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Posts posted by Tom143

  1. 17 minutes ago, gingerbob said:


    And anyway, much as I hate to admit it, the F-14 is a 'Cold War', not a 'Modern' aircraft.  Even if nobody has made anything cooler since, with the possible exception of the F-20, and that's a "next year's model" version of an older Cold War lineage anyway.


    Maybe get a cheap, used Monogram F-14 to do a test run with- you'll learn about things like smoothing seams, and then when you look at a Tamiya kit you'll understand the hallowed glow emanating from within the box!  (I built a 1/72 Hasegawa F-14 a long time ago, and while it is a complex airframe, it went together remarkably quickly.)

    I'd agree with that distinction... product of Vietnam, canceled by Cheney after the wall came down. Shame that the Tigershark didn't happen, the F-5 is really underrated, it would have been interesting to see what it could do with a capable radar and updated payload.


    I know this sounds dumb, but could you please elaborate on how second hand kits might work... is it supposed to be a complete kit that someone just bought and didn't build, or is it more like garage sale rules, where someone might just have found it in the corner and there are no promises made or asked?

  2. 38 minutes ago, Seawinder said:

    If you go with the Tamiya 1:48 F-14, you will have one of the most beautifully engineered kits ever produced, although it won't come cheap. I'm currently working on their F-14A kit; the engineering and finesse is staggering. I should think that if you take time and care, the actual construction should be quite straightforward. I used a Quinta Studios 3-D "decal" set for my cockpit, but you can get quite good results OOB. IMHO the painting will be the biggest challenge, especially if you'll be doing the Gull Gray over White scheme. I frankly wouldn't attempt this without an airbrush. Spray cans may work, but they're really messy, and in any case you're going to have a lot of small parts (landing gear etc.) that have to be painted white. Decals will also be a challenge. It being a modern jet, there will be a lot of them. If you have no experience working with decals, you're probably better off learning to use them on a less expensive kit that you don't care about so much. I'm sure others may have more to offer, but that's my initial reaction. Hope it helps. Pip

    Thank you, that is a big help. I really haven’t been sure about when to move on that

    high-level, expensive kit, so your words on this are very valuable. I’ll cut my teeth on the Revell 1:72 I have. I have a 1:48 Academy F-14 supposedly on its way to me, I’m now thinking I’ll just do that after the Revell and then pause and assess my skills before deciding what to do third. I am in Australia and dependent on our shipping service, so if I want something specific it might be a while before it reaches my hands, so I’ve been trying to look ahead, but I think building what I’ve already bought and then taking a breath would be a much smarter move. Much appreciated Pip.

    • Thanks 1
  3. 2 hours ago, Greg B said:

    Hi Tom,


    Tools and tips / Modelling tips


    Nothing in your post indicates its a modern aircraft and the question and subsequent advice given could apply to any kit genre. Therefore posting in here is not facilitating other members looking for information about building that first kit. Modern Aircraft would be the place to pose questions about a particular type.


    Dont worry, you are not the only one. We are reminding members to consider the location.

    Thanks for explaining. I had thought placing it in that section indicated the era of aircraft I was asking about, I’ll make sure to say that explicitly in the subject or body next time

    2 hours ago, Alan P said:

    Just change the thread title to 'First model, F-14D Tomcat' and you're good 👍

    You called it, I was a bit late. I’ll remember next time

  4. 1 hour ago, Seawinder said:

    Tom143, I just read through this thread somewhat carefully, and it doesn't appear that you've mentioned the kit on which your heart is set. Could you share that with the crowd? As others have stated, the nature of the subject, as well as the scale, can determine many of the challenges you're likely to face.

    I’m not sure of the exact kit yet, but it will be a 1:48 F-14 Tomcat that can be built as a ‘B’. Probably a Tamiya, if I can get a recent kit (and weapons). 

    34 minutes ago, dnl42 said:

    There's wisdom there. It's inevitable that building a kit will show you at least a couple of things you should have done differently. I do have some favorite subjects (C-47, T-6, CCKW, and M4) where I have multiple copies of the same kit.

    Indeed, if I hadn’t already procured mine I would probably do that (get two). If I make a mistake on the one I have I’ll try to get an identical one so I can maximise successes and lessons.

