WIP: The Final Countdown Zero dogfight diorama - Part 1: 1/72 Academy F-14A

JNordgren42

Active Member
I sanded down the instrument panels in preparation for the 3D decals and test fit one. They do have a slight adhesive tack, but I'll probably peel it off and use something a touch stronger to permanently fix them since the canopy will be closed and I won't be able to get at it once it's closed up. The effect is fantastic and it's probably really impressive at larger scales (I wish I had room for a 1/32 Cat). I can't wait to get the cockpit painted and assembled.

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JNordgren42

Active Member
I've got all of the 3D instrument panel decals on and they are amazing! Looking at the close ups, I wish I had airbrushed the parts instead of hand brushing, but you can't see it by eye, so I'm not going to sweat it. I also did another test fit of the nose and once it's all put together, I think it's going to be very difficult to see anything in there. The canopy has a huge seam line I'm going to have to sand and polish out, but that's fairly normal.

My Reedoak pilot figures should also hopefully be here by the end of the week, I'm excited to get my hands on them.

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JNordgren42

Active Member
My pilot and RIO arrived from Reedoak, and they are amazingly detailed and dynamic sculpts compared to most plastic figures. They need some cleanup of the supports, which will have to wait until Amazon delivers my new magnifiers. The only small gripe I have with them is his support strategy. They were set up with the front and head facing the build plate, they would require a lot less work if he reversed that and put the back and feet towards the plate. But other than that, they're amazing.

Pilot:
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RIO:
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A little less magnification on the pilot:
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Test fit, they snuggle into the cockpit perfectly:
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RIO in the cockpit. His hand position on the grab bar is perfect:
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JNordgren42

Active Member
The ejection seats are coming along nicely,the minor details that came with the 3D decals add lot.

I've also got the figures cleaned up and primed. I used Modo Surfacer (lacquer based) thinned down to airbrush consistency. It's very hot and goes off super quickly, if you don't thin it for both hand brushing and airbrushing, it easily gets too thick. But it's great stuff if you take care with it.

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JNordgren42

Active Member
It's been slow going, lots of real life getting in the way of modeling, but I've made good progress on the cockpit and crew. Under high magnification there are definitely flaws, I'm not super happy with the helmets in particular (I hate, hate, hate painting yellow), but with my Mk.1 Eyeballs it looks pretty damn good. I made some very rough and impressionistic approximations of the patches and helmet graphics, I think they do the job, especially once it all gets under the closed canopy. Everything is still just test fit without glue but it fits together really well. I just need to put some of the smaller details on like the emergency engine shutoffs and ejection seat handles, but I'm going to wait to do that because I don't want them to fall off in handling.

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joberg

Master Member
Cockpit is looking mighty good and with other little details added on, it'll be even sharper. :cool: (y) As for applying yellow; I feel your pain...
I usually airbrush the yellow first and then paint the rest of the figure/parts. It's less frustrating that way;)
 

JNordgren42

Active Member
Cockpit is looking mighty good and with other little details added on, it'll be even sharper. :cool: (y) As for applying yellow; I feel your pain...
I usually airbrush the yellow first and then paint the rest of the figure/parts. It's less frustrating that way;)
Yeah, I prefer to airbrush yellow when at all possible too. Unfortunately I got rid of my old and busted air compressor when we moved, it was a small contractor type and loud as hell. I'm going to get a good airbrush compressor soon, just haven't had the budget since we've been dealing with the new house. I'm also going to need to get a spray booth. In California, I just sprayed out in my garage, the heat generally never got so oppressive that I couldn't handle it (at least not for more than a few days at a time). But here in Texas, that is not an option in the summer. ;)
 

p51

Sr Member
Great work. I'm reminded of a large scale intruder someone modelled where the pilot is being filmed from the right seat with the 'zero' T-6 mockup alongside, as that's how they filmed the cockpit scenes in the movie. If you go back and watch, you can clearly see a canopy rail that isn't from a Tomcat!
 

JNordgren42

Active Member
The crew and cockpit are done, I've got it glued together and ready to put in the nose halves. The last little details from the 3D decal set really help. The shoulder straps for the harness are intended for an empty seat, but a little judicious blade work under the magnifier and they're perfect.

Pilot in his seat:
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RIO:
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Cockpit all glued up. I need to do some touch up on the instrument coamings, but I'm very happy with the result:
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