Hasegawa 1:48 F-15C 85-0125 - 58th TFS "Gorillas", 33rd TFW

The Story

Logged by AWACS at 3:15am local time 17/01/91, Captain Kelk flying as a "Penzoil 63", scored the first aerial victory by the Coalition during Desert Storm by shooting down a MiG-29. Captain Kelk was piloting the third F-15C of "Penzoil" Flight, a four-ship of Eagles that were part of a large fighter sweep flying into Iraq after the exiting first wave. While South-east of Mudaysis Air Base and flying at 30,000ft, Penzoil flight picked up a radar contact at 40nm. They were unsure if the contact was hostile but it was climbing steadily. At around 35nm, radar warning indications verified that a MiG was locked on. AWACS was still unable to confirm the contact as hostile. Capt. Kelk interrogated the contact but did not receive a friendly IFF reply. At 15 to 18nm, Capt. Kelk fired a AIM-7 Sparrow. Since he was still locked-on by the MiG, Kelk then weaved his aircraft and deployed chaff. At 10nm, Capt. Kelk saw a purplish streak on the horizon that began to sparkle; radar-warning indications stopped and no radar contacts were detected. The 58th TFS would go on to claim sixteen aerial victories during Desert Storm, the most by any squadron during the conflict.

The Kit

The Hasegawa F-15C represents an earlier model F-15C. However, the 58th TFS were equipped with MSIP II aircraft. The Wolfpack 48015 F-15C MSIP II Eagle Update Set was used to update the kit. From this set I used the nose ECM antennas, LAU-128/ADU-552 launchers, and tailboom ALQ antenna. Another minor change from earlier Eagle models is that the forward most blade antenna on the under side was moved back. The kit cockpit was replaced with the Aires cockpit set which fit quite nicely. The kit exhausts were also replaced with Aires 4336 late version exhaust nozzles. The 58th TFS did receive some AIM-120 missiles for Desert Storm towards the end of the conflict but none were fired. Initially I was going to use a missile load out of four Sparrows, two Sidewinders, and two AMRAAMs. However I decided on the more common load out of four Sparrows and four Sidewinders. All the missiles are from the Hasegawa Weapons Set, the Sidewinders received missile covers and Eduard "remove before flight" tags. The two under-wing fuel tanks are from the Revell F-15E kit and have their tail section modified to represent War Reserve Material (WRM) fuel tanks. The center-line fuel tank I left as a normal fuel tank and used one provided from the Wolfpack F-15 update set. The pilot and crew figures are modified Hasegawa figures. Painting was done with Gunze Sangyo acrylics. Weathering and other detail painting was done with various enamels. To represent at 58th TFS jet I used decals from Repli-scale 48-0533. This sheet does not represent F-15C 85-0125 but according to the instructions, the 58th TFS painted over the crew names that were on the aircraft. With this, I used some generic stencils for the numbers and painted over where the crew names would have been. Most of the aircraft stencils were from other F-15 decal sheets.