LS 1/144 F-14A Tomcat
|PRICE:||100 yen when new some 30 or so years back|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||It has been reboxed by several companies.|
The F-14 in US service is now history with the last flight having taken place in 2006. All planes not in museums have been scrapped and melted down along with all the available spare parts in a knee-jerk reaction by frightened politicians who feared that these bits would end up in Iran's Tomcats. However, that has not been an issue with Iran who had the Israelis make all the pieces they need to keep their small fleet flying. Though how much longer these planes can remain active is unknown, it is sure that Iran has not been flying them much so there are probably lots of airframe hours left.
This is pretty simple stuff, really. I know it has been superceded in terms of detail by both Dragon and Revell in this scale, but unlike those kits, this one is a lot more simple in terms of construction.
As you'd imagine from something 30 years old, it isn't the most detailed kit in the world. However, it does have engraved panel lines and that is pretty crisply done. Of course, this simplicity extends to the total lack of a cockpit, and no wheel well detail. It is also missing drop tanks and wing pylons. It does have four Sparrow-like missiles, but they are not really well done as the tips of the fins are rather clipped.
Swing wing plane models are supposed to have moveable wings and this one complies with that. There is no compressor detail at the end of the intakes; just blanks. Landing gear is simplified, but adequate for the scale and the price. The kit comes with a clear one piece canopy, but with nothing to see, perhaps one should be painting this one blue. Landing gear doors are build for in flight so must be cut if displaying the model on its gear.
The instructions are printed on the inside of the box top and are quite adequate. No color information aside from the overall shades of light gull grey over white are given. The small decal sheet is for a VF-2 plane, but you'll have to paint all the red, white, blue and yellow bits you see on the box art. You'll also have to scrounge up nearly all the stencils, the slime lights and the stars for the ventral fins. Truly, if there was a kit for aftermarket decals, this is it. Fortunately FCM and Starfighter both have Tomcat sheets in this scale as did Microscale forty years back when then did 1/144 scale.
Those wanting a detailed kit will need to look to Revell or perhaps Dragon for their Tomcat. Those who want a canvas for a paint scheme will be pleased with this one, despite its lack of proper weapons and drop tanks. Not impossible to find, despite having been out of production for decades.
Thanks to me for buying some of these back in the olden days
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