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1/72 F-14A VF-142 circa 1977

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Hi there. Can I go first? When I saw the announcement I just knew right away what to build.

This Tomcat, along with VF-103 christmass special scheme has been on my mind for a while now.

The 1977 variation of VF-142 scheme. There are quite a few photos of this jet on the net.

I'm using the 1/72 scale Hobby Boss Tomcat. Never built it before, so that's new.



Very nice boxart.




OOB Decals I'll be using. There was a while I considered the VF-41 gray/white scheme. But I'm sticking to this one.




I did start this kit a year ago but my mind and mojo wandered to a different direction. Managed to cut some parts from the sprues and paint the cockpit gray.




You can see the paint, right?





I might require a bit of help on this one. While there are pictures of this bird online I'm having hard time telling if the strengthening plates should be there on the fins. I doubt it, as I seem to recall that was an upgrade in the 1980's. I already cut them out, but I still have one more HB F-14A I could rob of the fins if I made a mistake.

I'm 100% sure the reinforcing plate around the RIO step shouldn't be there.  Plus the gun gas vent is of the wrong type. Not a biggie, I guess I can add a bit of plastic to make it look like the older style.



I'll also use some spare Academy (old boxing) wheels.


I already managed to clock 5 hours in the build and got pretty far.


The fin plates are gone.



RIO step plate too. As You can see I already assembled the front fuselage section and wings.




I also painted the rest of the cockpit and decaled it. The HB F-14A doesn't have the side console decals so I took the ones from an old Fujimi Tomcat. AFAIK thats the only HB boxing that doesn't have decals for the consoles. Weird.


So after 5 hours I have completed basic airframe assembly. Some filling and sanding is still required. However the overall fit is very good. It goes together very quick too. I really like the huge cutout on the underside. It helped with the fit of the front fuselage.




Wings are just clicked in place. I modified them so I could add them at a later stage. Fins are just dry fit in place.


Thanks for stopping by!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the kind words guys.


Apparently I'm having a bit of engine flameout after launch. I guess I should be done by now.


I managed to slap a bit of paint on the IP cover and attach the windscreen. Do some sanding and stuff. I noticed HB windscreen was sitting a bit too high, creating a bit of step. I sanded it from underside, glued it in and than did some more sanding to make sides sit flush with the rest of the fuselage. I really like how HB made the clear part here.




I did manage to achieve firs flop. I got these fine marks on the windscreen. Probably used too much force when sanding, and they're some cracks. It shows but is quite hard to capture on camera.




Next stop? Oh man... scribing the exhaust inserts. Lack of scribing skills? Check. Troublesome round area? Check. Quite visible spot for some nice scribing flops? Check! What can go wrong? 😉


See You next time!


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Ungh. I scribed some lines on the exhaust rings. Yuck. This is the better profile. I'm going to shoot some paint on them to check my, ekhem, work.




I  did the seats. Added the ejection handles and some masking tape seats.






So a closed canopy build it is.


Just for fun i added shoulder pylons and wings. They will have to go off for the ease of painting.




Quite the quick build. I've spent 8:30 hours in this build and I'm ready for the paint. If there are no areas to rescribe (exhaust) I'll have at least some black paint on the cockpit next week. I do have the feeling I might have forgotten about something.


So... for a 1/72 lgg/white scheme I'm considering black paint for the first layer. Not excactly black basing, as I don't plan on any marbling - the jet looked very clean on the pictures. But I'm playing with the hue difference with white vs black under color.


Feel free to leave any thoughts, comments and advice 😉


Till next time!


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  • 3 weeks later...

Most of the paintjob is complete. I used Gunze H315 and 316 for the gray/white. The radome tan is from pactra which meant I had to paint it first, then go with white. I've tried it the other way but somehow Pactra and Model Master acrylics crack when painted over the Gunze or Tamiya. Never the other way around.

I'd use the Gunze acrylics exclusively but frankly the drying time is terrible. They get "dry" after a few minutes, that's allright. But if I'd try to hold the model it would stick to my fingers and I'd leave fingerprint for at least 2-3 days. Masking tape seems to leave a bit of a trace too.


And so, I painted the 36440 freehand. I gotta say, for all my complaints, it sprayed amazingly. Excellent control, only tiniest bit of overspray.


First the wings. I was a bit scared of all the pretty complicated masking. Came out ok I guess.





Looking at the photos of the real jet I noticed I botched the demarcation of the aft part of the fuselage. I might have to go in and redo it.

Only now I noticed my jet did not have the nose AOA probe. One more thing to correct.




So now I'll have to paint the black area around the canopy and silver leading edges on wings and tailplanes.

I'll probably have it done next weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.

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On 3/2/2021 at 2:43 PM, crackerjazz said:

Looking great, Thadeus!   And great trick on those ejection handles!  I have to replace a couple broken ones.   Is that lead wire?  


