Review Platz 1/72 Mitsubishi F-15J J-MSIP
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 F-15J is almost identical to the F-15C with some Japanese avionics. The aircraft, like all modern aircraft, has undergone modifications and upgrades over its life as part of the Japan Multi Stage Improvement Program (J-MSIP). There are 2 configurations of J-MSIP and you can make either configuration with this kit, or even make an aircraft prior to J-MSIP.
The only other real player in the 1/72 F-15J market is Hasegawa and this Platz kit is as good as anything they’ve produced.
In the Box
The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box. The sprues are all in one resealable bag apart from the clear sprue which is in its own resealable bag inside the main bag. The decal sheet comes in its own bag too and has a protective sheet on it. The instructions are on a single piece of folded paper giving 8 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 it appears there are 6 sprues in the bag, but 2 of the sprues are actually 2 sprues in one. They 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
- Sprue J – clear parts
- Sprue H – extra parts for J-MSIP
The decal sheet has 6 options, 5 for configuration II aircraft and single configuration I aircraft. 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 3 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.
- This step adds the cockpit sides and makes the nose of the aircraft forward of the wings. You need to add at least 3g of 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. You also have 2 holes to drill if you’re doing a J-MSIP configuration I aircraft.
- 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.
- 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:
- 12-8928 APW
- 92-8906 306 Sqn
- 92-8907 306 Sqn
- 92-8912 306 Sqn
- 22-8940 306 Sqn
- 62-8958 306 Sqn
The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual very high standard.
This kit is available online for about US $34.00 plus shipping.
Overall this is an excellent 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. Take a look at DXM for some ideas.
Thanks to Platz for the review sample.