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1/48 Tamiya F-14A Tomcat - "Rage 207"

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Now that I've finally got the Dauntless behind me, I can move on to other projects!

 

I'm planning to split bench time among three interesting subjects - a 1/35 Takom Type 69-II, a 1/48 Hasegawa AH-64E doing duty as an AH-64D Block II with the 12th CAB in Central Europe, and Tamiya's new Tomcat. 

 

All the new Tamiyacats I've seen built so far have been rather clean and straightforward. Mine will...not be that.

 

I've zeroed in on a rather worn example from VF-24 - NG 207 - as photographed in 1987. 

 

F-14A_VF-24_right_side_view_with_AIM-7s_

 

F-14A_VF-24_Sparrows_and_Sidewinders_2-X

 

Lots of interesting things going on in these pics. Obviously the wear and staining and touch-ups rampant across the entire airframe. But also the BARCAP loadout - five AIM-7s and two AIM-9s. And also the presence of the TCS pod. This particular F-14A is a Block 105 - the only addition needed to the Tamiya kit to bring it up to snuff are tail stiffeners (currently on their way). The TCS pod was not made standard until I believe Block 110 or 115, so this is a retrofit. I've got the Steel Beach TCS pod ready to go there. 

 

I'll also be using some Quickboost seats and (probably) some aftermarket missiles. I've got a set of Wolfpack fuel tanks that may get the nod as well - but I haven't really gotten deep enough in the kit yet to know if they're justified. 

 

The last bit of aftermarket I'm hoping to use doesn't exist yet - wheels. The kit ones just look all off to me. Rather bulbous and more rounded than the real thing where the sidewalls curve into the contact patch. Note the trapezoidal mounting hole - it'll make adapting any existing resin a chore - but I'm betting that we'll be getting dedicated tires by the end of the year so I'm not too worried. 

 

IMG_20161016_162551-X3.jpg

 

Haven't progressed very far yet - just installed the swing spars and did a quick test fit while the kids were playing this morning. So far, so glorious. Everything just lines up and fits with the usual Tamiya authority.

 

IMG_20161016_111000-X3.jpg

 

IMG_20161016_111026-X3.jpg

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Nice one Matt. I'll follow along on this one. My kit arrived the other day and I'm quite impressed with it, no droopy things on the wing leading/trailing edges is a bonus for me. I'm quite taken with the Iranian scheme though I must admit. But lots of schemes to choose from, space for only one Tomcat. Going to be a dilemma when it comes time to build mine.

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Oh my. Looking forward to watching this one...

 

I have to ask of course if wheel's up is an option, I've downloaded the instructions to have a look and it seems do-able.

 

Will be more interested if I'm honest in how you go about weathering it, as like you've said, most builds we've seen so far look like die cast models...

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Matt,

 

According to Darren Roberts, Royale Resin makes the wheels you are looking for. I too am along for the ride and very much looking forward to seeing your updates.

 

Steve

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Had a look at the RR wheels and the hubs don't appear to be drilled out. Still an option, but the weird trapezoid shape Tamiya is using, all else being equal I'd rather buy resin already cast to fit. Given Tamiya's popularity I'd be shocked if we didn't have anything by the end of the year...

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Looking forward to this one! What is the purpose of a trapezoidal mount on the wheel?  It does not appear to be weighted.

 

I'm assuming better location and stability? And yeah - the tires aren't weighted at all. Rather weak since the F-14's wheels definitely show that they're supporting a rather heavy fighter. 

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Guest Peterpools

Following with great interest and waiting for the AM guys to do their stuff before taking the plunge

Peter

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This is a nice kit and for those that want AM there are great possibilities. I like how Tamiya made separate side consoles so instead of a complete resin PIT, Eduard could do a brass in set with just the needed inserts to do latter versions of the plane or just more detailed resin bits. Of course others can follow the same course but I may build one of these eventually and look foreword to this build.

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This is a nice kit and for those that want AM there are great possibilities. I like how Tamiya made separate side consoles so instead of a complete resin PIT, Eduard could do a brass in set with just the needed inserts to do latter versions of the plane or just more detailed resin bits. Of course others can follow the same course but I may build one of these eventually and look foreword to this build.

 

I'd love to see that - the way that Tamiya's engineered the cockpit and nose bay to work together, swapping out for resin could be a real pain. Resin sidewalls and consoles and some awesome IPs would be appreciated for sure.

 

BUT...Academy took a similar approach with its F-4s, and so far no one appears to have jumped on that approach. 

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Finally getting the Tomcat moving! Last night was a slog of gathering cockpit parts and getting things primed up. 

 

IMG_20161029_012510-X3.jpg

 

The other day, a prominent modeler went on something of a rant after someone was ragging him for painting parts on the sprues. Generally, I'm not a fan of the practice, but this is a case where Tamiya demonstrates why they so often embarrass other manufacturers (looking at you, Kitty Hawk). With very few exceptions, the sprue tabs in the cockpit and gear bay attach to points that will not be seen after assembly. It's a little thing, but I love it. It makes cleanup faster, and it leaves a convenient way to hold some of the parts that would otherwise require tweezers and coming back for touch ups. 

 

Something else Tamiya's done with this approach - they've made things VERY easy for the aftermarket providers. The way they've engineered the cockpit and gear bay makes full replacement a nightmare to comprehend, but they've engineered things in such a way that Eduard, Aires, Wolfpack or whoever could just focus on making new consoles, instrument panels, bulkheads etc to drop into the tub. I'm not waiting around for it, but I'd love to see it - especially with the instrument panels, which IMO are the only thing that fall perhaps a bit short (tiny gauge holes).

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Matt, looks great. From the photos I've seen of these tomcats, it looks as if the detail on the side consoles is a little soft - it looks to my eye to be rounded and not anywhere near the Hasegawa kit in terms of mould quality.

 

Do I have this right or is it as good as the rest of the kit?

 

Great work by the way. I'm stoked to see your skills being applied to the state of the art.

 

Jim

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