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Anders_Isaksson

1/32 Tamiya F-14A Tomcat

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Here is my Tamiya F-14A Tomcat to be built as an F-14A of VF-74 or VF-142 during the mid/late 80s.

This is my second attempt at a big scale Tomcat, and hopefully this one will actually be finished.

In the early 90s I started a Revell Tomcat and got as far as detailing the cockpit and getting the airframe together, but after finding just too many things I disliked about that kit it was eventually sent out the window.

I never considered having another go at a 32nd scale Tomcat until Aires released their wonderful cockpit, then suddenly the old Tamiya kit seemed a lot more interesting than before.

Here is the base kit I'm using, and the accessories I have gathered so far:

f14a001.jpg

- Tamiya F-14A Tomcat "1994"

- Superscale decals for VF-74 & VF-142 (This is an old sheet and I don't know about the accuracy, but hopefully it will work ok.)

- Eduard photoetch exterior set

- Crossdelta stiffener plates and walkways

- Steel Beach stiffener plates

- Wolfpack Design Boarding ladder

- Wolfpack Design Mid style main wheels

- Verlinden "Top Gun" pilot (x2)

The "1994" boxing features the updated part for the left forward fuselage which has the NACA gun vent, but in an arrangement with a fellow ARCer (thanks sundowner!) I was able to swap the forward fuselage parts for the ones found in the original kit (featuring the older style gun vent).

As good as the Aires set is I am no big fan of building and painting cockpits, so I figure some rescribing would be a good way to start off this build! :thumbsup:

More pics to come as soon as some progress is made...

Cheers,

Anders

Edited by Anders_Isaksson

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Wow! Nice stuff you've gathered up there! Gonna be a very spectacular show.

BTW, if you due any reasons missed it before, enjoy it now. Sure it will be very useful for your progress:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....172022&st=0

But if you take the same approach as the referred thread shows, you would hardly reach the GB deadline first. :thumbsup:

Cheers and happy modeling!

Alexander.

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^^^ Nice

And looking forward to seeing all this resin go in :whistle:

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Thanks all for the interest and encouragement so far! :)

Wow! Nice stuff you've gathered up there! Gonna be a very spectacular show.

BTW, if you due any reasons missed it before, enjoy it now. Sure it will be very useful for your progress:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....172022&st=0

But if you take the same approach as the referred thread shows, you would hardly reach the GB deadline first. :rofl:

Yes, I am closely following geedubelyer's build - amazing stuff going on there!

While the (updated) Tamiya nozzles still can use some work I am silently hoping for Aires to solve the problem for me, but so far nothing...

Otherwise, I will try to detail the nozzles but not to the level of the mentioned build as I believe such details are simply beyond my capability - both in time and skill.

And yes, keeping my project within the GB deadline already seems difficult enough as is and six months tend to go by just too fast!

VF-142 LOW VIZ.... BABY! :thumbsup:

DN-ST-88-021801.jpg

Thanks for posting these pics, shadowy_one! I see those squadron specific markings seem to be a very dark gray or even black? Interesting, and I notice that Superscale has all markings in the same tone of gray. Also, this Tomcat seem to be wearing a TPS scheme, right?

VF-142
Negative. VF-74 ALL THE WAY!

Ah yes, this is not easy. Actually I got the old Superscale sheet 32-55 for my Revell Tomcat build way back when - and still today I can't decide which one to build!

As stated before I very much prefer Tomcats wearing low-viz, and the VF-74 tail markings on the Superscale sheet feature just about as much color as I can take. :P

Speaking of color, Superscale says the VF-142 Tomcat should have yellow fincaps and some kind of TPS. I have indeed seen yellow fincaps on the real thing, but on the VF-142 CAG jet, and that particular Tomcat seemed to have a basic overall scheme of FS 36440.

On the other hand, most pics I have of VF-74 F-14As show them wearing a TPS scheme, while Superscale states this jet had an overall coat of FS 36440, a scheme I have only seen applied to the F-14A+/B of VF-74.

