I think it's worth $20. Especially considering that a Hasegawa or
Fujimi 1/72 scale Tomcat will set you back more than $20 ;^)
In all seriousness, not too bad a kit. When it first came out, its
main competition was the Tamiya Tomcat. There were few complaints
about the Revell kit compared to the Tamiya kit. Tamiya's Tomcat sold
for something like $70 while Revell's was around $15. Folks were
saying that you didn't get proportionaly more in the Tamiya kit for the
price compared to the Revell kit. That said, I recall hearing that
Tamiya did improve their Tomcat mold eventually. The Tamiya Tomcat was
also one of the first "really expensive" aircraft kits when it was
released in the early '80s.
Tamiya never really improved their 1/32 Tomcat much over the years. The two
main problems with the kit (decals for the cockpit and raised panel lines on
the rear half of the plane/recessed on the front half) still exist today.
The subsequent boxings mianly just added new ordnance and changed some
things like the gun gas vents, ECM bumps, and the beavertail to make a
"late" -A model. The only part they "improved" was the exhausts in the 1994
boxing, but they aren't that much different from the original ones, IMHO.
The latest "Black Knights" boxing represents close to the final F-14A
configuration, with the LANTIRN pod, BOL rails, and LGBs, but it's still
basically the same old kit.
While the Tamiya kit is much better detailed overall (except the cockpit),
it's tough to justify the vast cost differential if you can get the Revell
kit for only $20.
Agreed. The kit can be built into a nice Tomcat with a few tricks. I'm
doing my second one, though I doubt I'll do any more...I have two Tamiya
ones in waiting...and want a third. Any way you go you can end up
EASILY spending well over $100 on the finished effort if you like all
the goodies and don't build OOB.
Actually, the only improvements in the newer Tamiya Tomcat kits are a
set of newly molded nozzles with better detail on the interior (though
they still give you the old set, so you get four sets total) and the
additional ordnance in the newest version.
They still carry the same mix of engraved and raised panel lines, and
decals for cockpit detail. But the landing gear is far and away the
best feature over the Revell one.
I've built one of the Revell kits, have another on the bench, and also
have two Tamiya ones...so my anwser is "it depends"...
The Revell kit can be built into a reall nice looking model...with a lot
of help from the aftermarket - namely, the Tecknics cockpit kit - and a
ton of scratch building; mostly on the landing gear. Where the Tamiya
kit really stands out from the Revell is in the landing gear and
ordnance. You'll still need/want the Tecknics cockpit, which is made
for the Tamiya kit, but can be fit to the Revell with a bit of trickery.
Otherwise, Eduard has some nice cockpit etch.
Either way you go, be prepared to spend a lot of money on extras if
you're into doing that, and maybe even if you're not. If this is your
first venture into the big scales, be warned that alot of things that
don't show or aren't visible in the smaller scales will stand out like
sore thumbs in 1/32...so you may find yourself collecting add-ons just
to please you own asthetic. There's a ton of stuff out there for the
big Toms - decals, cockpit, stores, etch, etc. I thought I could save
money by building a second Revell kit, but after adding up the goodies
I've bought the cost has been pretty much the same to produce a similar
To date, my two Revell F-14As represent the largest investments in
finished kits on my shelves...not counting some unfinished ones in my
stash...I think my 1/32 Trumpeter TBF and/or my Academy F/A-18s are
going to top them.
That was actually going to be my next question - what was it going to take
to bring it up to snuff. My gut told me what I saved in money upfront was
going to be more than offset in labor and accys on the backside. That kind
of helped me pass on it for now in favor of one of the Dragon King Tigers.
Thx for the info. I still see myself picking up one of those big cats one
day, if for no other reason than a supply of of parts for one of my custom
sci fi builds I get into every so often.
I'd seriously recommend the newest Bombcat one from Tamiya - the Black
Lions one. It's got a lot of ords which will nicely fill your parts
box, and will build into a VERY nice looking Tomcat for the least money
if you don't wish to spend on the whole gamut. For instance, you could
forgo the Tecknics cockpit for the Eduard cockpit etch and save about
half the cost over the resin - and the kit seats look great...add some
Waldron buckles and your own straps and you'll get a very nice result.
CAM has the best line on F-14A decals, IMO.
Just to pique your interest, I can post some pics of my first Revell
F-14A over on a.b.m.s, if you'd like to see my first try at one. I
think it was good practice, as my second one is coming out nicer. By
the time I get to my Tamiya ones, maybe I'll have it right...
I liked the Revell Tomcat and with some extra work, nice results can
be achieved. It's up to the modeller to decide if he wants to use
after market sets, but I just did some detailling and a little scratch
Check it out, through a building report here...
Don't sell yourself short...you did a LOT of work....;)
But I like the kit, too. I've done one, and have another on the bench
right now...I can post a pic or two of my first one on a.b.m.s if you'd
like a peek.
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