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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Big Sin F-14A W/Late Wheles
(for the Tamiya F-14A) -- 1:48 Scale

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The new-tool 1:48 scale F-14A Tomcat from Tamiya is a superlative kit and since its release in 2016, it has earned a very strong following (and see our review HERE).  The Tamiya Tomcat has great fit, awesome details, and is very accurate.  Yet, there’s always room for more detail.  Eduard released a number of aftermarket photoetched metal and cast resin detail sets, and you can find them all in one place in Eduard’s Big Sin Set for the Tamiya Tomcat.

The 1:48 scale F-14A Big Sin set contains three individual Brassin Eduard detail sets: #648290, F-14A Cockpit, #648311 F-14A Exhaust Nozzles, and #648290, F-14A Wheels (Late).  First, let’s look at the cockpit.  

The cockpit tub is comprised of 30 resin parts, from the pilot and RIO’s separate cockpits the instrument panels, sidewalls, aft bulkheads, the pilot’s stick and rudder pedals, the RIO’s AWG-9 hand controller and ICS pedals, and other details.  In essence, this is a complete replacement cockpit for the Tamiya F-14A.  The detail and quality of molding is outstanding, and I cannot find a single error in terms of accuracy.  One of the best characteristics here is that the cockpit tubs and sidewall parts are designed to just drop into the kit without any major surgery or other modification to the plastic kit itself.  The throttle quadrant is molded as a separate, drop-in part and the projector for the Kaiser AN/AVG-12 Heads-Up Display (HUD) is a clear resin part that drops into the instrument coaming.  The F-14A did not have a combined glass HUD, and information was projected directly onto the inside of the windscreen. I’ve never seen a manufacturer do the Kaiser HUD projector itself like this, and it’s awesome.

The GRU-7A ejection seats are exceptionally well-made.  These seats are comprised of four resin parts – the ejection seat frame and headrest, parachute pack, seat pad, and a small back plate.  It surely is the best way to mold really intricate and accurate details as opposed to a single-piece ejection seat casting.  The detail here is exceptional and appears very, very accurate.  Of course, the back pad and seat pad surfaces are depicted as ribbed. This was the early style of padding and was replaced with smooth seat covers (late 1970s and beyond).  If you use these seats in Tamiya’s early-block F-14A kit, it’s not a problem.

The cockpit set comes with a pre-painted photoetched metal parts set.  Most of the PE metal goes towards the ejection seats and include shoulder harness and lap belts, leg restraints, ejection handles, and other small, subtle, and important details.  All look great, but I have a suspicion that that face curtain ejection handles seem just a little undersized to my eyes (not wide enough, perhaps).  There’s also a small decal sheet that includes ejection seat warning placards and really great looking instrument dial faces in both the front and the pilot and RIO instrument consoles.

The exhaust nozzle set features six resin parts spanning the rear face of the TF-30 powerplant to the afterburner nozzles themselves.  The casting looks flawless.  For me, one of my great pet peeves involves the longitudinal seams that run down the middle of a plastic kit’s afterburner can.  These are notoriously hard to eliminate especially when you’re talking about the corrugated surfaces such as those seen in the back end of a TF-30.  Here, these single-piece castings have no such seam (thank you, Eduard!).  Photoetched metal parts are also provided for flame holders and they look great.  One closed nozzle and one open nozzle are provided.  This is correct for pretty much any powered-down TF-30 equipped Tomcat.  With the way hydraulic pressure was bled off during engine shutdown, the port nozzle remained tightly closed while the starboard nozzle opened up.  Of course, if you intend to do something like an in-flight diorama, only one of these nozzles will work depending on the power setting of the engines.

The wheel set provides nosewheel and main gear hubs and tires.  These parts are also outstanding with great detail from the hub bolts, brake assemblies, and surface tire details including the tread and the Goodyear imprimatur.  They are also slightly bulged (quite accurate), and the bulges are just perfectly subtle – present, but not overdone.  Also, the F-14 main gear saw three different styles of wheel hubs over the years.  While the packaging says these are “late” in style, they are appropriate for all F-14As and Bs (just not any of the YF-14s and not the F-14D).  This set is rounded out by a very handy self-adhesive pre-cut masking set for the wheel hubs/tires.

The Big Sin set for the 1:48 scale Tamiya F-14A is outstanding and goes far to fulfill the goal of the most highly detailed and accurate Tomcat that a scale modeler can build.  When I build my Tamiya F-14, every piece of this Big Sin set is going into the build. Further, it’s a bargain considering if you were to buy each of these sets separately, you’d end up paying about 30% more.

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample. You visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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