This is actually my 4th go at the ‘new’ mold Hasegawa F-14 kit. The less said about the first 3 disasters the better. Anyway I hope to break the cycle with this one. The kit includes all the parts for the various iterations of the F-14 through its 30 years of service so I’ll be basing the configuration of the F-14A+ Kai on what I can see on the screencaps. Here we go…
My copy of the kit has old-ish decals so I decided to go with the PE control panels instead.
These are just a tiny bit too wide and the recesses for the boarding steps on the left fuselage get in the way of the control panels from fitting flush.
I added some plastic plates to raise the angle of the control panels so they clear the recesses.
The boarding steps required a bit of sanding to fit flush. The NACA-style gun vents are… not great.
After carefully trimming the flash, sprue marks and thinning the parts, I managed to get them to fit OK. The corners on both NACA door parts aren’t sharp though so will need to be addressed.
I used plastic plates as guides so the 2 parts align properly.
Like almost all my Macross kits, I will be building this kit gear up. I decided to ‘close’ each of the gear doors before putting both fuselage halves together.
Again, plastic plates are used on the inside to use as alignment guides.
A dryfit shows a gap in between the doors. Something to fix later.
A lot of plate work for alignment.
I dryfit the nose section to the fuselage and like all 3 of my previous failures, there is a small gap right where the 2 parts join. I used to simply slap on a lot of putty and sand everything away. I’ll see if there’s another way to fix this.
I attached the wing glove vanes closed. These will need to be blanked off after both halves of the fuselage come together.
Before the 2 halves can fit together though, parts of the molded on main gear well need to be trimmed off.
The kit comes with the F-14A/B wing glove ECM fairings molded on. These need to be trimmed off.
The screencap shows however that the other fairing is present on both sides so these were attached.
The top and bottom speed brakes were trimmed and fitted into the aft fuselage.
Once fitted together I added the beaver tail. The F-14A+ Kai uses the modern version with the ECM bump and fuel dump pipe.
I decided to drill out the the fuel dump pipe. The hole is wider in real life but I’m afraid my limited dexterity won’t be able to pull it off.
This is proving to be a long build. Yay.
I’ve always wanted to build the F-14 that appeared in the Macross Zero OAV. Based on some research it looks like this particular boxing of the 1988 molds has all the necessary parts to depict an almost 100% replica of the F-14A+ Kai. The Tomcat that appears in the anime is officially designated F-14A+ Kai and is basically an F-14D that has an F-14A cockpit. It’s armed with 2x AIM-9 Sidewinders and 6x AIM-120 AMRAAMs and flew without external tanks during it’s appearance in episode 1.
Hasegawa did release an official F-14A+ Kai kit of their own. But that kit is based on the 1977 molds so it’s simplified and has raised panel lines. Hasegawa also didn’t bother with the details of the F-14A+ Kai as it builds into a bog standard F-14A. I never did manage to get my hands on the Hasegawa Macross Zero F-14 but after I managed to track down an aftermarket set of 1/72 decals off eBay, I decided it was time to build my own more accurate version.
I try to build my Macross kits wheels up so the first thing I tried is to cram 2 pilots into the kit. The pilots come from the Hasegawa US Pilot/Ground Crew Set. I’ll need to modify the pilots to be more ‘accurate’.
I used both epoxy putty and 0.25mm plastic plate to upgrade the helmet. The oversized pauldrons are also replicated with plastic plate.
After some sanding and shaping, I think my mods look OK. They should look fine once painted and under the canopy.
After re-checking references, I realized I got the shape of the pauldrons wrong so I went back to fix them. I also cut the pilot’s lower legs off so it’s be easier to fit the cramped cockpit.
I trimmed the pauldrons, res-primed then re-checked the figure. Good to go!
On a whim, I decided to test-fit the pilots into the cockpit. The RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) fits OK but the pilot didn’t fit correctly: in fact, the instrument coaming touches the pilot. It looks like Hasegawa got the dimensions wrong here and it’s both disappointing and surprising.
So I took it as a challenge and try to open up some space. Looking at the front cockpit, the back panel is very thick.
I replaced this panel with 0.25mm plastic plate.
The coaming requires thinning on the inside before it fit properly.
In the RIO’s cockpit, there’s a big gap between its coaming and the instrument panel. I added plastic plate to cover this up.
The kit includes both GRU-7 and NACES ejection seats. The F-14A+ Kai uses the GRU-7 ejection seat but compared to the NACES, it takes up more space which amplifies the limited space inside the front cockpit.
With the NACES seat, it’s better now but the pilot still seats too low: his view is blocked by the coaming.
I cut off the molded straps and the canopy breakers then added the GRU-7 ejection handles on the NACES seat. At this point, I’m very happy that this F-14 is a fictional variant.
added plastic plates on the seat to raise the pilot. I also sanded the bottom of the coaming to slightly lower its height.
The coaming looks too big and bulky for 1/72 scale.
To make it look more to scale, I thinned the edge of the coaming.
Another test-fit and I think it looks much better now.
I also thinned the pilot’s back slightly so he sits closer to the seat.
