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F-14D Super Tomcat

Tomcatters VF-31,#100, 2006 Squadron Air Show Bird

 

1/48 scale Hasegawa release. Kit number 07212. The kit will be modeled in the scheme of VF-31’s 2006 final flight airshow colours. BuNo:164342. The final flight being made at NAS Oceana Air Show 2006. I will be using the fine decal sheet from Crossdelta No DEC006 which has been printed by Cartograf.

 

 

 

 

Short History:

VF-31 “Tomcatters” are the second oldest continuously active USN squadron (The oldest being the VF-14 Tophatters), having first been activated as the VF-1B “Shooting Stars” in 1935 and, after several changes, being re-designated VF-31 in 1948. VF-31 is the only US squadron (USN, USMC, or USAF) to have confirmed kills in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

VF-31 transitioned to the F-14 Tomcat in 1981, having previously flown the F-4 Phantom. Thet were the last Tomcat squadron operational in the Pacific Fleet and flew alongside the VF-213 “Blacklions” in the final carrier cruise with Tomcats aboard. The last ever Tomcat to launch off a carrier was from VF-31, as were the last Tomcats to fly. In 2006 the squadron transitioned to the FA-18E Super Hornet and were re-designated VFA-31

         

Comments about my planned build:

Not finalized which paints to be used at present but likely to be a mixture of Vallejo Model Air, Tamiya acrylics, and Gunze Mr Hobby. Will post up the finalized list on build completion.

 

The kit cockpit will be replaced Aires Part number 4333. As with Hans’s build the bang seats will be super detailed with the ejection cord handles from JTGM. Thanks Joe, these handles look fantastic!

 

The kit wheel wells will be replaced by the Aires set and will be further detailed using fuse wire to simulate hydraulic/brake lines etc.

 

 Various panels will be opened and detailed using the Verlinden “Tomcat Super Detail set Part number 427

 

Loadout will come from the Hasegawa weapons set and will be decided nearer completion time. Fuel tanks will be replaced with those from Royal Resin

The included rubber kit wheels will be replaced with bulged/loaded resin parts from Royale.resin.com. 

 

 

Kit used:

  • Hasegawa Models of an F-14 D Super Tomcat kit number 07212

References & aftermarket products used:

 

Reference Picture of BuNo: 164342:

 

 

 

Proverbial box shot of where i'm starting.



And the decals I'll be using for the build





Some of the references I'll be using







After market details I'll be working with.









 

First progress. Got to work on getting the resin cockpit to fit the fuselage

The parts



After a lengthy session of sanding, cutting, dryfitting etc the pit roughly fits. Some more fine tuning will be done when i finish painting the inside of the cockpit and get the sidewalls glued in. I checked the fit was good by offering up the canopy to the loose assembly



Started the painting





And where i left it for the evening.

 

Got the panel etches out of the box



Marked out a panel for removal



Drilled around the edges



Removed the scrap piece



Filed and sanded back to the panel lines



Fitted the frame



Parts for the internals and the replacement panel



Avionics bay fitted



Replacement panel bent and assembled



Marked a panel on the opposite side



Drilled edges



Filed and sanded



Got parts ready



Framed and panel fitted



And all together!!


 


Next job was the fitting of the replacement main gear wells so some cutting and sanding to do.

Here's the item to be fitted.(two off obviously!)



And here's where it's going to go



Area to be romoved from the parent plastic marked



And cut out(if it looks odd it's because it's the other side)



Some plastic also required removal from the inside lip(shown marked in black)



Excess material was removed fron the cast stubs to allow them to be fitted inside the wing roots



I built the wings for test fitting at this stage(thanks to Hans for this heads up) to see how much material required removing from the back fillet of the casting stub. The whole fillet was removed to make sure.



The wells were dry fitted again and the wings tested and found to be ok. Then started to cement the main body halves together.


 

Dry fitted the wings to check for clearance under the resin wheel wells and the nose section just to see how it looked.





Got the intake trunks joined and flowed some Tamiya glue in the seams to melt them a bit. Will repeat this tomorrow to try and get them flush then finally sand them in.



Next up was the otter tail and brake housing



I went the same way as Phil on this one and joined the top half to ensure a good join where it would be seen



Then the underside but just to the main fuselage join. I didn't glue the sides of this and the engine shells are still free to move. This will make sure (hopefully) the engines have a nice fit when their time comes.



Next i got the front fuselage joined to the rear assembly. A bit of fettling and dry fitting was required here to ensure the best possible fit. It isn't too bad at all and the little bits that weren't quite flush should just be a swipe or two with a sanding sponge to bring it all in.



Nose cone was fitted next and the fit is really good on mine. Managed to get the only dodgy part (which is very slight) on the underside. But the top and sides are flush.





And finally for today i put the wings back on for a look at where i am with it.


