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  1. Good morning I participate in this group build with a 1/72 scale F14A from the Hobby boss The kit is halfway between a normal kit and an easy kit and I chose it among the many I have for its supposed ease of assembly. I will make a CAG example of the VF-1 Wolfpack (BuNo 162597/NE-100) dated in 1991 returning from Desert Storm where it was boarded on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger I will not use the kit decals because they are wrong for both the high visibility version and the later low visibility version I will use decals from an Academy kit (old mould) instead To improve the cockpit I will use an Eduard PE set and the True Detail resin seats
  2. Having completed Hobbyboss and Academy’s 1/72 F-14As I thought that I probably knew enough about the aircraft layout to tackle one of the GWH kits that were sat leering at me from my stash. Just to recap – this was Tomcat No. 2 completed a couple of months ago Wichita 103 HIP killer by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Familiarity would be useful given the borderline ambiguity in the instructions (lots of it but with wrong parts called up and add-in correction pages strewn loose in the box), and there are lots of bits to manage. So, armed with a little confidence, I thought I set about this with the belief that despite its complexity that there wasn’t too much wrong with the kit. Right? Well, perhaps that’s not quite right but those encountered so far have been addressed. Tomcat project no. 3 by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr On opening the box, one can’t fail to be surprised at the number of parts crammed into the box attached quite well onto 29 sprues.... that’s quite a lot for a 1/72 aircraft kit. The instructions are as vague and error strewn as expected but at least all parts are labelled with an alpha and numeric so you can find them easily on the right sprue... or can you? Why oh why are there 7 A sprues? Where’s the sense in that? Did they forget to change the alpha designator I wonder. As for subject, having completed a VF111 aircraft and a VF1, I thought I’d go for one of the other famous fighter squadrons and have opted for a VF84 aircraft; aircraft of other squadrons will follow... promise. However, as with my last model, I haven’t chosen one of the oft chosen schemes instead pluming for a 1988 rendition of the Squadron Commander’s aircraft BuNo 162702 which had the hi vis markings despite most other aircraft being quite plain at the time. The image that captured my attention is on page 226 of the kindle edition of Detail and Scale Colour and markings of U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats Part 1 (Atlantic) by Bert Kinsey (may he get well soon). The photo (and I’ve found others since) shows the aircraft presumably returning from a gunnery training mission, with a training AIM-9 round, an ACMI pod and plenty of soot staining around the canon muzzle. So, other than a twin AIM-9 LAU-7 fit on the wing pylons, it should all be do-able. The tan colouring on the radome adds a nice splash of colour to the rather weary looking finish it exhibits. I’d acquired the kit about a year ago (or so)... it took a while to get to me from China... but that was in lockdown. It’s easier to come by now, but despite the time taken, the seller kept me informed with tracking info. I bought the Eduard sets (I’ll probably use some of the bits but probably far from all of them) and just before I started in earnest, the Quinta Studios 3D cockpit panel set. I’d been very impressed with how the transfers settled over the molded detail on the Academy kit but my friend Brian was experimenting with a few cockpit tubs from different manufacturers and found that the GWH transfers were not as refined as the Academy ones and didn’t settle as well... much thicker. So, the Quinta items were secured as a hopeful solution. On closer inspection of some of the main parts, the panel lines seem quite nice but there seems to be a molding issue (mold alignment?) on some parts. One easy to illustrate example is on the nose halves. Here the starboard side and you can see that I’ve started to try to clean it up with some 400 grit paper. More work was needed, progressing to finer and finer papers until it was polished smooth and just a little re-engraving needed. This is not so much of an issue on the other nose half as it lines up with the gun panels, but it’s also evident on the intake trunking and lower fuselage half – each was addressed as above. Some smaller parts (such as nose gear) also exhibited this and they needed cleaning up a little more carefully. A check of the other two I had in my stash showed one to be worse and one to be about the same. I’d expected a little better in the quality control – or alignment of molds. At least it’s fixable... but at the cost of this kit, I’d hoped for better. Molding lines. Hmmmmm by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Before starting, I’d noticed another builder tackling the kit, or a D model version of the kit, presented by rymulus. This identified that the RIO’s instrument panel and coaming were too narrow. So, this was the first thing I looked at, not really wishing to take the approach that rymulus has done with a complete scratch build of the panel (and you should see the rest of the detailing being undertaken – quite mind numbing and something my fingers and eyesight just couldn’t master) I set about to examine this and consider alternative options. As you can see here, the coming is narrow – the instrument panels on the outer edge should overlap those of the panels that are in front of the cockpit side panels... evident here is that they don’t – the whole thing is far too narrow. I suspect that if you had the canopy closed, it’d not matter too much. I’m doing mine open, or I’d hoped to... so, problem. Narrow RIO coaming by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Rymulus’s solution was to cut the coaming piece in half add 1mm in the middle and make a new IP. After some ferreting around I came up with an alternative approach. Some