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Found 15 results

  1. A very good website, it is worth visiting on a daily basis. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/8282/how-to-fight-to-win-in-the-f-14-a-4-and-f-5-at-the-navys-topgun-school https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone
  2. Maverick's F-14A Tomcat - Top Gun 1:72 Airfix A00503 The Tomcat was a much-loved and capable aircraft that had a unique look, and was brought fully into the mainstream media by the original "Top Gun" in the 1980s. It has its origins in the late 50s and a need in the 60s for a replacement to the (also much loved) Phantoms with something more agile and adaptable. After much faffing about (does all defence procurement do this?), a Grumman proposal was picked for development and to avoid any further flip-flopping by the then US Defence Secretary, building of a prototype was ditched in favour of development airframes. Only four years after first flight, the F-14A Tomcat went on its first deployment in 1974, serving with the US Navy until it was retired in 2006, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth and name-calling of its replacement, the F-18, which took some time to abate. The F-14A was the first model, and because of a change of heart by the powers that be, which resulted in the Marines leaving the list of potential operators, it did not have the air-to-ground capabilities it was originally scheduled to possess. Instead it with a pure interceptor/fleet protection aircraft, armed with AIM-54 Phoenix for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagements for up to 100 miles in perfect conditions. It was also capable of carrying AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-defence and closer intercepts. Later in service, the ground attack capability was added to upgraded A variants, Bs and of course the later D that was dubbed the "Super Tomcat" because of its vastly improved capabilities. The Kit Now in a tie in with Paramount Pictures and the new Top Gun Film, Airfix are re-issuing kits from their back catalogue, unfortunately in this case its their original Tomcat from 1975. Construction starts with the cockpit. The seats and front control column are added to the floor, there are two figures provided if the modeller wants to use them. The bulkheads/instrument panels are added in along with the rear bulkhead. Side consoles are then fitted. Inside the upper fuselage the re-fueling probe is installed. Next up a couple of subassemblies take pace; the two main wings are built up, and the tailplanes are built up. These can then both he put to one side for the next step Turning to the upper fuselage the cockpit can be installed along with the main wings and tailplane assembly. The main wings are designed to sweep and additional parts to aid their movement are now added, being careful not to glue anything. Moving to the lower fuselage holes must be opened up for the appropriate weapons load as mentioned in the instructions. Once this is done the two fuselage halves can be joined. Next up the intakes and trunks are fitted, there are engine faces to fit into the trunks. At the rear of the aircraft the speed brakes on the top and bottom are fitted, these can be either open or closed. The tail fins are fitted as are the strake on the underside, this is followed by the arrestor hook and the exhaust nozzles. The landing gear and doors are then fitted to both the mains and the nose. If doing an inflight model then all of the gear bays can be closed up. To finish off the under nose TV camera is added, along with the nose cone itself, your weapons load of choice can then be added, with lastly the canopy going on. Decals The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has only the decal option for the aircraft from the film. Conclusion This is a kit of its time but will no doubt look like Mav's Tomcat when built up. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Top Gun Movie Set - Maverick's F-14A Tomcat & F/A-18 Hornet 1/72 Revell (05677) The Tomcat was a much-loved and capable aircraft that had a unique look, and was brought fully into the mainstream media by the original "Top Gun" in the 1980s. It has its origins in the late 50s and a need in the 60s for a replacement to the (also much loved) Phantoms with something more agile and adaptable. After much faffing about (does all defence procurement do this?), a Grumman proposal was picked for development and to avoid any further flip-flopping by the then US Defence Secretary, building of a prototype was ditched in favour of development airframes. Only four years after first flight, the F-14A Tomcat went on its first deployment in 1974, serving with the US Navy until it was retired in 2006, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth and name-calling of its replacement, the F-18, which took some time to abate. The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. The new top gun film has unfortunately been a victim of the Covid with the release date being put back again but Revell have released various models in a tie in with the studio. Here we get to see how our favourite US Navy fighter Pilot is doing. Fans will be glad to know he is still in the Navy and not reduced to flying plane loads of rubber dog out of Hong Kong. Though with his record we are not shocked to see he has not climbed very far up the USN promotion ladder. He now has to train young pilots which remind him of himself for a new dangerous mission *yada yada yada". Que all the same stuff from the original with some equally good, if not better? flight scenes. Though unfortunately this time the rather excellent Grumman Tomcat (we miss you!) has been replaced by the new Boing Super Borenet. It seems to have now replaced everything in the USN The reviewer makes no apology for his fondness of the Mighty Tomcat, and derision at its replacement *(this may not necessarily reflect the views of Birtmodeller.com and its owner) There have been 1.48 ones and Snaptite one, now we have 1/72. It would seem overall that the 1/72 modeller has come out of the lottery on re-issued kits the best which must be a result of it being the one true scale The F-14 Here Revell have re-boxed their 1999 kit. The only issue with this is its a D model F-14. The tooling is nice with plenty of details in the cockpit and wheel bays, all panel lines are recessed. A full weapons fit including recon pods are included in the kit. Construction actually starts with the main fuselage part, and the intakes, however this step just involves opening up some holes that are needed. We when move into the cockpit so dont fret. The four part seats are built up and installed into the cockpit tub. The instrument panels and control columns go it. The instrument panels and side console details are provided as decals. The cockpit then sits on top of the front wheel bay, and all of this is closed up into the front fuselage parts. The front coming then goes on and a part goes behind the rear seat. On the underside a fuselage insert goes in as well. Now we turn our attention to the wings. The left and right main wings are assembled these are of conventional upper / lower construction. These are put to one side and the full length intakes are then constructed and added into the fuselage, the wings can now be added in on their pivot points, this completes the mid fuselage section. The rear fuselage parts can then be assembled; once done all three fuselage sections can be joined. At the rear then the exhausts can be assembled and added in. Continuing at the rear the tail planes, vertical