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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale
Grumman F-14A Tomcat

by Jeroen Veen

 

Grumman F-14A Tomcat

 


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

 

Introduction

 

Here is my F-14A Tomcat in 1/48 scale. This is the Hasegawa kit which I built sometime early in 2003.

I remember having mixed feelings about this kit. Personally I didn't find it a very easy kit to build, with all sorts of fit problems, especially around the air intakes, the wheel wells and the joint between the cockpit/nose part and the fuselage.

And I didn't make it much easier for myself, because I had bought the Aires cockpit set for this kit and I wanted to use it, of course (why else buy it?). I love the Aires update kits, they are so beautifully detailed, but sometimes instructions are not very clear on what and what not to cut away from the plastic kit, so a careful approach is the only way to get it right.

 

 

Construction

 

I decided to go step by step and see which problems would occur and solve them at that point. First thing was to paint and get the cockpit in.

 

 

Especially the paint job was a lot of fun. I had found some very nice pictures on the internet and I remember being very impressed with the Aires set, because virtually every dial, switch and button was included. I'm not a fanatic as fas as 'the last detail', but I think this time I've painted everything it the color it should have (and if not: I like the end result anyway...). After putting the Aires cockpit in the nose compartment it was time to build the fuselage. With some trial and error and especially some cutting around the back-end of the air intakes I got this part right.

Joining the nose/cockpit to te fuselage took quite some time. Although the fit is there it leaves a gap and there's no fluency between the cockpit and the fuselage. After gluing there was kind of a small 'step', so in my case it took a lot of filling and sanding to get it right. Had to do some rescribing of panel lines of course.... Anyway, after that had been taken care of the rest of the kit came straight out of the box and I didn't encounter a lot of problems anymore.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

When all was fine in my eyes I primed the kit with Humbrol enamel. I'm not quite sure whether that's always necessary, but I like to do it because it makes it more easy to see if there are no blemishes anymore and of course it's a good foundation for the paint job. Preshading of the panel lines was next, with Xtracolor gloss black. After that, the gloss white and grey were misted on.

Next came the decaling job. And 'job' it was, because I think more than 350 decals went on the model. I had bought Aeromasters decal set 148-023, which should take care of all the general stenciling, and Eagle Strike 48020, F14 Tomcats part 1. From this sheet I had chosen the F14 from the USS John F. Kennedy, basically because I liked the yellow tail fin a lot. And then of course all the decals for the weapon systems, which are the ones from the Hasegawa kit. It took quite a long time to put it all on.

 



Well, after that I cleaned up the model and gave it a coat of matt varnish.

I still like this base the best for weathering. I let it all dry for a couple of nights and then the usual washes of very diluted brown and black oil paints went on. Some dry brushing here and there ( I use it mainly for discolorations, not the usual highlighting), chipping and detail painting.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This model was quite an experience.

 

 

I have never built a plane this big (a bit intimidating) and it was definitely not a shake and bake kit, as they call it. I cannot say with accuracy how much time it took me to build it, but looking back it should be around 60 hours. I still am very pleased with the result, and sometimes I like to sit back and have a look at it.

Hope you like the pictures.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Jeroen Veen
Page Created 10 June, 2005
Last Updated 09 June, 2005

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