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A Tomcat for John: GYPSY 203

Well, it only took about 18 months but i managed to finish another model.

Here is the Tamiya F-14A, done up in the markings of one of my former teachers from VF-32, “Big John” Lawler. John was one of my CFI instructors at FlightSafety in Florida back in 2000.

The model used a combination of Tamiya acrylics, Mr Color lacquers, and Testors enamels in select areas. It was also an application of the 50-50 mix of Future/Water/Tamiya Flat Black wash, where i could go crazy with it on things like landing gear struts and wheels. This was also a test case for Gunze Mr Super Clear GX-100, which i love. The model used a combination of kit decals, decals from a recent Furball Models sheet, and some custom-made decals by my friend and un-indicted co-conspirator Todd Edlund.
I wasn’t satisfied with how the Tamiya ejection seats turned out, using the decal seat belts so in a last minute substitution i used the Quickboost 48-223 Tomcat ejection seats. They paint up beautifully but i found the overhead pull rings to be fussy to clean up and too delicate. Here is a comparison of the Tamiya seat, the Quickboost seat, and the Quickboost seat with the Eduard photo etched pull handles.

I’ve already posted most of the build evolution over at the “Year of the Cat” group build, so i won’t repeat myself here.

I will say that if you’re like many who tried to build the 48th scale Hasegawa kit and gave up on it, then this is the kit for you. Its the complete opposite of building the Hassegawa kit which is to say , it was a lot of fun.

In order to protect the model against the ever-present threat of the cleaning woman and inquisitive grandkids, i mounted the model to a carrier deck base fashioned by Mario Catania, and had a protective case made at TAP plastics…

The last technical challenge will be getting this model delivered to John in North Carolina. When that happens i’ll probably write a small article to describe the handoff.
In the meanwhile, i hope you enjoy this dose of eye candy. Thanks for shopping!


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1:48 Tamiya Grumman F-14A Tomcat Model Kit

21 responses to A Tomcat for John: GYPSY 203

  1. Nicely done and presented, sir….result(s) are outstanding.

  2. That is one fantastic Tomcat! Great overall presentation with the deck and case. Awesome. I like the quick boost seat with the Eduard PE, but for a kit seat the Tamiya seat is also really nice. I was a little curious regarding your comment about the 50/50 Future/Water/Black mix. Can you explain that? I never mixed the Future with anything and not sure how you were using it? Anyhow, really really awesome. I am long over-due to build a Tomcat. Its been like 30 years since I built one. I had the 1/48 Hasegawa you mention but never built it and ended up selling the unbuilt kit. Looked like a nightmare. This Tamiya bird is nice and maybe the way I go sometime soon.

  3. Again, words fail. A stunning achievement. I wish I could watch you at work. You know your stuff–tools and materials–and you know how to bring it all together. Fantastic patience and perseverance with a satisfying end. Fabulous.

  4. Simply Awesome! Bravo Zulu David!

  5. Magnificent.if I could, I’d ‘like’ it twice.

  6. This is absolutely stunning David………… I have been watching your progress with this one during the Year of the Cat GB, and with each step you posted, it looked even better.

    Now this is “over the top” !!!!!!!!!! a masterpiece indeed. “Big John” will be very pleased when he gets this……………….

    Thanks for participating in our Year of the Cat” Group Build. Entries such as yours have made it a huge success.

    I plan on posting a recap article soon, showing the various builds.

    Thanks again.

  7. Lovely Tomcat! I’m sure the recipient will be well-pleased! I have also recently learned the Future/water/Tamiya paint trick for highlighting from Spencer Pollard, and really like it. I bought about 5 different shades of paint (blacks/greys/browns) for various uses. Really works great for things like intake grills and such.

  8. Terrific Tomcat! one of the best color schemes I think worn by the F-14.

  9. Good job! I’ve built the Academy kit a few years ago and it was ok, but never tried the Tamiya version.

  10. Wonderful job. I understand the arduous journey some kits take to complete. This one may have taken 18 months, but it’s a masterful job my friend.

  11. Dave, This is great !
    I’ve had the privlage of getting first hand looks at the the progress Dave has put into building this “Baby”, and believe me, this is really nice ! I know a lot of you who know Dave know he’s kind of out of his element unless its blue with a bent wing, but this is one of those builds that the model Gods allow you to pull off sometimes. Well done my friend !
    By the way, who’s that “Dave Hansen” character who stenciled his name on the front landing gear door ?

  12. Dave, that’s a great looking Tomcat. Really looks the part sitting on that base. Well done,

  13. Aw Shucks. Just doing my job, Ma’am……

  14. Lovely clean build! The base and case compliment it brilliantly.

  15. David Hansen another beautiful build my friend. Love following your build progress. Excellent scheme and finish 🙂

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