fins, under fuselage strakes, and the arrestor hook all go on. We now flip back to the front of the aircraft with the cannon insert and chin pod going on. The front landing gear and gear bay doors go on; these being followed by the mains. Last up the canopy goes on. 6 Phoenix, 2 Sparrows and 2 Sidewinders are included in the kit. The F-18 Here Revell have re-boxed their 2009 new tool kit. This kit features quite restrained recessed panel lines Assembly starts with the cockpits. There some surface detail to the panels, so you have the option to sand this off and apply the decals supplied or paint it. The ejection seats come in 3 parts and have moulded in seatbelts and side framework. With the pit assembled and placed into the lower fuselage, effort is turned towards the intakes. they are nicely shaped and backed by the engine compressor rather than being void. With the cockpit and intakes fitted to the lower fuselage, the top half is then attached followed by the nose cone. The tail panes are connected through the rear fuselage so they can be adjusted to suit the angle you desire. The wings inboard of the wing fold are moulded integral to the fuselage with the outer sections being attached separately, unfortunately they cant be fitted in the folded configuration without some work by yourself. Also the flaps and moveable surfaces (other than the tailplanes) are fixed, so again, there is no option to show them in the parked drooped state. Moving on to the exhausts and undercarriage. The exhausts are adequate. The plastic is rather thick so Id be tempted to thin the plastic out to give it a more accurate scale thickness. The undercarriage has plenty of detail and a wash will really bring this out after painting. Construction finishes with fitment the clear parts, various antennas, aerials and boarding ladder which adds a great visual to the displayed kit. The canopy and windscreen are very refined free from distortion. The HUD is rather thick and you may want to replace this with a piece of thin acetate. One of the great features about Revell kits in general is the abundance of ordnance that they include in their kits and this one follows suit. Due to this boxing and the aircraft only shwn with tanks some of the aramamnets in other boxings are not here, However he following is included in the kit: Aim-9x Sidewinder x2 AIM 120C AMRAAM x2 Mk83 Iron Bomb x2 Wing tanks x2 Centreline tank BLU-109 x 2 AN/ASQ-228 Advanced FLIR pod Markings The single decal sheet for both kits contains markings for the film aircraft. These are by Cartograf so there should be no issues there. Conclusion If you really want some models from the film. Then these are them. Otherwise its a good opportunity to pick up a couple of the newer tool aircraft from Revell not seen for a while. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  4. Maverick's F-14A Tomcat (03865) 1:48 Revell The Tomcat was a much-loved and capable aircraft that had a unique look, and was brought fully into the mainstream media by the original "Top Gun" in the 1980s. It has its origins in the late 50s and a need in the 60s for a replacement to the (also much loved) Phantoms with something more agile and adaptable. After much faffing about (does all defence procurement do this?), a Grumman proposal was picked for development and to avoid any further flip-flopping by the then US Defence Secretary, building of a prototype was ditched in favour of development airframes. Only four years after first flight, the F-14A Tomcat went on its first deployment in 1974, serving with the US Navy until it was retired in 2006, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth and name-calling of its replacement, the F-18, which took some time to abate. The F-14A was the first model, and because of a change of heart by the powers that be, which resulted in the Marines leaving the list of potential operators, it did not have the air-to-ground capabilities it was originally scheduled to possess. Instead it with a pure interceptor/fleet protection aircraft, armed with AIM-54 Phoenix for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagements for up to 100 miles in perfect conditions. It was also capable of carrying AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder for self-defence and closer intercepts. Later in service, the ground attack capability was added to upgraded A variants, Bs and of course the later D that was dubbed the "Super Tomcat" because of its vastly improved capabilities. The Kit Now in a tie in with Paramount Pictures and the new Top Gun Film, Revell are re-issuing kits from their back catalog. Despite the optimistic date of 1993 on the sprues, it would seem this was when it was re-issued back then by Revell, and the kit is the original 1978 tooling from Monogram. While this is not Monograms worst kit of the time, it is not one of its best either. The best thing to say is that its a product of its time. In addition to the original kit parts there is a sprue with what looks to D model engine exhausts, and a small black sprue with chin camera pod on it. Construction starts with the cockpit. Here there are separate seats unlike some monogram kits of the period. Each seat is 4 parts with separate ejection seat handles. There are decals supplied for the instrument panels and side consoles. Once the instrument panels and seats are in the complete cockpit goes into the upper fuselage. While you get a 1/48 Mav for the front cockpit Goose must still be in the bar. Next on the underside fuselage engine faces are added followed by the intake trunks. The wings (which do move) are fitted into the lower fuselage and the top half is joined. To the now complete fuselage the nose cone is added along with the gun vent on the left hand side. Underneath the front gear leg is fitted along with the doors to the front gear well. At the rear the three part exhausts go in, and the arrestor hook goes between them. Four Phoenix missiles are provided along with two weapons pallets for the underside if you wish t fit them. Next up back on top the vertical stabilisers go on. Flipping the model back over (again) the main gear and their doors are fitted. The underwing weapons pylons have the Sparrow missiles moulded in so leaving them off would involve some surgery and scratch building. The side pylon for the sidewinder, and the sidewinders are separate parts. To finish up the canopy and under nose camera pod are fitted. Decals The decal sheet from Zanetti in Italy (so no issues there) provides the one option to do the Aircraft from the film, so no surprises there. Conclusion If you really want a model from the film then this will do the job. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  5. F-5E Tiger II "The MiG" Top Gun 1:72 Airfix A00502 The F-5E was developed by Northrop from the F-5A with more powerful engines, a larger fuel capacity, a greater wing area which incorporated leading edge extensions, improved avionics and a radar. A total 1400 were built. Most were supplied to US Allies. One use in US Service was as adversary aircraft with both the USAF and USN. The aircraft was used in the original Top Gun film to portray the fictional MiG-28, and were painted black so the film going public could see they were the "bad" guys. The Kit The kit is a re-release of Airfix's 1983 F-5E kit. Dont expect a modern tooling here, but it is a better kit than some we have seen in some "Top Gun" boxings, however it does seem to have some flash on the mouldings. Construction starts with the basic cockpit. The instrument panel goes in, along with a basic seat and control column. A pilot figure is supplied if you want to use it. Details for the instrument panel and side consoles are provided as decals. The finished pit then fits into the top fuselage half. The single part wing goes between the upper and lower fuselage halves along with the single part tail plane. The intakes are made up and added to the aircraft, and at the rear the vertical fin is added along with the exhausts. Next up the front and main landing gears can be added along with all the gear doors. Airfix also provide a set of closed doors for the aircraft if you wish to do it "in flight", A range of Maverick missiles, bombs and drop tanks are in the kit, though none are needed for the "MiG". To finish of the nose cone and pitot tub are added at the front, the canopy goes on, and underneath the airbrakes and arrestor hook are fitted. Decals The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has only the decal option for "The MiG" Conclusion This is a kit of its time but will no doubt look like the MiG-28 when built up, we could tell you more but that's classified Review sample courtesy of