  5. 28 minutes ago, Greg B said:

    Any reason why this was posted in the modern aircraft discussion area?

    Hi Greg, I asked this here because the question relates to building modern aircraft, I expect that potentially presents different problems to other types of kits. Should I have asked this somewhere else?

  6. 11 hours ago, Alan P said:

    Yes, that's the one you mentioned in your introductory post the other week, I assumed that was the one you intended to build 😉

    I forgot I mentioned that, well played sir!

    10 hours ago, gingerbob said:

    OK, I only skimmed, didn't read carefully, sooooo...


    If you were to look back after your tenth model, you'd probably realize that you have gotten better since number one.  On the other hand, the last model that I actually "built"- that is, it stands on its own two feet (with a "cane" tailskid) is essentially naked- the cockpit is painted because it already had been done long ago, and I painted the wheels/tyres and prop, as well as windscreen frames, simply because I couldn't stand not to.  It (Heller 1/72 Fieseler Stosser) is just to the left of my monitor, and I feel happy when I glance (or gaze) at it.  And you know what?  I tried some things and tackled some complications that might have scared me off if I were trying to make a showpiece, and really enjoyed it.


    So, if you really want a superb copy of "that one model", I'd consider hiring someone to do it for you.  If you want to do it yourself, be forewarned that you're not likely to escape with just one!


    One thing about paint- much of it these days is "formulated for airbrush", which means that it brushes not very well!  So don't let that worry you.  If you CAN find a local club/ friendly builder, you can probably sweet-talk them into letting you try their airbrush.  It is a bit intimidating when you haven't done it, but once you do you'll realize that it is pretty nice, and not near as challenging as you thought it would be.  (That does not include the aggravations of learning how to get along with different paints, though.)


    One other bit of advice- start a Work in Progress in the appropriate section, be up front about where you're coming from, and you'll get plenty of encouragement and help, so don't worry about looking like an idiot.



    You make a good point about it being a different path to having a perfect model as opposed to becoming a model builder, I hadn't thought about it in those terms before. Starting a work in progress thread is a great idea, I'll do that, thanks

    7 hours ago, Alex Gordon said:

    G'day Tom,welcome to a world of mayhem.Ab initio you won't go wrong with the Hobbyboss Easykit range,they generally go together with no real snags and they are dirt cheap.You don't need to go overboard on exotic tools that will only be used for one job.A decent sharp knife,a pair of smallish sharp scissors and a bit of medium grit sandpaper on a flat block is really all you need.Paintbrushes,one biggish for the big jobs and a diddy one for picking out the small bits,can be found in pound shops.If you decide that this is the game for you then tools and tackle can always be added to,it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated.


    Oh and :post1:

    Thanks for the welcome and the words of advice :) Hobbyboss Easykit, I'll keep those in mind, ta

    5 hours ago, fubar57 said:

    Hello Tom. As you can see, a lot of different responses with everyone meaning well. I haven't built their 1:72 version but I have build the 1:48 kit and it pretty much falls together


    As mentioned above, start a Work in Progress thread and then before committing to glue and paint, ask lots of questions. Getting answers beforehand is easier than prying glued pieces apart or removing the wrong colour. Again you will get lots of different answers as everyone has their own methods which work well for them. Don't be overwhelmed and have fun. 

    Wise words, I need to remember to ask for advice before atttaching or painting, rather than having to undo my misstep before doing things right!

    5 hours ago, jackroadkill said:

    Just a word of warning, Tom.  I hadn't built a kit since I was about 13 (I'm now 42) and during lockdown a few friends and I decided we'd all buy each other an mystery 1/72 sub-£15 Airfix kit online and then build them for a bit of fun.  That was 18 months ago and now I have a stash of over 40 kits waiting for me to build them, twenty-odd that I've built already, an ever-growing reference library and more tools, paints, clear-coats etc than I though possible.  I bought an airbrush, the works.


    It can be a slippery slope but it's very enjoyable.  My tip would be to try a few kits to build up your confidence and techniques before tackling the "one".  Post your efforts in WIP threads, listen to the advice you get given (99% of which will be both friendly and useful) and see how you get on.  It being December now, Airfix starter sets (admittedly with horrific paint!) can be had in Aldi for a fiver a pop, so you can have a go with very little financial outlay.

