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F-14B Tomcat 'VF-102 Diamondbacks' - corrected Revell kit


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Some of you may already have seen my efforts to correct the nose section of ye olde Revell F-14A in the Revell F-14 thread: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=68783&hl=%2Brevell+%2Btomcat&do=findComment&comment=927705

 

I've been asked to open a separate thread for my build and as I am continuously fiddling around with the kit, I thought this might be a good opportunity to do so right now. The initial plan was to build an early F-14A, but I changed my mind. It'll be a F-14B as flown by VF-102 during OEF. This requires more modifications than initially planned.

 

I have re-uploaded all the pics initially posted in the posted in the other thread, so you may already know the first photos. The old thread must be one of the most comprehensive discussions about the issues of the Revell kit - please check it for any further information about the modifications made.

 

This is how the nose looks "from the box". Not too bad, but not right in my opinion.

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Using a Tamiya windshield instead of the Revell part, the nose looks much better already. 

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Note how much longer the Revell nose is in front of the windshield compared with the Tamiya kit.img_230757s2t.jpg

 

The nose section is too bottom heavy in my opinion. I decided to cast a copy of the Tamiya radome to have a good reference point for the nose job.

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Length comparison between the Revell (left) and the (recast) Tamiya radome. Both are identical in length.

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Note the cross section difference between the Tamiya radome and the Revell fuselage.

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A triangular cut behind the radome enabled me to squeeze the fuselage into shape; the goal was a more rounded and less wide lower fuselage behind the radome.

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New radome in place. There are a few steps to be dealt with. I have filled the nose with Magic Sculp to ensure I don't sand through the plastic.

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More Magic Sculp added on the outside.

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After some sanding. Looks much better already!

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This pic shows why I wasn't happy with the look at this point. The radome is pointing too much towards top and the nose is simply too long between windscreen and radome.

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Out comes the saw again. I removed some 2,5mm and glued the radome back into place pointing more towards bottom.

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Once I was happy with the look of the nose, I started rescribing it.

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I decided to add fastener detail to the entire airframe. There are MANY fasteners on a Tomcat fuselage but it definitely improves the overall look of the model.

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Note the much more elegant look of the nose after modification.

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HAD models PE parts added. A thin coat of primer was applied to get an idea of the overall appearance of the nose section.

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The nose still appears a bit too bottom heavy, but I did not want to destroy all the surface detail by sanding it away. This is as close as I can come to a 'Tomcat-ish' looking nose with what I consider an acceptable amount of work.

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The vents on the fuselage top are absolutely unacceptable in my opinion; as the HAD PE parts don't fit at all, I decided to design a set of replacement louvers. The new louvers were 3D printed. They are available in my Shapeways shop if anybody is interested.

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I knew from the beginning that I was not going to use the Revell nozzles which are underdetailed and much too big in diameter. At this point, I decided to build a F-14B instead of and early F-14A as I had the lovely Aires F-110 conversion kit in stock. I cut away the fuselage behind the feathers (where the engines become visible in front of the nozzles). An additional wedge shaped cut was necessary to squeeze the rear fuselage into shape.

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The cockpit layout is slightly different between Alpha and Bravo Tomcats. One of those differences is the replacement of the RIO radar screen with a TID (Tactical Information Display) screen. As I am not using a resin cockpit on this build, I decided to CAD design new instrument panels and the TID. Here is an example of how my 3D printed parts look.

 

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Next step was to cut the main gear wells to enlarge them. I won't go too far detailing them, but I wanted them to have the correct shape at least.

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Another easy but sensible modification is replacing the fuselage position lights with clear parts. I cut out the entire panel and replaced them with clear plastic cut from the Revell canopy. I will simply mask the lights before painting the fuselage.

img_3292t8str.jpg

 

img_32930gsg3.jpg

Edited by Starfighter
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very nice work! wouldn´t it be possible to cast the corrected nose up to the windshied?

 

That would be a very big part requiring a lot of silicone and resin - and I don't think I can cast good copies with the technical possibilities I have. The radome I have made has loads of trapped air bubbles... my resin could be a tad too old, though. 

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Simply amazing work Ben and, you make it all seem so easy. I am in awe of your awesomeness, you are the master !!

 

For the "Bombcat" pit, don't forget the RIO's side stick controller, located on the left hand side console, that controls the LANTIRN pod.

 

Eagerly awaiting the next update.

 

Steve

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The 3D printed parts look very good.  What material did you print them in?  Another question; to ensure no "stepping" on the 3D printed control panels, wouldn't it be better to align them flat instead of at an angle?

 

Jens

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Thank you all! Steve, the LANTIRN control stick will be added of course. I need to check how I need to modify the console first as I initially planned to build an early F-14A.

 

Jens, the parts were printed with photosensitive grey resin on a Formlabs Form2 printer and a layer thickness of 0,025mm. Parts should never be printed flat but an an angle to obtain sharp edges. Steps being eliminated by flat laying parts is a myth! ;) 

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Cheers everybody! The main gear wells have been enlarged and the fuselage was closed. Lots of sanding ahead.

 

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Here's a glimpse at the RIO IP with some of my 3D printed panels and the TID in place. I have also made the analogue instruments but still have to glue them into place.

 

4da4c185-2a0f-47bc-a0gpj46.jpg

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