time ago I bought an Aires cockpit set for the Hasegawa kit (nope, not made that yet either), but it was damaged in transit, so the seller sent me another one. That was more damaged in transit and at that point we gave up. But, the RIO panel was fine (in each). I took a look to see if that would fit. The sills in the cockpit are a little narrower than the Hasegawa I guess, so some thinning of the edges was needed, but I did managed to see that this would fit. Will this work? Aires RIO coaming to the rescue. Pre fettling by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr One other item that I needed to resolve was that of the facia. Here the Aires item (right) and GWH item (left) are compared... with the Quinta 3D print (sized for the GWH kit) part 25. RIO panel comparison. Quinta 3D print behind by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr My solution was to file the face flush and cut up the Quinta part into three items, as I’ve shown here positioned on the Aires panel. With some paint and touching up. I hope it’ll work. It’s what I’ve decided upon at least. As the upper panel is larger (again), I’ll retain that and paint it carefully. 3D print cut up and positioned on fettled Aires item by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr With the Aires item added and the coaming side panels now all glued in place (tamiya thin) and sanded flush, the rear bulkheads looked decidedly sparse, so I decided to add some finesse with some stretched sprue, plasticard, microstrip and lead wire... some filler and some artistic license. The Aires coaming was actually a little damaged; it’s handle on the top was cracked and didn’t take to prising into position, so a new one from plasticard and stretched sprue was made and added... and some further lead wire details added. Cockpit tub detailed by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr I’d a pair of GWH detailed seats that I’d made for the Academy kit that I could use, as I fitted the Academy seats in the end, etched out a bit to take a pair of Reedoak figures, but I decided to keep them to go in the VF1 kit should I decide to display it sans crew at any point and went to use the Aires seats that had come in the Aires cockpit set (that was damaged)... seats were fine. Width wise these sit fine, although I added a plasticard spacer under each to rise them to the right height. Detailed tub with Aires seats by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr And shown here inside the nose section for a dry-test fit Tub trial fit by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Two other items that need attention at this stage of the build are the nose gear bay, and the nose gear leg (which I put “mostly” together at the same time to check, check, check and recheck fit – to confirm that it will go in later in the build. It will. The gear bay has some detail, but as rymulus shows in that build, the nose gear bay is the wrong shape (!) and the detail is molded quite heavily and still relatively sparse. I thought I took more photos that I seem to have (at a time when time was limited due to other commitments so I just build some bits when I could) but I added some plasticard and microstrip and lead wire to the nose gear bay to fill it out a bit. I did the same to the nose leg, mainly to add pipework etc, but not too much. Important – the nose leg still fits in. Nose gear in bay test fit. Fettled and detailed (Eduard, microstrip and lead wire) by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The nose leg is shown here after some primer and paint was added. It’ll be cleaned up and sorted before going further. I’ve left the two side actuators off at present (are they kneeling actuators?) so that I can paint the oleo easier. I’ll add them later in the build... they’re attachment is quite large to shouldn’t pose a problem. I’d had to add them in the Academy kit as they’re missing (as is the retraction jack)... again not shown here, but is best to fit into the bay, fit the leg, then attach the jack to the leg. I’ve tried several options. Detailed nose leg painted white by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Right, so back to the build. RIO coaming – I’ve a plan. Good. Press-on. Fuselage halves and intakes are quite a complicated set of assemblies but go together quite well. Dry fit several times before committing to glue... noting that some parts are a little vague in placement in the instructions, that opened rear top of the intake rear behind the ramps, being one example. Oh, and the rear ramp too. Anyway, with some trial and error and patience, it can all be dry assembled, except the jack on the rear ramp, and test fitted. On inspection through all angles, it became evident that there is a gap that can just be seen through the intake where the fuselage upper half joins (or doesn’t quite) the lower half. Discovered intake gap by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr On looking at photos, a PE piece would be ideal for this to depict the framing of the item that sits here neatly, but I decided to make a couple of small, thin, plasticard inserts to attach to the fuselage lower half, big enough to cover the gap. And these are shown here Intake gap solution by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Added bits, another view by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr When the two halves are now brought together, the gap is hidden. Not perfect, but it’ll do Gaps hidden by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr A little filler was added to hide the injection marks inside the intakes although I wasn’t sure these would be visible or not. The forward sparrow recesses have a large hole at the front of each, possibly to allow location of the phoenix pylons. Why these are fully molded as holes when all other holes need opening out, I don’t know... but I put a small piece of plasticard over the inside and filled these too. You may be able to see a little filler at the rear of the gun port cover. Hmmm another kit error to explain. Some filler needed by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The kit