    Haha yeah, I'm already seeing how this hobby could easily run away with someone, cheers


    It's great to find such a helpful and supportive site. Thank you all, and no doubt I'll be asking your help again in no time!

    • Like 2
  7. 5 hours ago, Swamp Donkey said:

    Hi Tom


    The Swedish splinter scheme is a bit of a challenge to mask, don’t have a photo or link to hand (I’m stood at Newcastle Starion), but certainly wouldn’t recommend as a first attempt (others may???) 


    People will be along with airbrush advice but this falls in to the category of ‘you get what you pay for’



    Thanks for the answer, I remember now, yeah that looks like a nightmare to me hehe

    6 hours ago, TonyW said:

    I would suggest building a simple, cheap kit and then spray paint it in a primer of some sort, straight over the canopy or windscreen if there is one. That will give you a good idea of how good your assembly is. Rectifying the inevitable flaws will be good practice and will start to give you a feel for things.

    Once you are happy with the thing in primer, you will have a good base to start using paints. Again, I would suggest keeping things simple and doing a one colour scheme as it's more important to learn how to use the materials than to attempt something that will initially defeat you. Keep things simple and achievable and you will find yourself moving forwards before you know it. 

    Keep your early work as well. Later on, when rigging a 1.144 scale biplane defeats you, you can take a look at your first efforts and realise that you have come on quite a bit since then.



    This is really valuable. The exterior paint job is easily the most intimidating part for me. I have a masking kit for the canopy of the kit I intend to practice on, aside from that I'm going to do as you suggest: just a coat of primer, fix as needed and then it's getting done in dark gull grey. Doing the exterior in a single color makes this accessible and decides me on definitely doing this. Thank you!

    4 hours ago, Alan P said:

    Definitely. But what those might be are entirely subjective depending on the modeller and the audience!


    f you want specifics, I believe there's not really much point in telling you what to do or not do until you've built your first model and then displayed it publicly for advice on improvement. And that is one of the bravest things you can do as a beginner! If you really want to improve and be as good as you want to be, it's a crucial step to make.


    Luckily, here on this forum there are plenty of knowledgeable, well-meaning (and merciful!) experienced modellers who would be only too pleased to gently offer tips, advice and improvement. We all started somewhere!


    Revell's Super Tomcat is a nice enough kit, quite complex for 1/72, but not too challenging. It might be worth getting two...one for a 'rehearsal' build, display it here for advice and improvers, then build the second one as your 'showcase version' 👍

    Would you happen to mean this Revell F-14D? This is the exact kit I got, intending it to be a starter. It seems to be fairly common so I will get another one if I need a second take. I will be patient, accept I can't fix my mistakes until I make them, and no doubt I will call on you good people for assistance again, thanks everyone for being so welcoming!

    3 hours ago, Chief Cohiba said:

    The topic you want to build here really is a matter of the answer, as there are different challenges in, say, a modern 1/72 jet, a 1/144 airliner model, or a 1/48 WW1 biplane.


    But a few attempts on a testmule for painting or in filling seams could be useful, I'd say.


    Another thing is, what you would define as your own personal standards. Key in this is not to forget that this our hobby is meant to be fun, not to become a doctoral thesis in history. 😉 

    Rattlecans are good for a start, if you don't have too many colours, that would bring useful results for larger aeres. For small pieces acrylic paint and some small brushes are fine.


    If you start your first Work In Progress, I'm sure fellows round here will serve you with tipps and tricks when you go along. Nice punch around here they are!

    I hadn't really considered the part scale might play, you make a very good point about that and about not letting detail get in the way of enjoying the project, I hope I will be able to keep that perspective :)

    2 hours ago, Pigpen said:

    When I came back to the hobby at the age of 45, some thirty years after I last made a model as a teenager it may as well have been starting from scratch so I will share my experiences.


    For most people the fun is in making a model and while there is satisfaction in showing it to others I would suggest that the greatest pleasure is in the creation. Much model making is about solving problems and with that comes success, failure, frustration and satisfaction. That's easier as you gain knowledge, skill and equipment but you also need to be the kind of person who enjoys this kind of thing and that's aptitude and perseverance.