 

Here are the intakes all on and sanded in. Rear of the joints were pretty good. Fronts need a little coaxing but went in eventually. It'll be covered by the FOD covers anyhow so all work that is just practice for future builds!

Here she is with the intakes on.



Made a start to my exhausts next and got them together. Quite a number of parts and they build up into quite nice items.

The parts



Fitting the "petals"



Together



Internals of exhausts were then sprayed with Tamiya X-1 gloss white and left to dry before they get treated with some Promodeller Drak Wash.



The turbine faces were sprayed XF-1 black and then over sprayed with Alclad Aluminium. The balck undercoat was left to "shine" through and i think has given them some depth.


 

Marathon masking session tonight. I wasn't so lucky with my decals of choice and didn't get the carbon fibre decals for the exhaust nozzle petals. Had to mask it all off for spraying.

First strips on.



taped off the angled part at the end of the nozzle



Then the angle back to the front of the nozzle



Then a bit of in filling



Sprayed with Tamiya Nato Black



And the end plates detail painted with Citadel Bolt Gun Metal


 

Fixed the exhausts on and the fairings to their sides.



Made a start on the glazing by getting rid of the seamline down the centre.

First with the course sanding stick



Then through various stages of finers sanding sponges



Seam gone but so are the panel lines at the top



Panel lines re-applyed using a scalpel blade and canopy done



Made a start to detailing the avionics panels. First the black has been applied. I'll do some dry brushing etc when this is fully dry.



Front windshield fitted and masked



Main canopy fitted using blu tak for the the painting stages and to protect the cockpit whilst the avionics detailing is being done.



And a quick shot of where we are with the wings fitted. Starting to come together now.


 

Got some detailing work done on the avionics panels.

With some dry brushing first.





Then some detail painting





Made a start on the Royale Resin Fuel Tank set.

The parts



Driling the pylon for the strengthening pins



Pylon fixed to fuselage



Gave the canopy a coat of flat black



Gave the tail fins a coat of Tamiya X-1 gloss black. Really love the quality of the finish this paint gives you straight on to bare plastic!



Then finished with the yellow fin caps.



Started on the pre shading work


 

Had some fun with the build. Starting to get to the stage where things start to come together quickly.

Decalled the tails







Then got started with the painting.

First the underside



Then the top. I've also started to stress the paintwork a little. Trying to get that sun bleached, worn look on her.




 

Had another session of stressing the paintwork tonight. Starting to get where i want it to be. Couldn't resist trying the wings and tail surfaces on and seeing what she looks like. See what you think.








And underneath.


 

Managed to get the skunk line painted. The tails are now fixed too and she's been glossed ready for decals.






 

Had a bit of fun adding some of the decals. These sat down brilliantly and only had one coat of Micro Sol just to make sure they sat down ok.







Was going to fit her out with a couple of Phoenix missiles but have since learned that these were taken off the inventory before this paint scheme so a plan "B" was required.

Got on the internet and found me a Steel Beech Lantirn set which included the Rack which is later used for carrying most of the weapons carried on the Phoenix racks.

I'll now be kitting her out with a couple of Paveway LGB's from the Hasegawa weapons set.

Here's the Lantirn set



And the racks fitted.


 

Managed to sort out the wheelwells and have detailed the gear with hydraulic lines using 0.4mm lead wire. They turned out pretty good i think.

Front wheelwell detail painted.





Main gear having some pipework fitted







And painted white





I painted up and fitted the Royale Resin drop tanks and fitted them to the fuselage before getting some Promodeller Dark wash on her



Then back off





I've given the gear a wash with some thiined down Tamiya smoke with a drop of black in it and will coat it in satin varnish once dry. 

 

Gear doors painted and on

Also have the wing glove pylons fitted

Airbrakes done

Resin wheels fitted

Paveways painted and fitted

Arrestor hook on

Replacement etch panel doors finished

Aim9l Sidewinders on

Started on seats

And where we are today



Well here she is finally finished. Was an excellent experience getting all the extras crammed into this one and i'm very happy with the end result.

Thanks for the company and the help from Hans, Marcus and Jeff on this one.  
 
 
My Build
 
Kit:-

Hasegawa 1:48 F-14A Tomcat #07212

Scale:-

1:48

Extra's:-



Aires F-14D Cockpit Update # 4333

Aires F-14 Wheelwell set # 4132 

Verlinden Super Detail Set # VL0427

Decals: Crossdelta sheet number DEC006

Royal Resin F-14A Wheels

Royal Resin External Fuel Tanks

Steel Beach FOD covers

 

 

Reference:-

 

Tomcat, Bye bye baby

Squadron/Signal Publications F-14 Tomcat in action.

VF-31 Super Tomcats- The final days.

 

Paints:-

 

Xtracrylic

Tamiya

Gunze

Citadel

 

Materials:-

 

Evergreen Styrene

800 grit wet & dry

Lead wire

Copper wire

PVA Glue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks

 

Tom