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Mike

F-14A with Late Wheels BIGSIN Set (SIN64832 for Tamiya 1:48)

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F-14A with Late Wheels BIGSIN Set (SIN64832 for Tamiya)

1:48 Eduard Brassin

 

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Tamiya's überkit of the mighty and much-loved F-14 Tomcat is superb, and Eduard have now brought out a number of Brassin sets to further enhance the detail in the rear, where injection moulding can't offer the level of detail and finesse that resin can.  Especially Eduard resin, which is amongst the best quality currently available.  This collection of sets arrives in a flat black themed box reserved for the BIGSIN sets, and under the layers of protective foam and the instructions, you will find three ziplok bags of resin and one containing the Photo-Etch (PE) parts for two of the component sets, which are further protected by a piece of white card.

 

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 F-14A Exhaust Nozzles

The trunking is quite long on the Tomcat, so is made up of two parts.  The shorter section contains the rear face of the engine, into which you place the delicate PE rendition of the afterburner ring, which is made up of four parts, and will need care in correctly assembling it, to which end a number of diagrams are provided to help.  The main trunking is a tube with ribbed interior, and attachment rings for the forward end, and the exhaust petals that fit at the rear.  The F-14 is usually seen with one nozzle compressed to its smallest aperture and the other relaxed, which is the way it is depicted here using two different mouldings.  The finished assemblies slide inside the fuselage, and have a handy "top" inscription on each trunk to assist with alignment.  Sympathetic painting will be the key to showing off these parts to their best effect, so spend some time researching the colours typically seen within the trunk and on the nozzles.

 

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F-14A Cockpit Set (648312)

This set includes thirty one pieces of grey resin, one of clear, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, one of which is pre-painted and nickel-plated, plus a small sheet of decals for stencils etc.  The instruction booklet covers three sheets of A4 on both sides, and is printed in colour to assist you in placement of parts.

 

The first thing to note is that Eduard don't just produce a set and let you loose with a sanding stick, scalpel and Dremel to make it fit.  They give careful consideration to how they can design the set with minimal interruption to the build of the kit, which shows in the later sections where the set is integrated with the kit fuselage.  Building commences with the seats though, which are models in themselves.  Each one is made from four highly detailed resin parts, plus a number of PE parts from a constructional point of view, and a further set of crew belts, which are all pre-painted so will take little work.  Each seat also has a number of stencils applied once painting is completed to give that extra boost to realism.  The work is duplicated for both seats of course, including the important ejection initiation pull-loops on the headbox and between the pilot's knees, as well as the anti-flail leg-restraints that pull taut moments before the rocket motor propels the crew member out of the cockpit on a column of flame and fury.

 

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The cockpit tubs are large and open, due to the need for room for equipment and good visibility from the large canopy, and here each one is built up separately in the same basic manner.  A rear bulkhead is added to the main tub along with sidewalls and equipment specific to the jobs of the pilot and RIO.  The detail on the bulkheads and instrument panels is mind-blowing, and scrap diagrams show how to paint them accurately, as always using Gunze colour codes.  More decals are used to provide instrument faces in this old-fashioned (compared to the MFD cockpits of today) instrumented cockpit.  Rudder pedals, control columns and stowage compartments are added to the assemblies, and once the pilot's instrument panel is painted and installed along with PE parts, the RIO's coaming with realistic material effect over the instrument backs is added before the two assemblies are brought together in the fuselage.

 

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Two kit parts are adapted to fit the cockpit, with only one raised section and a brace needing removal.  Two pieces of styrene strip 1x0.75x3mm are added under the rear of the pilot's cockpit and four on the RIO's to locate them correctly on the cockpit tray, and that should be about it.  Close up the nose, and add the adapted kit sill area, insert the seats you prepared earlier, and finally the pilot's coaming, with clear resin HUD lens.

 

 

Wheels Early (648304) & Wheels Late (648290)

Four resin wheels are supplied, two main wheels with separate hubs, and two nose wheels with their hubs moulded in.  Detail is superb both on the tyres and their hubs, with plenty of brake detail on the back side, and the hub pattern is as crisp as you could want.  The sidewalls have the marker's marks in raised relief, and the contact surface has circumferential tread cast in.  A set of hub masks are included for good measure, pre-cut from a sheet of yellow kabuki tape.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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