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Which 1/32 F-14A

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I'm wanting to do a carrier deck dio circa 1980 with a Tomcat, which kit would be the better choice? I'm prepared to invest in tons of aftermarket as well.

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Tamiya's F-14A kit is probably the best, but be prepared to ask for a second mortgage. Revell has one probably won't be up to Tamiya standards, and Trumpy has one, but check the threads it has issues you may not want to deal with. The ARC main page gallery has finished kits that have builder insight...which should help. IIRC Trumpys mad riveter went nvtz on their kit. Edited by #1 Greywolf

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In this case Tamiya isn't necessary the best. It is an old kit that is not up to modern standards. The cockpit has no detail (decals only) and the kit is a mix of raised and engraved panel lines. Large parts of the fuseloge need to be rescribed. To represent a 1980s tomcat you'll want the original VF211 or 1994 boxing. You can usually find these for around $ 100 on ebay or personal sales. I'm not sure if the black knights boxing can build an early tomcat. I know it was updated for "bombcat" parts/weapons. Definitely not worth paying $150+ or whatever retail price is for this kit.

Trumpeter tomcat is a typical trumpeter product, close enough for some but missed the mark in some areas. Cockpit is nice but left out some details. The biggest gripe is the profile of the intakes (massive thread somewhere that goes over all the gory details). Zactoman makes an improved intake but it's expensive. Trumpeter also over did the rivits but those can be filled. Fill rivits on trumpeter or rescribe tamiya, pick your poison.

Don't know much about the revell kit but I know it is usually considered below the standard of the other two. It is an old kit (may have raised panel lines but don't quote me), but can usually be found for less than $50

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People dismiss the old Revell kit but it really isn't that bad, and in some areas (especially the cockpit) is superior.

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I'll second what habu2 said. Yes, it's old, but it's not necessarily bad. The first release (with VF-1 Wolfpack markings) is very simplistic. But, they retooled some things and the release (VF-124) is much better. Think 1/48 Monogram kit only in 1/32 scale for the most part. With some TLC, it will be exactly what you're looking for at a fraction of the cost.

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I think if you are going all in with a bunch of aftermarket its a tie between trumpeter and tamiya. For example if you are going to replace the cockpit with an AM set it really doesn't matter of Tamiya's pit had no detail

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Hands down Revell 1/32. I had it and never finished it. Get the newer version,

Revell popped it twice, the second time with much better bang seats! Here's mine

as it was.---John

Is the second pop the VF-124 boxing, or did they spit one out after that?

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Is the second pop the VF-124 boxing, or did they spit one out after that?

In or around 1987 Revell released the updated kit with "Gunfighters" markings. Then around 1990 Revell updated the box but kept the same box art and markings. To my knowledge that's it. Too bad really as the Revell kit isn't that bad, especially if you are going to throw all kinds of AM at it. Shrewd buyers can grab them at vendors tables for quite cheap or on EBay for less then $60 USD with patience. That leaves a lot of money left in the budget for AM items ;).

:cheers:

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In or around 1987 Revell released the updated kit with "Gunfighters" markings. Then around 1990 Revell updated the box but kept the same box art and markings. To my knowledge that's it. Too bad really as the Revell kit isn't that bad, especially if you are going to throw all kinds of AM at it. Shrewd buyers can grab them at vendors tables for quite cheap or on EBay for less then $60 USD with patience. That leaves a lot of money left in the budget for AM items ;)/>/>.

:cheers:/>/>

This is the route I went. Haven't built mine yet but it's in the lineup. The Revel kit is a real bargain IMHO.

Edited by toadwbg

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I'm a fan of the Trumpeter kit with Zacto corrections. I've seen the three kits out there built up multiple times and with my eyeballs the Trumpy kit seems to hit the profile just right.

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Is the second pop the VF-124 boxing, or did they spit one out after that?

Yup-Gunfighters, I bought aftermarket decals for Sundowners, VF-111. I still

have the decals, may pick another kit up some day, no interest in buying

tons of corrections THEN aftermarket goodies for Trumpeter.---John

Edited by john53

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The Revell kit has been issued a total of three times. The original VF-1 Wolfpack boxing from 1981 or so has the simplistic ejection seats in it. It would work fine though if you intend to use aftermarket seats.

The blue bordered 1987 boxing with the Top Gun inspired VF-124 markings on the tail came next. For that one, Revell added a new set of ejection seat sprues, apparently using the Monogram seat data from the 1/48 kit to do them. The kit also still has the older seats. The newer seats look good if you just plan an out of the box build, but Resin naturally would be better. Decals provided of course are for the VF-124 airshow bird (with the round Tomcat Gunfighters patch on the tail) and a VF-111 bird in low vis markings, which apparently are fictional.

The final one I am aware of from the mid-1990s is Revell of Germany's version of the VF-124 kit. Plastic in the kit is identical to the late 80s Revell offering. The decal artwork is the same, but Revell of Germany used Cartograf to print their sheets and the quality of the markings is better. Grated this isn't really an issue if you use aftermarket decals, but I like having options and stuff for the spares bin. Either this one or the late 1980s Revell USA offering would be the best choices to get IMHO.

As for the kit itself, only minor issue I found is they only give you fully open Burner cans. So if you want to do the typical one open/one closed burner can configuration seen with powered down and parked F-14As, that means either resin aftermarket or seeing if somebody has any spare closed Tomcat exhausts from a Tamiya kit they can let you have since the Tamiya kit has two each of full open and full closed exhausts.

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This is my 1/32 'Cat from Trumpeter. Aries cockpit, but no other after market parts were used. I was able to correct the intake angle myself and I'm happy with the results.

Dsc_0173.jpg

Dsc_0164.jpg

Dsc_0166.jpg

I used out of the box decals (because it was the markings I wanted) and was a bit dissapointed with the print of the small details (which all should be readable at 1/32 scale) but beyond that I thought it was a fun build that kept me busy for about 6 months.

Some people report issues painting the rubber 'inflatable bags' behind the swing wings but I ran into no such trouble. I just used off the shelf Tamiya paints.

Edited by RiderFan

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Thanks for the input. Can someone point out exactly the problem with the Trumpeter intakes?

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Thanks for the input. Can someone point out exactly the problem with the Trumpeter intakes?

The lower edge of an intake on an F-14 should have an angle upwards (and outward). The kit is almost parallel to the ground. While it's not really that big of a deal (99.95% of the world doesn't notice or care) for those that are picky it's some that needs to be corrected.

The zactoman correction set is amazing and does more than just correct the lower edge shape, but you're on a budget you can correct the problem by putting a small shim plastic on the inner side of the intake trunking. When built onto the rest of the model, the shim will twist the intake down into the correct shape (depending on the size of shim you've used). It's not that tough of a fix if that's all you're trying to do.

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Interesting tidbit of info there "Riderfan". I have looked at the Trumpeter Tomcats but was hesitant due to the intake situation (and not wanting to spring for the Zacto set on top of the already pretty pricey Trump kit). You wouldn't happen to have any WIP photos I suppose? Your solution doesn't sound too complicated and the price is right :thumbsup:.

:cheers:

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The lower edge of an intake on an F-14 should have an angle upwards (and outward). The kit is almost parallel to the ground. While it's not really that big of a deal (99.95% of the world doesn't notice or care) for those that are picky it's some that needs to be corrected.

The twist on the intakes (it's the whole mouth, not just one edge) must be one of the F-14's most distinctive features. Getting that wrong is just ... silly. Makes me glad I'm currently battering the Tamiya job into submission. Though, to be fair, decals for instruments in 1/32 is pretty silly too, hence the Avionix cockpit. Plus the CAM decals, the Wheeliant wheels and even the Master pitot. Ho hum, 'tis only money.

Very nice build by RiderFan. Though I'm intrigued by one thing: it's in gull gray and white but has AIM-9Ls on the shoulder rails. Was that common?

Edited by pigsty

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Interesting tidbit of info there "Riderfan". I have looked at the Trumpeter Tomcats but was hesitant due to the intake situation (and not wanting to spring for the Zacto set on top of the already pretty pricey Trump kit). You wouldn't happen to have any WIP photos I suppose? Your solution doesn't sound too complicated and the price is right :thumbsup:/>.

:cheers:/>

My build thread from about 5 years ago...

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=231813

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another vote for the revell kit. It's mid-80s configuration right out of the box, is reasonably detailed, and can be had for far cheaper than the Tamiya kit.

(and whoever mentioned sourcing a tamiya closed nozzle for the Revell kit, it won't work, the tamiya nozzles are smaller in diameter by a reasonable margin.)

Edited by Skull Leader

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another vote for the revell kit. It's mid-80s configuration right out of the box, is reasonably detailed, and can be had for far cheaper than the Tamiya kit.

(and whoever mentioned sourcing a tamiya closed nozzle for the Revell kit, it won't work, the tamiya nozzles are smaller in diameter by a reasonable margin.)

Are there AM exhaust nozzles that will fit the Revell kit?

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