Revell 1/72 F-14D Tomcat






Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Comes with 'Jet Fighters of the Navy Part 2'


The F-14 is now in the twilight of its operational career. Most of the F-14A models are either at the bottom of the sea (due to accidents) in the boneyard at D-M or being replaced by F-18E/F models. Those still in squadrons are the F-14B or F-14D model. The F-14D was to be the epitome of the Tomcat. Finally able to fully utilize the airframe, it was provided with F-110 engines to replace the less than optimal TF-30s of the A model. Its avionics system was upgraded to the best radar and the ability to carry a wide range of weapons. Of those D models built, about half were rebuilds of older airframes. In a typically shortsighted move, politics reared its ugly head and rather than continue construction of this most formidable aircraft production was cut short due to rising costs. Naturally, its replacement, the F-18F, is not only much more expensive than the last of the F-14Ds, but also less capable in terms of performance, range, and weapons capabilities.



This is not a brand new kit, but the Revell AG kit released several years ago in 1999. It offers some improvements over previous kits, one being that it really is an F-14D, not just a warmed over A model with a few bits tacked onto it. The kit offers engraved panel lines which are a bit on the heavy side compared to the nicely done Hasegawa Tomcat kit. This heavy-handedness carries on to it weapons load as the missiles are a bit clunky in details, however, at least they are provided in the kit!

The cockpit is fairly well done with semi-accurate seats, though the purists will want to replace them with resin versions. A nice touch is that there are engine intake channels provided. Filling the seam will be a challenge. Wings are molded with slats and flaps up. They interlock to allow them to move fore and aft. The canopy is a two piece affair, but there is no hinge or actuator mechanism to allow it to be displayed open. There are a few parts of the kit that seem overly complicated, such as the insert under the nose section and the separate inserts for the aft section of the fuselage. There is also an insert on the nose for the gun vents. It seems as if RoG is planning to do other Tomcat variants from this kit. A pair of drop tanks are also provided. Not included are any form of bomb racks for the centerline as Tomcats do as much bombing as any other USN tactical jet.

Instructions are the usual for Revell in that they area series of well drawn construction steps with all the parts numbered and named. Color information is provided throughout with FS numbers provided where needed. Markings are provided for two aircraft. One is the box art version from VF-213 during the Afghanistan operations in October of 2001. Contrary to the box art, the color is given as overall FS 36375. This seems a bit odd to me so I'd suggest some supplementary research. The other is the ever-popular all gloss black VX-9 F-14D from Pt. Mugu. It used to be the 'Black Bunny' but political correctness required that marking to be removed. I understand that it is making a comeback.

What has jacked up the price of this kit from the standard RoG kit is the inclusion of the book 'Jet Fighters of the US Navy, part 2'. This 48 page book includes all of the 'supersonic' jets operated by the Navy, including the F-14, F-8, F-4, F11F and others. It is well done and gives a great intro to the various types. Those of us who have relatively large libraries will not get too much more from what we've already read, but those who are relatively new to the subject will find it to be a very interesting and useful book. The previous volume was included in the1/48 F9F Panther kit released a short time ago.


If you are just buying this boxing for the kit, get the RoG release and save yourself about $8. The kit itself if pretty good, though not up to Hasegawa standards. It does make a presentable F-14D from what I've seen and anyone who is really into the type will want to buy one.

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