ERTL Force One F-15 Strike Eagle, Matte Black and Smoky Tamiya spray paint, Gundam panel lining and weathering markers, Skystriker stickers, custom wing and eagle head decals

I really lucked out over Christmas - I'd read about the ERTL Force One F-15 Eagle, and starting keeping an eye out for it on ebay. A plastic one popped up over the holidays, which I jumped on immediately.

The jet itself is a bit plain - looks almost like a gray model with a clear canopy, so I set about converting it into a Skystriker homage, which involved painting the nose and tailfins black, and also painting the canopy with Tamiya's 'smoky' spray for clear plastics. Once that was done, I applied some Skystriker stickers to the wings - but rather than to run the lines along the back of the wing, I went with a Thunderbirds-inspired decoration of the wing tips.

Having already customised a Skystriker and Elite Peacekeepers F/A 18 Hornet as a Jolly Rogers homage, I wanted to keep with a similar theme. The Calico Jack Jolly Rogers insignia is a homage to the USAF's Buccaneer's Squadron. I also found some images of the gorgeous paint job for the Oregon National Guard's 75th Anniversary F-15C Screaming Eagle, and wanted to pay homage to it - hence the custom wing and eagle-head decals.

"Despite the successful deployment of the F-14 Tomcat-derivative Skystrikers, the enormous unit cost necessitated considering other, less expensive fighter aircraft for GI Joe use. One alternative was the USAF's F-15 - whilst not carrier-based, an Eagle-derivative Skystriker would otherwise be comparable in capability but three-quarters the cost of the Tomcat-derivative Skystrikers."

'These birds bring a whole new meaning to the words: the Eagles are coming!'

To teach, improve, share, entertain and showcase the work of the customizing community.