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Tony Oliver

Too many Hobbyboss 1/72 F-14 Tomcats!

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So I have become a tomcat fanatic recently (1/72) and have decided to embark on an epic saga starting with this load of hobbyboss kits before moving onto some Hasegawa ones. I got these from creative models and mjwmodels over various special offer weeks when they were knocking them out at around £12 a kit. I would like to try to do some lesser seen schemes but pretty limited with decals because most kits and AM sheets come with normally the colourful cag birds etc...

 

The kit that started it all was an ebay bargain revell kit, see here -

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235005611-revell-172-f-14b-tomcat-vf-103/

 

This WIP will hopefully document all of them, most of them concurrently/in pairs, then as they are completed they will have individual RFI threads.

I won't document every single thing, as most things will be duplicated (eg the polishing and dipping of several canopy mold seams - i'll just show one) but i will try to highlight any problem areas I encounter or things different to that particular machine.

The plan is to try and do at least the following for each variant:

 

- completely 'out of the box'

 

- tweaked with a basic cockpit set and maybe weapon upgrades & AM decals

 

 - dressed up with an advanced etch set, resin bits & weapons, AM decals etc.

 

I will also be trying out some different paints on each of the builds, with some of them having the corresponding metallics too. To play with I have collected:

 

- Ak interactive air USN set and their xtreme metal.

- Vallejo model air USN set and Vallejo metal color.

- Mr color and mr super metallic.

- Mr hobby aqueos and mr metal color.

-Akan and their metals. 

-Mr Paint

-xtracrylix 

-Tamiya

-mission models and their metals

-Hataka red and now the new orange line too. 

 

Some of these will be used with alclad metallics too. 

 

Also is the revell nato pilot set, one of the builds will have a pair in the cockpit with the nose gear in the squat position, and then maybe one or two may have a figure on the wing walks.

 

And then for fun there is a hasegawa F14 eggplane and a felix mascot. (From Hannants) It says 90mm I guess thats how tall it is when finished? Tamiya 10ml clear for size/scale.

 

So the planned planes are: (unless I discover/purchase some other decal options between now and starting them!)

 

F-14 B's - planes 1, 2 & 3

 

1: B - V102 - hasegawa decals.

bombcat configuration.

Pilots in, nose down and nozzles closed getting ready for launch. COMPLETED 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235022364-hobbyboss-172-f-14b-tomcat-vf-102-diamondbacks/

 

 

2 - vf101 grim reapers. Tacts Training loadout - COMPLETED 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235010536-hobbyboss-172-f14b-tomcat-vf101/

 

3 - vf 74 adversary scheme from a hasegawa kit. Mr Paint colours

 

F-14 D's - planes 4, 5 & 6.

 

4 - OOB vf 31. Plane 101 tomcat sunset. Empty bombcat configuration. COMPLETED 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235009559-hobbyboss-172-f-14d-tomcat-vf31/

 

5 - A VF2  decal option. This build will have a dream model color cockpit etch and some Hasegawa upgrades from my little casting project. 

 

6 - vf 213 101 nose art decals with advanced etch set (interior/exterior) Also Aires resin nose wheel doors for front u/c bay. Bombcat - gbu 24's and lantirn from the Hasegawa sets. Mr color paints - COMPLETED 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235012670-hobbyboss-172-f-14d-tomcat-vf213/

 

F-14 A's - planes 7 onwards.

 

7 - Vf32 desert storm decals. Standard 4/2/2 missile loadout. Mr hobby paints - COMPLETED

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235018482-172-hobbyboss-f-14a-tomcat-vf32-swordsmen/

 

 

8 - vf 103 sluggers 1983 in gull with tan nose and black anti glare. Mission paints - current build

 

9 - vf 111 low vis grey - fcm sheet. 4/4 loadout of brassin sparrows and winders. Quickboost pilots. Akan/mr color paints. COMPLETED

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235026681-low-visibility-sundowner-172-f-14a-tomcat-hobbyboss-vf-111/#

 

10 - vf 21 Freelancers 1991 Late A  in TPS by Mission models paints. COMPLETED:

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235028103-172-hobbyboss-tomcat-vf-21-freelancers-1991/#

 

11 - vf 14 Tophatters 1993 iron bomb cat. Late A in TPS by Mig Ammo. COMPLETED 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235025164-172-hobbyboss-f-14a-tomcat-vf-14-tophatters-1993/

 

 

Phew thats a lot of waffle!

 

During this WIP I will refer to them as planes 1 to number whatever to reduce the amount of confusion/easy reference.

