F-14 Tomcat U.S Navy 
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Fujimi model in 1/72 scale : kit review & building report
The Tomcat has been a kit subject of many manufacturers. In 1/72 scale I have made (in the past) the following kits:
  • Airfix kit: a typical kit of this brand with basic parts but reasonable accuracy; dates back from 1980...
  • Matchbox kit: a very rough kit with the well known trenches but I liked the decals at that time
  • Hasegawa kits: several were issued, but the first one was the best at that time (1982); Hasegawa also issued complete new F-14 kits later on with recessed panellines (but with NO STORES!!)
In 1/32 there is the massive and expensive Tamiya kit and since 2010 from Trumpeter. The 1/32 Revell kit also many years ago issued in this scale is much cheaper and in areas much better (better cockpit detailing). 

Various kits have been re-issued, with small changes to the parts and with added newer parts of metal.



And in 1989 came the Fujimi kit in 1/72; it was also issued in several kit versions, I have the kit no. series I-2
box and parts
kit box and some parts

instructions

markings instructions

parts 1

parts 2

engine

cockpit
The kit is very good and has many delicate and optional parts and engraved recessed panellines; It is the best kit in 1/72 scale. It is "top notch" with a full set of stores!!

It enables you to choose between various sub-variants with different nose pods and also the armament and stores provided are very good and there are a lot of choices here. Nice touches are recon pods and missile choices of the AIM Phoenix, Sparrows and/or Sidewinders. Also you get some fine metal etched parts for the cockpit canopy and "rubber tires". 

The kit has very nice parts (over 180!), some of them being separate slats and flaps! This in fact requires you to put the wing in the forward "take-off" position, for which also a "shorter" nose leg is provided. There is choice also in rubber bags behind the wing area so can fix the wing in the rear "stowed" position is you want; cut off the slats and tracks and glue every smoothly in place.

This kit has the later style "beaver tail" and some options depending on sub-variant: different canon gas grills, ECM knobs, pitots; for older F-14 variants, remove the strengthening plates next to the vertical fins and do not fit the nose pitot.

A nice touch in this kit is that you can paint with wings also separately, they simply click into position later on. You also get a detachable radar section and two engines on dollies! 

This Fujimi kit was also issued in several "special schemes" and decals. The Fujimi decals of this kit are OK and there are 3 choices in US Navy schemes (VF-84, VF-41, VF-32). The NOSTEP should be separate words and squadron colours are a bit to deep; use some Microscale decals for the specific details if you can. The dataset of Microscale no. 72-248 is very worthwhile. 



The kit's fit is good but will need careful assembly as there a quite a lot of  sub-assemblies; when this is done, hardly any gaps are left so usage of putty is very sparse. I only had to use some at the cockpit joint with the main fuselage area.

Cockpit detailing is reasonable but you can add some details your self with some strips and pieces of plastic. Instrument panels offer two choices: decals or raised panels of plastic. Cockpit hatches for crew entry and a ladder on the left fuselage side are also provided and two pilot figures with separate heads and arms! Also add the engine throttle and the HUD glass on the forward instruments-cover. 

You will need to remove and polish the small seam on the canopy. The cross sectional canopy shape is not entirely correct, but just leave it as is.

The kit seems otherwise quite accurate; the only areas of improvement I suggest is to cut out two small slots at the ventral fins (see drawing) and if you want, you can paint the rubber wing seal bags demarcation lines slightly in another position.
The bags have a dark grey colour on the older US Navy style machines.

slot and corrections

I will finish this model in the Fujimi provided VF-85 Jolly Rodgers scheme with gull grey/white finish. They were stationed at the USS Nimitz and flew the F-14A. The black tails with white "bones" will be nice. This squadron was also one of the stars in the American movie "the final countdown".


 

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The assembly of the Fujimi model gave no troubles, the parts need careful glueing and patience but you will get a fine result. 
masked fuselage
Next, the fuselage and the upper wings were given a fine spray coat of FS36440 Gull grey.
The underside was given a paint of white after masking off the  fuselage grey areas. As always, I find white a difficult colour to apply and normally apply it over a light grey base coat. And you need a careful balance between the amount of thinner added to the basic paint and the compressor/airbrush pressure.

I always use the low tack Tamiya Masking tape, expensive but the best. Buy the wider tape and cut in thinner lines. Mask of the rest with paper etc.

I always also spray the finer parts, the stores of this kit needing all a white finish (pylons, missiles etc.) 

To next page [2] of F-14 Tomcat ...
 

References:
- detail and scale F-14, Kinzey
- Squadron signal in action
- Minigraph F-14
- Air international vol 22/1
- Bunrin do 1977/9
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Created June 28, 2002