  6. Maverick's P-51D Mustang 1:72 Airfix The North American P-51 Mustang is one of the most famous and easily-recognisable of Allied types to have served during the Second World War. It was originally designed to a British requirement for a low-altitude fighter, and because it was designed around the Alison V-1710 engine, it had limited performance at higher altitudes. This shortcoming was famously addressed by the marriage of North Americans airframe to the Rolls Royce Merlin aero engine. Once so equipped, the Mustang was able to take on Luftwaffe fighters on equal or better terms up to 15,000 feet. In common with later Spitfires, the D model of the Mustang employed a cut-down rear fuselage and a bubble canopy, giving pilots superb all-round vision. The outstanding feature of the aircraft was is range, which enabled Mustangs to escort bombers all the way to Berlin and back. This prompted the famous quote from Reichmarshal Herman Göring: "When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up." The Kit Airfix's Mustang has only been around now since 2012 and is a great little kit. The kit is part of Airfix's series one range and as such as a fairly simple kit, made up of just fifty three parts spread across two sprues of grey plastic and a single small clear sprue. The mouldings are clean and crisp and moulded detail looks good. The panel lines look pretty fine to me, but some will no doubt find them a little too deep. In my opinion they arent too broad though, so treatment with primer would seem to be the way to go here. The kit has been re-released a few times over the years and now again in a tie in with Paramount for the new Top Gun Film, which has been delayed on release due to the current situation. The cockpit is assembled on top of a large floor piece which also acts as the roof of the radiator tunnel. Onto this are added an instrument panel (with a decal for detail), a gun sight, control column and seat. Sidewalls and radio kit is moulded in place. The inner sides of the fuselage have some nice raised/recessed detail which helps to add a sense of realism to the cockpit. Overall impressions are very favourable, particularly for a kit in this scale and at this price point. If you want the airscrew to be moveable, you will have to assemble it before the fuselage halves have been joined. This will make it a bit of a nuisance to paint though, so I would recommend adding it later and fixing it in place. Whichever route you choose, once the fuselage halves are joined then you can add the wing. The lower wing is moulded as a single span, which will help you achieve the correct dihedral. The main gear bays are boxed in and feature some convincing structural details. The tail planes are moulded as solid pieces, but the rudder is a separate part, so you can finish it in a deflected position if you so desire. There are separate flaps too, which is a bonus. The Finishing details show that Airfix has put some care and attention into the design of this kit. The mouth of the radiator inlet is moulded as a separate part, saving you the trouble of cleaning up a visible seam. The cooling air exhaust is also a separate part and can be posed in either open or closed position. The undercarriage doors are detailed on the inside and the landing gear itself is also very nice. The tyres have a cross-cut tread and subtle flat spots moulded in place. Two drop tanks are provided to hang under the wings. Two canopies are provided, but only the bulged version is used for the decal option supplied with this kit. The frame of the rear canopy is a separate part too, and of course the canopy can be posed in open or closed position. Decals As this is a tie in only one set of markings is included, those for the aircraft Maverick owns in the film. The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf and includes a full range of stencils. Conclusion This is a neat little kit and Im very glad that Airfix took the decision to re-release it. The level of detail is surprisingly good for the scale and price, and it looks as though this should build up into an excellent model. Recommended if you want to model the Mustang from the film, or just want another to add to your stash. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Jester's A-4 Skyhawk Top Gun 1:72 Airfix A00501 The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was a carrier capable ground attack aircraft developed for the US Navy and US Marine Corps. It is a delta winged single engine aircraft. It was developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company originally under the A4D designation, latter changed to A-4. The A-4 was designed by Ed Heinemann to a 1952 US Navy specification for a carrier based attack aircraft capable of carrying heavy loads. For this an aircraft was to have a maximum weight of 30,000Lbs, and be capable of speeds up to 495 mph. Initially the Douglas design with a specified weight of only 20000 Lbs greeted with scepticism. Ed Heinemann had in fact designed a very small aircraft. This was to be roughly half the weight of its contemporaries. In fact the wings were so short they did not need to fold for stowage below decks. Having a non-folding wing eliminated the heavy wing folds seen in other aircraft, one reason for a low overall weight. The prototype also exceed the maximum speed the US Navy had specified. In fact not long after the aircraft would set a new world record of 695 mph for circuit flying, bettering the specification by 200 mph. The A-4A was the initial production aircraft with 166 being built. The A-4B was ordered with additional improvements over the initial design. These were to be; Stronger rudder construction, a pressure fuelling system incorporating a probe for in-flight refuelling, external fuel tanks, stronger landing gear, additional navigation equipment, an improved ordnance delivery system, and an external buddy refuelling package. A total of 542 A-4Bs were to be made with fleet deliveries beginning in 1957 only a year after the first A-4B flight was made. US Navy A-4Bs were later supplied to Argentina using the A-4Q designation for aircraft destined for the Navy; and A-4P for those destined for the Air Force. In total over 3000 A-4s were produced by Douglas later becoming McDonnell Douglas. The A-4 went on to fight with the US Navy in the Vietnam war, with the Israeli Air Force in the Yom Kippur War, with the Argentinean Air Force in the Falkland’s War, and the Kuwaiti Air Force in the Gulf War. Skyhawks were used by, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Malaysia, and Singapore. Last use by the US Navy was in the aggressor role made famous by the Top Gun Film. Some are still in service today with some of the private contractors who have sprung up in recent years to supply services to various countries. The Kit The kit is a re-release of Airfix's new tool kit from 2012. as part of a series of models for the new Top Gun Film. The moulding are good as is the detail, although a bit of flash is creeping in. Construction starts in the cockpit. The seat is built up and added to the tub then the rear bulkhead can be added. A pilot figure is supplied if needed however its a bit generic. The control column and instrument panel are added in, the instruments being provided as decal. Next up the engine intake, and exhaust are made up and put to one side. The intakes are then added to each fuselage side. Once this is done the main intake, cockpit and exhaust are added i, and the fuselage can be closed up. The main wing which is a single lower section with left/right uppers is then made up and added to the fuselage, as are the tailplanes. Next up the main undercarriage units and their doors are added to the wing, this is followed by the nose gear. All of the gear doors can be fitted closed if an in flight model is required. The prominent leading edge slats are then added along with the rear air-brakes. These can be open or closed as the modeller wants. At the rear the arrestor hook and final exhaust ring are added. To finish off the refuelling probe is added to the nose as well as the cannon barrels into the wing roots. Decals The small decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has only the decal option for Jester's Skyhawk. Now these markings dont reflect the ones from the first movie, but they must be slightly different for the second as the insignia in all the kits are slightly different fom the ones carried on real aircraft. Conclusion This is a great kit of the Skyhawk, and yes its a B where the film one was an E, but if you want to build some Top Gun models then go for it. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Maverick's F/A-18E Super Hornet (03864) 1:48 Revell The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. Now the US Navy have made the second part of their drama/documentary "Top Gun", called "Top Gun Maverick". Here we get to see how our favourite US Navy fighter Pilot is doing. Fans will be glad to know he is still in the Navy and not reduced to flying plane loads of rubber dog out of Hong Kong. Though with his record we are not shocked to see he has not climbed very far up the USN promotion ladder. He now has to train young pilots which remind him of himself for a new dangerous mission *yada yada yada". Que all the same stuff from Part I of the documentary with some equally good, if not better? flight scenes. Though unfortunately this time the rather excellent Grumman Tomcat (we miss you!) has been replaced by the new Boing Super Borenet. It seems to have now replaced everything in the USN The reviewer makes no apology for his fondness of the Mighty Tomcat, and derision at its replacement *(this may not necessarily reflect the views of Birtmodeller.com and its owner) The Kit This is was Revell's attempt to break into the F/A-18E market back in 2005. The kit is good, but perhaps could have been better but came in well under the price of its nearest competitor making it a sensible option for a lot of modellers, and to be honest with some decent work it builds up to a good looking model. Now in a tie in with Paramount Pictures its back with Mav doing his "piloting stuff". Construction starts in the cockpit with the four part ejection seat. This fits into the cockpit tub along with the control column and instrument panel. The side consoles are provided as decals, and all the instruments displays are individual decals. For the top fuselage half the spine is fitted along with a pair of inserts. We then move to the lower half, the complete cockpit tub is added then the intakes are assembled and fitted. These are full length with engine faces. An insert goes in at the rear to mount the tailplanes and then the main fuselage can be closed up. The nose section can then be assembled and added to the main fuselage. Now at the real the vertical stabilisers and tailplanes can be added on. The exhausts and arrestor hook can then also go on the rear. The front gear is assembled and along with the doors are put onto the front of the aircraft. This is followed by the main landing gear and it's doors. Under the wings the flap actuators and pylons go on. Revell provide a range of things which go bang or whoosh to hang under the wings along with a centre ling fuel tank. To finish off the canopy can be positioned open or closed, if open then a boarding ladder can be made up and fitted. Markings The decal sheet from cartograf (so no issues there) provides the one option to do the Aircraft from the film, so no surprises there. Conclusion This should make up to a good looking model if you really have to have one from the film, Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  9. Top Gun Maverick's F-14A Tomcat (04966) & F/A-18 Hornet (04965) 1/72 Easy Click System from Revell The Tomcat was a much-loved and capable aircraft that had a unique look, and was brought fully into the mainstream media by the original "Top Gun" in the 1980s. It has its origins in the late 50s and a need in the 60s for a replacement to the (also much loved) Phantoms with something more agile and adaptable. After much faffing about (does all defence procurement do this?), a Grumman proposal was picked for development and to avoid any further flip-flopping by the then US Defence Secretary, building of a prototype was ditched in favour of development airframes. Only four years after first flight, the F-14A Tomcat went on its first deployment in 1974, serving with the US Navy until it was retired in 2006, accompanied by much gnashing of teeth and name-calling of its replacement, the F-18, which took some time to abate. The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is the second generation F/A-18 following on the the F/A-18C. The F/A-18E was developed from the original Hornet and while it may look alike its very much a new aircraft which is 25% bigger. The US Navy managed to keep the F/A-18 designation partly to make the US Congress believe it would be a low risk development from the original aircraft (not the first time in US Aviation this has happened). The new aircraft was ordered in 1992 with a first flight in 1995. The aircraft introduced a new era in electronics including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, bigger displays and a helmet mounted sighting system. To date the Super Hornet has replaced the legacy Hornet in all US Navy operations apart from the USN Aerobatic Team The Blue Angels, and even they will have transitioned by 2021. As well as the E model there is the two seat F model, and the latest development the G or "Growler" Electronic Warfare Aircraft. The F-14 Here Revell have re-boxed the Monogram Snap-Tite from 1980 even though the Spures say Revell-Monogram 1999. As well as the main fuselage halves there are 2 smaller sprues of parts for the aircraft, a clear sprue and a black stand. The stand is needed as there is no undercarriage in the kit. All the parts click together and the wings are designed to sweep. Decals & Stickers are provided depending on the age of the modeller and what they want to use. The F-18 Here Revell have re-boxed the Monogram Snap-Tite from 1980 even though the Spures say