Thanks! Actually I don't know - that's just some wire I have from small plastic bags. They came with this paper clad wire. I've a bunch of them since I used these bags for food carriage and then for dog excrement expedition. The wires themselves are great for clearing the airbrush nozzle and even better for clearing clogged needle glue.


On 3/2/2021 at 3:57 PM, Geoff M said:

Coming along nicely.


Geoff M


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On 3/3/2021 at 8:43 PM, FASTEAGLE107 said:

You're building and painting fast the i will ever do ! Coming nicely.



I tend to have a lot of time in the weekends. And this build seem to be taking priority as it's very relaxing. There's also a Mirage f.1 to repaint, two mig-29's to do some seam filling and prep for paint and in 1/48 - three F-16's in various stages of competion. One matt coated, one freshly painted, waiting for gloss and one just before the paint. Plus a Tomcat in 1/48 that awaits some nasty sanging job on the intakes. Yup, this one is relaxing since....


... it's time for decals!




Ok, not the best job.




I hate that black stripe. I masked it like three times trying to get the curve in front of the windscreen "right-ish". Ok, I managed that.


The aft parts were added. The left one did not want to fit the tiniest bit. I had to break off the exhaust tube. Now I see there still is a seam on the upper/lower fuselage joint. Oh...




And then there's that: It's some sort of tape residue that doesn't go off with soap or dishwashing fluid. Or even saliva. So briliant me figured...




since I'm Polish, I will polish. I tried the paper, I tried the 2000 grit paper. Then I tried the polishing paste. Not the brightiest idea. In jus two - three swipes I achieved that. The tape mark did go of though... So I had to repaint.




These are the decals for this bird. Judging from the pictures, the yellow is a "bit" too bright. And the rudder striping should either be only yellow stripes, or with very thin black outline. There should also be a CVW code on the right wing. I already did some decals by now. I'll post some pics when I'm done with the stenciling. I love stencils. I love stencills. I love stencillls. Yuck.




Thanks for stopping by!

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Decals are done. Now I'm going to touch up the wing bladders, remove the red stripe from them and shoot some gloss to prepare for wash. That yellow...




I've not found a good picture of the walkways on my jet. Frankly, any VF-142 jet from that period. They do look a bit too dark. I'd guess they were beige not dark gray. I might repaint them with the wing bladder gray.




This build does seems to go very quickly. I could have a lot of expectations for a Tomcat build. A quick build would not be one of them. Especially a gray/white one. Funny, since I got a little less than 20 hours clocked in this one. Sometime ago I finished a Gripen in 16 hours. And an F-15J in 25. I guess there could still be more than 5 hours of building time.


Thanks for stopping by. Probably the next post will be from a finish line.

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On 3/15/2021 at 1:39 AM, Mr.Happy said:



I love that Hi-Viz VF-142 scheme. 

Great Work Thadeus.


Take care,




Thanks Happy!


On 3/15/2021 at 3:10 AM, Lost_Erik said:

That rocks!




I've applied gloss in preparation for wash. Didn't feel like doing wash this weekend. This one was almost exclusively the 1/48 Tomcat. Maybe next weekend?


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Looking great! I remember building the Monogram A kit wayyyyy back in the early to mid 1980's, and the kit markings were this scheme. Memories!


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On 3/25/2021 at 5:28 PM, Spectre711 said:

Looking real sharp Thadeus!

Thanks Spectre!

On 3/25/2021 at 8:38 PM, janman said:

Always thumbs up for hi-viz Tomcats! 

Thanks Janman! Early Tomcats look very flashy. Yet I find they are way easier to depict than drab TPS painted ones. Especially if You want to make them interesting.

On 3/26/2021 at 9:39 AM, MA Cooke said:

Looking great! I remember building the Monogram A kit wayyyyy back in the early to mid 1980's, and the kit markings were this scheme. Memories!


Thanks MA Cooke! It does seem like this scheme is often a boxart one. I seem to remember Matchbox having it too. For me it was a scheme that suddenly grew on me.


I've had minor succes last night - managed to put the oil wash on. I don't usually do oils. Frankly I'm using some watercolors. They don't settle in panel lines that good, require to add some dishwashing fluid to help with water surface tension, but is extremely easy and quick to apply, dry and wipe. With oils I'm still not getting what I want. I can't seem to wipe them off entirelly. That is most visible on the underside. I decided to leave it as is, since that area could get a bit more dirty than the rest of the airframe. It's just not the effect I was going for.




I had a lot of problems wiping wash on the nose underside too.




And the wing sweep marks did pose some trouble. I'm going to redo the right wing. The left one was what I was going for.




So after I fix the right wing sweep marks (not that I'll be displaying it with wings forward) I'll have to put on a final coat. I'm thinking semi gloss. As the gloss is very.... umm... glossy.


Just have to get me some gunze or tamiya semi gloss.


Thanks for stopping by!





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