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Italeri 1/72 F-14A !Bombcat!


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Very, very late I know, but I have (many) reasons.


I had originally intended to build this kit, but then mislaid the windscreen. It eventually turned up in mid-December, and when I checked, this Group Build had been extended. So in a rush of new-found enthusiasm, I decided I'd take it with me during my Christmas holidays (visiting family), and build it there.





Note the extra sprue with the LGBs (just the two) and FLIR pod.



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I spent most of Christmas evening cleaning up these engine fairing joins, which were extremely bad.





The joins inside the intakes have been cleaned up some since this photo, but still aren't up the required standard.



The tailplanes have the same part number, but are clearly different, being "keyed" in two different ways.





As designed, the rear nose wheel doors would have prevented the nose strut from being attached.



After some work, I thought I'd corrected this, but it still requires more attention.



I relied on the instructions from other kits to get a better idea of the cockpit colours. Note the tell-tale signs of filler everywhere. The  nose/cockpit section was joined to the main fuselage just behind the rear seat, but it was a very bad fit along the sides, inboard of the intakes.



The exhaust nozzles weren't a good fit either, but I did my best.



The completed airframe. The forward glove vanes were not for use, replaced by two narrow inserts to portray them in the closed position. I assume this was because the "Bombcat" was not meant to operate at high speed? Anyway, these were also a mediocre fit.





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Painting was always looked to be easiest phase, for the subject I choose: Two coats of Hu 127, the decals applied straight onto the satin finish, and an overall matt varnish. Without the varnish overcoat, those 1990s decals would have never stayed on.





To aid painting the dark grey (FS 26118/Hu 125 + matt varnish) area around the cockpit, Italeri very helpfully provided two "guide" decals. These extended back further than illustrated on the paint and decal guide, but I left them be.



Note the dark upper fuselage panels that would be covered by the fully swept wings. According to Italeri, these should be the same colour as the rest of the airframe, but no other instructions or references seemed to agree with this.



Unfortunately, when cutting up the decals, I messed up one of the decals for the pilot's name, so it's only on the starboard side ... D'oh!



Stores painted and attached. I had to research the colours for the LGBs, not trusting Italeri.



So there is still some work to do. All the main undercarriage doors have to be attached, and likewise the small rear sections of the nose wheel doors. The arrestor hook still has to be painted, and some other points have to be researched. before painting is completed.

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37 minutes ago, Col. said:

You look to be having fun with this one :) 

"Fun" is not a word I'd use, given the various fit problems. But I'd still hope to finish it in another week or so. I have several other kits on the go.


Did I mention that I had to transport the almost built kit on a long train journey (actually several trains) squeezed into an old cardboard box that seemed way too small to contain it? And that said box also contained several other kits, including the now completed J30 Mosquito (Nordic GB)? And that they all somehow survived the experience intact ...

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