Revell 2012. The main issue with this kit though is not its age, it is the fact the Kit is of an F/A-18A Hornet, when the aircraft in the film is an F/A-18E superhornet, perhaps they are hoping the target audience will not notice the difference. There are two sprues of parts for the aircraft, a clear sprue and a black stand. The stand is needed as there is no undercarriage in the kit. All the parts click together. Decals & Stickers are provided depending on the age of the modeller and what they want to use. Conclusion If you really want some snap together models of the aircraft in the Film then these will be for you, or you children/grandchildren. It is a slight shame that they have used these old kits, and one which is a different model of aircraft. F/A-18 F-14A Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  10. Grumman F-14 Tomcat – Warpaint #126 Guideline Publications What do I say about the Tomcat that hasn't already been said? A swing-wing Fleet Defence fighter with more than enough presence to be a movie star, which it can include on its resumé with one notable film called Top Gun with little Tommy Cruise at the controls in a rare break from him running round a lot. With twin GE F110 engines, variable geometry wings for low speed handling as well as at swept for high speed intercepts, two-seat cockpit and a huge capability for weapons carriage and delivery, it was an instant hit, going through a few variants in service with the US Navy and a few Middle Eastern buyers, one being Iran just before their change of administration made the US government regret their decision so much that when the type was withdrawn in the early part of this millennium, any airframes destined for museums were stripped of spares and the rest shredded so that their valuable second-hand parts couldn’t reach the Iranian government to keep their ageing fleet in spares. This book is by author Charles Stafrace (apologies for spelling his name wrong last time) and covers the birth and development of the legend in much more detail, as well as providing tons of excellent pictures of many airframes in service in colour due to its relatively recent era, plus loose 1:72 plans of the A and D with copious profiles in the rear, penned by John S Fox. The book is in the usual Warpaint format of portrait A4(ish) with a soft card cover but having a massively increased page count necessitated a perfect binding to accommodate the 120 pages plus content printed on the four glossy pages of the covers. A short introduction details the birth of the type and its subsequent variants and history: The ill-fated Naval F-111B The VFX Competition The Grumman Aircraft Corporation The Makings of a Pure Breed – F-14 Tomcat The Hughes AWG-10/AIM-54 Phoenix Grumman’s F-14A Contracts The F-14A Evaluated F-14s for the US Marine Corps The Imperial Iranian Air Force Orders F-14A The Original US Navy F-14B Tomcat The F-14+ (The True F-14B) F-14D – The Ultimate Tomcat The Bombcat Other Tomcat Projects and Rejected Proposals F-14 TARPS F-14A Tomcat Enters Service The Hectic 80s F-14 vs Libyan Air Force – Round One: September 1980 and August 1981 Somalia, Grenada and Again, Lebanon – 1983 The MS Achille Lauro Hijack – October 1985 Libya – More Encounters Exercise Attain Document IandII 1986 Libya – Operation Prairie Fire Libya – Operation El Dorado Canyon 1986 The IRIAF F-14A Tomcat in the Iran-Iraq War Iran-Iraq War – Operation Sultan Ten Iran-Iraq War – The ‘Tanker War’ and the US Navy Towards The End of The Iran-Iraq War – 1988 F-14 vs Libyan Arab Air Force – Last Round: January 1989 Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm 1990/1991 War in the Balkans – Operations Deny Flight 1993, Deliberate Force 1995 & Allied Force 1999 Iraq - Operations Provide Comfort, Northern/Southern Watch and Desert Strike Iraq - Operation Desert Fox 1998 Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan 2001 Onwards The Fall of Kabul Mopping Up of Resistance Iraq – Operation Iraqi Freedom - 2003 Iraq – The Mediterranean Carriers in Operation Iraqi Freedom Iraq – Post Operation Iraqi Freedom Phase 1 in Iraq The IRIAF Tomcats Today End of the Road for US Navy Tomcats In Detail – walk around close-up photos Colour Artwork by John S Fox (10 pages inc. covers) The pages include a lot of useful pictures with informative captions of aircraft on the apron, on the field, in the air, during weapons trials and even under construction with all sorts of panels missing, plus appropriate photos and drawings dotted around. In the not-so-short "In Detail" section there are many numbered close-up photos with matching captions providing excellent information that will be a boon to modellers as well as people that like to know what everything does. There are dozens of kits available in the full range of scales all the way up to a 1:18 monster “toy” that can be repurposed and detailed as a model if you have the skills and the space to store it later. Conclusion The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a bad one. This is an excellent book that will see plenty of use by anyone interest in, or building on of this incredibly popular and dangerous (to the enemy) aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of [/url
  11. Grumman F-14 Tomcat - Kit Build #1 ISBN: 9788366148567 Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK There are a lot of modellers that have a soft spot for the F-14 Tomcat, and with a raft of new tooling having been released over the last few years, we’re spoiled for choice. Anyone that has watched Top Gun (it’s best not to listen to the dialogue) will also have a soft spot for them, and probably Goose too. In case it had escaped you, the Tomcat was a fleet carrier fighter of immense proportions, with all the Cold War trimmings including twin engines and fins, variable geometry wings, and lots of hard-points to store weapons on. It first deployed at the beginning of the 70s, stopping briefly to become a movie star in the 80s, and flying on until retirement in 2006, much to the disgust of many a Tomcat fan, who couldn’t quite come to terms with the loss. The US aircraft that weren’t earmarked for museums were destroyed along with their spares to ensure that those nasty Iranian F-14s wouldn’t get hold of them to keep their ageing Tomcats flying, which they still seem to be anyway. The Book This is the first edition of a new series from Kagero, the descriptive Kit Build series, which doesn’t need much more explanation unless you don’t speak or read English. In which case, how did you get this far? It is printed in full colour in a card cover, which are often referred to as a “bookazine” these days. It has 66 matt-finished pages within, and is bursting with colour on every one, ignoring the fact that the Tomcat was a grey jet. There are two builds within the book, one of the 1:48 Tamiya F-14D by Adrian Wolnicki, the other in 1:72 of the Fine Molds F-14A by Robert Skałbania, the latter not being a grey jet at all. The 1:48 Tamiya Tomcat is built as a care-worn airframe of VF-101 Grim Reapers, who were at NAS Oceana in 2004 when it wore this scheme with red-tipped black fins with their eponymous emblem in white holding his scythe above his hooded head. Over 23 pages of step-by-step instructions, the various techniques employed to give the surface of the aircraft the appearance of wear, plus a few trips through the anti-corrosion “barn” are explained in words and pictures, showing just how to achieve very realistic effects. The 1:72 Fine Molds kit is depicted as an earlier F-14A in service at NSAWC (Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center(sic)) at