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224 Peter

RAF Grumman Tomcat FGR 1

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A new Work in Progress thread, picking up on the construction of the Tamiya F14, released many moons ago and a project I started soon after the kit was released. 

 

Over on the What-If Forum I suggested that rather than scrap this part built kit because it didn't fit my RAF Focus I could finish it as a Gulf War model, in RAF Desert Pink, as per the Jaguar, etc. 

The hypothesis was that if the Tornado had proved to be a disaster, or had followed the TSR2 into the scrap heap then we could have seen the F14 in RAF service. 

As others have posted, and I've discovered researching this magnificent airframe, it is not as fanciful an idea as one might think. The USN used the F14 as an air superiority fighter, but the Tomcat 21 program was developed as an option instead of the F18. 

Politics killed it. There are even a few people speculating that the Tomcat could be resurrected to replace the disastrous F35 project...!! 

 

To the kit. 

 

 

Whilst the model has the sort of fine detailing one might expect from Tamiya the fit between parts is generally poor. 

The first two photos show the amount of filler needed on the centre section. 

 

Tomcat-FGR-1_1.jpg

 

Tomcat-FGR-1_2.jpg

 

I've test fitted the front cockpit section to the centre section and there is a bad step on the underside: the joint will need quite a bit off work and possibly the use of epoxy as the contact area isn't that large. 

The wing section needs is screwed to the centre section. 

 

I've part finished some of the sub assemblies, but other than the Sidewinder missiles and external fuel tanks the load has to be gulf war RAF.  

So, I've ordered from David J Parkins the following:

 

2 RAF ALARM missiles. One of these will go with a Sidewinder on the port inner wing pylon, the other on the rear centreline mount. 

2 1000lb Paveway II bombs, these will go on the front under centre section mounts, wher the US Navy Phoenix missiles would have been, 

1 TILAD Pod, this will go on the starboard inner wing pylon, tofether with a Sidewinder. 

 

As work progresses I'll report. 

 

All comments, suggestions, etc welcome! 

 

 

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Interesting project, I like seeing these What Ifs.

 

Any thoughts on squadron markings? Imagine a Tomcat in green/grey wrap round camo with big bright squadron markings like a late 80s RAF Germany Tornado! 

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17 squadron would look good; especially a variation of the anniversary jet with a black and white tail with the red hand superimposed.

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33 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

Interesting project, I like seeing these What Ifs.

 

Any thoughts on squadron markings? Imagine a Tomcat in green/grey wrap round camo with big bright squadron markings like a late 80s RAF Germany Tornado! 

I'm going to do an overall Desert Pink from Operation Granby, not sure which squadron. 

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Ive just about finished the cockpit, just need some seatbelts and the black bands on the yellow ejector seat grips. 

The U/C legs are also finished, after a LOT of research I've used a light grey/white. There seems some debate about the exact colour of the Tornado insides...some say white, some say grey white. 

So i've gone with grey white as I like it! 

This is what the bits look like:

 

IMG_0325.jpg

 

I also splashed out £44 on some things to hang from the Tomcat, in addition to the kit Sidewinders. 

 

IMG_0326.jpg

 

This is going to be interesting as I've never used PE Brass before...!

 

Also, the next big step is to join the front of the fuselage to the wings and after body. Getting a good strong join without any gaps/steps will need some reinforcing strips and possibly a self tapping screw.. yes, I know....!

Wish me luck. 

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Hats off to you Sir! Glad you took the plunge with this, can't wait to see the finished article.

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I have joined the front and mid sections, a terrible join, needing much reinforcement. 

It is going to be a rather large model.....

 

Biger-than-I-thought.jpg

 

A lot of filling to do. Interestingly, the detail on the front section is all recessed, on the rear is all raised. 

It almost looks as if two teams worked on each part. 

 

I also put a first thin brush coat of Desert Sand on the tailplanes. I have 2 tins of Humbrol 250, but not the same lot and the tin lids looked a bit different.  

This photo shows the two, one is noticeably more pink than the other...

 

Two-Tins.jpg

 

My solution is to mix both this together...!

 

 

 

 

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The Tomcat has taken a bit of a back seat whilst I worked on the Beaufighter, now she is done it is time to move on.....

 

T have completed the U/C and body of the Tomcat, and given everything a first cost of primer. Naturally this has shown up imperfections that will require some more filling and sanding. 

 

This is the state of play, the cockpit is completed, but will remain hidden until the canopy goes on at the end. 

 

Primer-Sprayed-2.jpg

 

Primer-Sprayed-1.jpg

 

It is a BIG model, one and a half cans of Humbrol Primer 1 so far.... 

I have 3 tinlets of Hu 250 for the final colour....

 

More as it happens! 

 

 

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Very nice work so far! :)

 

Håkan

 

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The photos above show the joint between the wing and fuselage all too well.

Unfortunately on the real thing these joints are not visible, so quite a lot of filling is needed. 

The fit of the fins is also less than perfect, so more filler. 

Overall this kit shows it age, it first appeared in 1983 and has been periodically updated by Tamiya, once in 94 and then in 2003. These upgrade are mostly to do with weapons fit changes: as I'm using RAF weapons on this "What If"I can mostly ignore the age of the kit. 

Back in 83 it seemed to be a big advance on the Revell and Airfix kits of the day, especially in detail. But in terms of fit and "designed in joint hiding" it is still a long way from recent releases by the leading brands.

 

Filled-1.jpg

 

I rubbed down and gave a quick primer re-spray, this made it clear more work is needed...

It is a difficult job as I don't want to lose any of the engraved detail, but especially at the rear joint there is a mis-alignment of almost 1mm. With hindsight I should have glued some reinforcing strips to the fuselage and packed up the centre section a tad. 

Too late now, I stuck it with epoxy as the joining area is quite small. 

 

I'm looking forward to getting past this stage and spraying on the "Desert Pink"! 

 

The next post will be when I've done that! 

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