Hasegawa 1/72 F-14A 'Wings 1994 Atsugi Independence'
|PRICE:||2200 yen SRP when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||1994 Limited reissue|
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters, which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.
The F-14 first flew in December 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical aerial reconnaissance platform. In the 1990s, it added the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system and began performing precision ground-attack missions.[
In the 1980s F-14s were used as land-based interceptors by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War, where they saw combat against Iraqi warplanes. Iranian F-14s reportedly shot down at least 160 Iraqi aircraft during the war, while only 12 to 16 Tomcats were lost; at least half of these losses were due to accidents.
The Tomcat was retired from the U.S. Navy's active fleet on 22 September 2006, having been supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-14 remains in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976, when the U.S. had amicable diplomatic relations with Iran.
Hasegawa has reboxed the Tomcat at least five dozen 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, which does nothing to help prevent scratching during shipping.
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.
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.
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.
This boxing has markings for two CAG birds aboard the USS Independence during 1994 and on static display for the Atsugi open house. The box art plane is from VF-154 and is in the standard TPS camouflage scheme of three greys. The other is, of course, VF-21. This aircraft is in the simplified TPS of only the two darker greys. A nice treat are some closeup photos taken at the event of both aircraft. The decals are nicely printed and provide a variety of stencil markings along with the intake walk markings. You will have to paint the black canopy surround and the fin tip on the VF-21 aircraft.
You can add this one to a growing list of Hasegawa limited reissue kits. I guess it is a good way to do business as they seem to sell rather well. I'm surprised at how well these molds have held up. The final result of the build is a superb model of an important US fighter.
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