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PK-406 F-14A Tomcat. +++ Finished +++


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For this GB I will be using the PK-406 F-14A Tomcat kit along with Caracal decals to hopefully make one of the many prototype aircraft. The decal sheet gives many options including the first aircraft which only lasted 2 flights. I know that this kit is not the best Tomcat, but it does have many features that the early aircraft had that the better kits do not have. I am not sure where I got this kit, but seeing the price I am sure that it was from under a table at a model show.

 

The box and kit.

 

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Caracal decal sheet and some of the instructions.

 

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Thats pure Matchbox in that two quid box and although the box looks a bit tatty, the internals look very nice and crisp indeed. We all know there’s better Tomcats out there, but this one’s Matchbox - nuff said hey? That looks like a great decal sheet as well so we’ll be watching and willing you on from all quarters of the world. 

 

Cheers, welcome aboard and best of luck.. Dave 

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Got to love a Tomcat especially a Matchbox one, I look forward to teasing the hosts of the Tomcat STGB on what they missed out on by us capturing this build in the Matchbox GB  :rofl:

Best of luck with this one.

Cheers Pat

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In all fairness to Matchbox this probably isn't the worst Tomcat kit either so I'll watch with interest to see what you do with it :) 

 

14 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Got to love a Tomcat especially a Matchbox one, I look forward to teasing the hosts of the Tomcat STGB on what they missed out on by us capturing this build in the Matchbox GB  :rofl:

The Tomcat STGB host doesn't so much think of this as having missed out as more of a continuation :tease:

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Interesting project ! The Matchbox kit features the original larger ribs on the fuselage back so is well suited for this. For some reason Matchbox moulded the first production style of gun fairing and not the original used on the prototypes but this should be a pretty minor job.

I built a couple Matchbox kits over the years, both modified to a production configuration. It was not one of the best fitting kits that Matchbox did but nothing that can't be sorted with some attention

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9 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Interesting project ! The Matchbox kit features the original larger ribs on the fuselage back so is well suited for this. For some reason Matchbox moulded the first production style of gun fairing and not the original used on the prototypes but this should be a pretty minor job.

Thanks for the info about the gun. What is the difference between the two and how may it be corrected?

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Best way to show the difference is with some pictures... this is the style of gun fairing in the Matchbox kit:

 

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-m61-02.htm

 

The fairing for the gun is quite long and is followed by 7 gun vents sections.

It is a style first introduced at some point in the production of Block 65 aircraft and was replaced midway in the production of Block 85 aircraft by a configuration that retained the same fairing but rearranged the vents in two sections only:

 

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-chinpods-07.htm

 

Prototypes and early aircraft had a different style, shown here:

 

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-m61-01.htm

 

The fairing is shorter and there are no vents for the gases generated while firing the gun.

 

The modification is not too difficult: the vents can simply be filled with whatever material you prefer while the shorter fairing may be made by cutting the Matchbox one and modifying the shape if necessary (can't remember how well this is represented in the kit). At worst a new fairing can be done starting from a small bomb or something similar.

With the shorter fairing, the recess in the fuselage just before it must be longer, easy to do with a cutter and a small file.

Some prototypes were modified with the later 7-vent configuration during their life, so better check pictures of your chosen subject (in doubt ask me, I have a few pictures on various books of all prototypes). The Caracal sheet may also have the relevant information

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A bit more significant than the gun fairing is that the ventral strikes are far too far back (unless that’s another prototype layout). I moved them forwards a scale 4ft. 

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Have now started to make some progress with this build. I have made up the wings and sanded them down. I have also been doing a trial fit of the wings and the fuselage parts. As you can see I have also got the wing glove vanes to work, although I will be cutting the links off so that theu do not as on the real aircraft they were only deployed at high speed and then later disabled. In the cockpit I have used some Hasegawa kit decals for the side instruments, and I am slowly building up the front and back panels from individual decals. I am not sure how this will go and it may take a few attempts to get it rightish. I have cut down the gun muzzle but forgot to take a photo of this, will do soon. I am also looking at getting some tubing for the exhausts, so that I can also add some petals from the GWH kit (if that is allowed), so that they are much more realistic. I have done some measurements and they look roughly the same diameter. I shall see. I have also raided a Hasegawa "D" kit for an "A" ejection seat rather spending money on an aftermarket one.

