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F-14D "Tomcatters" VF-31 USS Carl Vinson, October 1995


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Two GE F-110-GE-400 engines, swing-wing technology, twin vertical fins, Supersonic, oh, and a film star as well! Just some of the credentials that make the F-14 Tomcat one of my favourite aircraft and it was at the Dubai Airshow in 2005 that I first saw one fly.

She came from nowhere, very low and very, very fast. The eerie silence that preceded her, which continued as the Tomcat shot across my field of view, to be followed by the roar from those afterburning GE F-110s after the aircraft was well out of sight, told me that she was transonic and almost at the edge of releasing a sonic boom. A display followed that could only have been bettered by the 1970s displays I saw of the Lightning and Vulcan.

I have started many Group Builds and probably bitten off more than I could chew in joining a few at the same time, so this time I will join this one and try and do justice to the bits and pieces that I have to adorn Hasegawa’s 1/48th F-14D kit.

Photos of what I have to start and (hopefully!) complete this Group Build will be up tomorrow, but in the meantime, let me start by showing you the aircraft that I will be modelling.

163893%20F-14D%20VF-31%20Oct%2095.jpg

I am way out of my depth with regards to my knowledge of US military aircraft, so be prepared for lot of questions! I'm off to clean up my new modelling desk, start organising the kit and accessories and I'll be starting tomorrow!

Edited by Busdriver
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The box has been opened, the parts photographed and the after-market sets all found within the stash of after-market bits and pieces. I love going into that drawer, I never know what I'm going to find! Anyway, the plan has been finalised and centres around Hasegawa's 1/48th F-14D in the VF-2 Bounty Hunters boxing. The kit is 09374 and I think that I must have picked it up in Japan when I worked for Emirates as their is an lot of Japanese text on the box! So far I have located the Black Box F-14D Cockpit set, number 48012, the Eduard etched detail set 48-304, a Verlinden Super Detail Set, 427. The decals are by AeroMaster, sheet number 48-526 Anytime Babe Pt.IV which includes the subject of my build, the CAG F-14D of VF-31, '200' USS Carl Vinson, October 1995.

I have photos of what I have so far, but I've just had a bit of a spending spree and ordered the Aires wheel well and GE F-110 tailpipe sets, the SAC Undercarriage and Master Pitot / AoA probes and what looks like a beautiful set of gun barrels for the Vulcan cannon. All in all a project that will keep me very busy over the next two months! Here are the photos and wish me luck... There is an awful lot of plastic, resin and metal here!

Tomcat_001.jpg

Tomcat_002.jpg

Tomcat_003.jpg

Tomcat_004.jpg

Tomcat_005.jpg

Tomcat_006.jpg

Tomcat_007.jpg

Tomcat_008.jpg

Tomcat_009.jpg

Tomcat_010.jpg

Tomcat_011.jpg

Edited by Busdriver
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Cheers for the encouragement! This is a BIG project and I've got a habit of starting, but not finishing these types of builds, but I'm determined to get this one done. I've made a flying start and washed the parts! I don't know if this is really needed, does anyone else do it every time? The plastic feels very 'squeaky clean' after being washed and less greasy, so maybe it is beneficial. The parts were all laid out and left to dry before I started looking at the major surgery needed on the nose halves!

Tomcat_101.jpg

Tomcat_102.jpg

The Verlinden instructions clearly show which panels to cut out and these were marked off, checking over and over again to make sure I'd marked the right areas!

Tomcat_103-1.jpg

The Black Box cockpit needs the base sanding down to a line scribed around the sides, and the instructions suggest that the two footwell recessed areas are cut out, leaving the resin itself to represent the wall of the footwell. The alternative is to carve out the resin in the appropriate areas, which is what I think I will do.

Tomcat_104.jpg

Hopefully I'll have the boxes all painted up and installed, the cockpit completed and the nose halves joined by the end of February!! February 2013 that is!! When is the finish date again? :frantic:

Edited by Busdriver
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Quite an ambitious project there Mark. Before you cut out the fuselage panels, I'd check the dimensions of the resin to make sure that it hasn't shrunk too much - otherwise you will have a scratchbuilding or a repair job on your hands.