    On returning my first model was a 1/48 Canberra on which I spent about £20. I know not why, but I'd never made one, it was reduced and the box was exciting! I spent around £60 - £80 on basic tools, glues, paints etc including a £8 Chinese airbrush. Powered from the spare wheel of my wife's Landrover, she never knew. That's not a huge amount of money, but it felt like a risk and I didn't want to spend more. I got over enthusiastic and tried to add all sorts of extra detailing in the cockpit until I realised I needed to get a grip of the basics. Assembling, filling, sanding, priming, painting, masking, decaling and accepting the kit for what it was. I found the large scale useful as I could be quite agricultural in my approach. 


    Well it wasn't too bad. I learned a lot and after I'd completed a few more it was recycled for the spares box. The most important thing I learned that I was really, really enjoying myself. And so on from there. So my advice is don't go in with the view that you are doing all this work so at the end you will have a perfect model. Go in with the view that you will be having the best fun as you unbox the kit, arrange all your tools, make a start, make a mistake have a success. And if you don't enjoy it, after giving it a good shot, find something else! 


    There is a huge resource here, and on other forums but be careful you don't get distracted by debates about the pros and cons of particular tools, materials and techniques as opinions differ. This is to some extent because people often get the best results from the most familiar tools and techniques and can rarely change horses mid stream without a great deal of trouble. I've bought things others swear by but find out they don't work for me.


    What I found to be enormously helpful was to have a simple reference work that explained all the basic materials, tools and techniques and showed how to build a variety of models to a reasonable standard. I used the Airfix Model World Magazine's Step by Step guide which was worth it just to understand all these new fangled paints and adhesives but there is Haynes Manual that looks similar. It will let you see models that are good enough without being frustrated by not achieving show wining standards.


    Finally build a model you want to build, not one that you feel you have to because it's a good one to start with. But ask here first to make sure it's not an absolute pig!


    I hope that's helpful 


    Always good to know how someone reflects on their start in an activity like this. I will likely start on a 1:72, but if it's a bit too intricate it's good to know that a step up in scale might ease problems associated with that. What you say about not getting caught up in arguments about tools is important too, I'd better learn something about painting before I start choosing between airbrushes!

    1 hour ago, Nigel Bunker said:



    You don't say where you are in the country, but my advice is to join a local model club and just chat to the people there. They'll tell you their techniques, which kits to buy and to avoid, what to do and what to not to do, And when you make a model they will critique it in a friendly way so you can learn and make each model just a bit better than the previous one.


    Good luck to you.

    I hadn't even thought about an IRL model building community - guess I've been viewing the world through a computer screen too long! Since I haven't done any of this before, a situation where I can just watch model builders do what they do might be a good way to pick up techniques, ta

    53 minutes ago, exdraken said:

    You just want to build one model? Or you want that a model to be presentable?


    if you only every want one, I suggest first to take your time, and second take your time, and third, you already guess.

    What kind of model?  Try to read up on this model, for sure someone on BM has already build it with more or less success.


    If you want to start modelling in order to amongst others, build that one presentable model:

    get practice, start with something "simple"!

    and here my advice would be the opposite to above:

    start immediately, cut some plastic, paint some plastic, glue some plastic!

    if you have questions, ask!


    Modelling is not something you can learn without doing. but you can learn from the mistakes of others, not only from your own!



    You make a good point about being able to learn from other people's experiences, I really do have to look at similar builds that people on here have done, no doubt there are a lot and they will talk about challenges they faced and solved. Ultimately, as you say, I need to get in there and do things, but be patient about it. Many thanks.

    • Like 2
  8. 16 minutes ago, Steve Coombs said:

    Hi Tom,

    If I were you, I'd start with a simple kit or two first, simply to get the lie of the land. Something like an Airfix Spitfire Mk1 in 1:72nd scale springs to mind. It goes together well and looks good when finished. More importantly, it won't break the bank and isn't a massive loss in time and money if something goes awry.

    I'd suggest glue that comes with a brush for ease of application. I tend to use Humbrol for major joins (like upper and lower wing surfaces) and Tamiya Extra Thin for the small stuff. The Extra Thin is also good for tidying up seams - hold the parts together, run the brush along the seam, and let capillary action do the rest. Raid the cosmetics section somewhere for nail files to sand/buff/polish/shine parts as necessary - and reduce one source of visible issues.

