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npirnia

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  1. The F-14s of VF-124 and VF-101 typically flew in a totally clean configuration for the vast majority of training flights. No tanks or Phoenix pallets and the glove stations were usually set up with 4 LAU-7s (2 per side). Often a CATM-9 was mounted on the upper LAU-7s, but that would be all. For ACM hops, they might carry an ACMI pod, but not always since many ACM hops were not on the instrumented range. Mounting CATM-7s on the glove stations reduced yaw stability a little as did tanks (and to a lesser degree the Phoenix pallets) so the majority of training flights were
  2. I really do hope they do cover all version - I just don't expect them to. And I wouldn't want people thinking that it is likely given Tamiya's prior release strategies. Another factor is that Tamiya still sells the F-4C/D and F-4J in 1/32. Those kits are 25 years old, but still pretty nice. As an example, the presence of the 1/32 F-14A (currently sold in early 2000s configuration) is probably the reason that Tamiya released their 1/48 F-14A as an early model and then chose the D as the follow-on model. Anyway, all conjecture and unpredictable. -Nick
  3. I totally agree. Tamiya consistently lays the ground work for multiple versions, but commonly does just 0-2 follow on kits. The F-14 is a prime example: the first F-14A kit has clear provisions to do either a later block F-14A or F-14B. For a later F-14A, they would only need to replace 1-2 F-14A sprues with those from their F-14D and add in one other tiny new sprue (TCS and bumps for the ALQ-126). Despite this relative ease (imho) and the fact that the clear majority of aftermarket decals are for later F-14As (suggesting a clear market); Tamiya has chosen not to do this kit 5 years after thei
  4. As for versions, it is not surprising since there is a hole in the market for the F-4B since ZM is doing an exceptional job on their Phantoms, but has not committed to the B model (seemingly the only highly produced model that they won’t release). Tamiya seems to be very predictable in terms of their work quality and chosen subjects: -Highly accurate in shape and needed small details. It is very rare that a modern Tamiya kit has a real shape inaccuracy and detail out of the box tends to be excellent - except for cockpits which are simply very good. Their F-14 kit is still the mo
  5. Looks like it is a separate part though, based on slightly inconsistent panel lines for it and the appearance of the pivot arm. -Nick
  6. I agree about your assessment of 162603's antennae configuration. Also true about the GPS antennae - though all the As that served past 1997 or so had them. So it is more about time frame than which model. Most of the major F-14 upgrades (LANTIRN, PTID, GPS, DFCS, ECM/RWR) were applied to all models of the F-14 fleet still in service (F-14A served till 2005, F-14B till 2005, and F-14D was 2006). There were a few things that didn't extend to the whole fleet (JDAMs and Rover), but they were the exception. -Nick
  7. PS - I forgot to mention that I LOVE your canopy detailing! I’m taking notes for my next 1/72 F-14A build (likely Gypsy 202 from 1988-89). -Nick
  8. Hi Jon, My point is that it is clear if you have the right view. The relationship with the glove vanes means that these bumps were less common on F-14As - only F-14As had glove vanes. The F-14A+/B and D were built without them and were also built with the ALR-67. I have seen these bumps present on F-14As with glove vanes in the late-90s, but by then the glove vanes were not functional at that point (though still present). This is an F-14A from VF-154: The glove vanes are a good reference for whether an aircraft is an updated F-14A or a B (when you only hav
  9. Looks great Jon! I don't think those bumps are for the AN/ALR-45/50 - it was the first RWR that equipped the F-14A so those bumps should have been present all along in that case. I originally thought that the bumps were part of the ALQ-126 ECM system that entered the fleet in 1981, but looking at pictures it seems that the first examples were on the F-14A+ (later renamed F-14B). The F-14A+ was the first Tomcat to receive the ALR-67 RWR so it must be for that. The ALR-67 was also retrofitted to some F-14As in the late-90s, but this was inconsistent across the fleet.
  10. I’m pretty sure the Quickboost set is intended for the new Academy F-14A. One side fits perfectly, but the other doesn’t because one edge is short. It looks more like a manufacturing defect, the resin equivalent of a “short shot”. Perhaps a master mold that is short? -Nick
  11. That's interesting! I hadn't thought about it too much, but that explains why VF-1 had so many light gull grey jets when other squadrons were sporting mostly TPS schemes. It seems that VF-1 managed to get the last production F-14As and pretty much all F-14As were delivered from Grumman in light gull grey. They would start delivering jets in TPS with the F-14A Plus (later redesignated F-14B). In fact, delivery in LGG is what led to the colorful CAG/CO jets in the 80s/early 90s. So all F-4 squadrons had transitioned to the F-14 by 1984 (VF-21 and VF-154 being the last) so the USN dec
  12. Hi Jon, That is what I meant. It isn’t severe, but will be noticeable when looking at it obliquely versus from the top (at least it was on mine). Best, Nick
  13. One thing that I forgot to mention and one of the most irritating parts of the kit imho: the wing pivots are a bit "short" when you position the wings in oversweep (72 deg). Meaning that you can see a gap between the wing and the pivot recess unless you build up the wing pivot a bit (extend it forward and inboard). I did this with tamiya filler and CA, then sanded to shape. It struck me as particularly annoying since the airbags are appropriately, in my mind, set for 72 deg oversweep, but the wings don't quite support it. Tomcats had their wings set to oversweep about 90-95% of the time when p
  14. Looks awesome Jon! The Quickboost intake on my kit has the same issue you described. Leads me to think that this problem afflicts all of the intake sets. I agree that it essentially negates the time saving of using the Quickboost set in the first place. The ventral fin set worked well, on the positive side. Exciting to know that there will be a set available to configure the Academy Tomcat in "4x4". That seems to be one of the few features that Academy left out. It is otherwise a rather flexible kit. Thank you for sharing your process! Best,
  15. Hi Jon, It is true that there is a fair bit of variation, but it probably isn't the chosen color per se. All the colors that USN Tomcats were painted in were delivered to squadrons as 2 part formulas that needed to be mixed. Depending on the diligence of the Tech mixing up the paint, the colors could look a bit different between batches. The Tomcat squadrons adhered to USN doctrine on paint schemes. They could only area paint on shore, while deployed all of their paint came in small spray cans and often didn't match very well. Part of the reason that Tomcats often looked so blotchy
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