F-14A Exterior Set

Published on
December 1, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Hobby Boss 1/72 F-14A Tomcat
Company: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Detail Fret

Recently, Eduard released photoetched detail sets for the 1/72 scale Hobby Boss F-14A, and these included both an interior as well as an exterior set. Upon opening this set, you will find a single, bare metal fret of photoetched parts along with a single sheet of directions. The items in this set, as one would assume from the title, are made to enhance the exterior of an F-14A Tomcat, and they do this most impressively by adding detail to the landing gear, gear doors, access covers, engine inlets and outlets, missile launch rails, and the missiles themselves.

The fret contains 66 numbered items, and like the interior set, some of these items contain multiple parts. As a word of caution, only a couple of the small access panels have additional parts available, so be cautious in handling the pieces once removed from the safety of the fret, as there are no back-up parts. I found it useful to mix medium and thin viscosity cyanoacrylate (CA) glues to install the pieces as this allowed some working time while still flowing easily.

The parts do a nice job of dressing up the landing gear bays, and really improve the appearance of the landing gear. The engine inlet and outlet parts are improvements over the kit-provided items. Although the all-photoetch forward gear doors look nice, they are the most difficult items to assemble. The detail for the missile pylons is great if you want to display your Tomcat unarmed, as the mounting points for the missiles must be removed to allow for their installation. The rims for the missile rocket motors and the fuselage slime lights are missing on the kit, so adding these parts bolsters detail, while the access panels on the wings and fuselage are all enhanced by adding the Eduard items.

My hit for this detail set is the level of detail, even though my experience has always been good with Eduard items. Although the Hobby Boss kit is a nice place to start, the addition of this set will help to enhance it quite a bit. Some detail is brought out better with the addition of the Eduard parts, while in some instances detail that was not present can now be added.

My only real miss with this set was that the directions mention adding rims to the rocket motors for six AIM-54 (Phoenix) missiles, while there are only four pieces available. On the positive side, though, there are five rims for the AIM-9 (Sidewinder), and seven for the AIM-7 (Sparrow) and only the use of two of each are mentioned in the directions.

In conclusion, I can highly recommend this exterior detail set to anyone wanting to improve the outward appearance of his Hobby Boss F-14A. My caution, as with the interior set, would be that a person would greatly benefit from having experience in dealing with some very small items; otherwise, this could be a source of frustration.

My thanks to the folks at Eduard for graciously providing this detail set to the IPMS USA for review, to Steve Collins and his assistants in the Review Corps for allowing me to receive this set, and as always, to anyone who takes the time to read my comments.


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