Fallon Nevada, wearing a rather unusual three-tone sand/green/brown camouflage over a grey underside, with matching loviz markings in opposing colours used in the scheme. Both models are built to a very high standard with small amounts of aftermarket and scratch-building used to further improve the detail of the models. If you’re one of those weirdos that counts pages in reviews and can’t get them to add up in this review, the majority of the missing pages are used to show off the finished models in high definition, demonstrating the finish you can achieve with some hard work and at least 30ml of talent. The final 6 pages are devoted to side profiles of various airframes over the years, as well as two pages devoted to the aircraft that can be built using the decals supplied with the book(azine). Markings Markings in a book? It’s a decal sheet included with the book that allows you to portray an F-14A BuNo. 160678, No.207, VF-111 Sundowners, USS Carl Vinson, November 1982. The sheet is printed in 1:72 and 1:48 scale, and the printers are Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion As long as you order a 30ml bottle of “talent” to go with your Tomcat, this book should give any modeller with a little experience a raft of techniques to try or adapt to their way of doing things. At time of writing this title is on discount from casemate, with a healthy £5 off the usual price. Review sample courtesy of
  12. F-14D Super Tomcat (88007) 1:48 AvantGarde Model Kits The F-14 Tomcat was America’s primary carrier fighter through the 70s and into the new millennium, retiring to the sound of many tears in 2006, with around 80 airframes inherited from the Shah by the Iranian regime still flying… apparently. It originated with a need for Long Range Carrier Defence aircraft that the F-111B was intended to fill but couldn’t, so another more capable aircraft was needed. They required a heavy fighter/interceptor that could fly at Mach 2 and carry a range of weapons, especially the AIM-54 Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile. Grumman’s design was eventually awarded the contract and the result was a huge twin-engined airframe using swept-wing technology to cope with the slow speeds of landing and swept to handle well in the supersonic flight envelope. It first flew at the end of 1970 and entered fleet service in 1974 with a powerful radar in the nose, spaces for six Phoenix missiles under the belly, plus more stations on the wing gloves and engine nacelles. It was capable of speeds well in excess of Mach 2 thanks to the General Electric F110-GE-400 (post upgrade) with full afterburner, was fitted with a multi-barrelled Vulcan gatling cannon that was intended for use when things got up close and personal, shredding anything in its way. With over 500 of the A model produced, the first major upgrade happened in the late 80s, resulting in the F-14B, which got the GE engines mentioned above that replaced the troublesome TF30s that may have cooked Goose’s… err, goose, new avionics and radar, with new airframes and upgrades to existing airframes totalling under 100 aircraft. The D, nicknamed Super Tomcat, was the last upgrade with a glass cockpit and new avionics, giving the Tomcat the ability to keep up with more modern designs. The plug was finally pulled on the F-14, being called 1960s technology, despite the upgrades it had received over the years. The uproar from the fans was legendary, probably fuelled in some small part by the love for the type generated by the movie Top Gun in the 80s, but the die was cast and the Tomcat’s days were numbered. Many airframes went to museums, but in order to keep the spare parts out of the hands of the no doubt desperate for spares Iranians some were shredded to render them as scrap and thereby useless to any sneaky Iranian operatives. The Kit It’s difficult to mention this kit without also mentioning the fact that has been delayed for some years for reasons unknown to this reviewer, and of little interest if we’re concentrating on the here and now if I’m honest. This is a model of a much-loved aircraft and that often generates super-fans, a few of whom are not well adjusted to playing nicely with others. Nuff said. The kit arrives in a large top-opening box with a painting of an F-14D launching from a deck somewhere at sea. On lifting the lid you are greeted by the instruction booklet, some internal boxes and a couple of sprues poking out from underneath. On closer inspection you’ll find a total of four small sub-boxes that contain the weapons and more delicate parts, keeping them a little safer than if they were rattling around in a larger box. These have an added benefit of cushioning the sprues not in the box. In total there are 21 larger sprues of varying sizes and two fuselage halves, plus another 30 smaller sprues of weapons and pods, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), three decal sheets and the instruction booklet with colour jacket and spot colour throughout. You may remember their Mig-31 Foxhound that I reviewed and built a few years back. This was an excellent model that built up very nicely and I have the feeling that this one will too. There have been some huge and extended discussion on the kit’s accuracy or otherwise, some of which may bother you, others likely won’t. It’s impossible to find a perfect kit however, so you have to gauge this kits pros and cons against the competition and choose your preference. Construction begins with drilling some holes on the lower fuselage and under the engine nacelles for any or all of the weapons stations you intend to fit. With the drill put away, the highly detailed seats, which consists of 13 parts each for the driver and the RIO (Radio Intercept Officer), closely followed by the cockpit tub, which all fits within a base with complex shaping to replicate the facets of the real thing. Each instrument panel is fitted to the surface with a couple of tabs for ease and decals to speed up completion. They’re joined by the rudder pedals, control column and the main instrument panels, which also have decals including MFD (Multi-Function Display), then are enclosed by adding in the side walls, making it into a proper tub. The tub is flipped over and the nose gear bay is made up from individual panels, all of which have rich detail moulded in and begs for some detail painting. The Tomcat’s nose section is engineered with another one of AMK’s favourite techniques, and arrives as a single slide-moulded part ready for the cockpit to be slid inside and completed. There are a couple of raised panels under the starboard nose that need sanding off, as they’re not supposed to be there, and you’ll also have to remove the tiny mould seam marks that are a necessary part of slide-moulding technology, which is used extensively on this and many other of AMK’s kits. These shouldn’t tax the modeller too much if tackled with the correct grade of sanding stick, so take care and if any of the panel lines are more faint than you’d like after the process, grab your scribing tool to make good. It’s the necessary compromise for having sharp detail on all faces of a curved 3D shape, and has been with us for a while now. With the cockpit now inside your nose (not your nose, silly), the coamings, top-mounted instruments, gun sight with PE supports and rear bulkhead are added with the windscreen, which needs a coating of clear green paint to replicate the real thing (or the excellent Galaxy Models mask set, which includes a pre-cut coated sheet). The radome and its adaptor ring fit to the front with the pitot