“The missile with a man in it!” is the way the F-104 Starfighter by Lockheed was described. Mach 2 speed and very high altitude was just a couple of the remarkable aircraft’s abilities. Even after marking it’s 50th anniversary in February 2004, there are a few left with the Italian air forces. They will all be retired by the end of 2004.
I was happy to see Hasegawa reissue these kits as I have several of the "Eggplanes" but not the F-14. The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box - great for holding the parts as you work on the model. There are twenty-eight Gray plastic parts and one crystal clear canopy for the F-14 Tomcat and a colorful decal sheet with two schemes. The canopy is loose in the box allowing it to be scratched up a bit, but a little polishing and a dip in Future took care of that problem. Considering this is a humorous kit I was surprised to see a four-piece instrument panel on the decal sheet. There is a plastic nose weight included but I did add a few grams of extra weight to the nose of the F-14 to be on the safe side.
Space, the final frontier…..these are the voyages… Whoops, digressing already. To most people, these words are very familiar as they are the opening of the original Star Trek TV show. Polar Lights has come out with a nice snap together kit of the original USS Enterprise. The kit is loaded with options and is targeted for both kids and the causal builder. There are over 50 pieces made from clear and white styrene along with a very comprehensive decals sheet and stickers. You can make four versions of the Enterprise from the kit. First, the ship as was seen in most 78 episodes of the series. Second, the first pilot version, third, the second pilot version and lastly Mirror Universe show. The main differences are the nacelles and the decals. There are three separate sets of warp nacelles to get this done and the instructions are very clear on what goes where for each version. The difference between the second pilot version and the Mirror Universe is decals.
Yes, I love Star Wars- I have since I saw the first movie in a theater when it came out in 1977 (yikes). In 2001, Finemolds and their president Kunihiro Suzuki starting issuing intricately detailed and very well researched replicas of the craft from Star Wars. They jumped through X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and topped it off with the 2006 release of the 1/72 Millennium Falcon. This kit, which is currently OOP, had a massive parts count of 900 and detail that makes it one of the best kits of all time. The kit cost well over $200 when released (I know, as I am one of the guys that bought one). Last I saw, the collector price was pushing $300. These are expensive, long projects to build but in the end one is rewarded with a stunning replica. They are also now hard to come by except for E-Bay. This leaves us humans in a bad way when we need to go to that galaxy far, far away.
This is an interesting little kit of a subject that, while something that I've always been interested in, has never before held much modeling interest to me. Maybe this was due to the lack of decent kits in the past, as I missed the boat on the old 1/1 scale pistol kits that were available many years ago and since then the only other firearm kits that I recall seeing were the 1/4 scale items from Verlinden back in the early ‘90s or so. These were resin kits that were OK, but not really for the casual builder. Dragon's kit of the M14, however, is a kit that a relative beginner can successfully build. I spent the equivalent of a long afternoon on this kit, spread out over a weekend. A nice, simple, quick build.