    I would suggest brush painting before investing in an airbrush.  Brush on thin coats to build up the colour, rather than slap it on one thick coat. Try acrylics for ease of use and lack of smell.

    There are tips and tricks galore on this site if you're looking for guidance. Someone might already have built the kit you want to build and has some useful insights for you.

    Enough of my pontificating. The executive summary is to get some practice first before going for your subject of choice.

    Above all else, have fun in what you are doing.





    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the advice, that addresses the question perfectly. Getting a feel for how to apply the paint before doing so with an airbrush makes sense.


    Much appreciated!

    4 minutes ago, Swamp Donkey said:

    Hi Tom

    i agree with Steve about having a bash on something manageable, and the suggested Airfix Spit I is a very good shout. Moving on, and to your post, it’s going to very much depend on what you are planning to build. Some kits fall together (modern Tamiya springs to mind), others require a lot more effort and some degree of experience.

    As for painting, lots of possibilities. Airbrushing takes a bit of practice and some of us (me) have never truly mastered it. Depending on what you are planning, rattle cans may be a good option but maybe tricky if you are doing a Swedish Viggen. Then there is an awful lot of choice of paints in general and I’m sure the brush painters will be along with recommendations soon enough



    Unanimity is a wonderful thing :D I will do a simple kit first, and maybe another after that, before trying anything I'm deeply invested in. I really appreciate the input on when I should get the airbrush, it makes sense to learn how to apply paint coats correctly by hand before using a device. Swamp Donkey, I'm curious about one thing: why would a Viggen specifically not be a candidate for spray painting?


    Thank you both very much



  9. I'm getting into this hobby to build a particular kit. I'm inclined to just build that first off, but I'm wondering if I need experience before building something I'll see regularly. So, my question is: Would you expect visible issues with someone's first build that might make it less than presentable? It doesn't need to be perfect, but it shouldn't be obviously wrong to the uninitiated. The only hands-on anything I've done before is I've put together a few PCs, I've never done any kind of artistic project before, nor have I worked with paint. To this point I've never seen an airbrush, and I'm unsure if I'm going to buy one before my first project, opinions on that would be welcome too.



  10. 21 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

    Using a pin is a good alternative, however a set of drill bits will only cost a tenner, with maybe an extra £5-10 for the pin vice. Back in the days when Maplin had shops almost everywhere, they had similar sets for even less, today the same kind of stuff can be bought from Amazon for similar prices.

    They are invaluable tools that come handy in many situations, IMHO investing in these kind of things is always a good idea. I've used my Games Workshop pin vice and Maplin bits for almost 15 years and while I broke a few bits (mostly my mistakes really), everything else is still working well.


    Thanks, that's a good point. I do plan to buy a set early on, but I'm reliant on home delivery for stuff, meaning there is at least a day (and often a week) between placing and receiving an order, so it's good to know a drill bit breaking (or similar) needn't put a project on hold

    18 hours ago, Seawinder said:

    One thing to add: the proper finished diameter of the hole depends on the diameter of the shank of the part that will be inserted from the outside. You can therefore look ahead in the instructions to find the part that will go there and test fit at any point. If, as usually happens to me, the hole is too small, it's pretty easy to enlarge it with a larger drill bit or by lightly spinning a no. 11 blade in the hole.

    Roger that. I did look ahead to see how the holes would be used, but eye judgement isn't my thing so I had dismissed the idea of even looking at the shank diameter ahead of time. I hadn't considered that I could use that shank diameter to measure the correct drill bit, thanks!

  11. 15 hours ago, Rob G said:

    All the above, with the additional comment that if you don't yet have / can't afford/justify a set of micro drills, you can just use the tip of your #11 blade. Be careful not to over-enlarge the hole, and be aware that it's pretty easy to snap the fine tip off the blade, but it's quite doable - I did it for many years when I was a young'un, and still use the technique when I can't be bothered finding the right drill. 


    When you do look for micro drills, there's no need to spend a fortune - plastic is pretty easy to drill, so an el-cheapo set will do until you figure out what exactly you need/want. 


