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Tomcat; Tamiya or Trumpeter?


LSP_K2
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At some point in the not too distant future, I'd like to build an F-14A Tomcat, probably in the markings of VF-41. I had a Tamiya kit at one time, and seem to recall that it was pretty decent, but I've never seen the Trumpeter kit details. There is one Trumpeter F-14A review in our database, but it's completely useless, so which is considered to be:

 

1. Best detailed

2. Most accurate

 

Thanks a bunch,

 

Hi Kevin, many years ago I have matched Tamiya forward fuselage with a 1/48 scale drawing (magnified to 150%) and they didn't not collimate hand hand that the lower profile approached the pitot

 

zlvryg.jpg

 

maybe it was a drawing issue (I can't remember where I found that draiwng, IIRC it came from airwar.ru website or some modeling magazine), probably Danny Coremans (Daco) drawing are more correct but anyway I've noticed that the front section was too rounded where it had to be more "pear-shaped".

I do not know if the Trumpeter forward fuselage has the same front/side profiles... surely it has wrong shaped intakes.

HTH

regards

Edited by Luca
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Hi Kev, Ive built both the Tamiya and Revell Kit with a Trumpeter offering in the stash . 

 

Revell was basic to say the least but still built into a good rendition of the beast 

 

Tamiya is unusual as iy has recessed panel lines on the front section and raised on the rear. As far as I can remember the Black Knights boxing was the latest and best . It builds into a nice impressive model 

 

DSC_0012.jpg

 

 

 

DSC_0015.jpg

 

DSC_0017.jpg

 

DSC_0013.jpg

 

The Trumpeter offering certainly offers more parts and options for the money but the accuracy issues are akin to most of the trumpeter kits, that said if you can look past these Im sure it will look Tomcat ish! 

Edited by Phartycr0c
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Here is what I mean:

The bulge should stretch just about short of the middle line between the bleed air openings way behind the end of the climate control vents (please excuse the bad quality; it's just a quick cell phone snapshot of an analoge image but you should get what I mean):

24849388hl.jpg

 

While Revell my not be perfect, they got that just about right. Tamiya is somewhat too long but with some filling and sanding and proper scratchwork you can correct that. Trumpeters bulge is just too short, too flat and too narrow. The only  way I see to correct that is gradually building it up with some putty or the like?!

24849389pq.jpg

 

Don't get me wrong. Trumpeter is a nice kit but for that amount of money I don't want to spend eons scratching my head about necessary corrections and just about the same amount of money I spent for the kit once again for extra resin and still have a lot of work to do.

 

Hello Sir, finally I think I managed to figure out where the 'bulge-neck' problem lies... and unfortunately that neck is one of the most beautiful features of the Tomcat (especially if it is seen from behind)

As you own the 3 Tomcat kits (Trumpy, Revell and Tamiya) would there be the possibility that you compile a "teak-list" of all the Trumpeter kit issues (and possible solutions) to be pinned here by admins?

 

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/?type=Tweak%20List

 

It would be helpful for many of us ('cat lovers)... even if the problems are many but at least know where they are located. Many thanks.

and of course I can not but agree with you, both Tamiya and Trumpeter kit need a lot of work... I think the Phantoms and the Tomcats are by far the most difficult airplanes to build (regardless of the starting kit), just as a matter of forms and volumes.

cheers

Edited by Luca
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I'm hardly in a position to boast of myself as the absolute expert and in that respect a huge thank you for the flattering but way too undeserved compliment.

However, if it is really desired I can try to compile something as soon as I have some baggage off my back. I hope to be back home over X-mas and will hopefully have some time by then.

I am currently working on a 1/32 Tamiya Tomcat trying to turn it into a hopefully halfway accurate interpretation of a late-nineties F-14D.

27373070jc.jpg

27373072pm.jpg
 

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Well I'm hardly in a position to boast of myself as the absolute expert

 

if you were able to find that particular of the neck it means that you are  :)

 

However, if it is really desired I can try to compile something as soon as I have some baggage off my back

 

absolutely, please  :bow:  it is a duty to we all lovers of the big cat.

 

27373072pm.jpg

 

 

:speak_cool:

 

Edited by Luca
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It would be helpful for many of us ('cat lovers)... even if the problems are many but at least know where they are located. Many thanks.

and of course I can not but agree with you, both Tamiya and Trumpeter kit need a lot of work... I think the Phantoms and the Tomcats are by far the most difficult airplanes to build (regardless of the starting kit), just as a matter of forms and volumes.

cheers

 

Didn't Thierry already do a Tomcat tweak list?

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Somebody must have done a list as I saved it:

 

edit - I am thinking I compiled notes from a couple different folks - possibly even Zactoman's thread on ARC?

