. There is one small clear sprue and there seems to be 6 sprues in the bag, but 2 of the sprues are actually 2 sprues in one. The layout of sprues is:
- Sprue A – fuselage and wings
- Sprue B – Fuselage
- Sprue C – small parts
- Sprue D x 2 – tails and fuel tanks
- Sprue E – missiles
- Sprue K x 2 – exhaust nozzles
- Sprie J – clear parts
in total the kit contains
- 5 clear parts
- 201 plastic parts
The decal sheet has 1 option, but it’s a special one. The instructions are highly detailed and packed with information. The first page gives a few brief details about the aircraft. Then there’s 4 pages showing the actual build with some part views to show exact placement. It finishes off with 2 pages of decal placements. There are colour call outs throughout the instructions for Mr Color and Model Master paints.
The build is in 9 steps:
- This puts together the cockpit with a 4 part ejector seat and decals for the instruments if you don’t want ot paint them.
- This step adds the cockpit sides and makes the nose of the aircraft forward of the wings. You need to add nose weight and make a choice about the canopy being open or closed at this stage. There are 3 small holes to drill in the bottom of the nose to allow aerials to be added in step 7. As with most other F-15 kits, building it this way allows 2 seat version to be made in future kits. Hopefully, we’ll see an F-15DJ from Platz soon.
- Step 3 puts together the engine ducting inside the top and bottom fuselage. If you plan on adding a central external fuel tank you will need to drill a couple of 1 mm holes.
- The next step adds the fuselage sides.
- Step 5 puts together the air intakes and canopy and adds them and the nose of the aircraft to the main airframe. If your canopy is going to be open you will probably add it later. At this stage, you need to decide if the airbrake is open or closed and whether the air intakes are up or down.
- Step 6 is putting together the engine exhaust nozzles with 21 pieces per nozzle.
- Step 7 is putting together the 3 part wings and adding them and the tails and elevators to the kit. You also add several small parts to the bottom of the aircraft. It says to add 4 AAM-4s at this stage, but if you’re going to add them you will probably do so later.
- Step 8 is all about the undercarriage and undercarriage doors.
- The final step makes 3 fuel tanks and 2 pylons, each holding 2 x AAM-3.
The decal sheet is very crowded – there’s a lot of decals on this sheet! There are options for 10 aircraft:
- 42-8947 304 Sqn 40th Anniversary “Tengu Warriors”
The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual very high standard.
Overall this is a very nice kit with a great deal of attention paid to detail. This kit easily ranks with the best out there right now. If you want a 1/72 F-15J then this is now the kit to go for. I’m thinking about all the aftermarket decal options for colourful F-15Js out there and how nice they would look on this kit.
Thanks to Platz for the review sample.