    14 hours ago, John B (Sc) said:

    Good point, 'Rob G'.  I have in the past used a sharp needle , or even a pin with very thin plastic when modelling away from home. . Just pushed through, with the protruding edges then skimmed off with a sharp blade and eased out as required. 


    Thanks, great ideas! It's really useful to minimize the amount of kit I need to start

  12. 10 minutes ago, John B (Sc) said:

    Generally these additional holes are to allow you to add optional items, such as drop tanks, stores pylons etc. If you don't want to add them then the surface of the model is untouched. 

    Typically I'd suggest a 1mm hole if not otherwise stated.   Perhaps for 1/72 start with 0.8mm - small enough that its easy to cover up if you change your mind,. Generally easy to open out with large drills or a fine needle file.

    Hand drilling is better; plastic is usually quite soft. Theses small drills will break easily , so use a short shank and rotate slowly.  


    Sets of small drills and suitable hand chucks (drill holders) are available from good model shops or online.


    John B


    8 minutes ago, Dave Swindell said:


    1) The same size as the blanked off hole on the inside of the kit part

    2) No

    3) Any ordinary drill bit of the correct size can be used, you can generally just twist it between your finger and thumb. A pin vice makes it easier drill, you don't need any powered drill to make the hole.

    4) The holes are flashed over and require drilling through by the modeller when different options are provided, either for the decal versions in that particular kit, or for different versions in kits using common moulds.


    Thank you both - glad to know both that the hole will generally be marked and a good starting size to use if it's not, and I'm especially glad to know a hand drill will do the job before power drilling my way to disaster!

  13. I'm getting prepared to start my first model, a 1/72 Revell F-14D Super Tomcat (kit number 03960). In getting ready I downloaded this PDF of the instructions (in German, but they're mostly Ikea-style pictograms anyway). In Step 1 on page 6 the instruction appears to be to drill holes in one of the model parts. There is no mention of what size the holes should be. I have seen similar instructions given for other kits in various sizes. I'm sure others can infer such things, but for me... well, drilling these holes will be the first time I use a drill, so if any of you could please help me out I'd appreciate it.


    So, my questions are:

    1) What size holes are required in the attached instructions?

    2) Are there standard sizes for holes to be drilled in aircraft of particular scales?

    3) Would a normal handyman's drill be the appropriate tool, or should I really be using a hand drill or dremel?

    4) Is there a reason some holes are molded into kits and some are to be drilled by the maker?


    Thanks for reading, all assistance would be welcome

  14. 36 minutes ago, IanC said:

    Welcome Tom.


    I saw Top Gun at the cinema. It irritated and captivated me in equal measures. I think his Kawasaki GPz900 was the real highlight. 😄


    Think I prefer The Final Countdown for F-14 thrills. 😀




    That was definitely one gorgeous bike. Believe it or not I haven’t seen The Final Countdown yet, that might be the next movie I watch…

  15. 2 hours ago, dnl42 said:

    Welcome aboard! :clap2:


    Just in case you aren't aware, there's an F-14 group build currently underway. It's due to end in a little over a month, but it's a good resource of F-14 info and currently available kits.


    2 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

    Hello Tom … :post1: from the city of Chicago USA. Im mostly an aircraft builder myself, though the last Tomcat I did was in 2015. 


    Thank you for the kind wishes 🙂 Hope the windy city being good to you Dennis, good to meet a fellow aircraft builder. Thanks for the info dnl42, I didn’t realise that build was happening, now I do I’ll be an interested observer!

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  16. Greetings all. I'm just gathering supplies to start building my very first model. I'm an F-14 fan (one who watched Top Gun because I loved the Tomcat instead of the other way around) and what led me here was buying a Hobby Boss diecast model Tomcat. As soon as I took the thing out of the packaging the first part fell off, and I was dumb enough to try to glue it back on (bye bye refund) but pieces kept falling off as I did, with a pretty sorry looking result. After seeing loadout limitations on even more expensive diecast models I've finally decided if I want one built right I'll have to build it myself, so I now have the Revell Super Tomcat (03960) kit on the way. Thanks for reading and good luck with your own projects!

    • Like 1
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