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

JNordgren42

Active Member
Now that the cockpit is done I can start making progress on the main show. Today I glued up the nose section, put some primer on the intake tunnel parts, and started test fitting the fuselage. The fit is quite excellent, but there are a few minor problem areas to sort. One odd spot is the boat tail between the engine nacelles. It's both over engineered and under engineered at the same time. They made both parts separate, but completely unkeyed, making it difficult to align correctly. A simple strip of styrene glued to the inside where the joint is sorted it, but it seems like it would have been an easy inclusion to begin with. The other issue is that the landing gear doors aren't designed to be modeled closed. So for the nose gear, I trimmed all the hinges off put them all face down on a strip of masking taped and glued them together with a strip of styrene. Once that dired I ran some thin Tamiya cement on the outside seams and I'll re-scribe to get good lines. I'll do something similar for the main gear.

Nose glued up, seams are minor to nonexistent and will be easy to clean up.
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Fuselage fit is great!
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Fuselage to nose seam is very minor and should almost go away once glued.
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Bottom nose/fuselage seam. Virtually invisible.
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Primer on the intake tunnel parts.
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I can't fathom why they didn't put some sort of alignment tabs in this area, but it's an easy fix.
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Nose doors trimmed of the hinge points and glued together with a strip of styrene.
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Nice fit on the exterior. Some quick clean up and scribing work and they'll be good to go.
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JNordgren42

Active Member
I got a little package from Ukraine this morning! :) My resin Sparrows and Sidewinders from Reskit. They're really beautifully molded and the overall quality on everything looks top notch. I ordered them on July 5th, so that's just over 3 weeks to arrive from a war zone. I honestly am happy to support the Ukrainian people any way I can and I wouldn't have raised a fuss if they never arrived. The details are fantastic and a big improvement over the kit ordinance. I had to buy both AIM-9D's and AIM-9L's because for some strange reason they loaded one of each on the filming birds. I also need to figure out what to do about the AIM-54's. An AIM-54A is period correct, but no one seems to be making them any more. Hobbylinc Japan says they have a couple of the old Eduard ones in stock, or I may just order the current Eduard AIM-54C's from somewhere in the U.S. I really wish Reskit made a Phoenix, because their Sparrows and Sidewinders are fantastic and very reasonably priced.

Very nicely packaged:
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AIM-7E
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Fins and body are resin, with PE nozzle for detail:
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The decals are very comprehensive and nicely done:
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Kit part for comparison. The Reskit missile is much crisper and more detailed and the fins have a much thinner cross section:
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AIM-9L
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Resin body and aft fins in one piece and brass PE forward fins and nozzles. They also come with protective caps for the seeker heads which is a nice touch. I won't be using them since I'm modeling it in flight, but it's nice to have them for an arming diorama.
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Very nice decals on these as well:
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The Reskit 'Winders just blow the stock ones away:
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Fin closeup. The rollerons are tiny at this scale, but you can still just make out the detail:
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AIM-9D
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One piece body and aft fins, brass front fins and nozzles:
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Same great quality on these decals as on the others:
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The resin missile blows the kit part out of the sky again:
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Fin detail is just phenomenal on these as well. Also note how much thinner the profile is:
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JNordgren42

Active Member
I assembled one of each of the Sidewinders, they look great! The PE canards really look much better than the plastic ones. I may try to chop up some microscopic bits of plastic to glue on where the canard attachment hubs are, it's the one detail that the resin missiles don't have that the kit ones do.

Resin 9L & 9D:
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Resin and Plastic 9L:
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The PE canards are much thinner and better shaped than the plastic.
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9D resin vs. plastic:
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PE canards are much better again.
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Tail end, the D & L are virtually identical:
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PE nozzle on the resin gives that last little bit of detail and the fin cross section and rolleron details are much better.
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The Sparrows will take a bit more, the resin fins need careful attention to detail to trim up for attachment.
 

Analyzer

Master Member
Having glued on tiny plastic canards on Hasegawa detail sets, I cannot image having to work with PE that tiny (simply because I find CA glue not as easy to work with compared to the plastic glue as far as working time)

It does make a nice visual difference though
 

JNordgren42

Active Member
Having glued on tiny plastic canards on Hasegawa detail sets, I cannot image having to work with PE that tiny (simply because I find CA glue not as easy to work with compared to the plastic glue as far as working time)

It does make a nice visual difference though
These were not bad to assemble. The missile bodies have slots to position and receive the PE fins. I just put a drop of thin CA on a scrap of plastic then dipped the edge of each fin into it with a pair of tweezers. Pop it into the slot and make sure it's straight in the second or three it takes the glue to set. I did the opposite with the nozzles. Dipped the back of the missile in the CA and then carefully set the ring with the tweezers.
 

JNordgren42

Active Member
I haven't had a lot of time to build the last couple of weeks, but I managed to get a solid several hours in today. The the hard to reach bits of the intakes are painted and the main fuselage is assembled. One thing that was really bugging me were the super chunky trailing edges of the intake bleed air exit doors on the upper surface of the fuselage. They look extremely toy like and out of scale on an otherwise excellent model. Thankfully a Flex-I-File strip fits perfectly in the opening and I was able to sand them down to something more reasonable. The intake parts took some care and finesse to reduce gaps, I had to use a toothpick to spread the back half apart ever so slightly and I had to carefully sequence the glue joints with adequate drying time between each stage. But my patience was well worth it, there are almost no gaps or misalignment, and what little snuck through should be easy to deal with.

I also assembled one of my Reskit AIM-7E Sparrows, the fins are very finicky to trim down and glue, but the result looks fantastic.

The first of two assembled Reskit AIM-7E Sparrows.
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Compared to the kit Sparrow:
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The bleed air door out of the box on the left side, and after some quick sanding work with the Flex-I-File on the right.
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The Flex-I-File strip just fits in the gap.
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Both bleed air doors sanded down, it looks SO much better!
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Fuselage glued up, the nose is just test fit right now.
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Top side:
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Test fit of the tail fins. It's really starting to get that signature Tomcat look!
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