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F-14D Tomcat

by Ingo Degenhardt


Grumman F-14D Tomcat

images by Lutz Degenhardt

Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F-14D Tomcat is available online from Squadron.com




This is Hasegawa’s F-14D, my latest model. It replaced an old F-14A I built back in the late 1980’s and I knew this model to be quite a challenge regarding its construction. Except for the decals and a little detailing it was completely build out of the box.




Fortunately I had David W. Aungst’ excellent articles about this kit’s construction, found here at HyperScale. Although I did not use the BlackBox cockpit (I will next time) his recommendations about building and painting the Tomcat cockpit were very helpful.

The same goes for the airframe construction – following the respective article avoids quite a lot of trouble during the building of this model.



The fuselage front part with the cockpit included is not much of a problem, contrary to building the rest of the fuselage and connecting the two. I will not repeat all the useful information found in the mentioned articles – I can only recommend them.

This Tomcat carries a TACT-pod (AN/APX-95), a CATM-9 and a single ‘live’ AIM-54C Phoenix on the right glove pylon. All from Hasegawa’s Weapons Sets (B & D)

Here image Rimg 0360jpg


Painting and Markings


As most modern fleet Tomcats this F-14D has a three-tone grey camouflage of FS 16375 for the undersides, FS 16320 for the fuselage sides and vertical stabilizers and FS16237 for the upper surfaces.
Many of these aircraft have a very worn look and are covered with a multitude of spot painting, oil and who-knows-what streaks all over the plane. Not to mention the influence of sunlight and salty air to the paint scheme.

Of course once these aircraft were all-new painted “showroom pieces” and building them as such is an option, but I wanted my Turkey to have this look of intense use and all the wear and tear that comes with it.



As usual, I used the appropriate gloss paints by Xtracolor.

First I painted the undersides and tanks in FS 16375 and when dry, all the panel lines were sprayed with a thin coat of FS16320. A good amount of cloudy spot painting was also done in this color.
Next was FS16320, sprayed onto the fuselage sides and vertical stabilizers. Treated the same way with darkened FS16320 and FS16375 – panel lines and spots. There was no masking; the dividing line was sprayed free-handed.

But to apply the topside color of FS16237, the sides, undersides and vertical stabilizers were completely masked off.

This color was lightened a bit and sprayed over all the upper fuselage and wings. The wings and horizontal stabilizers were painted separately – this makes the whole procedure much more easy and the wings are simply snapped into their position during the final stages of construction. Nearly everything else was fitted before; from the complete undercarriage to the engine nozzles. It is nice to have the wings out of the way when attaching these sub-assemblies. Back to the colors:

With the FS 16237 dry, the masking was removed and the original (darker) color was used to repeat the panel line- and spot painting thing for the upper fuselage and wings. It was also used for spot painting on the two other colors.



Everything thoroughly dry, the undersides received a wash with a medium dark grey, the FS16320 areas with a slightly darkened wash-color and everything in FS16237 got it’s wash in heavily diluted flat black.
Some areas received a special treatment with the black wash – I had some pictures of a real aircraft showing for example that right in front of the natural metal parts of the engine nozzles the fuselage looks much more ‘dirty’.

The oil streaks from all the openings (study photographs) were made from that diluted flat black also. Wiping off the washes leaves the already smooth surface (gloss paint) even smoother – ideal for the next step, the decals.

I took matching Humbrol flat paints for some limited drybrushing mostly on the upper surfaces.
The weathering was completed after the flat coat (see “Decals”) with some very limited use of dark brown pastel chalk powder for the traces of oil and/or grease stains on the aircraft.



As mentioned, the only additional item for this kit were the decals. I used Yellowhammer’s YHD 48020, because I liked the lion’s head on the radome sides.

So this F-14D (Bu-No 164603) belongs to VF-213 ‘Black Lions’ as it appeared at NAS Oceana in 2001.

The Yellowhammer decals are wonderful to work with. They did an excellent job to support my efforts to apply the Lionheads onto the conical radome. They reacted very well with Superscale’s Set & Sol. As intended, it takes a while – but after some horrible-to-look-at wrinkling (normal) – very few hours later they are perfectly bonded to the fuselage, including panel lines. Working my way around the fuselage some of the decals applied the day before showed a strange tendency to loose contact to the surface at the edge of the carrier film. This was dealt with either by cutting the carrier film off or use some Superscale Set to reattach them.



With all the decals in place, the excess decal glue was removed with water and no more decals got a chance to lift their edges as a coat of Humbrol flat cote sprayed all over the model fixed them into place.
As always, before applying the flat coat, all decals were carefully checked for ‘silvering’ (not adhering carrier film – leaves a silvery shine under the flat coat, a real decal killer) I exterminated that on most of the (very few) befallen decals by piercing the decal and add a drop of Sol, but as always too, some escaped me. I treated these with carefully diluted flat paint of any matching color.

Regarding USN planes I am always torn between the beauty of a colorful hi-visibility scheme and this special attraction of a worn-out low-viz scheme like this. I like both. It is a good kind of compromise if there is any larger nose art on a low-viz aircraft – just like the angry lionhead on this one.

Yellowhammer’s 48020 contains some nice markings for an F-14B also (VF-103 ‘Jolly Rogers’) with the skull and cross bones in white.

I have no F-14B yet. But anyway there are some others first in line.





  • Lutz Degenhardt - technical support (photography)

  • David W. Aungst – articles




Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Ingo and Lutz Degenhardt
Page Created 26 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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