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Right then, I've had this kit for a few years - probably 20 - and was purchased second hand. I bought my first Tamiya Tomcat when it was released back in 1981, and it cost the not insignificant sum of 460 Norwegian Kroner. That is the equivalent of around 1500 NOK today, or around £135 which is the retail price for the updated issue in the UK today. Back then, I started the kit on Christmas eve and finished it in March, in VF-84 markings that came with the kit. When I bought this kit second hand, I did it with the intention of seeing what a few decades of experience and the help of aftermarket that was not available back in 1981 would do. I have started gluing some parts together and rescribing, so it should be below the 25% ceiling...? Decals wise, I have the Zotz decals that include VF-21 and VF-111, and while I love both options, I think VF-21 gets the nod simply because I love the yellow and black colour combination and the black trim on the nose of the early VF-21 scheme. One of the issues with the kit is the way the exhaust fairings are done. They should be circular in crossection, but Tamiya simplified the shape into more of a U-shape. To correct this I sawed off sections off a cheap and started second kit I had bought from under the tables at the Milton Keynes model show a few years ago. Sections were then cut off the exhaust fairings from the lower and some part of the upper as well as creating the gaps between exhaust fairings and beaver tail as featured in Tamiya's superlative 1:48th scale kit. The other reason for buying that started kit was to use the afterburners to extend the too short kit ones, but then Aires released their superb resin ones. Still, that gave me the opportunity to play with another forward fuselage to try and make a reasonable representation with the 7-vent mid-breech panel. That will not be required for this build however. The forward fuselage has had the "armour plating" sanded off and panel lines restored. The cockpit tubs have their pouring stubs cut off and can fit to the top of the nose gear well. And that's where it's at. Hoping to be able to finish this one as an in flight model as I can't face detailing those wheel wells. At some point I will need to make the additional ECM antennas under the gloves and the beaver tail Jens
When the test shots cam out a few years back some drooled others were rivet critical and a few thought that this would be the ultimate Tomcat kit. There is no denying that as a package this model kit impresses before you open the box. A box which is so robust and protective that they even provide a carry handle built in so you can transport it like a piece of luggage. I've built several Tamiya and Revell big cats over the years and both of these had their good and bad points so I was eager to see what Trumpeter had come up with. The first thing to hit you is the packaging inside, everything seems to have its own niche with the more delicate parts such as canopy, intakes etc having their own box.
Hi! If you ever wondered how to arm your Iranian Air Force F-14 and you have run out of AIM-54s. Wonder no more! Do as the Iranians did and hang one or two Raytheon HAWKS under it =) As it happens I can provide you with those Hawks! They are available from my Shapeways shop (in 1/48 scale as well, but who cares, right?) https://www.shapeways.com/product/QZHTAHBND/hawk-mim-23b-missile-in-1-32?optionId=61879572 For those wanting to take a closer look on images of the 3D model they can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/iiyFv And if you want to read more about the story behind this there is some information here: http://theboresight.blogspot.se/2015/08/iran-satellites-and-tomcats.html (scroll down a bit) /Lars