The Superscale instructions and decals:

f14a004.jpg

f14a005.jpg

In short, Superscale painting instructions seem to be the opposite to my references, but then again I have not seen every single Tomcat each day of its service life... and I realize that Tomcat paint schemes changed over the years. Some more, some less.

The rest of the decals I have for this build:

f14a006.jpg

The CAM sheet was to serve as a backup for generic markings in case the Superscale decals should fail. May still be needed for national markings etc.

The Superscale Data sheet was also to be used on the Revell Tomcat but will be replaced by the new Fightertown Data sheet.

Oops, still haven't gotten around to starting this kit! Time to get scribing...

Cheers,

Anders

Edited by Anders_Isaksson

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Check it out here mate. It shows Vf-74 tomcats in overall gull gray and TPS paint jobs.

http://www.tomcat-sunset.org/forums/index.php?topic=548.0

Thanks, certainly looks like a standard A model in overall gull gray there along, and the TPS Tomcat catching the wire was just the one I had in mind for the weathering.

Contrary to what wrote in my previous post I started with goofing around with one of the Verlinden pilot figures.

The rough plan for the crew is to have the RIO seated in his office and the pilot standing beside him on the walkway beside the cockpit.

Just a quick pic of the major resin parts of the Aires cockpit:

f14a007.jpg

The upside is the level of detail and overall quality of the casting. :wave: The downside is the poor packaging, resulting in damaged parts. :thumbsup:

While the cardboard box is sturdy enough the tub itself was loosely packaged in bubblewrap and the rest of the parts came in a single plastic bag.

Needless to say a number of small details had been knocked off from the larger parts. On the RIOs right hand sidepanel all of the tiny switches were missing.

f14a008.jpg

Either I will (at least try to) replace these with stretched sprue or I will simply forget about them.

A quick look at the contents of the Verlinden "Top Gun" pilot:

f14a009.jpg

As this guy will be the seated RIO I had to do some modifications.

Hmm... I could sure use a seat.

f14a010.jpg

Ah, that's better!

f14a011.jpg

This operation went faster than I had anticipated. I went off with the modelling saw, shortened various parts where they bend and then pinned the whole thing together using metal wire to allow for some repositioning later. I would like the RIO to rest his arms on parts of the cockpit so these will have to wait for later when the cockpit starts to come together.

f14a012.jpg

Finally, the gaps will be filled and lost detail will have to be resculpted before painting.

But for now I am just trying decide if the figure is more or less anatomally correct. On the other hand, as he will be seated any obvious errors probably won't be too noticable.

The second figure will be used for the pilot and I suppose that one will be good to go straight from the box. However, a pair of 32nd scale heads and some hands will have to be sourced somewhere to allow some remodeling.

Any Tomcat patches in 32nd scale out there...?

Cheers,

Anders

Edited by Anders_Isaksson

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From what I've been able to tell, VF-74 only wore that style of tail markings during the first half of the '85-'86 cruise (and probably the workups for it), at which time all their jets appear to be TPS. So, big suprise, SS got it wrong again.

Here's a few photos that might help (taken from DVIC):

dnsc8603902ql5.th.jpg

dnsc8603625uq4.th.jpg

dnsc8603625uq4.th.jpg

dnsc8603620mf5.th.jpg

All the markings are in Euro I Gray, along with the NG doors, and I'm not sure if it shows up in any of these photos or not, but interestingly, the ship's name on the ventral strakes just says "SARATOGA", rather than "USS SARATOGA".

HTH, and good luck! :wave:

Edited by Daniel_B

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From what I've been able to tell, VF-74 only wore that style of tail markings during the first half of the '85-'86 cruise (and probably the workups for it), at which time all their jets appear to be TPS. So, big suprise, SS got it wrong again.

Here's a few photos that might help (taken from DVIC):

All the markings are in Euro I Gray, along with the NG doors, and I'm not sure if it shows up in any of these photos or not, but interestingly, the ship's name on the ventral strakes just says "SARATOGA", rather than "USS SARATOGA".

HTH, and good luck! ;)

Many thanks Daniel!