comes with a choice of two gun port options, an early and later A model version. But both parts have vents at the rear that only appeared very late on in production; the rear panel may have an access hatch but no vents. Wrong gun cover by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr As filler would not take in the shallow cut outs and the overall panel was too recessed, I cut out the offending panel to a shallow depth and added a new thin piece of plasticard to replace it. Fixing the rear of the gun cover by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr The plastic was thin so I cut out the shape of the access cover Access cover hole cut out by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr And added a new part to fit within the hole. Not perfect, but it’ll do and it corrects another error ... hopefully I’ll not find (too m)any more. Panel complete by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Today, I pressed on with some paint after primer and first cover coats had dried (Mig one-shot) ... intakes and bits, in white... along with nose gear bay etc., all with Mission Models acrylic; cockpit tub was painted in a 70/30 mix of mission models Light Ghost Grey and Light Gull Grey in an attempt to match the Quinta Studios parts; some black added to the outer parts of the coamings (MM paints 70/30 mix of tire black and black) and details were then highlighted some details and painted detail parts (coaming fabric, seats, tub details) with Humbrol enamels as is my preference on small parts. First proper paint session by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr So, in summary, at least I’ve started. At the moment, I have less time for modelling than at any point in the last few years so maybe I should have chosen a simpler kit. The kit complexities were known and I’d been advised of the need for plenty of test fits to ensure all is well before committing to glue. The parts’ fit is quite good... but a little vague in areas. The kit errors and quality of molding is a little annoying as I had expected a little more in terms of quality... but I will persevere with the hope that it will provide something that is worth the effort. Thanks for reading. Jon
  3. Hi folks Finally F-14!! Those modellers who followed my works know I have been building Iranian fighter jets models in past couple of years. This time is tomcat's turn! The kit is Hasegawa PT46 F-14A Tomcat in 1/48 scale built straight from the box with exception of AIM-54 phoenix and AIM-7 sparrow missiles which come from Hobby boss kit and AIM-9s from AFV Club F-5 kit. The kit is really nice but it has it's own famous complexities specially in intakes. colors are mixture of Mr.Color , Tamiya and Hataka colors. Hope you enjoy Pictures taken by my cell phone. Barzin 001 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 002 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 003 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 004 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 005 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 006 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 007 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 008 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 009 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 010 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 011 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 012 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 013 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 014 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 015 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 016 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 017 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 018 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 019 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr} 020 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 021 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 022 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 023 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 024 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 025 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 026 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 030 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 031 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr With his mates: 032 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 033 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr 034 by Freddy Pilot, on Flickr
  4. Although busy with 2 x Phantoms, I will pop this in here as a sideline.... I am no Tomcat expert but I think the kit is fine with the decals - lots of different views on there on the light tan colour used and changes, any advice/expertise gratefully received!!
  5. Hobby Boss has just re-released its Tomcat kit (link) as 1/72nd Grumman F-14A Tomcat "VF-1 Wolf Pack"- ref. 80279 Source: http://www.hobbyboss.com/index.php?g=home&m=product&a=show&id=1445&l=en V.P.
  6. Finished! I enjoyed every moment of this build. Will get my hands on Tamiya's Phantom soon. If you want to see the different stages of painting, you can find it here: All but one of the pix are close ups, since the model i huge even in 1/48. I made one huge mistake, let's see if anyone spots it. And it's ready for pickup, Axel! Stay safe, take your shots and keep glueing plastic! /Torbjörn
  7. Hello everyone, been a very, very, very long time since I've posted on Britmodeller - 5 or 6 years I think!? But wanted to share something that I finished up today. F-14A+ Tomcat, VF-74 'BeDevilers', 1991 Operation Desert Storm, USS Saratoga. Kit: Hasegawa Scale: 1/72 Paint: Hataka Blue Line Acrylics, Citadel Acrylics all hand brushed throughout. Finishes: MiG filters, Flory washes, Mr Hobby Flat Topcoat Extras: Quickboost ejection seats otherwise OOB Decals: Kit provided with Furball Aerodesign position lights Had the added impetus to finish as the first show in 2 years (in England) is on this weekend at Thornbury and I'm displaying on the Cold War SIG stand, hope to see some of you there!