Jens

Quite an ambitious project there Mark. Before you cut out the fuselage panels, I'd check the dimensions of the resin to make sure that it hasn't shrunk too much - otherwise you will have a scratchbuilding or a repair job on your hands.

Jens

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"Surely you can't be serious!" That's a lot of resin and aftermarket you have there that will require a lot of work, but I'm sure the finished product will be one for the record books! I always wash my parts, too, so you aren't alone. I read somewhere that the mold release agent can play funky tricks on you when painting so I've always washed my kits before starting.

:popcorn: watching this one for sure.

Erik

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Cheers for the comments! Yes, the resin has shrunk a bit but should be hidden behind the etched framework. As for the first stage of the build, I'm going with the nose gear bay. Hopefully it'll look like this!

VF-143%20NOSE%20WHEEL%20BAY.JPG

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Cheers guys, as for being a 'good 'un' Kev1n, hmmmm, I've only just painted the interior of the nose wheel bay, only to find that the Aires set includes the nose gear bay as well as the mains! I thought it was just the mains... So mistake number one already!

Just seen that the Hannants order is on the way and cannot wait to get this gorgeous set!

MR48037.jpg

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Cheers guys, as for being a 'good 'un' Kev1n, hmmmm, I've only just painted the interior of the nose wheel bay, only to find that the Aires set includes the nose gear bay as well as the mains! I thought it was just the mains... So mistake number one already!

Just seen that the Hannants order is on the way and cannot wait to get this gorgeous set!

MR48037.jpg

Wow, the Master Vulcan barrels set ! That company works really well, these barrels will add a lot to the finished model !

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Cheers guys, as for being a 'good 'un' Kev1n, hmmmm,....mistake number one already!

Well, since I'm also amongst those who have never built a tomcat before, you think I'm perfect?

(ok I know I am, but thats not the point...)

But I have faith in you, I will fly on a bus driven by you and I know your a good builder so you will carry this one off admirably.

:)

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Yes, there's been progress! Thanks for your faith Kev1n, now, let's see if it was worthwhile.

Today, in between walking the dog and amusing Oliver whilst Mum is learning French, I have been mostly getting my fingers stuck together with thin CA. I've made a start on the nose area and the first thing that was needed was to cut out the panels that would allow the lovely Verlinden resin inserts to be exposed. Having already marked the panels out with a fine marker pen, I chain drilled around the edge and then cut the panels out.

Tomcat_105.jpg

A long process but after the panels were cut out and cleaned up, the real work began! Those Verlinden frames are incredibly fine and need very careful handling, otherwise they just end up as a mass of bent etched metal. They were carefully adhered in place and then the resulting mess of Cyano-Acrylate was cleaned off of my fingers and where it had ended up on the model surface, that was also cleaned up with various grades of abrasives. Can you believe that it took me over six hours just to achieve this?!!

Tomcat_106.jpg

But I'm quite happy with it and the gaps at the top, where the framework doesn't quite meet the plastic, will be hidden by the edges of the raised panels. It's all rather weak and fragile at the moment and I can just see accidents happening in the future! The various kinks and 'unstraightness' (is that a word?) will be sorted once the other bits and pieces are added... I hope!

As for the resin inserts, here´s the starboard one having received a coat of Xtracolour Zinc Chromate yellow before the detail painting begins. It's shown approximately four times the size of the actual one, so magnifying goggles are at the ready!

Tomcat_107.jpg

I'm off to have a relaxing evening now and I've promised myself that tonight will be the night I sit down and watch Paranormal Activity! :popcorn:

Edited by Busdriver
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Thanks Mish, although when I get in real close with the macro lens, I always regret it! It shows up every flaw and mistake; there's no hiding from the lens of macro!!

Right, new dawn, new day, I'm feeling good, so off to the bench!

Edited by Busdriver
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this is true ^

the number of times I look at something I've just built and think "yeah...cool..."

then I see a pic of it and change my mind.

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I'm really enjoying this one! Finished detailing the avionics bays today, a bit of poetic licence as the Verlinden set is for the F-14A (I think) and this is a -D model, so I'm certain that there will be differences. Anyway, here's my afternoon's work.

Tomcat_108.jpg

Edited by Busdriver
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