probe at the sharp end, then you add the seats and PE side rails to the assembly so you can put it aside for a while. The powerful GE engines are next to be made up, and AMK have included a long section of the exhausts that are moulded into a simplified approximation of the engines themselves to which four engine face/afterburner parts are added internally. A lick of paint will also be required, and the exhausts themselves are made up from a single outer ring, into which four sections of internal detail are fixed, giving the assembly more detail. The outer rings are slender, if a little soft in the petal area but this can be remedied with some careful masking to give the impression of more depth (another thing the Galaxy Model set helps with). A set of constricted exhausts are also on the sprues, but these parts aren’t mentioned in the instructions until later (as they are both single parts) and have some fairly prominent sink marks in their thicker areas. Sometimes aircraft are parked with the exhausts at opposite ends of their extension with the port nozzle closed due to the effects of the shut-down process, but as they can be manipulated manually on the ground or for maintenance it’s not the end of the world if you want to use both the open nozzles. Each intake needs a trunk, which are each made up from two parts that fit together and slide inside the engine nacelles, each of which have the same slide-moulding seams to sand back in order to have sharp detail on all three sides. The F-14 adjusts the speed of the air into its engines internally to the intakes to suit its intended flight envelope, which are made up on a frame to which rams and intake surfaces are added in one of three positions, either subsonic, transonic or supersonic to optimise airflow and thereby engine power. Side-on diagrams are provided to assist you with this task, and these too are put aside for later integration. With the internals almost complete, the engine nacelles and their strakes are added to the underside fuselage part along with the innermost surfaces of the main gear bays, which are finished off from the inside later. In between this, you get to choose the orientation of the horizontal tails by inserting two of three types of supports within the rear of the lower fuselage through the pre-formed holes in the side. You have a choice for up, down or level planes, so check your references for which option will suit your needs. Engines with their integral exhaust tunnels are inserted into the lower fuselage from within, as are the main gear bay sides, all of which are individual parts with plenty of detail moulded in. That also gets put to one side while the wings are made, as these have to be fitted between top and bottom halves. You need to decide on whether to pose your wings open or closed from the outset and there is no mechanism to adjust them later, which means you can’t play with them. The open wings have separate flying surfaces, individual hinge parts, slats and spoilers, so will come out well-detailed, while the closed wings are simply two wing halves plus the shared tip parts and clear tip lights that won’t take long to make up. The two horizontal tails are two parts each with a slot through the middle to attach to the fuselage sides at the previously chosen angle. The beaver-tail with airbrake bays is also made up at this stage, ready to be added during fuselage closure along with the rudder fins, which are two parts each with tip lights of clear plastic. Back to the wings again. To fit the wings to the fuselage, AMK have provided three spar parts at the three usual positions that the wing will be seen in during flight and when parked. When a Tomcat lands it folds its wings back swept, and then a little bit more to save more space on deck, so you have slow-speed swept out, supersonic swept, and highly swept for parking. The assembly ends up as a single V-shaped set of wings with whichever angle you have selected. The whole build so far has been leading up to closing the fuselage, so the top part needs detailing with some antennae, aux. intakes, strakes and a choice of swept or unswept wing glove extensions depending on your wing choice, which are marked as L and R and have matching marks on the inside of the fuselage part to save you getting confused when you flip the part over. The actual fuselage closure process revolves around the lower fuselage, into which the wings are placed and are joined by the final inserts that are again chosen based on wing position, and are held in the correct position by a web-work of braces between them adding strength to the build. The upper fuselage is lowered and glued, and is then decked out with tail feathers, exhaust shroud and the exhaust petals in your preferred position, bearing in mind those sink-marks on the closed option. Your Tomcat is without a head as yet, which needs rectifying, by sliding the nose into position within the aperture at the front of the fuselage, then decked out with probes, crew steps and ladder, which in my sample had been broken due to the way it is held on the sprues. Hopefully yours will fare better on the slow-boat. Under the nose the TCS and Infrared sensors are fitted out with clear lenses then attached to the airframe, and on the starboard side of the cockpit the refuelling probe can be fitted open for business or closed for normal flight. Every Tomcat needs landing gear at some point, and this is the next stage of the build. You begin with the sturdy front strut that takes some hammering from the catapult and heavy landings, with twin wheels helping to spread the load. Each wheel is made from a central hub with two-part tyre, and if you like weighted wheels you can sand in a small flat at the bottom, and the same is true of the larger main gear wheels. These things were weighted, but seldom underinflated until they reached museums. The main gear legs are decked out with struts and wheels while you have your white and tyre grey to hand. The nose gear is fitted along with additional retraction strut and five bay doors, each of which have separate hinges and retraction jacks, while the rear door attaches to the larger strut that stows behind the majority of the bay when retracted. The main gear also has an additional strut fixed, but only has two doors each, again with separate hinges. The airbrakes also have their own retraction jacks, and between the lower pair there is the all-important arrestor hook that stops the pilots getting wet or tangled in the safety nets. There are also a couple of PE representations of the chaff and flare buckets to distract and confuse enemy missiles that might want a closer inspection of their exhausts. At this point your model is looking very Tomcat-like, but is a little draughty for the occupants. You can pose the canopy open or closed, and it is a very nicely detailed piece of plastic engineering that can be made up from a completely clear outer into which the internal structure and closure mechanisms are added, or you can use the styrene frame and individual curved canopy parts instead, whichever you prefer. My example had suffered from a blow during shipping resulting in the middle hoop being damaged but not beyond repair, despite being cocooned in a separate inner box. Perhaps some of these parts need a little extra sprue around them, or some foam adding at the factory? That’s the airframe done, and all that’s left to do now is load it out with weapons and their palettes/pylons. Weapons The Tomcat is capable of carrying a lot of munitions as it’s a big, powerful aircraft. AMK haven’t short-changed us with