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1/72 Hasegawa F-14D VF-31 Sunset

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I finally decided to build a Tomcat in 72nd scale. As many of you know, this Hasegawa kit has many parts and looks almost as difficult as its 48th scale version. I plan to build a VF-31 Lo-viz Sunset scheme. The kit comes with the decals for this scheme, but I went ahead and purchased the Fighter Town set also. I have built enough excitement, which I hope will be enough to get me through all the challenges.


I have the following configuration in mind:

- Extended wings and dropped slats + flaps

- Deployed boarding ladder

- Open boarding steps

- Open air brakes (top and bottom)

- Open canopy

- Phoenix pallets attached (but empty)

- Lantirn pod

- 1 flight recorder pod (if I can find one)

- 1 training sidewinder (if I can find one)

Does anybody know where I can find two 72nd scale sidewinders for use on this Tomcat? I plan to convert one into a FRP. I expect the construction to be challenging. I added weight to the radome and secured it with silicone.


Working on cleaning the parts. This is probably the most time consuming and boring part of any build.


A lot of flash to clean...


I built the 72nd B version a few years ago. The gun panels are very problematic (many other parts that need to sit flush with the surface for that matter). It is difficult to get a clean fit without too much work.


To avoid this issue, in this build, I plan to keep these doors slightly open as demonstrated below. They will not be fully opened (no detail behind the panels). What do you think? Is this an acceptable stance? I realize it may not be very realistic.


Edited by Janissary
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How is the nose with the silicone in it doing right now? I never tried it with silicone, always used candle wax or white glue. Because MY guess would be that the thinner in the silicone would take charge of the plastic of the nose and weaken it up to the point where the plastic literally melts....


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How is the nose with the silicone in it doing right now? I never tried it with silicone, always used candle wax or white glue. Because MY guess would be that the thinner in the silicone would take charge of the plastic of the nose and weaken it up to the point where the plastic literally melts....


I did the silicone treatment yesterday and now it is completely dry and expectedly rubbery. The radome is as hard as it used to be (inside and outside) and no signs of plastic melting or deformation. I know your concern though. I think two things that helped are: (1) I did not flood the whole tub with silicone, only used as much as your toothpaste on a toothbrush and made sure it mixed with the bbs. (2) I let the whole thing air out by keeping the cup facing outward. If one would attach the part immediately to the model, I guess that can deform the piece as there would be no place for the vapor to escape. If more weight is needed, I would probably do this in multiple steps so that I never flood the whole space at once.

PM sent on the parts you seek.

Thank you so much! Just replied to it.

Edited by Janissary
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The panels fit is really not that bad. With just a little sanding and puttying it it perfect. Make sure you protect the surroundings with masking tape before you sand though!

See here for example:



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, I have been working on this model for a while now. I decided that I will try to clean and prepare all the parts before doing any painting. So far that has been the case. Part of the reason this has been on hold is the dry wall we had installed. With this, I now have a mini hobby room. The contracter left the dry wall as shown in the first picture. I then primed and painted the wall and door, which took a while, but was a lot of fun.





To make the AoA probe, I sharpened a straight pin using a knife sharpener and attached the pin from the inside of the cockpit wall:



I tried to spruce up the exhaust cans as shown below:


Ben (bt13) kindly sent me these two parts which I desperately needed:


Edited by Janissary
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Recent snapshots. I decided to have the brakes closed. The dry fit revealed that the parts did not sit completely flush, hence I am gutting out the offending parts.



Deepening the wheel / wheelhub separation to aid the parafilm masking during painting.


Rescribing all the details certainly tests my patience. Removed antenna bases that these kits seem to have on the spine. Drilled a hole for the gps dome also:


Edited by Janissary
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There are still tons of large pieces awaiting rescribing and general surface prep. Every night I try to do one or two pieces.


Most of the smaller pieces are all rescribed, re-riveted, cleaned up and ready for assembly and painting.


I counted a total of 193 pieces that will end up on the final model. As I mentioned, my goal is to prepare all pieces without using a single drop of paint. Once painting and assembly begins, I am hoping to have all the tedious steps behind me and enjoy the build.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I wanted to share some of the steps I am taking for the construction. They deviate from the instructions. Got most of these tips from numerous other modelers' WIPs (both 72nd and 48th Tomcat builds) . So thank you to all of you!


Engine trunking attached before the internal components. No putty thus far.


Sheet styrene to fill the ejection marks. Guitar wire to expand the trunking to make them flush with the fuselage on the outside surface. Also attached the part that sits right behind the front landing gear. Beefed up the butt joint using styrene.


Lower part of the tail section attached, joint strengthened with styrene, gaps in the airbrake filled in.


This helps eliminates the unsightly step that normally occurs with these kits:



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Upper half of the beaver tail also attached similar to the bottom part. Still a step is visible which I plan to deal with later. Rescribing is also underway:


Canopy mold line removed, polished, futured. Engine faces and turbines primed, gloss black, Alclad polished aluminum, Tamiya smoke + water wash. Engine intakes assembled and latex painted.


Masking to paint the instrument panels in black:


I was planning to detail the panels with various colors for the buttons and switches, but the PE was not crisp enough so went ahead with the kit decals. They are thick so used Solvaset. For stubborn decals. Used - very carefully - lacquer thinner to make them conform.


