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1:72 Fine Molds Grumman F-14D Tomcat "Anytime, Baby!"


Navy Bird
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Hi mates,

 

My choice for this group build is the relatively new Fine Molds F-14D in glorious 1:72 scale. For those who may not have heard, this kit was originally distributed as part of a ModelGraphix magazine promotion in Japan back in 2015. How cool is that? You get a real kit with your magazine! (At the time, I wondered what might be included with your Japanese copy of Playboy, but never mind.) To get the kit, you had to get three separate issues of the magazine because, well, why should they let you get it all at once? I didn't have to subscribe to the magazine as all issues were available through HobbyLink, but you needed to reserve your copies in advance. The three portions of the kit each came in their own very sturdy boxes (Revell and AZ/KP, please take note):

 

IMG_6048

 

Each box features two or three sprues. The contents of each box is basically keyed to the suggested assembly procedure which is documented in each issue of the magazine (more on that later). Of course, there are some parts that will be used in a later stage of assembly. Here is Box No.1:

 

IMG_6050

 

IMG_6051

 

And Box No. 2:

 

IMG_6055

 

IMG_6054

 

And finally Box No. 3:

 

IMG_6056

 

IMG_6057

 

IMG_6058

 

I don't recall which box the stickers came in, but I won't be using these:

 

IMG_6052

 

My plan is to build the "Anytime, Baby" Commemorative aircraft that VF-31 painted up special for the F-14 Sunset Ceremony. Here are some nice shots of the actual aircraft:

 

f14-history-tomcatsunset-04xl

 

10943814505_13302e1f9b_b

 

I like this scheme because it's painted as a proper USN aircraft should be, namely Light Gull Gray over White. And, it has the cool twin-tailed, pistol-packin' Tomcat on the fins, with "Anytime, Baby!" on the gloves. And since it was fresh painted, I don't have to do any of that crazy weathering that Tomcats acquired when they were past their expiration date.

 

So, let's look at the instructions. ModelGraphix is printed in full colour on nice glossy stock. The instructions are spread over all three issues:

 

IMG_6059

 

The assembly steps are presented using photographs as seen here:

 

IMG_6060

 

And also as the more traditional line drawings:

 

IMG_6062

 

IMG_6061

 

The photos are nice since they sometimes show tips and techniques, and I'm sure they paid a bunch of yen for the perfect hand/fingernail model to pose holding the parts. As you may have noticed, pretty much everything is in Japanese which seems reasonable to me as it's a Japanese magazine. It's all quite easy to figure out once you learn to start at the back of the book and follow the steps from right to left.

 

I couldn't find an aftermarket decal sheet for the markings at the time, but I was able to convince a fellow modeller to fork over the sheet he wasn't going to use with his Hasegawa kit. These should work fine.

 

IMG_6063

 

Of all the 1:72 Tomcats I've built or seen over the years (Airfix, Revell, Fujimi, Hasegawa, etc.) the Fine Molds kit certainly looks the nicest. We'll see how it goes together. Should be fun!     :)

 

The only aftermarket I have in the stash that may come in useful is a pair of resin ejection seats and PE harnesses:

 

IMG_6053

 

I picked these up because at first glance it looked to me like the headrests on the kit seats were perhaps too big. But I'm not sure...

 

Anyway, with any luck this will be finished prior to the deadline. Luck hasn't been on my side lately, so then maybe not.     :drunk:

 

Cheers,

Bill

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2 hours ago, giemme said:

This is going to be good. You gotta love a Tomcat :thumbsup:  :popcorn:  :beer:

 

I hope it turns out good, it sure seems like a super kit. I should get the Master turned nose probe and AOA thingie though. I have the Res/Kit resin wheel set somewhere - I just can't find it! I believe Res/Kit also make some killer exhausts - which brings up a question. Does the F-14D have one open exhaust and one closed exhaust after engine shutdown like the F-14A? If so, which is which?

 

I have two 1:72 Tomcats currently in the display case with the wings forward, and slats and flaps down (both Hasegawa). This kit doesn't offer that option (not easily anyway) so I'll build her with the wings swept. Looks very cool that way.

 

My photos above show what look like bomb racks underneath the "Anytime, Baby!" bird. Not sure those are in the kit...

 

And yeah, I like the Tomcat. When I was first starting to build models the F-111 was all the rage (or infamy depending on which article you read). I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then, the Tomcat came along, and not only did its wings also swing, it had two tails! Double the fun.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. It's not a Phantom, though.

