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TheRealMrEd

Another Trip in the Wayback Machine -- F-14 #2 Prototype

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Hello again.

 

Getting ready to take a few days R&R. But before I do, here's something that I've thought about bring up for quite a while. Every now and then, on various sites, people ask about the very early F-14 Grumman Tomcats. Way back when, probably in the early 80's, I did this model of the #2 prototype Tomcat, used for weapons testing.

 

The old Airfix kit was one of the first F-14 kits out, and it had SOME of the prototype characteristics, but not all. Also, about that time, someone came out in a magazine article and told about these prototypes, and how to do them. I forget the who and where, but I'm sure that I still have the info around, if anyone else just gotta...

 

In any event here she is in all her (somewhat) faded glory, after to close to 40 years on the model shelf:

 

2v2Jrk3R8xfzdhW.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the data card submitted at her model contest debut, where I'm proud to say she took first in class!

 

2v2Jrk3sMxfzdhW.jpg

 

One of the tricky aspects was to reshape the wing gloves, and still keep the working wing-sweep mechanism. Here she is in the fast flight mode:

 

2v2Jrk3PzxfzdhW.jpg

 

And then wings extended for slower flight/maneuver:

 

2v2Jrk3i2xfzdhW.jpg

 

Next, note the modified wing glve outline, as well as the beefy early fuselage stiffeners:

 

2v2Jrk3D3xfzdhW.jpg

 

The altered wing glove outline was accomplished by cutting a sheet of Mattel vacuform plastic (the green I believe!), to the correct out line of the drawings, and then adding about 3/8" or 9mm to extend under the old wing gloves, where they were glued into place with CA. When the parts had dried, several applications of medium CA were flowed onto the new extensions -- each coat being allowed to dry -- and when enough thickness had been achieved, they were filed and sanded to final shape, resulting in wing gloves with new outline, and at least as strong as the original plastic. Of course, this was done before the top and bottom halves of the fuse were assembled.

 

Also above, please note the half-round lights in the top and bottom of the wing gloves. These were round pieces of the appropriate plastic colors (LIte-Brite pegs, IIRC), installed into drilled holes, and then sanded smooth, then later masked to the half-round shape when painting.

 

All the lights on the model were replaced with colored plastic bits -- no paints used.  Also, the "2"'s on the tails were cut with an X-acto knife from black decal paper

 

Below, another rear-quarter view showing the wing gloves, stiffeners, and the modified boat-tail:

 

2v2Jrk34vxfzdhW.jpg

 

Another rear view with the wings extended:

 

2v2Jrk3mrxfzdhW.jpg

 

And with wings swept back. Note the parachute housing on the modified boat-tail, as well as the modified fuel dump:

 

2v2Jrk3TjxfzdhW.jpg

 

Right side view showing the open refueling probe, and some mods to the nose gear door:

 

2v2Jrk3S8xfzdhW.jpg

 

Some cockpit detail, and the rather naked fuel probe opening -- I had no photos of this area at that time:

 

2v2Jrk3CoxfzdhW.jpg

 

And a little more cockpit detail from the other side:

 

2v2Jrk3WvxfzdhW.jpg

 

Note that this was also before the act of dipping canopies into Future began, and the old girl is still paying the price! BTW, the yellowing areas are not attempts at weathering -- they are the result of applying MicroScale clear topcoat over the model, which because it was enamel-based, has begun to yellow. However, because this coat was very light on the model, it doesn't look nearly as bad as many others that were more heavily coated!.  I now have an  IMMUTABLE RULE  -- no clear enamel topcoats ever!!!

 

Next, the loaded-for-bear undersides:

 

2v2Jrk3FqxfzdhW.jpg

 

Not certain that all this was ever carried at one time, but it sure is impressive!  One other note, at the time the model was originally built, it had no fuel tanks, nor had any other kits arrived on the market to steal from. I has to make my own masters -- and since no one had casting resin in those prehistoric days, I cast my own out of 70/30 lead/tin solder. Needless to say, over the years, the landing gear totally collapsed, and many years later, when some F-14 kit came out with correct fuel tanks, etc.,, I swapped out the tanks and the landing gear for the items you see now.

 

One last shot of the nose:

 

2v2Jrk3ydxfzdhW.jpg

 

Note the scratched early under-nose fairing, as well as a "sort of" early style minigun cover. Now, I wish I had modeled  the boarding steps, but oh well...

 

Hope you enjoyed this trip in the way-back machine, when models were less-complicated, but some still sort of hold their own.

 

I hope some of you will step up and make mine look bad -- can't wait to see YOUR results!

 

Until then,

 

Ed

 

PS: while answer any questions after I return from R&R, but it may take a few days.

 

 

 

 

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I love a Tomcat, this is brilliant. I can't remember seeing a model version of the F-14 prototypes before, great attention to detail with all of this. Very effective and glad she has survived so well. 

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That's brilliant. I really like it. You say it's forty years old. That the model in itself is vintage. 

I love F14s, you can't go wrong putting up a any F14 for me.

Edited by noelh

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Impressive work! It seems that the art of modelling hasn't made great leaps forward in the last 30+ years. Nowadays we just spend far more money on sophisticated aftermarket stuff and chemical gadgetry.

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Great looking representation of one of my favourite aeroplanes.  I still have an unbuilt Airfix kit bought when it first came out.  Time for an airing I think.

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Quite the piece for an Airfix kit. I want to do the mock up aircraft model 330 one of these years. The F-14 is as classy as the F-4, well maybe. Factoid, Canada was super close to buying them. There is somewhere a picture of one in Canadian markings.

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That's really nice work! :thumbsup:

 

11 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Factoid, Canada was super close to buying them

I recall that was to buy them from Iran. That deal fell through with the exfiltration of the US embassy personnel that were hiding in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran.

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7 hours ago, dnl42 said:

That's really nice work! :thumbsup:

 

I recall that was to buy them from Iran. That deal fell through with the exfiltration of the US embassy personnel that were hiding in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran.

That's the story, ok, now I know. We still could perhaps, get them real cheap.

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Ed,

The ole gal still looks pretty good for pushing 40! I'd be hard-pressed to do half as good, even with a more state-of-the-art kit...and this was before resin conversion sets were commonplace! Nice model!

Mike

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Excellent work :clap2: worthy of a Scale Models, Airfix Magazine or Scale Modeller (US Pub) conversion article 😎

My 40 year old builds have yellowed somewhat too, but not as much as yours. I used Testors Dull Cote and Gloss Coat for my finishes.

Have to go and dig around for my Airfix Tomcat kits, got a 'few' :think: in the stash 😎

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Thank you all for the very kind remarks.  Since I have also seen very few of these posted up, I thought it might be interesting to some.

 

Would you believe that after all these years, I've yet to complete an F-14A  model to compare this one with, but I have started one. Maybe on day I'll get it back to the shelf queens build state!

 

Ed

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Absolutely brilliant :goodjob:

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