  8. In November 2013, AvantGarde Model Kits (AMK) generated some buzz announcing a new tool 1/48th Grumman F-14 Tomcat kit project for 2014 ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234950051-avant-garde-2014-list/). Most of the rumourmongers - including myself - considered this project as dead. But some hours ago AMK has changed its Facebook introduction picture. The new one - rather grainy! - is a F-14 Tomcat taking off full AB. A sign or not? Time will tell. Source: https://www.facebook.com/avantgardemodelkits/photos/a.321594134672087.1073741835.279694855528682/485385101626322/?type=1&theater That said in my opinion a new tool 1/48th F-14 is like a new Me.109 or Fw.190: not necessary! To be followed. V.P.
  9. Well, having finished my first A model Tomcat using the Hobbyboss kit with some aftermarket and scratch added details, I’ve settled on what will be the next one, and have opened the box on an Academy kit. Plenty have already waded in on the aspects of this kit and I don’t want to repeat what’s already be said, so I’m going to share my thoughts, plans, tribulations, etc as I start, plan and progress this one. Choosing a model I’d had a number of boxes open, trying to decide which to start on next, a KA Models one, Hasegawa (I got the retool after ordering an old one by mistake first – oops), a GWH one, Finemolds (First one I bought and now leaving that until later and maybe doing it with lots of panels open – if something can be done about the wing shape) but when I opened the Academy one, having read that many see it as a straightforward build, and then seeing the quality of the mouldings, with all the details in place that I’d had to add to the Hobbyboss ones... and with wing panels that look right (whereas Hobbyboss isn’t – nor are Hasegawa), I thought I’d give this one a go. It looks quite delightful. Academy F14 project kick off by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Choosing a subject Ok, this took some time. I wanted a subject that would grab me. I’d planned (and still do) at some point to do a VF84 A model in all over Light Gull Grey, so a popular scheme but with a slight variation... But maybe something less obvious. Pukin Dogs will probably be on the list at some point, but not yet; another Vf-111, no I want some variation and I haven’t measured the kit’s fin chords yet. I thought about several others such as a Pencil VF31 to accompany the Felix-Bug etched picture that a good freind had passed to me... and many hours were spent going back and forth through the D&S Pacific and Atlantic volumes looking for inspiration. VF1 is my friend’s focus on many discussions, especially the early scheme. Thus I’d ignored the later schemes but some pictures in the D&S books started to catch my eye given that their finish was unusual. The mid 80s onwards saw the move to low vis markings with the wolf on the fin (you don’t need me to cover this) and later on some red schemes re-emerged. But what stuck out was the shade of grey appearing in many photos. Whilst the schemes were described as overall Light Gull Grey (LGG) – Fed Std 595 (FS)16440, many images show the grey as very pale. Clearly, some of this will be down to photograph exposure and film stock (contrast variation) but it seemed that a number of photographers were capturing images of aircraft that looked very pale, almost white. I read Tony Oliver’s discussions regarding his Hobbyboss VF-111 aircraft that eventually went for a paler grey: Light Grey FS36495. I think that Tony made the comment that whilst this probably wasn’t applied, it did tend to take on the look of a pale/washed out LGG that might be seen on an aircraft at the end of a deployment. As I said, there are lots of photos in books, but I’m not reproducing these here due to copyright... but here’s a suitable link to another page – 6th photo depicts the pale finish (and period) quite well And My go-to paint at the moment is Mission Models, so I’ve some of this on its way; we’ll do a test and see how it compares. The Matt finish might support the “weathered” finish that would suit my wishes. So, a combination of the pale finish, some colourful but not overstated markings, big colourful star n bars and perhaps a not too often shown scheme appealed. Then it was time to choose a specific aircraft. Of course, once you start looking, you see them (and it) everywhere. There’s even a Hobbymaster model of it although the overall LGG just doesn't look realistic compared to photos of the aircraft.... so that’s not deterring me from Wichita 103, BuNo 162603 that claimed the single F-14 Air to Air during desert storm. As shown above. Markings will require some planning an sorting, but the main ones can (mostly) be acquired from the DXM set that I already have (using markings for Wichita 111, BuNo 162611, but some others will be needed. Markings wise, the most obvious omission from the DXM set is the markings that adorned the fuel tanks, but photos of