If You Could Buy ANY but ONLY One 1:48 Scale F-14 Which One Would You Pick?

Boba Debt

Master Member
Normally, I only collect 1:72 die cast models but I originally built shelves for a 1:48 F-14 and a 1:48 F15 into my display area

Then the cockpit details kind of changed my mind.

The best models looked good but I'm an AC Electrician that has been working on Marine Corps Aircraft since 1990

I’ve pulled the instruments, sticks and seats

I just wasn’t sold on the look

Until JNordgren42 introduced me to Quinta Studios 3-D Printed Deals in his Final Countdown F-14 thread

Now 1:48 SCALE is back on the menu

I’m going to start with the F-14, but I only want one so cost isn’t an issue

I’m not a builder so I don’t have a lot of experience with the various model companies and available kits

So I figure this is a good place to ask

If you could only have one F-14 on you shelf, which kit would you go with and why
I don't build in 1/48 anymore but I've heard the Tamiya is hands down the way to go. Check out crackerjazz's Top Gun build, it's amazing!

Also if you want the Quinta decals, I'd start looking now, they're in Russia and unfortunately they're hard to find because of the sanctions. Try Hobbynut Models, they appear to have quite a bit of stock on hand.

For the f-14, at 1:48, Hasegawa is considered one of the best.
At 1:32, Tamiya was considered the best for a long time, but it's an old kit, I remember already owning one in the 90's when I was a kid. Then Trumpeter released one about 10 years ago considered better (including more accurate shapes over all). I haven't really kept up for the last 10 years, so unless Tamiya has released a newer version since, I'd go with Trumpeter.

It also depends which variant you want to make, A, B or D. The main noticeable difference between the 3 are the engines, and I think the D also has extra sensors. The Tamiya only has the A variant, while Trumpeter has all 3 I think. Edit: my bad, Tamiya has the D variant too like edge10 said.

Tamiya are great kits anyway, you can't really go wrong with them, but if you only want to very best, I'd consider the other options.
No idea, I have not built one myself. my comment was just based on the reviews remember reading at the time, like "this is the new best tomcat model, period"
I just watched an unboxing video so I got to see the parts and they don't seem to have the cog system like tamiya does, allowing to open both wings in sync. Looks like you have to manually rotate each wing individually
I think Tamiya released a new one in 1/32 scale a few years back.

I think Tamiya has the reputation as going together very well with minimal seams.
I built a 1/48 Trumpeter T-38 during lockdown, it was the new tool kit and I was not impressed.
I expected better.
As I recall, the "new" Tamiya 32nd scale kit is labeled "1994 version." If that's the last one, not that new. Seems like the oddity with that one is flat panels with decals, which is a head-scratcher all the way down to 1/72nd scale. Anyway, I'd ask at www.zone-five.net.
Mike Todd
I'd steer clear of Trumpeter if you're not an experienced modeler.
I've built two of their P-40B and one of their P-38L, both 1:32, and while the overall shape/proportions/impression is spot on, they both have a ton of small, terribly frustrating inaccuracies that just shouldn't exist on a model of that scale.
Tamiya 1/48 are the best.

The build looks terrific F-14 or back in the days of testing when it was being developed 303. Great job all round love the base ties all together.
I have not looked into 1/32

A bit late to the party, but as others have mentioned, the Tamiya kits are the ones recommended most for 1/48 scale

However, the announced Great Wall Hobby 1/48 F-14 may wind up being better than even Tamiya's, especially if it is anything like the 1/72 version

Here are some discussions about the upcoming 1/48 kit

I have the 1/72 kit and it is truly amazing. It is the most detailed and complete featured one I have ever seen, and it has parts for showing all kinds of things open, in maintenance. Things like posing the radome open, dropping the flaps, and leading edge slats, opening the airbrakes, wheel options for compressed tires to look like great weight is on them

out of the box, you can build one in take off position with no aftermarket parts needed. That is a rare ting for aircraft models

With all the options and details, it has nearly 300 parts just for a 1/72 version kit!

You also get a choice of 3 different markings, one of them being a run of the mill, plain old everyday, non-cag bird, or two of the fancier USS Constellation CAG birds.

Can't recommend it enough for 1/72

This is the Fine Scale modeler review of the 1/72 kit


oh, and there is also the AMK 1/48 to consider

biggest difference

The AMK provides all the other part to display the tomcat on the catapult (wings forwards, slat and flaps in takeoff, nose gear compressed, launch bar extended, …) but does not provide pilots. It’s a small details, but you have never seen a aircraft on the catapult with nobody on boards…
On the other hand, the Tamiya tomcat cannot be displayed on the catapult (no flaps, no slats, no compressed gear and no launch bar extended) and is more meant to be displayed parked (or in flight)

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