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Good call going for this Bill, I do agree that this was the best scheme the Tomcats wore, least, I think that's what you said. ;) :D I've been keen to do an early scheme Tomcat for a bit now, I'll follow this one as you go.

Steve.

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On 21/09/2021 at 20:20, stevehnz said:

Good call going for this Bill, I do agree that this was the best scheme the Tomcats wore, least, I think that's what you said. ;) :D I've been keen to do an early scheme Tomcat for a bit now, I'll follow this one as you go.

 

Thanks Steve. Yup, that's what I meant. I grew up in the 60s, and colourful USN squadron markings were the best. I understand the need for the TPS, but it's just so boring. Unless, of course, it has colourful squadron markings but that kind of defeats the purpose.     :)

 

*****

 

So, I should check my stash more often. Look at the goodies I found:

 

IMG_6064

 

The Res/Kit F-14D wheel set, the Furball F-14 generic stencil decal sheet, and the Master "Late Style" Alpha and AOA probes. Good thing I didn't order them again!    :banghead:

 

Cheers,

Bill

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14 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

 

I hope it turns out good, it sure seems like a super kit. I should get the Master turned nose probe and AOA thingie though. I have the Res/Kit resin wheel set somewhere - I just can't find it! I believe Res/Kit also make some killer exhausts - which brings up a question. Does the F-14D have one open exhaust and one closed exhaust after engine shutdown like the F-14A? If so, which is which?

 

 

 

On F110 powered Tomcats generally both exhaust will move to the open position after shutdown, Pictures do show aircraft with one open and one closed but the majority show both open

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Well Bill that certainly beats any of the free toys I ever got taped to the front of my comics or fell out of my cornflakes packet. It certainly looks a great kit and you've got the skills to realise its potential - we're in for a treat here.

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I think we're spoilt for choice with top quality 72nd f-14 kits bill, with this one, the gwh, and the axademy offering, even the hasegawa one holds its own, and has the flaps option too

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On 22/09/2021 at 10:11, Giorgio N said:

On F110 powered Tomcats generally both exhaust will move to the open position after shutdown,

 

Perfect! Both open they shall be, which is great because they look best that way.

 

22 hours ago, Roberto said:

Wow, those magazines and the kit are beautiful!

 

I wish I could read Japanese as these magazines are chock full of some great stuff.

 

20 hours ago, Col. said:

Well Bill that certainly beats any of the free toys I ever got taped to the front of my comics or fell out of my cornflakes packet.

 

I never had anything fall out of my cornflakes. Cracker Jack, sure, but not my cornflakes.     :)

 

26 minutes ago, Hewy said:

These do look like smashing kits, really well detailed, 

 

The moulding and detail is just exquisite, especially for 1:72 scale. Fine Molds deserve their reputation.

 

*****

 

I found more goodies! For some reason I have two sets of the Eduard detail set (73233) for the Revell F-14D Tomcat. This is strange as I only have one of the Revell kits. I assume this is another one of my old age issues - forgetting I had it and then ordered it again. I have no idea if this will be of any use for the Fine Molds kit, but maybe. We'll see. The Revell kit, by the way, kinda sorta looks nice in the box, but it is not in the same league as Fine Molds, GWH, Academy, Fujimi, and Hasegawa. Another missed opportunity for Revell, I think. But I'll build it someday - it was a gift from someone and I really should build it for them.

 

I spent some time researching other accessories for the FM kit that might be useful, and the Res/Kit open exhausts look fabulous. Eduard has some nice PE for the FM F-14A, but I didn't see anything for the D. Quite a bit of the A set can also be used for the D, so I may pick it up anyway.

 

OK, I have removed the cockpit and ejection seat components, and will commence painting this afternoon. Sunday the 26th is our local club's annual model contest and I suppose I need to get ready for that. I haven't built much in the last couple of years so my entry list will be slim.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Well, I didn't get much accomplished today. I ended up with baby-food making duty, manning the food processor to make mush out of squash. Yum.

 

The cockpit engineering is interesting. The side console top panels are separate pieces, which will make painting them a bit easier. I will probably use the decals for the actual knobs and switches as I think these will settle down nicely over the topography of the consoles. That will help save my eyesight. The cockpit itself has a LOT of ejector pin marks, but I'm pretty sure these will all be hidden by other parts. I spent some time removing the parts and cleaning them up, and I added photoetch rudder panels from the Eduard set that I fortuitously found.