the aircraft on operations seem to depict unmarked tanks in most cases, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. The most popular photos show the aircraft back from ranger at Miramar in February 1991 (interestingly, as I’ve only just noticed, 4 days after I first met the lady that became the first Mrs Hughes). The photo depicts the “Hind” kill marking (although of course it was a Hip) Wolfpack flash adorned fuel tanks and Phoenix pallets (the aerodynamic fairing on the port side being Light Ghost rather than LGG). However, there’s evidence of the phoenix pallets not being carried in operation whilst on Ranger. So these could be omitted. Photos appear in the F-14 Haynes Manual, Tomcat Alley, and The Cutting edge (albeit from years earlier), and the VF1 facebook page is a useful resource too. Armament One further variation is that photos of the aircraft, and others from VF1 on Ranger at the time is that they carried four sidewinders rather than two of each of 9s and 7s; with Sparrows on the body positions; so this would give a variation on the usual equipage of the aircraft. The LAU-7 rail looks like it sits on an adapter under the wing root pylon, but details of that will no doubt follow after more research... and the photos in the original detail and scale book help in this regard. Kit – additional AM bits and fit issues Right , so I set out looking to see what bits I might need to adapt the kit or improve it. A search online suggested the Eduard Big Ed set, Aries exhaust, Aries seats, and a new product from CMK - wheels for this kit, Quickboost seamless intakes (which seemed like a good idea) and quickboost ECM/TCS chin pod. I know the kit has this provided, but the Quickboost one is nice (used last time) and I’d lost track of which options were in which kit when I’d been placing my order; I think the GWH just has the small one. Hey ho. These were ordered and have now arrived. Looking at the Big Ed set, I’m now wondering whether I’ll use much (or any) of it at all. Cockpit wise, I think the panel detail on the kit mouldings looks exquisite so these might suffice (with the kit decals and some careful painting perhaps). I think that the 3D print of companies like Quinta studios and Yahu are likely to end the end the Eduard colour photo etch... but time will tell how they migrate to 1/72. Externally, there’s a few bits that might be useful, but we’ll see. The kit nose undercarriage bay needs some detailing, but I did that from scratch on the hobbyboss, so maybe something similar will be attempted. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the kit noseleg needs some work, but that will be bits of plasticard and bits from other kits no doubt. Wheels. Ok, these went back to the big H as the resin castings had air holes in them. I wasn’t pleased. I have a spare set of Armoury wheels which are nicely flattened and i’ll use these for the mains and either use the same for the nose wheels or see if I can get some like those I used on Miss Molly which I think were True Details. Seats. Ok, so the Aries seats were my product of choice as what I used before. Painted and adorned with some of the Eduard PE they look quite nice. Horror! The seats don’t fit in the Academy cockpit tubs. Drat (or something like that) The seat themselves aren’t too bad detail wise; a bit basic but probably improvable with some PE... but they’re a bit thin, or perhaps I mean narrow. Time for some alternatives. I dug out the GWH kit and looked at those seats. Does it really need 5 pieces to make a seat(?) Anyway, these are slightly nicer and but lack the ejection handles top and bottom... I have those in the Eduard set, so no problems. I tacked one together and measured it against the Academy tub, and the Aries seats against the GWH tub: Academy cockpit tub base 7.4mm across; Academy seats base 6.9mm across; Aries seats base 7.89 mm across. GWH cockpit tub 8.3mm across; GWH seats at base 7.1mm across. So the plan is to save the Aries seats for the GWH kit and put the GWH seats in the Academy tub. Sorted. They’ll need some detailing and I wish I’d though about fettling and thinning the seat sides before assembly, but I’ll do what I can afterwards. They’re not as nice as the Aries ones, but they’re a better start point compared to the academy ones at least. Seat swapping. by Jonathan Hughes, on Flickr Exhausts Aries – as before, with one open and one closed nozzle (parked). The Academy kit has a very nice pair of locating pins in the rear fuselage to give a good solid build. The kit exhaust cans are quiet short. Hmmm... is this an issue. By putting one of the exhaust cowlings onto one of the two rear fuselage halfs, measuring the distance aft of the securing stud to the fuselage rear face – 14.41mm. The length of the exhaust cowling is 10.81mm. This is the key distance, because the Aries exhaust, which comprises the nozzle, tube and fan, will have the tube face flush with the opening of the cowl, onto which