Great pics and info on VF-74 Tomcats, and that's just the kind of TPS I would like to do. Decisions, decisions... ;)

Cheers,

Anders

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Just a little scribing has been done, but some more time has been spent on the cockpit.

The tub and sidewalls has been dry-fitted and I must say that this set seem to be quite painless to install, especially compared to my experience with the Aires cockpits for the Hasegawa F-14A kits in 1/48th (a bit fiddly but it can be adjusted to fit) and 1/72nd (just about impossible to install properly).

So far it looks like no modifications will need to be done to the Tamiya fuselage sides.

But it's quite possible I'll have to eat my words later on... still a few resin parts to clean up and see how they fit.

f14a013.jpg

f14a014.jpg

f14a015.jpg

Cheers,

Anders

Edited by Anders_Isaksson

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WOW...

Don´t forget update the fuselage, sanding that wrong plates...

:woot.gif:

It's on the to-do list, that armor plating definately will have to go.

Thanks!

Cheers,

Anders

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That resin cockpit looks amazing. Aries pits are amazing I think. I am following your build with interest, keep it up!

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That Aries pit really looks good. I`m using the Teknics/Cutting Edge `pit in my build. The Aries pit looks a lot crisper and cleaner with an easier fit. Good luck with your build.

Don

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That resin cockpit looks amazing. Aries pits are amazing I think. I am following your build with interest, keep it up!
That Aries pit really looks good. I`m using the Teknics/Cutting Edge `pit in my build. The Aries pit looks a lot crisper and cleaner with an easier fit. Good luck with your build.

Don

A belated thanks for your comments so far, I had expected to return to this thread sooner but family commitments and work has made this a rather busy week.

Anyway, I have managed to clean up the remaining major components for the cockpit done some trialfitting.

I can say that there will be some problems to get this cockpit installed properly, probably due to a combination of my somewhat hamfisted approach to modelbuilding and typical Aires fit problems... ;)

There is a small gap between the tub and the front IP (somewhat exaggerated in this pic as the sides are not in their correct position up against the side rails). I may be able to close that gap when gluing the entire cockpit assembly in place but otherwise I will have to grind out the insides of the fuselage halves.

f14a016.jpg

Also, it seems like the tub is a fraction too short as there is a gap where it meets the shelf behind the RIOs seat. This gap should be pretty easy to close with some strip styrene but the hose running from the floor of the tub and up on the shelf will need to be modified as the ends don't match up.

f14a017.jpg

But that's is for now regarding the cockpit. I will leave it as is and move on to other things before returning for painting and final assembly.

Here the seats are just temporarily in place to see how it all looks:

f14a018.jpg

Just one note (if it hasn't been discussed elsewhere before), it sure looks like Aires missed out to supply any details for the canopy locking mechanisms that run along the inner cockpit sills. While those latches are there on both the 72nd and 48th sets, they are missing altogether from the 32nd set.

Here is a pic of an Aires 48th cockpit to show which detail I am referring to:

f14a019.jpg

Strange? :cheers:

Cheers,

Anders

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Guest Jane

Looks good so far, the Aries set seems far sharper than the avionix one that I have.

Good luck,

Jane

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I believe that is the first time I've ever seen a resin pit that didn't need and modifications to canopy rails. I will give you major props for this. I am using the Black Box "B" pit and I am not happy at all with the results. I will be following you build too see how the rest of the cockpit fits. :worship: :worship:

Stanton

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Thanks! :unsure:

Yes, the Aires set is indeed nice and all things considered I think it is still fairly easy to install.

But those absent locking latches are a bit annoying, and there may be need to modify the kit rails to represent the missing detail. Will have to see about that...

While pondering this I continued with opening up the Vulcan muzzle and adding the Eduard PE bits.

f14a020.jpg

Thanks to the camera it looks like the exterior of the muzzle will need some more cleaning up and polishing... later on. :woot.gif:

Cheers,

Anders

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wow!

an impressive build i will follow with great interest!

bye ;)

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Hello Anders,

Thanks for bringing your build to my attention. That's what I get for not looking at every aspect of ARC. I could easily have missed out on this! :doh:

You are doing some tremendous work on your bird so far. The RIO looks marvellous. :thumbsup:

I think I'm going to have to try to find some of those tail stiffeners as the kit does n't have the full tally.

