Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Hobby Boss 1/48 (kit no. 80366)

Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Hobbyboss 1/48
Κατηγορίες : 

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a fourth-generation, supersonic, twinjet, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters, which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.

The F-14A first flew in 21st December 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4N/S Phantom II. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform. In the 1990s, it added the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system and began performing precision ground-attack missions.

The Tomcat was retired from the U.S. Navy's active fleet on 22 September 2006, having been supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E and F Super Hornets. As of 2017, the F-14 was in service with only the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976, when the U.S. had amicable diplomatic relations with Iran.

The HobbyBoss kit in 1/48th scale

The kit is molded in light gray plastic and comprises 24 (clear sprue included) sprue panels/runners, plus the separately packaged upper and lower fuselage halves, intake tunnels, and radome. The kit also has one fret of photo-etched parts, and one set of rubber (vinyl) tires.

Similarity with Hasegawa’s kits is out of any question. With some modifications (not in this build) you can have later versions of the Tomcat. This is a rather complicated kit but the final result is rewarding.

The kit decal sheet includes markings for two Squadrons: F-14A, BuNo 159008, VF-32, AB/200, USS John F Kennedy, CAG's aircraft and F-14A, BuNo 160379, VF-41, AJ/100, USS Nimitz, CAG's aircraft

The decals are provided on four smaller decal sheets, which also include airframe and weapons stenciling. In this build though we used an aftermarket decal set for the VF-84 Jolly Rogers Squadron.

Building the kit...

Initially we have to eliminate all the incorrect rivets (decision taken after seeing Daco’s splendid reference book). In real life there are no rivets on wings or elevators. We did that using putty and sanding sticks until we had the correct result.

Regarding weapons load we used missiles AIM-9L, AIM-7M and AIM-54A Phoenix for our model. In the cockpit area we used Eduard’s zoom set, Tamiya acrylics and some dry brushing to enhance the surface detail. After painting the front wheel well with white, we weathered it using Ammo Streaking Grime and Ammo thinners to clean it up.

We sprayed Ammo’s white and grey primers to the fuselage, wings/elevators and fuel tanks of the model to have a smooth finish. Then we did preshading, on both upper and lower surfaces, using Tamiya’s flat black (XF-1).

Painting was started by spraying lower surface with a mix of Gunze H308 and Tamiya’s flat white (XF-2) in a 60/40 ratio. We continued painting our cammo spraying the first shade of the upper surfaces (sides of nose, cockpit area and at the tail). Our mix is Gunze H307 and Tamiya’s XF-2 in a 65/35 ratio. 

We finished the basic paint job spraying the last of the three camo scheme colors in the fuselage: Gunze H337 with Tamiya’s XF-2 in a 70/30 ratio.Then we sprayed a dark color filter such as Tamiya’s XF-85 dilluted with lot’s of thinners in a 15/85 ratio (paint to thinners) to darken some areas up.














We did some spots on fuselage (upper/lower surfaces,wings/elevators) spraying Gunze H308 and Tamiya XF-2 in a 55/45 ratio and heavily thinned to liven up the surface color a little bit.














   We continued by spraying the same mix but with more white to create a stronger contrast between the colors. We used Gunze H308 and Tamiya XF-2 in a 40/60 ratio, heavily thinned.

The famous Salt technique. We applied water on the surfaces we wanted to create the effect (fuselage and wings for us) and we dropped by hand salt to all those area’s.After one hour we sprayed a brownish color to create some dirt on the cammo and at the end we’ve sprayed the basic color (H337 for the fuselage,upper wings and H308 for lower surfaces of the wings) mixed with flat white and heavily thinned)














We sprayed the basic color (for each area) mixed with flat white in a 70/30 ratio to create some highlights to the cammo scheme. At the same time we sprayed the walkway using Gunze H-305 and H-308 in a 70/30 ratio.

At this stage we’ve sprayed Ammo gloss varnish to protect our paint job and prepare the surface for the decaling procedure.

For our exhaust nozzles we’ve sprayed a basic silver (Citadel’s chainmail) and using Tamiya’s weathering set F&D we gave this effect of burn metal.

Seeing reference shots we understood the engine pods are a lot darker than the rest of the aircraft so we decided to darken the area up using black oil color and cleaning it with Ammo odourless thiners.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the wash procedure  we chose the Ammo’s Air Weathering Set ‘’US Navy Grey Jets’’ No6.We’ve applied the washes all over the model and cleaned it using Ammo’s odourless thinners and a cotton bud.In some cases we applied lighter shades of the set’s washes to reduce the strong effect on the panel lines.

To create the suspension system of the landing gear we used some bare metal foil with some measurements so it could fit correctly.














For the oil streaks on the engine pods or wings we used Ammo’s Streaking Grime and a cotton bud.Using the airflow directions and a small amount on the bud,we created those oilstreak effect.

In this point I’d like to refer to dilutions, ratio’s, air pressure etc. As we all know a huge factor is the weather conditions in each country. Hot weather or humidity demand to adjust paint thinning and the air pressure varies accordingly.

In Conclusion

It’s a very nice kit but in certain areas has some fit issues and faults that you can correct with some effort.(eg rivets on wings/elevators, intakes/engine pods, wings mechanism). In general it’s a kit that I could say it’s at the same standards with Hasegawa’s kits plus it has weapons!!! So, the decision is yours.

PS. Mig Ammo products we used are awesome. All had an excellent application with no problems at all in any stage of the build. I recommend those products 100%!

Finally I’d like to thank Miguelle Jimenez, Carlos Cuesta and the rest of the AmmoTeam for supporting me with all these supplies and also with moral support .Thank you very much guys…..I’m honoured and thankfull to all of you!!!!

If you want to have an easier painting procedure, I’d recommend to snap a piece from the wing “rings” so you can easily add/remove the wings from the fuselage. It’s a basic difference from Hasegawa’s kits that could create major problems if you don’t pay attention!

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