Hasegawa 1/48 F-14D "Black Tomcat"
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing aircraft. The F-14 was the United States Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform from 1974 to 2006. It later performed precision strike missions once it was integrated with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night LANTIRN system. The F-14 was developed after the collapse of the F-111B project, and was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiGs during the Vietnam War.
The F-14 first deployed in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise, replacing the F-4 Phantom II and was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-14 is in service with only the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force as of 2009, having been exported to the former Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1976, during a time when the US had good diplomatic relations with Iran.
Hasegawa's F-14 Tomcat kit has earned a reputation for being the most accurate Tomcat around. It has also earned a reputation for being a rather difficult kit to build. Those who have built a lot of them know a considerable number of tricks and those who haven't need to proceed with care.
This particular boxing is molded in black and like all of their 1/48 Tomcats, comes with metal wheels and vinyl tires. Some like this and some would rather have plastic for wheels and tires. For those, there are aftermarket items available. The kit also includes a small photo etch fret for some of the details such as canopy hooks.
The kit has the usual standard of crisp engraved detailing and offers a number of options such as raised or lowered nose gear strut, the ability to have the wings done extended or back in full sweep, the ability to have the speed brakes open or closed (these are almost never seen open on the ground), the ability to have the leading edge slats open when the wings are fully forward, the abilityto have the boarding ladder up or down, and though not specifically shown, the canopy can be raised or lowered.
The instructions are from another F-14D kit with an addendum sheet included for decal placement. The choices are two, both black Tomcats. One is the box art plane with VX-9 and the other is the earlier one with the bunny on the fin with VX-4. Decals are nicely printed and should work out very well without worries over the whites being semi-transparent.
If you want the best in this scale, this is it. It isn't an easy build, but the results are well worth the effort.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-14_Tomcat October 2009
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If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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