If there are any super geeks out there who can spot any faults with the above then feel free to chime in, any help is greatly appreciated. I have done a bit of research but everyday is a school day!

I started a couple weeks ago near the start of july so have lots to post already, so over coming weeks so the replies (hopefully) can spur me on as I anticipate I will start getting fed up towards the last couple builds.

I have made a start on planes 2,4 & 6 

 

Let the fun commence!

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IMG_5493.jpg

 

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Well, this is going to be good.

For the markings, the only other operational squadron to fly the D was VF-213, the Black Lions. VX-4 and VX-9 also operated the D for evaluation purposes. 1/72 isn't really my scale so I am not sure where you can get the decals from.

VF-84 never flew the B. The squadron was disbanded and their last mounts were A model Tomcats. VF-103 which inherited the Jolly Roger name and the infamous skull and crossbones did operate the B though.

Mark

Edited by madcat911

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Great project, the Hobby Boss 1/72 Tomcats look like good kits to do this 'run' with, so I'll keep checking for updates. Nice mascot too!

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On 18 July 2016 at 10:45, madcat911 said:

Well, this is going to be good.

For the markings, the only other operational squadron to fly the D was VF-213, the Black Lions. VX-4 and VX-9 also operated the D for evaluation purposes. 1/72 isn't really my scale so I am not sure where you can get the decals from.

VF-84 never flew the B. The squadron was disbanded and their last mounts were A model Tomcats. VF-103 which inherited the Jolly Roger name and the infamous skull and crossbones did operate the B though.

Mark

That's interesting. I was aware that it went from 84 to 103 but didn't know that about the specific models they used.

The microscale sheet lists and depicts it as an f14b from vf84, though the stencils for the plane has its build number has an f14a. And funnily enough the only jolly rogers pics i can find of this scheme are 'A' variants. Should be a change of exhaust nozzles then for this kit. Although what about the cockpit and the RIO's IP? As an A would it still have the 'fishbowl' scope or did they get upgraded to the rectangular one like B/D?

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Right so some paint tests.

Quite a conundrum, as there is alot of variation between the brands. So do I tweak the colours/shift them left/right to match so I have the planes all the same in tone or use them as the brands intended and have a load of very different TPS Tomcats? In summary the Vallejo model air are the darkest, the ak air the lightest. Mr hobby/color I have used before, and they have a purple tinge to them. The mig ammo navy set I used also had this, I suspect they matched theirs to gunze? Not used the Xtracrylix yet.

Looking across the web at builds and the real things there are variations, I suppose if depends which two colours you want the highest contrast between.

For all pics - 1 = light ghost grey, 2 = dark ghost grey, 3 = blue/medium grey. Between colours I tried to get a hard edge and a soft edge.

Vallejo model air. Very dark overall and a clear contrast/change from one colour to the next. 3 is almost like a intermediate blue! Top left almost white looking colour is AK Light ghost grey for comparison... Doesn't help having the dark green plastic nearby though probably over emphasises it...

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On to Ak air set. Very light set. Massive jump from 1 to 2, then hardly any change from 2 to 3. In fact to me 2 seems darker than 3, with 3 only being more blue. Where they are masked you can see the change, but on the bottom half where sprayed alongside its hard to tell where one starts and the other ends.

image.jpg

Stay tuned...

Edited by Tony Oliver

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So shifting the colours a bit. Mainly playing around with Vallejo.

Here I substituted Vallejo model color (vmc) 989 sky grey (sg) for the light ghost grey, as the model air light ghost grey is from their primer range and not a 'colour', and i don't trust masking over that. Again the top right of vmc sg had some ak air 1 for comparison. 2 and 3 model air (vma) unchanged.

image.jpg

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More Vallejo messing about.

Here I've shifted the colours to the left one place (to lighten them) and made some more substitutions from model colour. In this example the original air dark ghost grey is now blue/medium grey, vmc sky grey is still as light ghost grey as its the same tone as the model air (primer) light ghost grey. See above.

Now a new colour is introduced as dark ghost grey. It's Vallejo model colour 990 light grey (LG) This gives a similar set up to the ak set, high contrast from 1 to 2, then 2/3 similar.

Although 2 and 3 seperated by 1 so not next to each other but you can see that they are similar and would give that effect. You can also see the original 3 from vma just on the right edge.

So if I painted a tps with these three then only one colour from the air set would be used...!

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Of interest- On the 990 light grey bottle it also has fs36375 and ral 7001. So its also a light ghost grey, but its darker than their light ghost grey (primer) which also has 36375 on it in the air set! Seems even Vallejo are confused...?

