Written by 3:54 pm On the Bench

WIP : Hobbyboss 1/72 F-14A Tomcat ‘VF-41’ Pt.1 – Construction

This kit has been in the backburner for a while now, partially assembled. It’s time to get it off the Shelf of Doom. Having built a Hobbyboss F-14 before, this one went more smoothly. This kit will wear the markings of ‘Fast Eagle 107’, the F-14A from VF-41 Black Aces during the Gulf of Sidra incident where she, along with ‘Fast Eagle 102’ downed a pair of Libyan Su-22 Fitters in 1981.

Anyway, first up I had to deal with the ejection seats. As with my previous builds, I scratchbuilt the ejection rings because Hobbyboss doesn’t include them. At I used 0.5mm brass rod.

But I ended up using 0.4mm (or so) copper wire instead which look to be more in-scale. I then added a small rectangular plastic plate for the prominent red er… thing between the rings. The black and yellow rings themselves were handpainted. The straps and buckles were made from 0.7mm masking tape. I handpainted everything over a base of black.

The instrument surfaces are all decals but the side consoles are bare. I placed the decals on the wrong side of the rear console (yeesh) but with the canopy closed, this mistake is not all that visible.

The Hobbyboss F-14 features the reinforced plate around the rear boarding step. This shouldn’t be there for the F-14A but decided that I could live with it.

Now for the the most problematic area: the intakes. With masking and spraying I did the two colors inside first.

A dryfit shows the obvious gaps all over the place.

I added 0.2mm plastic card to fill up the gaps.

There are tabs on the intakes that insert into slots on the fuselage. Since I can simply butt join the intakes, I cut the tabs off and filled the slots. Hobbyboss doesn’t include any of the intake ramps so they look quite bare when you peer into them.

I masked the inside of the intakes, attached them to the fuselage, then masked off the areas that were painted white. I also cut off the sensor bumps molded on the wing gloves as the F-14A I’m depicting didn’t have these. There are also slots on the wing gloves for attaching more sensors. These would need to filled up with plastic card and putty.

The F-14A has the prominent wing glove vanes but the starboard side on my copy is short shot so I filled the area with plastic card and epoxy putty. These will be sanded to shape once cured.

I’ll be modifying the wings so they can be painted separately.

With the hole cut into a C shape, the wings will snap into place with no issue. No cement required after insertion either.

Previously, I’ve had some trouble attaching the horizontal stabilizers into the fuselage. There’s just not much real estate that connects one to the other. For this build, I added plastic plates inside to hopefully get better fits.

The engine shrouds were painted in Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust and attached at this point.

During the engagement, Fast Eagle 107 was armed with only two AIM-7s and one AIM-9 so these were quickly prepped. The missiles were provided with the kit. She also carried the two forward underbelly AIM-54 pallets. There has been conflicting info on whether the drop tanks were carried but I decided to mount them.

The exhaust shrouds were masked off and the tailfins were attached. The nose gear needs to the installed before the front fuselage comes together. With some cutting, there would be a way to leave it off till the end, But I thought I’d get a stronger fit this way. I just had to be more gentle with my handling.

The fitting of the intakes the lower fuselage left some gaps that need to be addressed. This kit is supposed to be a simplified build, but it’s really quite detailed and the overall shape looks good.

Build Log
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Construction | Part 3 – Painting

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