Man Cave Modeler

Product Reviews
Take it or leave it, the comments here are strictly my opinion,
(and you know what they say about opinions)
I do this for fun and receive no compensation from anyone I might mention on this site.
Below is my two cents worth on some of these kits

Grumman F-14 Tomcat

Like my Cobras, I love my Cats

The F-14 Tomcat twin-engine, two seat, variable geometry swept wing, Mach2 air superiority Fighter developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program incorporating the air combat experiences of the F-4 Phantom and other types against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War. Designed to incorporate theAWG-9 radar and AIM-54 Phoenix missiles, it also carried the AIM7 Sparroe and AIM-9 Sidwinder missiles. Later in it's career, the Tomcat was modified for limited ground attack abilty with the addition of the LANTIRN
The F-14 can track up to 24 targets simultaneously with its advanced weapons control system and attack six with Phoenix AIM-54A missiles while continuing to scan the airspace.
The Tomcat was first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise, replacing the 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 into the 2000s.

The Tomcat was retired by U.S. Navy in September 2006

Italeri, 1/72

This kit comes with three sprues, two in grey, and a clear sprue with the canopy.
Sprue A contains the fusilage sections. The cockpit instrument panels contains detail,but it's not real crisp but dry brushing should bring it out. The side intrument panels are more detailed and should drybrush well. There are no decals representing the instrument clusters or switch panels
Sprue B contains the wings, tail surfaces and basic weapons load


This kit provides markings for two different aircraft The subjects are:
F-14A, VF-142, AG/205, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Hi-viz markings
F-14A, VF-41, AJ/105, USS Nimitz Low-viz Markings

For those of you looking for the high end extinsive detail kit, this ain't it
A moderately priced kit and a relatively simple build. Not as involved or detailed as somr of the more pricy kits.
Missing from the kit are details such as navigation lights.
The formation lights are represented by decals. For those of us who like to collect and display Tomcats and all their colorful markings, this kit fills the bill.
The unobtrusive but raised panel lines won't go over with some modelers.

Academy, 1/72

This kit comes with 3 sprues molded in Gray plus the clear canopy/windscreen.
The parts are extremely flash free but many of the smaller parts have ejector pin marks

Engraved panel lines are shallow but effective,
Cockpit section is split vertically, interior detail is minimal, the instrument panels are represented by decals. The forward wheel well has detail, but there's a number of ejector pin marks. You have a choice of pods for the nose of the ship and the option of the boarding ladder stowed of deployed

The Wings in this kit are geared to open and close and the glove vanes extend with the wings in the "oversweep" position.

This kit provides markings one aircraft,
F-14A, VF-51, NL/105, U.S.S. Carl Vinson

With the exception of the seats, this kit goes together very well. Fit issues are almost non existant and all the holes for the underwing armament are pre-drilled. The decals are minimal with none of the stencil markings to apply.
The large number of parts with pin marks relegate this kit is a weekend build, straight out of the box.
It looks pretty nice when complete, and for under 20.00 not a bad value for the younger or casual modeler. There are just too many of these ejector marks to fill and sand to make this your primary display kit.

Hasegawa, 1/72

Hasegawa has at least two distinct versions of this kit in 72nd scale and several at different price points. The first is called "High Visibility"
This kit comes with 3 sprues molded in the usual grey, A clear sprue with the canopy. Flash on the sprues was almost non-existent.

Interior detail is sparse, with the instrument panels represented with decals. Unlike the other kits, this one comes with the Pilot and RIO. and I didn't notice any ejector pin marks.



This kit comes with markings for two aircraft,
VF-111 "Sundowners", U.S.S. Carl Vincent
VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" U.S.S. Nimitz

My personal favorite of the 72nd scale kits, short money, good details. Not as detailed as their higher priced kits, but plenty of resin upgrades avialable.

Another is called "F-14A Tomcat Atlantic Fleet Squadrons"
When I saw this kit online, my first thought was this is the same kit as theHigh Visibilit kit with different decals, but it's not. This kit is closer to a miniature version of their 1/48th kit.
In the box you'll find 12 Sprues molded in the usual Gray, a clear Sprue with canopy and nav lights, plus a fret of photo etch.

First off, unlike their less expensive kit, this one has engraved panel lines. There are multiple options of nose sensors and two different vertical tails, (with and without stiffeners). The cockpit instrument panels are detail, so you have the option of painting and dry brushing, using the PE parts or using decals.

The Photo Etch with this kit appears to be nickel which is more difficult to cut and fold than brass but holds the details better. It contains mostly cockpit control panels and even includes the breaker panels found in the back seat
The first thing I noticed after the large number of parts was an unusually large and surprising amount of flash on just about every tree so plan on alot of trimming and filing to remove it all. Unlike their less expensive kit, this kit has several options for detailing. On the nose section of the kit, there are open compartments for the Rotary Canon, the cockpit steps and ladder, and the PE set includes Canopy Locks should you decide to leave it open.
On the fusilage, the airbrake can be deployed as are the leading edge slats, and flaps on the wings.

This kit comes with markings for four aircraft,
VF-84 CAG Aircraft "Jolly Rogers" 1988
VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" 1986
VF-31 "Tomcatters" VF-31
VF-102 "Diamond Backs" VD-102

In spite of the large amount of flash, this kit might be the best of the 1/72nd kits on the market. Highly detailed with many small parts and intimidating when you first open the box, not for the novice.
It's really designed for the details to be opened and exposed. There's a high level of detail, cockpit mirrors, the PE instrument panels, even the detail inside the engine nacells and the afterburners.

Home Page
Send a message

Last Updated February 21, 2021