 

Exterior

•The intakes have a number of issues including non-parallel sides, strange angles, thick intake lips, and the intake ramps look better if the parts are swapped to the opposite side from what Trumpeter tells you. Fortunately, Zactoman is working on replacement intakes that should fix the issues.
•The upper and lower airbrake parts are provided as separate pieces, but they only intend for the upper airbrake to be open and only include an actuator for it. If you want to also open the lower airbrake, you'll need to make your own actuators.
•The bulge on the front of the forward Phoenix missile pallet seems way too shallow.
•The AOA probe on the left side of the nose is too thick and stubby.
•If you do the refueling probe in the extended position, the light and actuator are missing and the well for the probe is just a featureless box.

Landing Gear

•The landing light is missing from the nose gear. The Trumpeter leg has the base of the light with a pin in the center which looks designed to have the actual light attached to it, but there is no part in the kit to attach, nor is one mentioned.
•Again on the nose leg, the approach light box is just a featureless box. You'll need to drill out the three lights yourself.

Cockpit

•The rudder pedals are missing.
•The throttle molded as part of the tub is pretty poor. You get two throttle tracks, but only one throttle, which is just a featureless blob sticking up from the inboard track. Steel Beach makes a set which includes the missing rudder pedals and throttles.
•The LANTIRN control handle in the rear cockpit is somewhat puny.
•The proportions of some of the big displays on the instrument panels and some of the panels are off. For example, the panels on either side of the lower center display of the pilot's IP on the B kit (i.e. right above where the pilot's legs go) are shown as being nearly the same size as the center display. In reality, they are noticeably shorter than the display. OTOH, it looks like Trumpeter got the basic instruments in the correct place and generally portrayed the differences between the instrument panels in the different models correctly.
•The front glare shield isn't wide enough to go to the inside edges of the windscreen, leaving a visible gap that can be seen through the glass.
•The Sensor Slaving Panel is missing from the top of the RIO's glare shield in the –D kit. This is available in the Steel Beach update set.

Stores

•The D kit comes with an A-A loadout (2xAIM-9, 2xAIM-7,6x AIM-54, 2xAIM-120), plus a couple of LGTR (Laser Guided Training Rounds) and a LANTRIN pod. The B kit drops the AIM-120, but adds 2x TERs, MERs (not used), 6x GBU-38, 6x GBU-12, 6x ADM-141 TALD, 6x GBU-22, 2x GBU-27 w/ BLU-109 warhead, 2x GBU-31 w/ Mk. 84 warhead, and 2x GBU-31 w/ BLU-109 warhead.
•The following should not be used: AIM-120 (other than for testing, they were never used), GBU-27 (used only on the USAF F-117 – the F-14 used normal GBU-24s), GBU-22 (not used by the US). Also, the information that I have indicates that GBU-38 was only carried by some F-14Ds on their last cruise in 2006.
•None of the bombs have the rough thermal coating used on USN bombs.
•The instructions show the TERs loaded with three GBU-12, GBU-22, or TALDs and being loaded in this configuration either under the wing glove pylon on the Phoenix pallets. From what I've seen, the TERs are only used on the Phoenix pallets, and only to carry small blue practice bombs, LGTRs, and a TALD (only one under the center TER position). GBUs and Mk 80 series bombs are carried singly attached to the bomb racks. Haven't seen droppable ordnance attached under the wing glove pylons.
•The instructions in the B kit don't tell you how to actually attach any bombs or the TERs to the Phoenix pallets. As they come in the kit, the Phoenix pallets only have tabs to match slots in the AIM-54s. Fortunately, the kit includes the ADU-703 adapter/BRU-32 racks in the box as unused parts on the W sprue. Unfortunately, you only get enough parts to make two, and you'll need to open up the flashed over holes in the Phoenix pylons to attach the racks. The adapters and racks aren't quite right in that they just stick onto the surface of the pallets when in reality there should be a cutout in the pallet that the adapter goes into, but Tamiya did the same stick-on thing.
•The AIM-54s have raised rings around the body that should be removed.
•The LANTIRN pod is molded upside down. When the holes on “top†of the pod body mate with pins in the adapter pylon, the rear air scoop is on the wrong side as well as the angled part being inverted. The easy fix is to rotate the pod body 180 degrees, however you'll have to relocate the small round vent on the rear of the pod as it's now on the top instead of on the bottom as it should be (it was in the right place when the pod was upside down).
•The AIM-7s don't look quite right to me. The mid-body fins seem a bit too far forward, plus don't seem big enough in relation to the rear fins.

