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Tamiya F-14A Tomcat, VF-211, No update, just responding to q's

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Hello one and all,

If I may, I'd like to share a little progress on my current project. I recognise a number of names from other forums so to you guys, apologies for posting this stuff since I guess you've seen it before. For those members who like to stay within the comfortable walls of LSP, I hope there are one or two things that you might find interesting along the way.

Typically, my builds are long drawn out affairs so I hope you have some stamina and a fair amount of patience. I like to try to squeeze every last ounce of value out of these big kits so I often spend some time tweeking bits here and there.

I would describe myself as more of an enthusiast rather than an expert so if you have anything to share please feel free to add any and all comments or techniques. I'd rather someone point issues out or offer alternative ways of doing something than let me go off in the wrong direction blissfully unaware of easier/better ways of doing stuff.

I'm a little way into the build already so these early posts will come thick and fast. Once we've caught up to date, expect things to slow to a more glacial pace.



p1. Jet exhausts.

      Beaver tail mods.


      Forward fuselage mods.

      Ventral fins.

      Fuselage underside and Sparrow missile troughs.

      Scratch built air con vents.

      Intake trunking.

      Vertical tails.

      Scratch built upper fuselage vents.


p2. Wing joint mods.

      Wing leading edge mod.

      Engine fairing tweeks.

      Main wheel bay alterations.

      Windscreen, IP and (Aires) cockpit.

      Seats (start)


p3. Seats (finished)


      Missile rail.

      LANTIRN pod and pylon.

      Fuel tanks.

      Boarding ladder recess.

      Canopy locking hooks.

      Nose wheel bay. (start)

      Front gear leg.

      Tail hook.


p4. Wheeliant wheels main wheels.

      Nose wheel bay (finished)


p5. Nose section paint, sunglasses and decals.


p7. Auxilliary bypass vents (start)


p8. Aux bypass vents (cont).

      Quickboost resin intake plugs.

      Horizontal tails.


p9. Main wings.



     On to the build then and like many modellers, I'll deviate from the instructions when it suits me. Whereas Tamiya suggest the builder start with the cockpit and front wheel bay area (more of that at a later date), I turned my attention to the blunt end first.
For me, there are three main areas of interest on a modern jet fighter. These are, in no particular order, the cockpit, the landing gear and the jet pipes/nozzles. Each of these three areas are prominent and eye-catching for different reasons.
So, I started dabbling with the jet pipes to begin the build. *NB* A company called PitzModels is developing an etched metal exhaust nozzle which is likely to render the folowing redundant
The Black Knights boxing of the Tamiya kit offers better shaped exhaust petals than original releases.


Much better than before, that does n't mean we can't tweek them a little to try to get the best from them. wink.gif
I scored some elongated dimples at the tip of each petal and added several rows of rivets.


I then thinned the petals and cut them apart after I'd hollowed out the rear of the slot that runs down the centre of each petal.

tn_Jet_exhaust_nozzles_010a.jpg tn_Jet_exhaust_nozzles_015a.jpg

I filled the void with inner petals shaped out of metal foil and then painted the finished assembly with MetalColor from GS

tn_Jet_exhaust_nozzles_025a.jpg tn_Jet_exhaust_nozzles_039.jpg

Edited by geedubelyer

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Hi Barry, many thanks. Glad you like it so far. smile.gif

The burner cans of the Tomcat -A variant often show a distinctive soot pattern.
To replicate this effect I sprayed the halves with gloss Ivory (Humbrol #41 I think) which gave a good hard base to work on.
i then built up soot using acrylics before removing some with thinner. The final stage was to re-apply some sooty streaks along the length of each tube.


I also chose to replace the afterburner flame holder rings with scratch-built versions using wire which appear more delicate.


A lick of paint on the assembly and it can be fitted deep in the depths of the afterburner tube, never to be seen again probably..... :rolleyes:

tn_Afterburner_rings_and_jet_pipes_009.j tn_Afterburner_rings_and_jet_pipes_015.j



Edited by geedubelyer

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Fiddling about with the jet pipes brought to light a little issue to do with the way they sit at the rear of the trunking.
On the full sized jet, the engines are mounted inside the nacelles which are basically large tubes. The tubes fit neatly around the rear of the engine but on the kit, Tamiya leave a triangle of plastic to deal with.



The "beaver tail" of the full sized machine is attached much further forward too. This necessitated a quick cut or two.....


but it did result in a better shaped rear.... blink.gif (I've been watching too much "Nip-Tuck")


More soon....... :ninja:

Edited by geedubelyer

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That is a great result on the tailpipe looks real.



Excellent work with the jet pipe! Looks very good!



