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Another 1/48 Tamiya F-14A

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Hi all, I’ve been reading these forums off and on for several years, but this is my first post. It’s also my first kit I’ve built in probably a decade. I've learned much following other projects on here, so please, I'm always open to tips and suggestions. My usual modeling is in HO scale but I wanted to build a fighter (and a battleship, but that’s a whole other project) and try out some new things. Off to the local hobby shop and I found a Tamiya Tomcat. Perfect. 


After watching a few other build on that video site, I tried to find a Red Fox set of 3d cockpit decals. No luck. No Quinta sets either, or at least none that were convenient to ship. So I purchased a set of Eduard Space decals and a Reskit exhaust kit. I’m still debating acquiring a set of resin weighted wheels or not. 


I also wanted to try out some new paint and weathering products I’ve seen around. I stocked up on various AK, Vallejo, and AMMO panel liners, washes, and other weathering supplies to try out. For the final paint job I’m also trying out Vallejo paint instead of my usual Tamiya.


First was sanding down the molded cockpit details then priming and painting. Unfortunately I painted before the package with my aftermarket pieces arrived, and wouldn’t you know it, the grays were different shades. Lesson learned, check before you paint, and, maybe more importantly, have a plan.


I painted all the lighter decal grey the same sky grey used on the tub with the exception of the instrument and circuit breaker panels. The only other major snag was the RIO’s joystick went flying off into the carpet after a tweezer accident, and I still haven’t located it. 




I wanted to try and wear the paint off the floor near the rudder pedals and have the primer showing through. As I’d already painted the tub, I sponged on a mix of sky grey and flat yellow (my new paints also hadn’t shown up; what can I say, I was impatient to start), added some drybrushed aluminum and various Tamiya panel liners to taste. I’m happy how it turned out.




The front wheel well was assembled, painted, and also weathered, this time with Tamiya panel liners and Vallejo Engine Oil Grim and Oil Stains, dabbed on with a stiff brush. It came out close enough to a reference photo. Everything was glued into the forward fuselage and then I joined the halves.




Fuselage assembly went pretty straightforward. I’m not fully happy with the paint job on the intakes. I couldn’t get the gloss white to spray well, so I sanded it off and sprayed flat white instead. There’s just enough of a seam line that I couldn’t bridge even with Tamiya cement and more paint. Really it just made a runny mess. Luckily once everything was in the fuselage, you can’t really see it.




The turbine faces were sprayed white to start. I masked the nosecone and sprayed flat black, then drybrushed the turbine blades with Model Master Aluminum.




Main gear bays were sprayed flat white and assembled, intakes were installed, and the fuselage halves were carefully glued together. 






When everything had cured overnight, I glue the cockpit fuselage and rear fuselage pieces together, making sure everything was straight. No seam lines, but maybe a bit of excess glue to clean up.




Only major problem was I forgot to drill the holes in the lower piece for the weapon payload before I glued it in place. Luckily I can just make out the starter holes, so it’s not the end of the world. Going to need a little filler around the lower panel.




I plan on working on the Reskit exhaust next. First major foray into resin, so it'll be an experience I'm sure. 

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Thanks everyone for the kind words. I had a big update written out but keep getting "internal Server Error" every time I went to post. I'll keep working at it, but right now the F-14 is just waiting on primer and I'm about halfway through assembling the landing gear. Got slightly distracted by my other project: USS Missouri with a Pontos detail kit. 

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