Edited by Tony Oliver

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Last one for today. Now mr hobby/color 308 light ghost grey is shown for a comparison to the rest.

Its dark as well in comparison to the ak set which incorporates 'scale reduction factor'

Quite a mish mash of greys if you're still awake!!!

image.jpg

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A fair conundrum as there doesn't seem to be much or there is too much contrast. You could mix some white in with the middle grey to bring it to 'centre'. I've also noticed when looking at Tomcats, that the TPS can become very hard to distinguish between the colours and for my last Tomcat just painted the TPS using two greys and did a fair bit of weathering too.

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I do luv a Cat but 6?!? You're a braver man than me! I'll be following this with interest

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Well, this is going to be good.

For the markings, the only other operational squadron to fly the D was VF-213, the Black Lions. VX-4 and VX-9 also operated the D for evaluation purposes. 1/72 isn't really my scale so I am not sure where you can get the decals from.

VF-84 never flew the B. The squadron was disbanded and their last mounts were A model Tomcats. VF-103 which inherited the Jolly Roger name and the infamous skull and crossbones did operate the B though.

Mark

Two Bobs did a decal sheet in 1/72 for VF-213 when they were used in Afghanistan.

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Yep just got one similar to that from the far east via US and A ebay.

Vf213 101 with lion head nose art 👍🏻

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That's interesting. I was aware that it went from 84 to 103 but didn't know that about the specific models they used.

The microscale sheet lists and depicts it as an f14b from vf84, though the stencils for the plane has its build number has an f14a. And funnily enough the only jolly rogers pics i can find of this scheme are 'A' variants. Should be a change of exhaust nozzles then for this kit. Although what about the cockpit and the RIO's IP? As an A would it still have the 'fishbowl' scope or did they get upgraded to the rectangular one ala B/D?

When in doubt, check photos.

Here's one of 160408 in the scheme that you posted. Definitely an A model as evidenced by the PW exhausts. If photos of other Tomcats of a similar vintage and era are to go by, she would most likely have the new NACA gun vents fitted but retained the older "fishbowl" radar scope. From the photo, it also seems that the ECM blisters under the wing glove were not fitted either.

Mark

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Thanks Mark thats super.

Also with regards to the tail bit (beaver/boat tail?) between the exhausts that panel seems not to have an ecm bump or fuel dump tube.

Should be able to backdate the B kit i have earmarked for this build to look like it then with the help of some nice resin nozzles, leave off/sand off ecm bumps etc.

Gun vents - the A kit has the grill type and the B/D kits ones have the NACA type so that's sorted.

As regards to rio scope all the HB kits A/B/D only have the goldfish bowl anyways, but you get a square decal to put over it in the B & D.

Will look for an A cockpit etch set for this one.

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You might find that the A's did sometimes have the ECM blister on the boat tail, I'm sure you could easily fashion one out of Milliput or something, and some appropriate sized tubing used for the fuel dump pipe.

This is a good reference for colours for F-14A's from VF-84 from 1981-1994. You can also check on ECM blisters etc. Afterburner did a set for the VF-103 'Sluggers' ending with their final scheme before they adopted Ensign Jack Ernie 'Jolly Rogers'.

http://www.hyperscale.com/2010/reviews/decals/afterburner48069reviewkb_1.htm

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Wow 6 tomcats in 1/72, definitely on-board for this one! :popcorn:

I swear this bird is my nemesis, I'm currently 0 for 5!

Having also researched the nuts out of this, one my greatest advice is to try and find reference pictures for the BuNo you want to build, in time frame you want to build it. F-14s went through lots of variations over their time in service and it isn't just the case of all A's had that thing, all B's had another and all D's had something completely different.

Or, don't get too caught up and build it how you want to! :lol:

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You might find that the A's did sometimes have the ECM blister on the boat tail, I'm sure you could easily fashion one out of Milliput or something, and some appropriate sized tubing used for the fuel dump pipe.

This is a good reference for colours for F-14A's from VF-84 from 1981-1994. You can also check on ECM blisters etc. Afterburner did a set for the VF-103 'Sluggers' ending with their final scheme before they adopted Ensign Jack Ernie 'Jolly Rogers'.

http://www.hyperscale.com/2010/reviews/decals/afterburner48069reviewkb_1.htm

Thanks parabat. As i am starting this build with a B kit the boat tail does have the ecm bump and fuel dump pipe, so it's easier to remove than to add it once I've checked the references for this particular one 👍🏻

The hobbyboss A kit has no ecm bump on the boat tail, just the fuel dump. The boat tails are one the same sprues as the exhausts which along with the wheel/seat spure which is how hobbyboss spec the kits to make the different variants...

