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How to backdate F-15D to F-15B in 1/72nd scale?


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I am seeking advice on how to backdate F-15D to F-15B in 1/72nd scale (with Hasegawa kit in mind).

Which changes need to be done? 

I searched the web with little results on visual differences between these two.

Thanks in advance.

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not a lot of external differences... very early Eagles (at least A models) had a smaller air brake

early Eagles in general had "turkey feather" exhausts

some early models had black? wheel hubs....


you want to build an USAF Eagle?

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Early F-15B’s had an early style wheel hubs that were black to start with, no gps mount on top fuselage, depending how early(before 1980ish) no slim lights and there may an external bracing strap to the airbrake. Further to that check which ejection seat was fitted. Not sure about different sized air brake though!


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11 minutes ago, sammy da fish said:

Not sure about different sized air brake though!


Neither am I....

But found some hints:


Nice picture  of the bracing strap:


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Additionally, look at the fairings on the top of the vertical stabs. Very early A/Bs had a flat rear face on the large, port fairing, Additionally, the starboard fairing is midway between the later smaller fairing and the port one in size. The starboard fairing also tapers on the sides only towards the rear.


Very early A/Bs had a fairing that was on the bottom of the motors that fit into the notch on the fuselage as depicted by Hasegawa, and extended over the ring of the exhausts.


Very early A/Bs also had doors covering the arrestor hook on the fairing between the engines. Fill and scribe as appropriate.


I'm sure that there are a few other things, I am not a F-15 expert.




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73-085 was the first with the big airbrake, and I think only the 73-### serials had the external reinforcement rib. So, you should be safe with the standard F-15 airbrake. 


Timeframe is important without a photo it's hard to say what's right.  I'd guess with Turkey feathers until around 1980. For the F-15 I tend to think of it as full color US insignia, keep 'em, black outline style, ditch 'em.  But I know that this is not 100% right and it's easy to find photos showing full color markings without Turkey feathers.


I think the arresting hook cover hung around a bit longer, so it would probably be safe to keep it.  The wheels were black for delivery and might have been swapped for white later on, but black is a safe bet.


ACES II is probably appropriate.  ESCAPAC was in the prototypes, but production switched to ACES II relatively early and it was retrofitted to the in service fleet.  Only the Israelis stuck with ESCAPAC longer.


Slime lights were on the prototype from first flight, so they should be there. These were the formation light style designed into the F-15.


Both tail booms should be pointy on the "B".  The "D" could have an antenna on one of them.  "B" had dummy pods on the top of the port fin and the skinny mass balancer on the starboard fin.

Edited by Steve McArthur
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I did post in a very messy manner 90% of the differences between A/C aiframes + random differences for MSIP aircrafts, outside very few hidden stuff on the belly and probably the presence of saber drains, on the bottom you have to use the earlier T or Y shaped reinforcements in the middle of the spine, other stuff might be the circular vent opening on the right side of the fuselage next to WSO seat



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Thank you for additional advices!

So that would mean that my F-15B 74-142 doesn't belong to early production and it has more common features with F-15D like airbrake and other things you mentioned?

I am still trying to find a photo of this particular machine to have a confirmation, but I was inspired by the polar bear marking on tail, which I liked ever since I built 

Esci's F-15B in late 80s. The plane depicted on Microscale set is not the same machine as in Esci kit, but otherwise markings are identical.

Luigi (Silverkite), could you please point me better to the differences you mentioned in your previous post, as I am not that deep in knowing F-15 details? 

Maybe with the help of some photos?


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There is this book



I have it but it's buried under stuff.

There was also a short monograph put out by the 21st TFW/Alaska Air Command that I picked up at Eilson AFB in the 80s.


My guess is that one of the Koku-Fan specials on the F-15 will have the photo you are looking for.

The first F-15 that came to Alaska had the white polar bear painted inside of the tail. It was in the Top Cover over America book, I believe. I've never seen another photo as the 43rd TFS adopted the big dipper on the inside of the fin. 



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