It’s a lot of work just to cram 2 pilots into the cockpit but at least it worked out.
Now this is unexpected. From the Korean (?!) manufacturer Academy comes the New God Phoenix from the anime Gathcaman II.
The only details so far are that the kit will come in multi colored parts and will include the Gatchaman team and their individual vehicles which can be stored inside New God Phoenix. No other details like release date and price so far.
The nostalgia fuel is strong in this one. I used to have the Popy toy and I was actually more exposed to Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter instead of the original Gatchaman.
More pics at Tag Hobby.
Brand : Max Factory Combat Armor Max 02
Media : Injection Plastic
Markings : Kit
Fang of the Sun Dougram (Taiyō no Kiba Daguramu) is a 75 episode anime TV series created by Ryōsuke Takahashi that aired in Japan from 1981 to 1983.
In Space Century (SC) 152, an independence movement is growing on the planet Deloyer. Crinn Cashim, the son of the leader of the Earth Federation government on Deloyer, pilots the Dougram and fights for the ‘Fang of the Sun’, a small team of guerillas fighting for the independence of Deloyer.
The Roundfacer is the standard Combat Armor deployed by the Federation. It is versatile and would revolutionize mechanized warfare. It is easy to produce and would serve the Federation throughout the war with the insurgents. It is armed with a handheld linear gun, a shoulder-mounted 7-tube missile pod and 4 arm-mounted 25mm chain guns.
Info from Wikipedia and instruction manual
Note: Western audiences would probably recognize this mecha as the GRF-1N Griffin, a BattleMech from the board game Battletech.
This is the second release in Max Factory’s modern take on the mecha from Fang of the Sun Dougram. The kits are by and large snapfit and come with water slide decals. Somewhat poseable with the use of polycaps, they also have a retro aesthetic to match the design sensibilities from the 1980s. Parts breakdown is quite simple and can be easily separated into subassemblies. However there are some oddities: the pilot figure will need to be cemented in place since there’s nothing holding it in the cockpit and the right hand won’t hold the gun properly. A pleasant surprise though is the canopy which already comes with a pre-painted frame.
The overall fit is a mixed bag. Some of the joints fit well, others are loose. The shoulder ball joints are about 1mm too large so there’s no positive fit to the sockets on the body. Luckily for me, the easiest fix worked: I carefully sanded down one side of each ball joint. In any case, the overall design of parts are quite simple where Max Factory doesn’t try to avoid obvious seamlines. All in all, it slots in between a modern Bandai and Wave kit.
Colors & Markings
I went with a modified version of the standard colors for the Roundfacer. It’s now a 2-tone green painted in a splinter pattern. The 2 shades of green (RLM 2 and RLM 71) are what the Luftwaffe used for their machines in WW2. Otherwise, I followed what is shown in the instructions.
As usual I went easy on the decals. I initially wanted to add a custom artwork on the shoulder shield but changed my mind in the last minute. The kit decals are a mixed bag: they separated quickly from the backings but they have a satin finish to them and the white colored decals tore easily. Initially it looks like they didn’t react well with Mark Softer. Thankfully though, once cured and given another spray of gloss, they actually looked quite good.
I decided to weather this kit slightly more than usual which I wrote about here. TL:DR, it was panel lining with oil paint, then panel filtering with oil paint, then chipping and drybrushing with acrylic paint, then streaking with oil paint, then dusting with Tamiya Weathering Master, and lastly adding dirt on the feet with pigments. I also made sure to cover some of the paint that had flaked off with chipping. Unfortunately the weathering revealed some seamlines that I didn’t fix properly. Oh well, lesson learned and moving on.
So that’s it. My first completed kit of the year. And one that was relatively trouble-free. While not the best fitting, I like this series of kits. Definitely more to come.
Number 1 of 2018
As usual, I went easy with the markings. The kit decals are a mixed bag: they slide off the backings quite quickly but they have a satin sheen and some of the white ones tore easily. They also didn’t react much with Mark Softer.
I began weathering with panel lining with lamp black oil paint. This adds a subtle depth to the panel lines. I then assembled the kit together before going onto the filtering stage.
First up a look at the surface after panel lining but before filters.
I then added small drops of white, yellow and blue oil paint over the surfaces.
With a damp flat brush and up down motion, I then blended the oil paints together.
It’s subtle, but the oil paints add additional depth and variation to the colors. I also find that they blend the 2 camo colors together. At this stage I found seamlines that I didn’t fix properly. Oh well, moving on.
I messed up the final flat coat in my hurry to finish. The finish is pebbly in some spots due to uneven application.
Anyway, more weathering is next. Basically it’s:
- adding filters and blending with oil paint
- chipping with acrylic paint
- drybrush with acrylic paint
- streaking with oil paint
- dusting with pigment
These were all done to taste. Thankfuly, I managed to mitigate the pebbly-ness of the flat coat somewhat.
From the beginning of this build, I managed to lose the 2 chest inserts but luckily it looks OK without them.
I’ll try to clean up the dust marks, add a final flat coat to seal in the pigments and I can call this one done.