 

IMG_6065

 

No doubt you'll never see them again. Speaking of that Eduard set, there is a lot I can use even though it's designed for the Revell kit.

 

The nose gear well attaches to the bottom of the cockpit floor, and the outside of the well on the port side is part of the cannon bay. All of this will be painted white, so I can leave that off until I have the pit painted. I test fit everything in the front of the fuselage, and it seems great. Tamiya-like even.

 

Now, about those seat headrests. I downloaded a lot of photos today of the NACES seat, and I've come to the opinion that the headrests on the Aires resin seats are too small. The kit headrests might be marginally too large, but I think they are closer. So, I'll be using the kit seats. They are actually quite detailed and should look fine. Fine Molds provide injection moulded seat harnesses and lap belts, and these are quite nice. But they are exactly the same for both seats, which wouldn't happen in real life. I will most likely use photoetch bits from the Eduard set. They have better scale thickness, and are already painted. Woo hoo.

 

The kit is designed so you can display the refueling probe deployed, the cannon bays open, radar displayed, and the boarding ladder down. None of this appears in photos from the Tomcat Sunset ceremony, but who cares. I think I'll build it as I like. Except for having the nose open and radar displayed. I just think that the Tomcat look better with her nose closed, thank you.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Hi Bill, I nearly missed your post, good to see you back with another one of your awesome builds......

 

....... and what a build, VF-31 bird and the final one at that!! 🥰  I do have to build one in the scheme for my VF-31 project so can now see a 4th Tamiya F-14D being added to the stash!

 

I agree, she look super sweet in that nice and fresh scheme, good luck with her.

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11 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

The cockpit engineering is interesting. The side console top panels are separate pieces,

Just like in their F-4s - clever engineering, although it the F-4 case, leaves a bit of a step between the top panels and the tub sidewalls. But once it's all buttoned up and the seat inserted, I doubt anyone could notice....

 

Ciao

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Well I have to be in for this one!

 

You may recall Bill that you, @CedB, @Procopius and @Cookenbacher "encouraged" me to buy a Fine Molds F-14A back in 2019 when life was normal and you guys were all in the UK. It's a beautiful kit.

 

On 9/21/2021 at 10:40 PM, Navy Bird said:

I like this scheme because it's painted as a proper USN aircraft should be, namely Light Gull Gray over White.

 

I'm 100% with you on the LGG/White on US Navy aircraft!

 

Will follow this one closely, it might even make me want to build mine one day!

 

Terry

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9 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

Will follow this one closely, it might even make me want to build mine one day!

I hear there's a STGB on at the moment which would give you the ideal opportunity to do just that ;) 

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As it turns out, there is quite a bit of the photoetch for the Revell F-14D that I can use in this build. For instance, the air conditioning vents (I think that's what they are):

 

IMG_6066

 

I tried to hold the bulkhead at an angle that would show the PE vents the best. There are a few more things I can use in the cockpit, and quite a few for the fuselage and landing gear. As far as the cockpit goes, I managed to get that and the ejection seats finished up. I used the decals supplied by Fine Molds for the instrument panels and side consoles and I have to say they have that Hasegawa-Tamiya-Fujimi decal syndrome. In other words, gallons of decal solvent was needed to get them to conform. I'm not entirely happy with how it looks, but at least it looks better in real life! These enlarged photos don't do it justice. Control column and radar joystick will get added much later...

 

IMG_6067

 

And the other view, showing the thousands of circuit breakers on the rear bulkhead. I just applied a wash to make them stand out a bit more - they are quite nicely moulded.

 

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The ejection seats were enhanced with PE harnesses from the spares box but otherwise are as supplied with the kit.

 

IMG_6073

 

The seat frames are, of course, black in real life. I've seen some folks who spray the seats black and then apply a grey wash to highlight details. I always thought this looked odd - shadows shouldn't be lighter than the object. So I sprayed the seats a dark grey (Tamiya NATO Black) and then applied a jet black wash - I think it looks more realistic. But what do I know? I'm just an old geezer. Here the seats are posed in the pit:

 

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Next, I'll add some additional details for the sidewalls and get the nose section closed up - Fine Molds supply nothing here. In any event, she's finally started.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Our local club had their annual contest yesterday. I rented a table in the vendor area and sold about one third of my stash. I didn't want to, but there is just no way I'm ever going to build all this stuff. Not unless I live to 152!      :)

 

I did OK in the contest. The big shocker was my 1:72 F/A-18 CONA Hornet taking a Gold and winning Best Aircraft. I guess my description of making all the Aires resin fit the kit got me the sympathy vote! What else? My Tucano took Gold, my Firebrand got a Silver (they were in the same category), my DH.88 got a Silver, and my 1:32 Spitfire IXC won Best of the Masters. My Martin Mauler struck out - just like the real aircraft!    :)

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Kicking butt and taking names!  