Thinned down the joint on the upper fuselage that would butt against the front fuselage. Also, inserted a piece of thick paper to separate the back side of the front fuselage. Dry fitting showed that would help with the parts sitting more flush:


Engines installed, variable surfaces attached. Several gaps filled with Tamiya epoxy putty and styrene:


One of the critical joints; upper fuselage to the front fuselage. After Tamiya extra thin, used super glue and baking soda to strengthen the joint:


Horrific line, steps, gaps that I will need to deal with…


Again work awaiting on the various joints here, including the upper to front fuselage joint, Still, I think it is a better starting point compared to the alternative. Strengthened the glove vane area with styrene and superglue (to be trimmed). Glove vanes will also need to be filled with putty and sanded down. Attempted the GPS dome, which I did not like, so removed it and sanded the surface flush. Will try something else later:


Bottom fuselage. The visible gap I think is easier to deal with than trying to eliminate the step that normally occurs between the front phoenix launchers.


Edited by Janissary
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you guys. It is a tough model, but knowing that helped me prepare for the challenges. A few more progress shots. I know it's been a drawn out process but I hope some of the steps might be useful to those who are planning to build this kit.

For the most part, the assembly was ok, but a lot of dry fitting was necessary. Here are the sections that needed attention (Tamiya liquid primer + Tamiya white putty):




I used pieces of steel wool to clean up excess fillers. This is what I am using:


When it comes to preserving details, I find it to be more forgiving than sand paper or micromesh abrasives. It can be a little messy so I use water.


Sometimes other abrasives are unavoidable though. A few shots after the clean-up:



Edited by Janissary
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I tried to do the GPS dome again this time using a smaller clear part:


A few other pieces glued in place:




Could not resist seeing how it is shaping up:


Now, another long round of rescribing some of the lost panel lines and rivets is ahead of me.

Edited by Janissary
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  • 3 weeks later...

Still plowing through. I tried to make the formation lights from styrene instead of using the clear parts.


All lost lines and rivets are restored using a razor saw and pin.


Decided to attach the fins before painting as this these parts require putty.




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I used a Sharpie marker to bring out some of the rescribed details (the lower wing). If all other scribed sections look this way, I think the oil wash should be good at the end.


The GPS dome is way out of scale but I will just live with that.




For the windscreen, I masked and airbrushed a thin mixture of Tamiya clear green and clear blue. Once dry, I have it a future bath and set it aside to dry. It should be ready to be attached in 2 days or so.


Once the front IP panel, HUD glasses and the windscreen are attached, I think I will be ready for the first coat of primer! I can't wait to get there.

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Thank you Arnaud. I think that the panel lines are a bit too shallow everywhere on the model. So I wanted to make sure the lines and rivets had enough depth for the oil wash. So it was a 'making sure' thing more than anything else. Inconsistent panel washes can be an eyesore to me, which is usually the case with recessed but shallow lines. Well, I also like to torture myself :)

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I attached the windshield using Tamiya extra thin cement. To my surprise, the fit was exquisite. Probably the best windshield fit I have ever had. I only used traces of Vallejo plastic putty at the front and swiped the excess off with a damp q-tip.


Now, the major problem I have is masking. I could use some help. I laid down a thin layer of stretched parafilm, but could get the courage to cut the film directly on the windshield. The boundaries between the glass and frame portions are not very defined, so I would have to rely a lot on my hand-eye coordination. Too much risk. Bare metal foil would be similar, so I don't want to go down that road either.

I thought about thin strips of tamiya masking tape, but the corners where the major curves meet are neither truly pointy or round. So, even though I could punch out small radius masking tape discs, they will be too large. It's just not easy at this scale it seems. FWIW, here is how it is supposed to look, but I don't know how to do it:


Any ideas?


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I'm really enjoying this build! Way to tame that beast!!

It really isn't that hard to use Tamiya tape to mask a canopy.

-Cut a piece of tape that just about fits the area you want to cover.

-Burnish it down. I use wooden dowels that are like blunt pencils.

-Make sure I've got a brand new #11 blade and cut along the frames.

But since this would be pretty much the same as using bare metal foil and you don't want to experiment, I would suggest:


Problem solved, problem staying solved!

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Just an excellent build to date. You certainly have gotten the better of this most difficult kit.

As for masking canopies, I use very thin strips of masking tape that I cut a little longer then half the full length. I cut one end of the tape to fit one side of the corner. Then I cut the other piece of tape to fit the opposite corner. The tape over laps in the middle of each side. I slowly work my way around cutting the corner shapes as needed. You'll be surprised at how easy it gets after a while. For curves you can use punched out disks, I just cut a circle out of tape then slice the circle in a few places so I can alter the radius.


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Hey man, I agree! Everything looks great with this build. It's going to be a fine representation once finished.

Here's my 2cents on the masking solution.my method with smaller scales is to lightly rescribe the panel before laying tape over it. This gives a slightly deeper groove for the blade to follow, and it's easier to burnish down and see your guide once the tape is on. Btw I also use tamiya masking tape, but bare metal foil could work the same. When cutting you can also double tape the actual glass section that way if the blade slips you can have some extra protection. Good luck!

Edited by .linus
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Thank you very much all for your suggestions. I went ahead and tried to mask it using Tamiya tape. Here is my futile attempt:



Not satisfied with the results, I took the plunge and bought the Silhouette Portrait cutter that Kursad had pointed out here:


I found it to be a good piece of hardware and comes with a light weight but nifty software. So, after a few trials, I got it to a point that was satisfactory to me. I found the cut to be clean and I think it would work for 32, 48 and 72nd scale (at least for cutting out canopy masks etc.) I can see myself using this quite a bit for this purpose.



Still some manual adjustment was necessary (tidying up some excess tape etc.) once the masks were on the windshield, but that was more because of me (approximate design of the masks) and not the cutter.

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