AMT/ERTL 1/72 F-14A Tomcat
KIT #: 8698
PRICE: $5.00 from a show vendor
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Tim Peters
NOTES: Probably not too difficult to find.

HISTORY

The F-14 Tomcat is one of the best known fighters of the modern era.  It was designed in the late 1960ís as a replacement for the equally famous F-4 Phantom II.  It benefitted from the lessons learned in Vietnam regarding the actual needs of modern air combat as well as what not to do (see the F-111B).  It entered service in 1974 and was retired in 2006.

THE KIT

AMT/Ertlís aircraft kits are a lot less well known then their car kits are but they did make some very interesting aircraft kits that were not kitted by many or any other companies like the XB-35, YB-49, XB-70 and the F7F.  They also made some kits of better known aircraft like the JU-88 and the F-14.  This is the first of two boxings of the F-14 from AMT that I know of, the other being a Desert Storm boxing with low viz VF-1 markings.  When you open the box you get 5 sprues of gray plastic parts and one clear sprue with a two piece canopy. 

It looks like most other F-14 kits with the rear fuselage split into upper and lower halves to trap the swing wings and the front fuselage split into left and right halves.  The cockpit consists of a very generic floor, two decent looking ejection seats and blank IPís with decals for the detail.  For weapons, you get 4 AIM-54 Phoenix missiles, 2 AIM-7 Sparrows and 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders along with 2 drop tanks.  The weapons look good except for the Sidewinders which look like botched AIM-9Eís as the front fins look too thick and chunky.  The Sparrows have all of their fins so you will need to remove at least one of them if you want to mount them on the wing pylons.  Iíll be replacing them with better looking ones from the spares section.  The decals are for VF-124, the Pacific Fleet RAG squadron in overall light gull grey scheme. This was one of two nearly identically painted 'boss birds' that 124 was flying before they were disestablished. The painting guide gives you some inaccurate colors for the cockpit (which should be dark gull grey, FS 36231) but the rest are fine.

CONCLUSIONS

 Overall, it looks like a pretty good model.  With a parts count right around 85, it gives you the essentials but you need to add some detailing if you want a kit that rivals Hasegawaís kit. 

Tim Peters

January 2010

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