Current build looks pretty nice too.  I love NATO black as well.  It's my go to for black unless I'm looking for darker accents. :cheers:

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The results justify your thoughts on how seats should be best painted for a realistic look Bill. Nice work.

 

Perhaps it's just as well you sold so much of your stash to make room for all those trophies you took home :o

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16 hours ago, Col. said:

The results justify your thoughts on how seats should be best painted for a realistic look Bill. Nice work.

 

Thanks Col. Once the cockpit is inside the fuselage the seats look darker. The black wash is still noticeable though.

 

*****

 

It looks like I have to install the cannon into the port fuselage half before the nose section gets closed up. Not keen on that, as it makes for an interesting masking situation, but whatever. I suppose I could have the cannon doors closed, but I like the idea of things open. As I mentioned before, I will close the nose cone, but the cannon bays, electronics bays, refueling probe, and spoilers will be open/deployed. I haven't decided about the open spine - that just looks weird and there is no "bay" underneath it, just the inside of the model (intakes, etc.). Fine Molds provide two spines - one open and one closed. Hmm, maybe the fit is good enough that I could do both, without gluing either one of them to the fuselage. The old switcheroo.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Oops, almost forgot. There will be a slight delay in the build as I assist my grandson in his build of The Roadrunner's "Beep-Beep" T-Bucket dragster. The regularly scheduled program will resume shortly.   :)

 

 

Carter

 

PPS. If there is a gene for model building in human DNA, I'm afraid young Master Carter has inherited it from someone.     :)

 

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On 9/22/2021 at 12:40 AM, Navy Bird said:

(At the time, I wondered what might be included with your Japanese copy of Playboy, but never mind.)

In Japanese copy of Playboy?🤔

Of course F-4EJ stripped - without sheathing sheet! 😉😁

23 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

 

my 1:72 F/A-18 CONA Hornet taking a Gold 

.........

My Tucano took Gold,

.........

my Firebrand got a Silver 

..........

my DH.88 got a Silver, :)

After reading these lines, somewhere in Fort Knox, the treasurers burst into tears, bank robbers howled in prisons.... with envy! 

😉😁

 

B.R.

Serge

Edited by Aardvark
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Congrats for the contest, Bill 👍 And beautiful job on the cockpit :clap:

 

16 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

PS. Oops, almost forgot. There will be a slight delay in the build as I assist my grandson in his build of The Roadrunner's "Beep-Beep" T-Bucket dragster. The regularly scheduled program will resume shortly.   :)

 

 

Carter

 

Your workbench is way too tidy, there must be something wrong with you.... Yes, it must be you, I'm messy and I'm right......  :banghead: :rofl: :rofl: 

 

Young Carter certainly looks like he knows what he's doing! :clap: 

 

Ciao

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I added some cable conduits on the starboard sidewall, along with a lame attempt at the insulation (I think). I just cut some small bits of paper towel, painted them, and stuck them on. The magnified photo makes them look like, er, paper towels but in real life they're not too bad. When the fuselage is closed up you can't see them very well anyway. If anyone has a better idea let me know.

 

There are some additional greeblies on the sidewalls and I'll have a peek through the fiddly bits drawer and see what I can find. The port sidewall also has the insulation or whatever it is. You may note that even more circuit breakers have been added to the sidewall of the aft cockpit. Jeez, how many do you need?

 

IMG_6078

 

I tried to see if the cannon could be installed after the fuselage was together but no dice. Therefore I glued it in place after giving the wall of the nose gear bay a very light wash. The cannon was painted with Alclad Steel which is a dark metallic black of sorts. I'm not sure what colour the shells are, so I'll have to peek into the Daco book.

 

IMG_6080

 

After I finish with the sidewalls the fuselage nose section can be closed up and the lower section added. Two holes need to be drilled if you're using the Phoenix pallets (which I am as they are present in all photos). Which brings up an interesting question: were the rear Phoenix pallets installed? I can't find any photos that show the belly of this beast whilst in the air.

 

The fuselage canopy sill is a separate part which will make it very easy to paint! I think I can leave it off until much later in the build. The aft coaming attaches to this separate canopy sill.

 

OK, back to work.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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