the exhaust nozzle will attach (just like the Hobbyboss one)... although the cowl inner diameter will need opening it to remove the securing lip. Aries exhaust tube is 24.36mm long, the fan has a lip height of 2.38mm. So, the kit clearance is about 25.2mm; the Aries exhaust is 26.7mm. So, whilst it not fitting is a little annoying for a part that’s marketed for the kit, I think that by shaving a little off the locating lug and the back of the fan piece, it will fit... just... but it’ll be close. But close, is good enough (I hope). Wings Now this has prompted some thought and discussion with a friend... and comparison with other kits. The attachment of the wings is great – onto those little stubs, wouldn’t it be nice to do dirty wings. Thoughts at the moment are whether the different wings could be adapted to fit on the same slot (cut a slot and add framing) so two sets could be made. Then whether another wing set could be adapted to fit the donor kit (possibly). Some thought and planning will go into this to see if it’s worth ending up with two wing sets for this one. The plan isn't finalised and will need some further thinking and considering... at the speed at which I build these, there's no rush. Other thoughts on the Academy kit, whilst I see that Tony O addressed it, the kit is supplied with two temp probes, the one that sits on the starboard side of the nose (aft of the smart probes) and one on the port side at the front of the cockpit section near the windscreen. This is only evident on early aircraft, so it’ll be ignored and the hole filled. This really ought to be highlighted somewhere. But overall, it looks crisp, shape's not bad at all - and it's not too complicated (although I seem to be making it so... such is my way eh!). So... that’s the plan. Academy F-14A as VF1 162603 on the squadron’s last cruise, on Ranger in the Gulf. Painted a lighter colour that LGG (which will give some variation to Miss Molly and other aircraft to follow) Anyway, let’s see how this goes... Thanks for reading Jonathan
  10. No it's not a joke. Great Wall Hobby (GWH) is also preparing a 1/48th Grumman F-14A Tomcat kit - ref. L4823 Sources: http://www.moxingfans.com/new/news/2018/0928/5025.html https://tieba.baidu.com/p/5896435363 V.P.
  11. Hello everyone! Want to warn you that this is my first topic here and English is not my native language, so please excuse me if something is wrong) That's a second HB Tomcat that I'm working on, the model is well known so I don't have much to say about. It has a lot of small problems that need to be fix. I'm going to build it almost OOB, but with some PE parts that were left over from my previous Tomcat build. I've started with a cockpit, put some PE in it. Also, I don't want to use Eduard's colored PE, because its color is not quite right and it's too flat. The cockpit still looks good OOB. OOB seats are very good but I have Eduard Brassin seats I'm going to build VF-124 Tomcat, from famouse TOPGUN school. This aircraft has TARPS, so I do not know yet what armament can be used, maybe I will make 2 Sidewinders Sorry for pictures, my lightbox is very far from me right now, but I'll fix it! I hope you'll enjoy the build!
  12. This is a build for a friend, This is Hobby Boss's outstanding kit, straight out of the box. The Black Aces has to be one of the best Tomcat schemes. Paints used are MRP.
  13. 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
  14. Despite powering through lockdown with a rekindled enjoyment of model building I’ve only just found this forum, so apologies if I miss any detail you’d usually expect, feel free to ask. I’ve somewhat inadvertently started a collection of 1/48 aircraft featured in film and TV - Memphis Belle and Gibson’s Lancaster sit proudly on a shelf and at Christmas the wife cunningly remembered I’d floated the idea of Maverick’s F-14. Sadly, it’s the Revell kit rather than the Tamiya so I struggled to find much aftermarket for the detail I want, so as an experiment I bought the Big Ed kit for the Tamiya model to see if it can be transplanted onto this one. I couldn’t find any info on this so I thought why not post here! The thought occurred to me shortly after starting the other day so there are a couple of ‘before’ pictures missing, but so far the cockpit interior is coming together well - A bit of hacking was necessary as Goose’s footwell was built out for some reason, but the holes made are covered with the photo etch I wasn’t able to fit the rudder pedals exactly as Eduard intended, so I filed down the existing moulded ones to stubs and attached the etched ones to them You might also notice the rather oversized throttle lever - there wasn’t one at all on the revell moulding and it was the best I could do with what was laying around! The instrument panels needed minimal changes to make the etch fit - just a couple of little notches where the backing wasn’t quite large enough Now to let that all dry and start on the seats!