 

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Nice update, this Tomcat is looking great. You are free to raid bits and pieces from various kits or use AM parts so you’re good to go. We just ask that the base kit still retains its Matchbox origins and this one most certainly does. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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If you haven't joined them already I would suggest you fettle the top fuselage parts to close the gap at the base of the spine as much as  possible otherwise the component I found was a fraction longer than the lower half.

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@JamesPsorry what I forgot to mention, it was a very loose trial fit. I have now got the back end all put together now. A few areas were clamped together, but all in all it went well. I also enclose a photo of the cut back gun muzzle that said I would earlier. I am still slowly building up the instrument panels. 

 

@Rabbit LeaderI thought that what you said was the case for aftermarket and other kit parts but I thought that I had better ask as I was not sure.

 

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I have got the instrument panels built up and fitted to their respective shrouds. I still have to fit a couple of panels to the sides of these which I will hopefully do over the next day or so. Sorry that the pgotos are not that brilliant, but they are really small parts.

 

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I have noticed that Matchbox have given the wing glove section the aerodynamics of a brick, in that it is very square in appearance.

 

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So with a bit of sanding with a sanding stick, I got to this much better shape.

 

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Hopefully I will get the Fwd fuselage built up over the coming week and then added to the Aft section. I have also bought some plastic tubing so I will start to build up the exhausts.

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Having now swopped to a different image host, here is a small update of my progress.

 

   I have made up the engines with some plastic tubing, the exhausts from a GHW F-14A kit and the turbines from a Fujimi F-14 kit. I think that the Fujimi parts are for a alternative engine, but as not many people will look up there they will do for me. I have done a trial fit of these to the Rear fuselage and low and behold they fit almost perfectly. Not bad for a kit from the 70s being matched with an ultra modern Chinese kit from today. The photos below show this. I have added these to the fuselage and also part of the Fwd fuseage to the Rear. I have also found a control column from a Special Hobby F1 kit, not quite right but will do for government work. Hopefully I will show these in the next few days once I get to grips with the new photo host.

 

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Another small update after figuring out a few thing with the new photo host. This shows the joining of the fwd fuselage and the inside of the cockpit. There is a largish gap at the fuselage joint, but this is nothing new after building a few Hasegawa F-14s.

 

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Yes the newer engines are much better than what is provided with the kit. I am also looking at getting some better wheels after looking at these.

 

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I have also added a few more of the larger parts with the fuselage almost built up. As you may notice the wheel bays are a bit on the shallow side, but they are staying that way as most people will not see the undersides when the model is finished. I have thinnned down the leading edges of the air intakes as these were like the wing glove leading edges in that they were very square. At least now they are a bit more streamlined. These wll hopefully be added tonight. The tartng up of the cockpit continues with the addition of the control column and the plinth that will eventually have the RIOs radar control stick on it. They may not show up on these photos, so will try and do some when the cockpit area is all finished.

 

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Coming along nicely Jabba and I have to agree about Matchbox’s wheels - some kits have quite good main wheel assemblies (PK-117 Hunter) whilst the wheels provide with the Panther I am building would have to rate as the worst parts of an otherwise good kit. I’ll be sourcing / pinching the wheels from my Hasegawa Cougar as these are mice nicer to look at. Your Tomcat is talking shape nicely and good luck sourcing new wheels, there must be many spares out there. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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As @JamesP mention the underside fins are too far back. Thanks to him for saying that as I probably would have missed this. I had a look at some plans that I have of a prototype aircraft and made the approprriate amendments.

 

Before with the fin just place where it the kit says it should fit.

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After the correction.

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The plans also helped with the nose sensor.

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Cockpit now complete.

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Some new wheels (not sure if they are properly correct but will do for me) and some stencil decals.

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I've not come across the MB Tomcat before so quite an education for me. The improvements you're making don't hide the fact it is quite a decent kit for its era. Your work is moving it up another level or two I reckon. Nice going. 👍

Steve.

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There’s a lot of great work going on here @Jabba, all of which will be more than justified once finished. The additional AM bits and decals are a deserving fit for all the effort you have expended so far. Nice progress. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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  • Jabba changed the title to PK-406 F-14A Tomcat. +++ Finished +++

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