1/72 Hasegawa F-14B
The red tomato! VF-101 Grim Reapers AD-101. 1/72 Hasegawa F-14B with Toptierhobby decals, Verlinden resin detail set, and Hasegawa weapons. This was a pretty decent build. It's from Hasegawa's 2014 Jolly Rogers History 2 kit combo and to be honest the mould's overuse shows. I'm a Tomcat builder so I know my 1/72 Tomcat kits and this kit (and it's F-14A counterpart in my stash) has a TON of flash and ejector pin marks. A sh*tload. Now that's not an issue for the experienced and patient modeller tbh. Just use a hobby knife and a sanding stick and you'd never know. And since I know what Tomcat parts look like I know where the parts end and flash starts, but some of the flash and pin marks are so thick that to the inexperienced builder this kit would be a challenge... especially on the little parts. It's definitely not up to Hasegawa standards. Like I said though, for me it wasn't that much of an issue. I started with surgery on the fuselage for the gun and drum from the Verlinden set. Easy enough. For the cockpit I stuck with the Hasegawa cockpit and used the decal option as opposed to the photoetch option (yes I love cockpit decals!). I used the Verlinden seats though because they are so much better detailed than the kit ones and attatched the photoetched ejection seat handles provided with the kit. The kit went together easily with minimal putty needed. It comes with options to have the wings in oversweep or extended position, nothing in between. Most F-14's in this scale have sweepable wings, not this one. It's one or the other. That was fine with me because I wanted them in oversweep anyway. Had I left them extended, the kit has the option to have the flaps and slats deployed. For the landing gear you have the option to have it normal or in the squat position. I went with the normal parked position. The steps and ladder are from the kit itself (its nice that it has so many options!). I decided to leave the arresting hook in the down position (another option!) and the speed brakes open (yay options!). I also had the canopy in the open position (surprisingly many Tomcats in this scale don't have this option). The canopy details are from the kit's photoetch set. The Toptierhobby decals were an absolute joy. They are extremely thin and respond really well to microsol. They just get sucked right into every detail. Not recommended for the novice though as once they're applied, good luck moving them more than a millimeter. Once those s*****s hit the model they become part of it, so you have to get them in the right position from the start. I know that the weapons loadout on this model isn't the same as seen in pics of the red tomato. Mainly I wanted to show the B's capability and since Hasegawa kits don't come with weapons anymore because they just want more of your money, I had to buy some weapons and didn't want to break the bank. Yes, I also know the bombs weren't carried side-by-side but sometimes when I build I go for "shelf appeal" rather than absolute realism. I know the real, staggered loadout, but chose what looked better on the shelf. My personal choice. The kit came with the targeting pod which I used. The Sidewinder and Sparrow came from an old Hasegawa kit (from '79 when they still came with weapons). The Paveway bombs I bought as part of a Hasegawa weapons set along with the bomb racks that make this a "Bombcat". The lights are nice little clear parts. Really quite a nice touch. I went with light weathering since this was a special paint job and since the panel lines and rivets are a tad overdone for this scale. Overall this was a nice kit. A little cleanup makes the kit go together nicely. The only details the Fujimi kit has over this iteration of the Hasegawa one are pilot figures, rubber tires, and radar with positionable nose cone. But it's definitely second to the Fujimi in terms of a nice Tomcat in this scale. It has more detail than the Hobbyboss kit (but the Hobbyboss kit comes with weapons ?) and is MILES ahead of amt, italeri, revell, etc. If you like building Tomcats in this scale and don't mind a bit of cleanup, I definitely recommend this kit ?