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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tamiya 1:32 F-14A Tomcat

Ever since TOP GUN, I have been in love with the Tomcat. The new release of Tamiya's updated kit gave me an excuse to build another cat. The kit appears to be pretty close to the older kit they have released nearly two decades ago. The biggest upgrade was for modern weaponry including laser guided bombs and a LANTIRN target pod. The decals for the kit is for the VF-154 Black Knights.

To say that the kits cockpit was missing detail would be an understatement. The switches on the sides were displayed by way of decal and were not raised. The instrument panels provided good detail and included decals. A resin set would add considerably to the detail and without the pilots shown would require a good harness. For the pilot and RIO (I think that would be the correct term for this time period) I added patches by way of printer and a communication line around the air hose.


What may have been the most time consuming portion of the build was adding wires to the landing gear and wheel wells. I used reference photos and solder simulate the plumbing.

Weathering Navy birds is always a fun task. I chose to go all out on this sets paint. I started out with my usual weathering techniques. After I had my decals on I went to work. I used a light grey, almost tan, paint to simulate touch ups done in the field for high wear areas. Then I thinned dark ghost grey to dull down some of the decal markings. I sealed all of my previous work with some Future polish. Now for the fun part. I sprayed water on the the plane just enough to start beading but not enough to make a puddle. I grabbed some crushed salt and sprinkled it on various areas of the wings and fuselage. Once dry I sprayed various shades of thinned dark grey around the edges of the salt and let dry. Once the paint cured I washed all of the salt off. This took a lot of trial and error. I thought the effects were too subtle but in the end they stand out.



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