I love the work you've done on the gun muzzle. This is a great reference for me. I have the Eduard set and I'll be tackling the opening in the very near future. I really like the etched slotted gun barrel opening. Looking at the images you've posted it appears exactly as I hoped it would.

The Aires cockpit looks fabulous. I must admit I can't wait to get stuck into the painting but it seems a little intimidating eh?

All of those tiny switches and buttons to pick out. Man, I'll need six months just to paint the pit and seats! :lol:

You mentioned sanding off the armour plating. I guess this is the panel adjacent to the pilots boarding step? I've been wondering about that. I had n't noticed this raised panel on any images of the real bird so thought it might need to be removed. Thanks for the heads-up. :thumbsup:

Since you're on a deadline with the Group build and my build is likely to be much slower I'll be able to follow your progress and pick up many pointers as you go.

Super stuff so far. I'll drop by often to see how you're getting on.

Cheers,

:cheers:

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Thanks rom and geedubelyer!

Hello Anders,

You are doing some tremendous work on your bird so far. The RIO looks marvellous. :thumbsup:

I think I'm going to have to try to find some of those tail stiffeners as the kit does n't have the full tally.

Thanks, will have to see if the RIO can get some company soon, have another of those figures ready to build but I just need to get the cockpit area together and the pilot should be on the way too!

Yes, the Steel Beach stiffener set looks very good and also contains a panel for the in-flight refuelling cover (the panel on the right hand forward fuselage) that Tamiya for some reason decided to mold as a recess.

I don't remember why I decided to get both the Steel Beach and the Crossdelta stiffener sets but without having compared them right before writing this reply (away from home) I seem to remember that the SB set does a better job at representing the multi-layer look of the tail stiffereners as well as providing a panel for the recessed IFR cover, while CD (apart from the stiffener plates) also provides the walkways in their set. Still haven't decided if I will use the CD walkways or go for something homemade instead.

I love the work you've done on the gun muzzle. This is a great reference for me. I have the Eduard set and I'll be tackling the opening in the very near future. I really like the etched slotted gun barrel opening. Looking at the images you've posted it appears exactly as I hoped it would.

Well, the cylinder ended up being less than perfectly... well, cylindrical, but considering how little can be seen from the outside I am happy with the result.

The Aires cockpit looks fabulous. I must admit I can't wait to get stuck into the painting but it seems a little intimidating eh?

All of those tiny switches and buttons to pick out. Man, I'll need six months just to paint the pit and seats! :lol:

Yes, normally I think painting cockpits are a real drag as I seem to lose patience much sooner than the thing can be called finished, but painting this cockpit has become something I now look forward to! But of course that feeling might change later on...

Just hope I can do all that detail justice.

You mentioned sanding off the armour plating. I guess this is the panel adjacent to the pilots boarding step? I've been wondering about that. I had n't noticed this raised panel on any images of the real bird so thought it might need to be removed. Thanks for the heads-up. :thumbsup:

If you haven't seen this one yet, check out this Tamiya F-14D build by Manuel J. Armas, excellent step-by-step and he also shows which panels need to be modified as well as a good way to deal with the gun muzzle. Great stuff!

Since you're on a deadline with the Group build and my build is likely to be much slower I'll be able to follow your progress and pick up many pointers as you go.

Super stuff so far. I'll drop by often to see how you're getting on.

Cheers,

Yes, I figured a GB would be a good way to try and keep a steady pace with this project, but the deeper I get into the build the more I wonder if six months really will be enough to get this build done. :wacko:

Good thing to have your own build to follow, as wrote earlier the work you do with the old Tamiya kit is a great source of inspiration as well as useful information on details that can be improved.

Cheers,

Anders

Edited by Anders_Isaksson

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Wow the Aires pit looks really GREAT. I own the BB/Avionix for the Bravo but it seems it's not as sharp as yours. A very good job

:thumbsup:

Luca

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