Review: Trumpeter 1/144 F-22A Raptor

The F-22 was designed as a replacement for the F-15 Air-superiority Fighter, and it was not enough to just replace the F-15. It would feature a lot of firsts: Stealth, Supercruise and a whole range of other technical stuff. It’s probably the most advanced fighter aircraft in existence and while still untested in air-to-air combat it looks like anyone on the opposing side is going to have a tough time fighting the F-22.

The kit

The kit comes in a nice, little and sturdy box with some nice artwork on the front. The kit is packaged much like the Hobby Boss Do 335 I reviewed earlier: the top fuselage is packed on a piece of cardboard in its own separate bag. All other sprues come in their own plastic bag as well. Environmentalists might not like it (but I doubt there is much overlapbetween enviromentalists and modelbuilders) but I do like this way of packaging. And as this kit only has a few sprues it isn’t that bad either.

Anyway, enough about the packaging, the rest of the kit looks just as good. The manual is a standard Trumpeter one, simple but clear. Onto the plastic itself. The top fuselage looks pretty good, with fine panel lines on both sides of the wing. The lower fuselage looks just as good, but it’s a fragile piece, since the cockpit area is attached to the rest of thefuselage by just a few millimeters of plastic.

The kit consists of just two sprues, one sprue containing most of the aircraft parts, and the other features a whole load of weaponry. A total of six AMRAAMs, two Sidewinders and fuel tanks with hardpoints for the wings. The weapons are meant to be stored in the weapons bays, but I’m considering buying the same kit and have them in the open and closed configuration, just to show the sleek lines of the F-22.

Another nice feature is the inclusion of doors for both the open and closed position, so there is no need to modify something when you want. A nice touch, since most manufacturers like to place the tabs or hinges for the doors on a ‘stepped’ surface, making proper cleanup just a bit more difficult. Or maybe that’s just me…

Decals and color schemes

Modern military aircraft have no place for colorful color schemes, usually just a few shades of grey or maybe even some NATO green and brown. The F-22A is no exception: grey, grey and to add a little more color, grey. So no real surprises here. And there are enough warning label decals to fill the first few pages of a newspaper. So if you happen to like placing tiny decals this is a must-have kit. The decals are however pretty decent, although the warning labels (“Warning: Jet blast”), especially the smaller ones could be just a bit clearer.

Conclusion

This kit is excellent with no immediate problems, although some parts are a bit fragile so care must be taken not to damage them. I dare say this is the best and only option in 1/144, and for the price it’s a kit you can’t leave sitting at your local shop.

Score

8/10

Links

Info

Vehicle: F-22A Raptor
Manufacturer: Trumpeter
Scale: 1/144
Kit#: 0317
Released: 2008

Gallery

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