Hasegawa 1/72 F-14B Tomcat "VF-11 Red Rippers 75th Anniversary"

KIT #: 00881
PRICE: $48.99 on the price sticker
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2008 Limited Edition


Three distinct squadrons have been designated VF-11, and two distinct squadrons have been known as the Red Rippers. The first VF-11 (never known as the Red Rippers) was established in 1942, was redesignated VF-111 in 1948, and was disestablished in January 1959. The second VF-11, known as the Red Rippers was established in 1927 and went through numerous redesignations before being disestablished in February 1959. The third distinct squadron was established as VF-43 in 1950, was eventually redesignated VFA-11 with the move to the F-18F Super Hornet. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation. Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.

VF-11 operated the F-14A/B from 1980 until 2005, one of the longest Tomcat operators.


Hasegawa has reboxed the Tomcat at least forty times, judging by my slowly growing collection of F-14 kits. It was natural that they'd get the most out of what has to have been an expensive molding, judging by the plethora of small parts and inserts that come with the kits. There are so many parts that the box is actually bulging in an attempt to keep them from escaping. You can see the number of bits and pieces from the image above. In many ways, this is just a smaller version of the larger and equally impressive 1/48 F-14 that Hasegawa has produced. Typical of Hasegawa, the kit came with all those sprues in two bags. As a result, there were a number of parts broken off the sprues and the bits have numerous scratches on them.

As demanded, the panel lines are engraved and the kit offers the ability to have the flaps and slats deployed. In fact, to do it otherwise will require a bit of surgery to be done on the slat tracks. You can also position the glove vanes open or closed. Again, some surgery is needed for the closed position. All F-14s had them wired in the closed position after it was realized that they didn't really do anything and were an additional maintenance hassle.  You also have the ability to have the speed brakes and entrance steps/ladder open or closed, and two different tails, though one set is not for this particular boxing. So much has the F-14 been modified and updated over the years that you really need to have photographs of the aircraft that you are modeling to get everything right.

As required by its price, this kit comes with a small fret of etched metal. These bits are for the interior, canopy and exhaust. The metalwork is very well done and should really enhance your Tomcat.  The instructions are very well done as you would expect They offer color callouts based on Gunze paint as is the norm with Hasegawa over the last decades. Every option and difference between the aircraft on the decal sheet is given so that you can do a proper job of things. As usual with most Limited Edition kits, you get a standard set of instructions with an addendum sheet. Two VF-11 options are provided, both in the tactical paint scheme. One is the CAG bird with the 75th Anniversary tail markings. The other is the C.O.'s plane with a large unit marking/flash on the fin. The decals are nicely printed and include full stencil and intake walk markings.


For many years, this was the best Tomcat in this scale. Many modelers still think this is the case even with several newer tooled kits having reached the market.



August 2022

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