providing everything we need, and you will probably have a fair quantity left over at the end of your mission. You get four each of the weapons, plus a targeting pod and a TARPS pod into the bargain. The weapons are as follows: 4 x AIM-54 Phoenix 4 x GBU-31 JDAM 4 x GBU-38 JDAM 4 x GBU-16 PAVEWAY II 4 x GBU-12 PAVEWAY II 1 x LANTIRN targeting pod 1 x TARPS Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System 4 x AIM-9 Sidewinder 4 x AIM-7 Sparrow Four Phoenix missiles might seem stingy given that the aircraft was able to carry six, but the full load was rarely carried due to the stresses on the airframe that were undesirable during peacetime operations. All these weapons require pylons, and there are a set of semi-conformal pylons called palettes in between the aircraft’s widely spaced engines, which have an upswept nose to streamline airflow over the missiles, and some folks have questioned the shape of these areas. They’re a little off, but not stunningly so and they’re kind of out of the way, so once you’ve added the attachment inserts and filled them with missiles, you’ll probably not even notice. A pair of fuel tanks are included with small pylons to fit them under the engine nacelles for additional range, and there are more pylons that attach to the underside of the wing glove, with an additional pylon at the crank-point that allows the Tomcat even more weapons options. The weapons have all been designed to utilise slide-moulding, which reduces the parts count while adding crisp detail all around. The downside of this is you have moulding seams to square away before you can begin to assemble your weapons, so bear this in mind as you begin. Usually a scrape with the side of a sharp blade will remove most of it, and you can then sand them back to profile with a sanding stick. The AIM-54s have an additional exhaust part, the AIM-7 has an exhaust and choice of two types of seeker, the Sidewinder has a tiny control-link part, while the bombs have separate tail units, with a choice of closed or open tails for the PAVEWAY II options. The LANTIRN pod is made up from six parts, and the TARPS pod comprises four parts and is fitted instead of the belly palettes when in use. A page of the instructions is devoted to load-out and you should combine this with your references if you’re planning on replicating a realistic warload for your model. Markings There are five decal options included on the kit’s three decal sheets, including a full set of stencils that takes up one of the sheets. These include a couple of more colourful options as well as some lowviz schemes in an effort to offer some variation. From the box you can build one of the following: BuNo.164348 of VF-213 Black Lions, Feb 2002 BuNo.164342 NE 106 of VF-2 Bounty Hunters, May 2003 BuNo.164600 NK 100 of VF-31 Tomcatters, 1997 BuNo.164604 Vandy One of VX-9 Vampires, Spring 2000 BuNo.163900 AD 155 of VF-101 Grim Reapers, 2005 Furball Aero Designs have created the decals, but we’re not told who did the printing. That said, the sheets are well-printed with good register, colour density and sharpness, although the yellow on sheet B has been over-printed quite generously. Conclusion Detail is excellent for the most part, with the closed exhausts being the only disappointment in that department. There have been some rumblings regarding the aircraft’s back-end, including width and the shape of the curve over the horizontal tails. They’re probably correct from what I’ve seen, but whether that will bother many people I don’t know. I’d be tempted to soften the shape a little with the aid of references, and the same could be done with those belly palette noses. Overall though, it’s still a lovely kit and it is well priced to compete with the other kits in this scale. A few adjustments in the packaging might save those delicate parts from harm, so remember to check your kit when it arrives. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. F-14D Upgrades (Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Tamiya's new F-14A in 1:48 caused a stir in the modelling community due to their reputation for high quality kits, and rightly so - It's a lovely kit, and now we also have a top quality later F-14D model to play with. Here comes Eduard to make it better with another host of resin and brass sets! As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. F-14D Interior (49933) Two frets are included in this set, one with nickel plating and pre-painted details, the other in bare brass for the constructional aspect of the upgrade. It included sidewall skins for the two cockpits; replacement rudder pedals; highly detailed side console skins that require removal of the moulded-in detail, as does the instrument panel replacement for pilot and RIO. Other details include switch panels on the sidewalls; small structural details; a hoop for the windscreen with built-in grab-handle, matching hoop on the canopy front with rear-view mirrors, canopy closure details with retention hooks and another hoop with mirror for the RIO, plus some additional details in the rear bracing panel. Zoom! Set (FE933) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE934) The new ultra-thin an bendy steel frets are becoming common in the Eduard line, and if you aren't going for the resin seats, you can get the PE from that set separately to improve the kit parts with pre-painted belts; anti-flail injury leg straps; ejection actuation hoops, and additional seat controls. Exterior (48970) A large fret of natural brass includes a host of additional detail to improve on the base kit, starting with the landing gear, which is given additional small structural improvements, hosing on the legs and inside the bays; structural elements; bay door details including the transparent part in the centre of the nose bay doors; a number of grilles for the exterior of the airframe; upgrades to the main bays including their covers; belly pylon end skins; mating surfaces for the wing mounted pylons; exhaust details for the included weapons; a very detailed crew access ladder replacement, for which you will need some lengths of 0.4mm rod for the rungs, and additional parts for the arrestor hook. Engines (48969) The title of this single fret of brass is a little misleading, as it contains nickel-plated parts for the afterburner ring; a small fan behind a grille in the airway; A series of small grilles that are found around the airframe, and an external replacement skin for the nose gear bay door. Quite a mish-mash, with some duplication from the exterior set. Masks (EX624) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Masks Tface (EX625) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. It's especially useful if you have also bought the interior set, as it will simplify painting enormously. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Decals are a mix of kit and Fightertown 48077, painted with Tamiya & Gunze. Eduard seatbelts
  15. Hello all, Started this project a few years ago, it kept stalling and has been sitting at the side of the bench ever since. Original thread So, this GB is the perfect excuse to get it done, finally! The reason i've decided to resurrect it is because my favourite decal maker has just released these….which of course i've ordered. So i'm able to do a proper 'Top Gun' jet! Plan is to make a dogfight diorama with the F-14 chasing down the A-4 Here's how the F-14 is at the minute: And the A-4, which is yet to be started: Hope that this qualifies even if the A-4 remains to be done as it's a KUTA for the whole project! Dave
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