The F-14 Tomcat was the Navy's best long range interceptor, but it is now retired. It was built by Grumman and was their last and best “cat” that they ever made. The primary job of the F-14 was fleet defense and it did this with a mix of missiles; the long range Phoenix, the mid-range Sparrow and with the short range Sidewinder. It could even use its 20mm Vulcan cannon for close in work. The last Tomcat, the F-14D, which this review is about, had new F110 engines with digital avionics and new ejections seats as well. That being the Martin Baker SUJ-17 NACES ( Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat).
Quickboost recently has made and offers a set of these SJU-17 ejection seats, which is recommended for the Hasegawa model kit. These are finely cast in gray resin with no holes or with any flash, capturing all the small details one has come to expect from Quickboost/Aires. What passes for instructions are two side view drawings of the seats that has the lower portion darken, indicating where the removal of excess material should occur. With this set of ejection seats no overhead ejection grab handles are cast as the SUJ-17 ejection seats do not come with them, just one grab handle between the legs and this is cast on the seat. So following the indicated drawings I started with a new #11 exacto blade to cut the notch out up front as the drawing shows. With this removed on both sides I used a razor saw to make cuts along the sides and back to release the seat from its pouring base. I then took the Hasegawa kit and put the cockpit tub into the forward sections of the fuselage halves, taping the front closed and using a clamp on the rear as I wanted to see how well the resin seat would fit in the cockpit tub but also to see how high it would sit. At this point, I found out two things. I had glued one of Hasegawa F-14D ejection seats together to compare its height to the resin ejection seat. It turned out the resin seat was much too tall compared to the plastic seat. Secondly, I realized that the Hasegawa F-14D kit was using the same ejection seats as the Hasegawa F-14B kit, the GRU-7A. In fact, comparing the two kits together the sprues between them are the same, with the “B” kit having two additional small sprues and neither “B” or “D” have the SJU-17 ejection seats.
Finally, the only way to get the resin seat to fit height wise was to remove all the resin on the seat's bottom. I've marked one of the untouched resin seats the amount that has to be removed. When that is taken off the seat will be low enough for the canopy to close. One then just has to go on the website and find color photos of the seat to be able to paint it correctly. That will go a long way in making your model stand out.
I can highly recommend these Quickboost ejection seats for the F-14D as they are the correct type. They also have a lot of fine details that with careful painting will really make these seats stand out. I want to thank Quickboost/Aires and IPMS/USA for giving me a chance to do this review.