1/48 Revell F-14D Tomcat  

by Darren Roberts

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     Yes, yes, I know. Itís another Tomcat! I just really enjoy building the Revell kit, though. This one was another addition to my Black Tailed project, which Iíve since decided may not ever get finished. Believe it or not, Iíd actually like to build something other than a Tomcat in my lifetime.

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     While the merits (and lack thereof) of the Revell kit have been written about many times, there are a few things that Iíd like to mention, especially about the D kit. As most know, the cockpit is from Revell/Monogramís F-14A, so I used the cockpit parts from a Hasegawa D to correct that. The wheels in the kit are also not correct, but a pair of Cutting Edge replacement wheels did the trick for that. I used putty to reshape the engine fairing from the oval shape to the squared-off appearance of the GE F-110 engined Tomcats. Some other inaccuracies with the kit include the wrong antenna on the spine and the lack of an ECM blister on the left front gear door. I used parts from the Steel Beach F-14A/B update set to fix that. Finally, I used a couple of spare ECM blisters from an F-18 Hornet to get the ECM blisters on the leading edge of the intakes. The only thing I didnít do before I took the pictures was to remove the small blade antenna from the right front gear door. It shouldnít be there on the B or the D.

     I used the shortcuts that make the building process go so much smoother (see Steve Filakís pinned article on the Academy F-14 for a link). I painted it in the standard TPS scheme using MM Acryl paints. Itís moderately weathered using a Micron pen and pastels. The decals are from Superscale. On the sheet, they call for this aircraft to be painted overall Light Gull Gray, but VF-31 also had these markings applied to a TPS painted aircraft. I like the looks of that much more than the Gull Gray aircraft. I used Steel Beachís F-14 Lantirn update set for the Lantirn pod, pylon, and bomb racks. The set also came with a rear instrument panel with the square PTIDS screen, but this aircraft still had the large round scope found on F-14Dís. The weapons are from the Hasegawa Weapons Set D and the fuel tanks are from Steel Beach Accessories. I finished it off with a set of vinyl FOD covers, also from Steel Beach. Overall, the Revell F-14 can be completed with results that are quite satisfying, even if the kit is not as highly detailed as the Hasegawa kit.  

Darren 

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Photos and text © by Darren Roberts