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Ah, got it. Just remember you'll need to rework the engine exhaust shrouds if you're turning a B into an A, but otherwise, good deal as the ECM blister is on the boat tail.

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Right so onto some actual model making - its why we are all here isn't it?

So here we have the cockpits of planes 2 and 4,

2 having the dream color etch and 4 OOB with the supplied decals. (The HB A and B kits just have decals for the IP's, leaving you with bare side consoles, in the D kit, the last one they did they give full cockpit decals.)

Both were painted with model air dark gull grey as I dont have this colour in AK range.

Glossed, washed with mig ammo deep grey then a flat coat.

I'm quite pleased with the IP's on the B and their multi layered system. I've done two layer colour etch from eduard before but not anything like these with the clear photo film and white paper backing. The side consoles have fuzzy look that I wasn't too keen on initially but now they are on they have grown on me. I think they look more in scale.

B plane 2

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D plane 4

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Both Finished.

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Edited by Tony Oliver

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Ah, got it. Just remember you'll need to rework the engine exhaust shrouds if you're turning a B into an A, but otherwise, good deal as the ECM blister is on the boat tail.

Duly noted, Thanks. They are molded on as opposed to the separate approach of hasegawa so will have to sand them into the smaller more rounded shape. Or I could steal the ones out of my hobbyboss A boxing...

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So onto the intake areas,

Hobbyboss went for a simple approach compared to say the hasegawa kits but I still think it looks ok and not alot of effort to complete.

Instead of having separate intake trunking they have molded a step in the roof and in the bottom of the intake (black arrows) I used this as a masking line to separate the white from the grey. They were sprayed all over with white stynylrez to prime and add the white color for the trunk part. This was then masked and the grey added relative to the build. I didn't bother filling the ejector pin marks because they can be seen when the intakes are on. (red arrows)

The intake fans were sprayed separately, all in aluminium. Xtreme metal for plane 2, vallejo metal color for 4 and mr metal color for 6. These were given a black wash then installed... On to some pics.

Planes 2,4 & 6 with black and white stynylrez, Black to hide insides when wings are forward and white to for wheel well roofs etc. Insignia white from the respective brands was added on later.

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Intakes.

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Dashed line is where there is a mold step along the intake length that needs to be smoothed out.

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Edited by Tony Oliver

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Duly noted, Thanks. They are molded on as opposed to the separate approach of hasegawa so will have to sand them into the smaller more rounded shape. Or I could steal the ones out of my hobbyboss A boxing...

That's a better option I think, as the shapes are a little different. Unfortunately this renders the 'A' boxing sacrificial, as you wouldn't be able to accurately mate the 'B' bits to the rest of the 'A' boxing; there are too many differences.

I did something similar (combined the Hobbyboss 'B' with nozzle fairings from the 'A' kit to produce a late model 'A') a few years ago for the Tomcat Group Build Mk II - the build thread is here. The 'B' boxing is necessary not just for the ECM bumps on the boattail and elsewhere but also for the NACA-style gun vents fitted to 'A' model Tomcats from the mid-nineties. Hobbyboss's 'A' Tomcat depicts a production standard earlier than this.

Good luck with your builds and keep up the impressive progress.

cheers,

Andrew.

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Cheers Andrew.

What I may do is try to cast some copies of the A kits exhaust farings. I got a resin casting kit so want to try my hand at that for the first time as there are some other bits I need to copy that are missing from the HB kits. I will hopefully make these from Hasegawa tomcats - bomb racks and the wegde shape panel behind the head rest of the RIO seat to name a few.

As for progress I am further ahead than shown (paint schemes going on 2 & 4) because I started at the beginning of July but the thread only this week. Keeps some posts for a rainy day then if I have a dry spell in building. The down side to this is rectifying problems that people or myself with hindsight notice, the first one being discovered already with that link to your build. For example -

The dual sidewinder setup I have done for plane 2 is wrong (assuming yours is correct) because I used one of LAU-129 rails as provided in the Hasegawa weapons set to mount the tacts pod on the bottom of the glove pylon where it appears you used a normal sidewinder type rail?

I did look for references before committing to glue last week but obviously didn't try hard enough!

Also here is the A vs B/D farings. Reckon i can sand that down match. Plus once painted the demarcation between the colours should help suggest the shape too. The A nozzle does fit on the B/D fairng and the outer diameters match.

image.jpg

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Edited by Tony Oliver

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