The development of the multirole F-15E Strike Eagle brought out the latent air-to-ground capacity of the F-15, and it evolved quickly into an indispensable ground attack platform for the USAF. Both the front and back cockpits saw a major redesign for the new mission and the F-15E’s front office barely resembled their F-15B and F-15D forerunners with the inclusion of a wide-angle HUD and three MFD (Multi-Function Display) screens for the pilot and four MFDs for the WSO. Tamiya’s F-15E kit still reigns supreme as the best F-15E in 1:32 scale, and when it was released in 1993, it was part of a shift in the hobby that started the wave of “wonder kits” that we see today. Still, you can add more detail to the cockpit, and that’s what Eduard provides in these two sets.
Eduard # 33218 F-15E Interior ZOOM: If your focus involves just superdetailing the cockpit, this Eduard ZOOM set is the way to go. You get 80 photoetched metal parts on a pair of pre-painted frets. This set provides complete replacements for the pilot and WSO’s instrument panels, side console panels, circuit breaker panels, the HUD’s Up-Front Display control panel, various handles, levers, data placards, and various ejection seat details. The pre-painted details are really gorgeous, and the individually painted dial faces look quite accurate and have been treated with the Eduard “raised glass” effect.
Each MFD has a separate set of frames that go atop the screens for a good scale effect. The screens are shown “power on,” with most of them displaying various green scale-type imagery. The pilot’s moving map display is also provided. All of this is far superior to the injection molded parts in the kit, and the pre-painting is gorgeous, achieving a fidelity of detail that only a very few mere mortal detail painters can accomplish. Note that the toggle switch positions on the side consoles are perforated, and this is for the builder to install their own vertically arrayed toggle switches (using 1mm lengths of 0.5mm styrene rod) which project above the surface of the consoles.
Eduard #32947 F-15E Interior: This is a more complete cockpit detail set, especially helpful if you want the canopy up and all that cockpit detail to be seen. The two PE frets from the ZOOM set described above are joined by a third, unpainted fret with another 68 parts. These include the canopy seal on the aft-facing surface of the windscreen frame, the rear-view mirrors, rudder pedals for both the pilot and WSO, sidewall elements, details for both instrument coamings, grab-handles, the aft canopy frame and aft cockpit deck, and the very important canopy locking hooks. It’s a pretty complete treatment.
Depending on what level of detail you are looking to achieve with your Tamiya F-15E, Eduard has your Strike Eagle cockpit needs covered here.
Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany