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andrew.deboer

AMK F-14D - CARQUAL

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The AMK Tomcat needs no introduction. 

 

Once I got my kit, I didn’t carefully remove the contents of the box while documenting the process so I could put it all back into the box the way it came; I’m in it to build it. So, my eagerness to get going on the build means also that I’m starting this build log somewhere in the middle of the process. 

 

I consider the Tamiya and AMK kits to be contenders for the best Tomcat in 1/48, so continual comparison with the Tamiya F-14D is nearly inevitable. 

 

Here’s where I am. Many parts are excluded from this view, including most of the ordnance (yes, it comes in the box and not just as a separate set).

 

r0FIRMy.jpg

 

Generalities

 

AMK put some serious detail into this kit; I would call the wheel well detail superior to Tamiya’s, with finely rendered plumbing, rivets, etc. The kit also features two sets of wings: one set is clean, with the control surfaces all in the retracted position, and the other set has everything hanging out: slats, flaps, and spoilers, and deployable speed brakes. 

 

AMK is less impressive in general mold quality. Nearly every part I have removed from the sprue so far needs cleanup of flash, or mold parting lines, or mold draft, or ejector pin marks. Personally, I wouldn’t mind ejector pin marks if they were slightly raised circles rather than recessed, because they would be very easy to clean up. Mold parting lines are also totally acceptable for me, if it means the resulting part is molded to a higher level of detail or exhibits some innovation that benefits me as the modeler. For instance, AMK molded their AIM-54C Phoenix missiles in two parts: the main missile body and the exhaust nozzle. Because this was done using a mold with several moving parts, the finished part has four mold lines that need to be [easily] cleaned up. By contrast, Tamiya’s Phoenixes are nice but require assembly of 9 parts and seam cleanup, and have thicker fins and a less-defined exhaust nozzle. A clear AMK win, but more importantly a win for the modeler.

 

I have no problem with the vast majority of the panel lines. I have seen some hugely magnified shots that show the gory, microscopic details, but I just lost interest in talking about that any more… 

 

Edited by andrew.deboer

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Time for some Tamiya comparison:

AMK on the left, Tamiya on the right. Although the engraved lines between the radome and guidance section appear wavy on the AMK missile, they are straight. My phone doesn’t know what to make of this close-up stuff.

w9TO9sd.jpg

 

And here is the tail of each missile without any cleanup. You can see the thinness of the AMK fins, and the weird assembly seam on the Tamiya part. AMK’s nozzle is nicely contoured inside, but does have some machining marks where the mold did not get polished sufficiently. I can’t see these marks with my prescription glasses or magnifier - only in this photo.

vmvfoRC.jpg

 

Edited by andrew.deboer

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It is a fine piece of kit of a kitty....I'll keep my eyes on this thread 😄

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OK, here’s an illustration of something I see a lot. A modeler puts the parts together - here it’s the Tomcat’s boattail mating with the top fuselage - and finds that the parts have a gap between them. The modeler proceeds to fill that gap with putty. But why?
 

tB9l4RA.jpg

 

Here is the inside face of that seam on the top fuselage half. I marked with a black marker the spot where I will be removing plastic. Ideally, I will be leaving just the very top of that area intact and removing the plastic that is creating the gap.
g3UnflC.jpg

 

And here is the result. The gap is close to the size of a panel line, and with a little more trimming it will be great. No filling and rescribing required.

XuyiHba.jpg
 

”But,” you protest, “it’s 2020! I shouldn’t have to finesse parts fit like that!” Well, you work with what you have. And this is what we have. I always try to minimize filling and sanding, because I hate those tasks. I dig the speed brake detail and will definitely be showing that open.

 

Edited by andrew.deboer

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nice beginning, I'll follow your build becausethe Tomcat  it's my next project, just seaking reference of the D right now.

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Not sure about the AMK cockpit decals.

 

In the center are the AMK pilot and RIO panels, with the Tamiya parts next to them. The AMK parts have the kit decals, and the Tamiya parts have instruments from the mighty Fightertown Decals’ 48087. The AMK decals use a dark gray rather than a black, and have a sort of low-resolution look to them.

JsEKQkz.jpg

Edited by andrew.deboer

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Another Tamiya comparison... *sigh*

 

AMK molded their tails as strict halves. Bummer. I prefer the method Tamiya used, where the leading and trailing edges of the parts were included with one half. No gluing along the thin parts. AMK did this with the stabilators, but not the verticals. I know - 🎻

b1PmgfC.jpg

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11 hours ago, andrew.deboer said:

Not sure about the AMK cockpit decals.

 

In the center are the AMK pilot and RIO panels, with the Tamiya parts next to them. The AMK parts have the kit decals, and the Tamiya parts have instruments from the mighty Fightertown Decals’ 48087. The AMK decals use a dark gray rather than a black, and have a sort of low-resolution look to them.

JsEKQkz.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Either way it doesn't necessarily need to be wrong. It depends on which serial you are building at what time.

The actual cockpit color of the delta pit is grey with black instruments / gauges, just as the other blocks had. However, some ships of the last two orperational squadrons (31 and 213) had their pits painted black for the final cruise in 05/06 to reduce low light reflections and make it easier for the crews during night missions using NVGs. So depends on the serial and the time.

Edited by bushande

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2 hours ago, bushande said:

 

Either way it doesn't necessarily need to be wrong. It depends on which serial you are building at what time.

The actual cockpit color of the delta pit is grey with black instruments / gauges, just as the other blocks had. However, some ships of the last two orperational squadrons (31 and 213) had their pits painted black for the final cruise in 05/06 to reduce low light reflections and make it easier for the crews during night missions using NVGs. So depends on the serial and the time.

Yeah, I’m not talking about the background color - I know that gray was the predominant color in the D with a scattering of black toward the end. In the photo I posted, the Tamiya panels are destined for a VF-31 final cruise jet, so they’re black, but the AMK panels will be in a VF-101 jet - so they’re gray. It’s the actual instrument bezel colors that leave me a little cold: things that were black on the real thing are dark gray on the decals. On the AMK RIO panel, the topmost section - called the Detail Data Display Panel - should be black, but the decal covers the whole thing and is too gray for me. I thought I had taken a photo of the side console decals, but it appears not. My AMK cockpit will be closed and occupied by a crew, so I will might leave the panels as they are.

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Ah o.k., now I see what you mean. Yes, the the top instruments plus the display frames should be all black regardless the colors of the gauge board. Yeah it does seem that these are way too .... well .... "unblack". Pity....

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Thn5yml.jpg

 

I hate these closeups - they show things that will never be seen. However, they also show the detail of the AMK consoles and decals, so worth the trip. When I applied the decals I used Tamiya Mark Fit, and when that was dry I went back and used Mr. Mark Softer. Seems to have worked OK, with a little deformation.

 

I’ll get the throttle quadrant painted and detailed and a few other things detail painted, but I’m not attaching the throttle. It will go in the pilot’s hand which should end up in the right place.

Edited by andrew.deboer

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It looks awesome without any after market. I alway like building Tamiya's model but for the Tomcat AMK is a little bit better in my opinion. The color of AMK plastic which is too dark and I use to prepair the model with a primer each time,  so why not change the color to facilitate the painting step?

Edited by salomon

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Any more news on this build? Hows it coming along?

 

Scott

CNJC-IPMS

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I’ve been busy with the seats, the landing gear, the intakes, etc. I used the kit decals for the seats but added several from Fightertown. I’m in the process of fitting a couple of Tamiya figures into the seats. 

 

I really get hung up when it comes to ejector-pin marks and sanding in hard to reach spots; the intakes, which should be a 10-minute job, have me blocked. Wheel wells are done, tails are cleaned up and glued on, etc.

 

AMK molded the engine nacelles as single piece units from intake to exhaust, which eliminates the need to align several parts. I found that the nacelles did not fit over the humps on the rear fuselage, which meant that a perfect fit on one side would result in a gap on the other. Yes, I could perhaps have clamped the heck out of the parts to try to bring them into line, but that’s not my preferred method; I want the parts to fit without being forced. I scraped plastic from the humps and from the inside of the nacelles (a few ejector pin marks) until the nacelles fit over them without gaps on either side. Here’s a couple of photos from back when I was dealing with that.

 

lNHl3aY.jpg

 

GI2vcLP.jpg

Edited by andrew.deboer

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So far you've experienced everything I did with my build. Not insurmountable by any means, but rather annoying.

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This is interesting, about the nacelles. I thought I remember pics early on showing them just "snapping on". But you had this problem too Darren? Like you say, annoying but not insurmountable. But, it just strikes me as strange that this problem should be occurring at all. Having to shave that much plastic off those rear sections strikes me as kinda poor design in the first place. Oh well. This is a good build to watch. Seems honest and straight forward.

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OK, on to the infamous wing sweep seals. I’ll say right now that I’m not going to sweat the shape of these, or the adjacent contour where the stabilators attach..


AMK molded the left and right wing sweep seals as one, with the visible parts connected by a robust set of beams. I installed the part but glued only the right side. As usual, it took some trimming of part edges to get a gapless fit. 
 

Once the right side was set, I checked the left side and saw (as I had suspected) that the connection with the other side would prevent that part from fitting flush. I snipped a section out of each beam, freeing the part to fit exactly the way I wanted it.

 

lLxh42w.jpg

80HTHZm.jpg
 

I am sure the joint between the top and bottom fuselage parts will need some truing-up to get it gapless, but I’m satisfied with the top parts. . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

Edited by andrew.deboer

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