  15. F-14A Tomcat Sets 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby for Academy kit CMK offer us 2 sets for the 1/72 Academy kit, a new complete cockpit, Cannon bay and port side engine bay Cockpit Set 7452 The is a complete cockpit from CMK. There is a large one part cast cockpit tub with molded in side consoles and the bulkheads behind the seats. Two new seats are provided as well with PE handles. For the tub there are new instrument panels with PE and film parts and new coamings for the top of them. There are new sidewalls as well for inside the cockpit and the pilots control column. To the rear of the cockpit the large shelf is also provided as a new part, Cannon Installation Set 7453 The is a complete set for installing the 20mm cannon in your F-14. The set comprises PE and resin. As well as the cannon bay there is the cannon itself and the ammunition bay & drum. The last two parts are the access doors for both areas. Port Engine Set 7454 The is a complete set for showing the port jet engine. In only three resin parts there is the engine bay, engine, and access door. Overall the parts are very well cast. with no issues visible at all. It will be upto the modeller how far they want to go with one or more of these sets to detail their model. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. I've not attempted to build a model kit for decades, since the 1980s actually. Now I'm getting on a bit I decided I best proceed with doing some of the kits in my stash. My main interest is UK based RAF/USAF stuff from about 1970 to 2000, but I've ended up with a few other things in the stash that I can practice on first... And as it's the 50th anniversary of the first Tomcat flight later this month I figured I may as well start there! It's a wheel up OOB build, of a kit I bought second hand, which turned out to have a couple of bits missing... Not done a huge amount to it so far as I was waiting for paints and glue etc. (I tried to buy locally but to no avail... mail order from the big H in Londonshire) Hmmm I set up a Flickr account but the forum isn't allowing me to embed the links. Back in a bit!
  17. 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
  18. Academy is to release in 2019 a new tool 1/72nd Grumman F-14A Tomcat "VF-143 Punkin Dogs" kit in the MCP (Multi Color Parts) serie - ref. 12563 Source: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235047967-academy-catalog-2019/&do=findComment&comment=3218086 Box art V.P.
  19. Hi all. Just a few shots of my last build. Was started not long after I finished my Tamiya F-14D, as a comparison build. Wish I had built them the other way around. Despite the AMK kit having more OOB options than a Tomcat fan could ever want from a kit, I find the kit falls short when compared to Tamiya's offering. The shape issues on the AMK kit have been well discussed already, but although I realise it's unfair to compare the fit of this kit to the Tamiya kit, I find the biggest shortcoming is the over-engineered approach AMK have taken. By giving literally every pose option you could think of, the fit of the kit suffers, and as a result, this kit fought me every step of the way. The Tamiya F-14D is maybe my favourite kit on the market right now, and I plan to build many more of them. If I were to add another AMK kit to my stash, I would be tempted to use it solely as a donor kit to add the wings to a Tamiya build. The dropped wings in the AMK kit are the real stars of the show. Still, it's a big, well detailed Tomcat with a million options from the box. I built mine OOB, with the exception of the decals which came from the Tamiya kit. Speaking of which, a debt of gratitude is owed to @exdraken who really saved this build by parting with the decals from his kit after a rather embarrassing accident with mine. Finished with Vallejo model air paints and weathered with Windsor & Newton oils/varnishes. C&C welcome as always. Hope you enjoy! Cheers Daryl
  20. Just a quick question regarding typical weapons load whilst carrying TARPS. I'm just finishing up VF-2's CAG bird (Bullet 100) ~2003; I have it with the TARPS slung underneath, but at present I only have 2 AIM-9 on the pylons... I've only seen a couple of pics of this a/c with TARPS, and only carrying this load, so I'm pretty much basing the load it's carrying just on one or 2 pics for now. Is it within the realms of possibility that they would also have carried AIM-7 on a typical mission too? And what about the AN/ALQ-167 pod? I've seen pics of Tomcats carrying this with TARPS, and others without. I haven't seen the specific a/c I am depicting with the pod, but can anyone confirm/deny whether it would or wouldn't have flown with it? I'd like to add both, but not at the expense of accuracy. Thanks Daryl
