(AIR) Tamiya Tomcat Help Needed...

    I've been hankering to build a Tamiya F-14 in VF-102's F-14B livery but the price of the "Black Knights" release is - for now - out of reach for
me. I understand Tamiya will sell individual sprues of kits and wondered if someone could supply the sprue number for the glove-vane Phoenix pylon adapter and any other sprues that may be involved in this kit vice the previous releases. I've got the '1994' release as well as the original one and from what I've read, the Black Knights kit is the '1994' release with the adapter and some fiddly bits.
    I've also got the TAC cockpit set, the Meteor update set, etc. but I don't know what else is involved in the Black Knights release...
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Frank Kranick
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Francis X. Kranick, Jr. wrote:

I have the "original" release and the 1994 version and they are identical except for the decals, and a set of retooled exhaust nozzles with a bit more detail on the inside. The Black Knights kit adds a ton of new ordnance to the 1994 version - most of which you could probably do without, but that makes a seriously nice addition to the spares box. So, I want one...I'll mod it into a D. So - to build your VF-102 project you could use any of the Tamiya kits and be just fine, IMO.
Glove adapters for the AIM-54 are actually pretty easy to scratchbuild using plastic sheet, but I'd forget about that loadout as F-14s are very rarely flown in that configuration...at least that's what I've heard from the Tomcat drivers I know. I'd suggest mounting an AIM-7 and AIM-9 on the port glove, and an AIM-9 and LANTIRN on the starbord one. A very nice F-14 LANTIRN pod is available from Meteor.
Also - if you're doing a Bombcat, don't mount two GBU-24 on the forward pallets in the tunnel. That's a flat out wrong configuration for couple of reasons. The way it's actually done is one forward, one aft on the opposite side. Even more "correct" would be to mount GBU-12 or 16s; four each, or two each on the forward pallets only. The ones from Black Box are most excellent.
DEFINATELY DO NOT mount a forward heavy bomb load and two Phoenix on the gloves like I'm seeing a lot of folks doing...that's just silly. Look at lots of pictures of operating aircraft and you'll see what I mean...
As for other detail parts, I'll suggest the exterior etch set from Eduard. A lot of nice stuff for the exterior of the jet. And if you'd like to switch up your cockpit kit choice, the Tecknics kit is simply the best looking one out there. A kit in itself.
--
- Rufus

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Rufus wrote: (snip)

    I'm still assembling things for this build and looked over the Tamiya kits I have; the 'original' as you called it and the 1994 version. One item you don't mention is the boattail which has been revised to -B and (maybe) -D standards.

    From what I've read and heard, many Tomcats were fitted with one Phoenix on the port glove (I'm looking at a photo of a section of VF-102 -B's and one of them shows this load, and I've seen some others), forward Phoenix pallets and a mix of Sparrows and Sidewinders in various mixes.

    Curiously, most of the images I've grabbed from the 'Net show just this loadout - two heavy bombs forward. I understand your observations on the practicalities of staggering them and have even seen a photo of a bomb load with a TARPS pod.

    Indeed - I have an old Teknics set, a newer one (via Meteor) and the CAM F-14D conversion set to boot. No bombs (yet) but that will be corrected soon. I've also got to get the Eduard stuff... And, I may still get the "Black Knights" release - you never can have too many Tomcat kits, decals sets, what-have-you... ;-)
Frank Kranick

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Another difference between the original and '1994' kits is the vents around the cannon. The original had the vaned vents and the '1994' kit has the NACA vents. Also, the '1994' comes with a TCS pod for under the nose.
The bombs you don't put side-by-side in the tunnel are the GBU-24s with the penetrator warhead; their fins are too big in span. You can go ahead and put LGBs based on the Mk.82/83/84 in there. Plenty of pics of VF-41 Tomcats taking off for Kosovo carrying GBU-10s [2,000 lb] next to each other...
Ge tthe Black Knights kit, Frank! You know you want it...
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snipped-for-privacy@mac.com wrote:

    Indeed - I hate being a fence-sitter on this. When I can find one reasonably priced, I'll probably get it. Along with new resin, photoetch, decals....     I'm a glutton for punishment.... ;-)
Frank Kranick
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snipped-for-privacy@mac.com wrote:

What Tomcat driver have told me is that you can put two GBU-24 in the tunnel, but they have to be staggered - one front left, one aft right if I recall correctly. Most (if not all) modelers (and kit manufacturers) are getting it WRONG...nix the AIM-54 on the gloves, too.
Same goes for F/A-18A-Ds - one and one only; inboard station with a fuel tank on the opposite side (referred to as goofy gas). The depiction on the new 1/32 Academy kit box art is TOTTALLY wrong, for example.
--
- Rufus

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The sprue numbers are in my review here:
http://kits.kitreview.com/f1432rveiewdw_1.htm
Dave

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