It has taken a while, but Hasegawa has finally released their fourth weapons set in 1/48 scale. To recap, in Set A, we received mostly unguided free-fall bombs and munitions. In Set B, we received the early Paveway Laser-Guided Bombs (LGBs), early laser target designators, early air-to-surface guided missiles, and ECM pods. In Set C, we had a variety of air-to-air missiles and anti-radiation missiles (including HARM).
In this release, Hasegawa has provided us with the hardware found on the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16CG (Block 40) Night Falcon, F-117 Nighthawk, and other tactical earthmovers. This includes two each of:
GBU-10 Paveway II LGB (2000 lb) GBU-12 Paveway II LGB (500 lb) GBU-16 Paveway II LGB (1000 lb) GBU-24 Paveway III LGB (2000 lb) AGM-123 Skipper (GBU-16 w/rocket motor) AGM-84E SLAM (Land Attack Air-Launched Harpoon) GBU-31 JDAM TACTS Pod (Red Flag/ACMI Instrumentation Pod) LANTIRN Pods
With the exception of the SLAM, most of these weapons are Air Force issue. While the Navy and USMC use many of the same guidance kits for their weapons, the bombs themselves have the fire-retardant 'texture' coating on them. A minor detail, but one to be aware of.
The LANTIRN pods are the best I've seen yet. The targeting pod has a fully gimbaled tracker (the parts all move), and the pods even feature the air intakes overlooked on some earlier kit offerings. Adapter pylons are also provided for the F-15E and the F-16CG.
I believe that this is the first time I've seen the ACMI/TACTS pod in 1/48. If you have any F-5E/F, A-4 or other adversary aircraft in your collection, this pod was standard equipment. Likewise, if you are building your Tomcat, Eagle, Viper or any other tactical aircraft (US or NATO) in a Red Flag, Top Gun, Fallon airwing workup, or NATO training exercise, your bird needs one of these pods.
As with Hasegawa's previous weapons sets, a nice set of decals are provided to stencil your weapons and pods.
I don't know about you, but I can never have too much extra ordnance around. When the earlier sets were released, I bought several of each. This release was no exception. I rate this set a must-have for US modern era 1/48 builders!