  21. F-14A & F-14D Wheels (Q72377 & Q72378 for Academy) 1:72 CMK Quick & Easy by Special Hobby Academy’s recent F-14A in 1:72 could always use new detail. What kit couldn’t? The quickest way to improve kit detail is to replace the kit wheels with resin ones that add detail, obviate seam hiding and usually giving the modeller a better representation of any tread patterns on the tyres. You might also get manufacturer’s name, raised tyre stencils and additional hub detail into the bargain, depending on what’s there on the real thing. With these two sets you get all the above in resin, including two main wheels and twin nose gear wheels, all on their own casting block that are quick & easy to remove. A little wash in warm soapy water, and they are a drop-in (quick & easy?) replacement to the kit parts. They arrive in the normal Quick & Easy packaging, consisting of a header card with the parts held between that and the outer plastic bag, held closed by a staple, and with instructions on the other side of the green paper as you can see in the above photo. The brake and hub front detail is exceptional at this scale, and would be best painted carefully with an airbrush to preserve the detail by avoiding flooding it with thick layers of paint. Q72377 for Academy F-14A Q72378 for Academy F-14D Conclusion You can’t beat resin wheels to quicky & easily improve your models, and these have such flimsy attachment points that there will be almost no clean-up, other than a quick rinse in warm soapy water. It’s also a Tomcat, and if you like F-14s in 1:72, this is a great way to improve your model without breaking the bank. How many times did I say "quick & easy" in this review? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. F-14D Exhaust Nozzles (648560 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin Tamiya's überkit of the mighty and much-loved F-14D Tomcat is superb, and Eduard have been bringing out lots of sets, with this Brassin set following up to further enhance the detail in the rear, where injection moulding can't offer the level of detail and finesse that resin can. Especially Eduard resin, which is amongst the best quality currently available. The set arrives in the usual black box for larger castings, and under the layers of protective foam and the instructions, you will find two ziplok bags, one of resin and one containing the Photo-Etch (PE) parts, which are further protected by a piece of white card. The trunking is quite long on the Tomcat, so is made up of two parts. The tubular section is covered with superbly detailed corrugations along its length, with the rear face of the engine inserted along with the delicate PE rendition of the afterburner ring, which is made up of three parts, and will need care in correctly assembling it, to which end a number of diagrams are provided to help. The trunking has attachment notches for the engine faces, and the exhaust petals flush fit at the rear by lining up the two blocks at the top. The F-14 is often seen with one nozzle compressed to its smallest aperture and the other relaxed, but this moulding has two identical open nozzles that have a full set of pre-cut kabuki tape masks (not pictured) that are applied to the exterior to achieve the pattern seen on the nozzles. It’ll take some time to apply, but the results should be well worth the effort. The finished assemblies slide inside the fuselage, and have the block on each trunk/nozzle to assist with alignment. Sympathetic painting will be the key to showing off these parts to their best effect, so spend some time researching the colours typically seen within the trunk and on the nozzles, making good use of the masks. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. This was an absolute joy to build. No filler, no fit issues, minimal mould lines. I am really quite proud of this model. i did accidentally destroy the right side roundel, so i had to replace it with a spare one from the other scheme, its not the best but does the job. I gave this a dark umber mixed with black oil wash, enough weathering to show it is used, but little enough not to over power the model. Not much went wrong, and i do really think anyone, from any level will enjoy making this one with no hassle. So here it is:
  24. To fill in some time for when the heron is put to the side (although it will be coming back shortly), I decided to start a kit that I had heard good about, and that is the Revell 1/144 F14 D 'Super Tomcat' Im not the biggest fan of fast jets, but i decided to give this a go. I had always thought that the F14 was a little over rated, but now i know why, it is an absolutely gorgeous aircraft. Despite the small scale of this kit, the engineering of this is fantastic, no fitting issues, no filler (apart from filling in some heavy handedness from my blade) and not hardly any join seams. Now being a small kit, its been quite a quick build, i started the kit on Monday afternoon, and now it is all pre-shaded ready for paint. Cockpit The only issue i have with the kit at the moment, is that the side instrument panels are ever-so-slightly over scale and it has good amount of detail. The build Like i mentioned earlier, absolutely no problem with this one, it went together like brickwork. I have decided to make this one in flight, so i drilled a little hole in the nottom of the plane to place a piece of sprue to act like a stand. Here yo can see the starts of a stand... it is mostly built by now. And, with another stand, I'm probably gonna change it to something better, but for now it is fine.
  25. Finemolds is to release a 1/72nd Grumman F-14A Tomcat kit and a dedicated weapons set - ref. FP30 & FP-31 Release expected in December 2017. Source: http://www.finemolds.co.jp/iroiro/2017THS-new.html Reports as being the "Air Graphix/FineMolds" F-14D kit with changed parts: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/958331-finemolds-mg-789-2015-grumman-f-14d-tomcat V.P.
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