1/48th Tamiya F-14A - VF-14 Tophatters

My only completed model of 2023, but it was a blast building it! Hoping to actually complete many more things in 2024.

For me, the F-14 is one of my all-time favorites so I wanted to go all out on this one.
Anyway, onto the build. The cockpit is a mashup of the Eduard upgrade set, KASL seats, and Quinta Studio decals.

Had to put the landing gear together in order to get the fuselage halves together so I decided to paint it all at once while I already had the colors out. Landing gear is from Detail & Wonder studio. BuNo. 162698 had had a long life and the Tophatters were just finishing Operation Allied Force so I took some creative liberty on the amount of landing gear wear and tear.

With the landing gear done it was time to move on to painting the plane. I’d picked the 80th anniversary scheme and poked around for some reference photos of the BuNo.

Lots of pre-shading and some hand cramps later.

With the paint done it was time for decals and then the F-14 could finally stand on its own legs. I’d debated going after the patchy paint that is common to see on USN planes and I decided to save it for a different time as I think it would’ve detracted from the beauty that is the freshly re-painted vertical stabilizers.

Finally time to weather the plane.


Nothing too too crazy on weathering, but I wanted to capture the dirt, dust, and grime buildup with some artistic license.

Just time to add the armament and it’s all done!

Some finished photos.

Probably my favorite photo of the whole build, just because this was my third attempt at jet engines and I was super happy with how they turned out.

Here’s to many more builds in 2024 along with some proper as-it-happens logs!



Sharp lookin’ Cat.

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That’s a superb job! It looks great. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

Nice work on the build and paintwork.
The extra detail in the cockpit really does bring it to life.

The cockpit work is outstanding! Overall great build

Fantastic Tomcat … my fav bird by far …


Dam !!!

What a beauty, had almost forgotten how great those F14 s look…

Thanks all for the kind words! I gambled a little bit with the weathering and I’m glad initial reaction doesn’t push too far towards overdone :grin:

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