Written by 9:46 am On the Bench

WIP : Fujimi 1/72 F-14A Tomcat ‘Top Gun’ Pt. 1 : Construction

I’ve always wanted to model Maverick’s F-14A from the first Top Gun movie but I never had access to the markings. That was until I got my hands on the DEF Models JD72004 F-14A Tomcat Decal set – Movie Collection No.1 sheet.

I’ve had this Fujimi kit for a long while now and had taken the D-style chinpod for another build a long time ago. This kit comes with all the parts for the F-14A and F-14B too so it’s simply the matter of mixing and matching parts to get the variant I needed.

From what I’ve read, the Fujimi kit is a slightly easier build than the Hasegawa but even though the box indicates that this is an F-14D, the engine housing on this kit is wrong for it. Anyway it’s no issue for me as I’m building an A. I taped the kit together and it looks to be a nice representative of the aircraft.

The back of the seat has a large gap which I filled with plastic card. I didn’t bother with making this accurate as the area will be blocked by bulkheads.

The details are quite nice especially considering the age of this kit. There’s even belt details on the seats.

Careful painting of the kit really makes the details pop.

Parts breakdown is more complicated than the Hasegawa kit, which was also released around the same time. In my experience, the more parts there are the higher chance of a wonky fit so more care is required.

Each intake trunking comes as its own sub-assembly and I used clamps to help get the various joins to align properly. Fujimi’s way is different from Hasegawa’s which went with a front and rear half for the trunking. The Fujimi way eliminates the step that will usually appear when the front and rear halves join but there’s a risk for this method to end up with steps over the whole length.

The actual F-14 that Maverick ‘flew’ in the film changes from scene to scene but I’m specifically modeling his F-14A from the Mig-28 intercept at the beginning of the film so my references only come from this scene. First up I have to remove the sensor bumps on the wing gloves.

The bottom fuselage/missile wells is a long piece which attaches only on the ends to the upper fuselage so I added pieces of plastic cards to act as stops for the middle section.

A dryfit shows length-wise gaps between the intakes and the nose. I closed the gap using strips of 0.18mm styrene strip.

This is easier than using putty in the later stages due to how hard to reach the areas are.

The beaver tail is a separate piece that leaves a slight step at the join.

The cockpit came together very nicely and I added an aurora film disk to replicate the HUD projector on the coaming

The engine trunking come in halves and have ugly join seam lines which are pretty much impossible to remove. Not nice at all.

But the engine nozzles fit so well they friction fit. Nice.

The wings are designed to swing in and out AND you’re given the option to lower the flaps and slats. Great or not so great depending on how you want to model your kit. For me, it’s just additional risk of bad fit.

…like how the flaps sits just ever so slightly proud of the trailing edge of the wingtip.

I fixed this by adding styrene card to extend the wingtip.

The rest of the kit fit without much issues and the final assembled form looks really nice. Note that I’ve already attached the wing glove pylons at this point.

Painting is next!

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt. 2 – Painting | Pt. 3 – Finishing

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