A rebox kit from Platz/Dragon for the EA-6B Prowler in 1/144th scale. For 2022, it comes with new decal markings for VAQ-136 Gauntlets and VAQ-137 Rooks and two (2) kits are provided in the box.
In the Box
This boxing has two (2) complete kits. My sample came with 3 sprues (A, B, F). When comparing the sprue count against the instruction sheet, sprue E was missing (which has extra ordnances). Referencing Scalemates.com, the molds were created in 1994. The plastic is molded in light gray and the sprues are wrapped in clear bags. Parts count is over 61 pieces but only 43 are necessary for this review. There is some flash on the clear parts but minor sanding will remove the excess plastic easily.
Instructions are color printed on a single sheet folded over. Assembly is illustrated in 2 steps.
Decals represent markings for:
- VAQ-136 Gauntlets (No. 163524) 2008, USS Kitty Hawk
- VAQ-137 Rooks (No. 163527) 2008, USS Enterprise
Typical of 1/144th scale kits, the parts are small and delicate. To trim off the parts from the sprues I recommend using precision nippers or a razor saw.
Panel lines are recessed. There is no detail for the engine intakes and exhausts, so I suggest painting those black or scratch build some covers.
The cockpit detail is sparse but kit provided decals can dress up the forward facing instrument panels. There are no decals for the side panels.
Assembly starts in the cockpit. There are some sink marks in the seats that need to filled and sanded. I added tape seat belts to add more interest in the cockpit and I decided to paint the details for the instrument and side panels.
EA-6B kits are notorious for being tail sitters. To prevent this, I added lead weight to the nose area using PVA glue (Elmer’s White School glue) to bond them in place.
Filling and sanding are needed at the centerline seam for the fuselage and for gaps under the wing-fuselage join area.
The clear canopy parts were given a coat of Future to protect it from any CA fumes and add more clarity. Be very careful when handling these clear parts. They are molded thin and can flex easily and have the potential to crack. I recommend attaching them to the fuselage, first, before trying to mask it. This will give the canopy parts more stiffness to prevent flexing.
For painting, I used Tamiya acrylics thinned with lacquer thinner (TAM87077).
Decals are provided by Cartograf and have perfect registry. I chose the decals that represent VAQ-137 Rooks. They went on easily and reacted well to MicroSol and conformed around complex surfaces with no issues.
Lastly, I installed the underwing ordnance and belly fuel tank with Super Glue. Due to the small size of the ordnance, nose-fan generator detail for the jamming pod is not present.
This is a nice kit from Platz/Dragon. Due to its small scale, I would recommend this kit to builders who do not mind working with tiny parts along with an optical magnification tool (if needed). Those who may get frustrated with the small scale may have some reservations.
Overall, a very nice 1/144th scale EA-6B Prowler when completed and a very satisfying build.
I want to thank Platz/Dragon for providing this wonderful kit to review. Also, I want to thank IPMS-USA Reviewers Corp for allowing me the opportunity to review and build the 1/144th scale Platz/Dragon EA-6B Prowler.