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F-14A Tomcat

HobbyBoss, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: HobbyBoss Kit No. 80276 - F-14A Tomcat
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 8 x Grey sprues, 1 x clear sprue, 1 fold out instruction sheet, double sided painting guide and decals for four aircraft.
Price: £16.99 plus shipping available online from Creative Models Limited
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Looks to be a very simple build ie no slats or flaps to fit, plenty of weapons and colourful markings
Disadvantages:
Conclusion: Looks to be a very simple kit to build, great entry level model for a young modeller who is into Naval Jets. Build this baby with normal nose oleo and wings swept and you have a winner.

 

Reviewed by Phil Parsons


HobbyBoss' 1/72 scale F-14A Tomcat is available online from Squadron
 

Introduction

 

Hasegawa, Academy, Revell, Fujimi, Italeri, and Airfix already make 1/72 F-14A Tomcats, so Hobby Boss have now entered the fray in competing for your hobby dollar. Tonight I’ll look at why this is the kit for you or someone of the next generation of modellers.

 

 

FirstLook

 

When Hobby Boss first came onto the market, I purchased some of their 1/72 WWII aircraft for my son and a mate of his to sink their teeth into. I was impressed by the ease of construction and how, after minimal effort a nice model could be produced by the two boys. And so I get the same impression looking at this kit.


 

What’s in the Box?

Attention to care is the key here.

Hobby Boss certainly take care of their presentation and packaging. All sprues are individually sealed, unlike others who have the canopy floating about with the rest of the sprues. Any part that is delicate is wrapped in padding and the fuselage is in a separate storage area. All in all, the plastic arrives at your place in the same condition it left the moulds, hats off to Hobby Boss.

 

  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
  • HobbyBoss F-14A Tomcat Review by Phil Parsons: Image
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The instructions come in Hobby Boss’s standard fold out style, and the painting guide is on a single, double sided colour layout. Now, for me the painting guide is too small for my eyes. I will be using the scans in this review as they are a better size. That said; I feel this kit is aimed at the less visually challenged generation.

 

 

From the look of the layout, Hobby Boss intends to bring out the rest of the Tomcat Family. Their construction will allow different beaver tails, exhausts etc. that differentiated the family. The one area that will be difficult is the vents for the gun exhaust; this is integrally moulded to the forward fuselage and this area changed with the different variants.

The kit comes with two types of nose wheel oleo, standard and compressed with the launch bar lowered. While this is a nice option, a jet with the launch bar lowered would hopefully have a crew and the slats and flaps extended, so this is not an option with this kit. One option, nice to see is the exhausts; the TF-30’s engine nozzles, fitted to the F-14A’s were controlled by fuel pressure, via the Exhaust Nozzle Controls (ENC). Depending upon how the engines were shutdown the nozzles would be in different positions, this was the same as the ENC’s on the F-111’s. Engines shut down simultaneously are the same, if one engine was shut down before the other they will be in different positions. The standard is left closed, right fully open.

One thing I have not encountered before is the nose gear door moulded as part of the forward fuselage. This again points towards the junior modeller in simplifying the construction process. Another area to be aware of is the placement of the Fuel Tanks. The mounting holes are centrally located on the inlets, they should be further outboard.


 

Weapons

This jet comes with a full loadout, two full sprues with AIM-54,9 and 7 missiles. This is nice especially when some of the more expensive options available list “Weapons sold separately”.


 

Painting and Decals

 

 

Check your references when painting, the instructions would have you paint the entire slat red… plus in scheme IV, from all the images I have seen of VF-111 schemes the tail is white behind the SunDowners emblem. This option also lists the date as 1991, now BuNo 160656 had crashed before this date, so this actually looks to be a mid 1980’s VF-111 paint scheme.


 

Schemes

  • BuNo 160379 VF-41 USS Nimitz 1978

  • BuNo 160390 VF-41 USS Nimitz 1981

  • BuNo 159449 VF-84 [sic] USS America 1975 (Correction VF-142)

  • BuNo 160656 VF-111 USS Kitty Hawk 1991 [sic] (Correction mid 1980’)

One deficiency is the decals; the red in the stars and Bars is out of register, pity, because these are used in 75% of the schemes.

 

 

Conclusion

 

There are a lot of Tomcats on the market and prices vary as do the options available within the kits.

Hobby Boss has again produced an kit that due to its simple design, nice weapons and colours schemes will delight the younger generation. I look forward to seeing the rest of the Tomcat Family.

Thanks to Creative Models Limited for the sample


Text and Images Copyright 2012 by Phil Parsons
Page Created 1 April, 2012
Last updated 1 April, 2012

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