Hello Johan and Hakan, thank you both for your comments. I'm pleased that you like how the tailpipes turned out. I was satisfied with the end result but since I built these, some metal versions are in development. If they turn out as good as they promise, I may dispense with these modified kit items and get the metal sets instead.
In a way I am luckier than many in that I only build one model every couple of years rather than many models in a single year. This allows me to justify spending healthy sums on aftermarket parts where they are available. In fact, I already have the beautiful Aires resin cockpit set for this model which I'm looking forward to for a future date.

For this update, let me show you some modifications to the nose area of the jet.
First up, the lens of the TCS.


A list of items that were attended to on the left hand side of the forward fuselage.


I returned to the rear of the airframe at this point with a view to trying to assemble the aft structure but discovered plenty to keep me occupied before I could join any large parts together.


Some folk opt to re-scribe every panel line but I choose to be more selective and only scribe and rivet the most prominent lines.
I'm using the Eduard photo-etch wherever possible and replaced the kit flare dispensers with the etched metal versions


They looked a bit odd on their own so I drilled some holes into plastic squares to give more depth..
As I was underneath the tail I discovered a couple of vents that could be modified.


along with the ventral fins.



Edited by geedubelyer

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The modeller can spend quite some time adding panel lines to the underside as this is one area where Tamiya left out alot of prominent detail. As I was filling and sanding an inset square panel (why was it molded like that?) I looked at the holes in the missile tunnels. They looked nothing like the real item and although they will probably never be seen with the aircraft on its' wheels, I chose to enhance them anyway.




One thing leads to another and the next thing I knew, I was drilling out the wire vents beneath the intake trunking to scratch build new fans.....






The next task delayed the build substantially. It is well known to many that the intake trunking on this Tamiya F-14 is woeful but I was unsure as to how to progress. I knew I had to improve on this...




so after much help and inspiration by other modellers I used a tube of metal foil around a scratch built turbine blade to arrive at this







The raised line is less evident in natural light and since the actual intake has a raised detail here I decided enough was enough. They might not be absolutely perfect but they are an improvement on the first picture are n't they? unsure.gif
The upper portion is n't attached to anything yet as I will need to construct the by-pass door internals before I can finish this area. I can only do that when I attach the intake trunking which is yet to do. Incidentally, for anyone who might be making one of these or who is considering making one, here's a little tip. If you have n't spotted it already, the inner wall of each intake mouth is thinner than the outer wall. Check your references and you'll see what I mean. Not the end of the world if you don't fix it but a neat touch if you do....




Back with more soon........



Edited by geedubelyer

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I like your approach to the panel lines. I think when it comes to modern jets we have a tendency to over “emphasis” them.

Most panels on modern jets are fit to a close tolerance unless they are a panel that gets removed often for normal maintenance

or is in a high heat area and it needs room to “grow”.


Inspiring Work!! Keep it up.



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Hi Barry, Hakan and Jose, thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate the encouragement.


I like your approach to the panel lines. I think when it comes to modern jets we have a tendency to over �emphasis� them.
Most panels on modern jets are fit to a close tolerance unless they are a panel that gets removed often for normal maintenance
or is in a high heat area and it needs room to �grow�.


Thanks Barry, I agree with you on the panel lines and surface detail.
It comes down to a personal choice of course. Some guys prefer the "artistic" approach of enhanced panel lines and very visible rivet detail with pre-shading, post-shading and panel line washes all thrown in. Others choose a more measured approach, aiming at a more "naturalistic" look. I think that you'll agree, neither is right or wrong, just alternatives and personal choices. As long as the individual is happy with his or her results then that is the main thing.
I guess the same can be said about extra detail. Some modellers add every minute detail possible whereas others are happy to build straight from the box. I wish I was in the second category,.........it would save me a ton of work blush.gif

Here is a little more progress on the Tomcat.
The vertical tails benefit from a certain amount of TL&C.







There are aftermarket fin tip strengtheners available from CrossDelta and Wolfpack but these were made from metal foil.
The horizontal tail surfaces had these minor mods...




and the fairing beneath the beaver tail was extended a little....


Edited by geedubelyer

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On the upper surface of the fuselage there are a pair of grilles to vent gases which are molded in relief on the Tamiya kit. The trouble is, they are quite noticable so a quick wash of black might not be enough in this scale.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to model the internals as well as the thin metal vanes.




A secondary benefit of removing the molded on detail was the ability to position the vanes at a slight angle often seen on the full sized airframe.




I created a box section on the underside of the vent and added some internal detail.....



The end result...




More soon, thanks for stopping by......... :piliot:

Edited by geedubelyer

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