F-14A kit

•As expected, the A kit shares a majority of parts with the other kits, the main difference from the B kit being the replacement of the engine sprues, cockpit changes, addition of the wing glove vanes and deletion of all of the A-G ordnance.
•As boxed, the kit represents the F-14A early to mid life when they were air-to-air only. The only ordnance is Sidewinders, Sparrows, and Phoenix. The ECM blister is deleted from the nose gear door, the upper fuselage is modified to delete the ECM blisters on the side of the intake in front of the wing glove, and the ECM blister is deleted from the beavertail. Only the earlier gill type gun gas vent panels are included. The kit has the pre-TCS undernose fairing, although the TCS fairing is still included for one of the decal options. You also get the original round TID. 
•Check your references for the specific aircraft you are doing, as there are still some later features like the radome pitot tube, stiffeners on top of the tail fins, and the raised panel around the RIO step as these are common parts with the other kits.
•There are some unused holdovers from the B kit still in the box like the square PTID and some other B cockpit parts, the BOL rails, the two ECM blisters for under the wing glove, the bomb racks, and the LANTRIN pylon, but you are still missing a couple of late parts from the other kits.
•Instruction Step 11 shows part S2 for the closed nosewheel doors. The correct part is L8 (there is no S sprue in this boxing)
•Although you get both open and closed P&W exhaust nozzles with good detail on the outside, they are completely smooth and devoid of any detail on the inside surface. Hopefully someone like Aires will come out with new exhausts like they did for the GE exhausts.
 
 
Glaring errors (IMHO):
1. Intakes - Totally hosed. I'm working on it...
 
1a. - Fuel tank location. Trump has the fuel tanks way too far forward. They stick out about 1/4" in front of the intake where they should be close to flush. My correction will fix this...
 
2. Phoenix pallets - I've only glanced at them but the big problem is the area in front of the forward missile. Trumpeter has the ridge (from the front point of the pallet to the point of the missile) almost straight. It needs to have a compound curved profile when viewed from the side. The other problem area is the curve between the missile nosecone and the pallet. The curve should match the contour of the missile nosecone but Trump has a sharper curve resulting in a gap between the two. The pallets could be re-worked by an experienced modeler or you could wait for an eventual aftermarket replacement.
 

Not so glaring errors (again, IMHO):
1. Canopy - Trumpeter did a better job than Tamiya here, especially on the overall clarity of the clear part, but there are a few problems. 
As mentioned, the rear edge of the canopy is at the wrong angle. This could be fixed by cutting a wedge from the canopy and integrating it into the fuselage. The rear frame (where it meets the glass) will need to be changed to match this new angle.
On the windscreen Trump got the center pane closer to correct than Tamiya. They also have a nice sharp transition between the center and side panes where Tamiya is very soft. As mentioned, the side panes do not have enough curve where they meet the fuselage but there is no good way to fix this. Also the front of the side frames extend too far forward and come to too much of a point. This can be fixed by adding a little material over the glass portion at the front of the side panes, being sure to get the correct angle and radii in the corners.
 
2. Forward fuselage/nosecone shape - Tamiya is much closer here, especially near the radome. Trump put much more emphasis on having the lower corners of the fwd-fus making it look 'bottom-heavy'. Yes, it should be sharper/heavier towards the rear of the fwd-fus but it should transition into a much rounder shape towards the front. If you look closely at real pics of the radome you will see that it is almost round where Trump has it very wide towards the bottom edge and not at all round.
One of the results of this is that the cannon muzzle (and other details) are located too low...
As mentioned, the steps are too square. Some of the other panels are off in shape and location. Just the fact that all the panels are separate pieces (that don't fit well) is a turn off too me. I'd have preferred that they either had it all closed up or included a separate, closed fuselage half in the kit.
I'm calling the fwd-fus issues 'not as glaring' because there's not much you could do other than replace the entire forward fuselage, and it isn't as noticeable as the other 'glaring' issues. The nose can be left as-is and it still builds up into a nice model.
 
3. Other shapes - Neither Trump or Tamiya got all the shapes right but overall Tamiya has some better lines. Other areas of the Trump kit that caught my eye include the engine trunking behind the intakes (I made mine to fit the kit.). Trump has the trunking too full and round and Tamiya has it too elliptical. It should be somewhere in between.
The outer fuselage edges from the main gear doors and back - Trump has a constant shape with a sharp radius on the lower edge. This edge should vary from sharp towards the front to soft at the rear gear doors to sharp again towards the rear. This can probably be filed and sanded to be more accurate.
The rear parts that the exhausts mount to - Trump is a little heavy and sharper on the corners. The shapes/transition between bare metal and painted areas need some rework.
The raised step on top of the fuselage between the outer intake edge and fixed delta wing part/lex. Trump made this step shallower than Tamiya. Tamiya looks a little better here.
Edited by petrov27
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2. Forward fuselage/nosecone shape - Tamiya is much closer here, especially near the radome. Trump put much more emphasis on having the lower corners of the fwd-fus making it look 'bottom-heavy'. Yes, it should be sharper/heavier towards the rear of the fwd-fus but it should transition into a much rounder shape towards the front. If you look closely at real pics of the radome you will see that it is almost round where Trump has it very wide towards the bottom edge and not at all round.

One of the results of this is that the cannon muzzle (and other details) are located too low...

 

Tamiya forward fuselage is too circular in cross-section IMHO but it has correctly shaped (rectangular) pedalboards... the Trumpy fwd fuselage has a more correct side profile (as heights) but wrong panels' shapes/sizes and pedalboards (too squared and depthless)

Edited by Luca
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