1/72 Academy F-14A Tomcat – Build Log

19th November 2014

Since last update I have received Mav & Goose through the post…


The observant among you will realise that these are not actually USAF pilot figures, but are RAF figures. So they are perhaps more like “Phil” & “Syd” than “Mav” & “Goose” (cheers for that one Hayden m8) 😉

But they will do for my purposes of “Pseudo Topgun”.



The resin figures have posable arms, which is great as I intend to have Syd (I mean Goose) sitting in the back seat doing the “Bird”. Ok, given the casting of the hands it will be more of a Royal wave, but I reckon that will be close enough for my purposes – either that or I will have to scratch build a finger in 1/72.




Ok, so carrying on from last time…

I left it last time with the cockpit decals having been applied but in true Academy tradition the decals turned out to be made of asbestos and were completely impervious to my stash of decal setting solutions.

Not to worry, I decided to buy some Daco products decal setting solution as I’d heard they do a monster strength solution that is capable of melting steel at room temperature.

Throwing caution to the wind I went straight for the maximum and applied a liberal coating of Daco Strong to the cockpit decals. I retired to a safe distance and waited for the decals to start smoking… After a while it became apparent that even Daco Strong is no match for the fortitude of Academy decals so it was back to the drawing board…






In 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki…

This Torii Gate was all that was left standing at the epicentre…


In 1946 Academy had the Torii Gate melted down by dragons and have been making decals from it ever since.





Anyway, the last time I had this much trouble with Academy decals I ended up making my own decal setting solution by adding cellulose thinners to Micro Sol. But this time I thought I’d do something different and give them a touch with Mr Cement S (thin glue).

I remember Phil doing this in one of his videos a while ago, and you know what – it worked like a champ!




Here’s a photo of the cockpit decals after being set with a touch of Mr Cement S.

The decals instantly snugged over all the contours.

Now I admit that the cockpit looks a bit pants in these photos… ***FEEBLE EXCUSES WARNING*** In my defence I used a good camera with a close-up lens (which makes everything look as bad as it actually is), and also the cockpit is only 1/72. And the decals were rubbish to begin with. And the cockpit was rubbish to start with. And there are 8 separate decals on the pilots instrument panel alone. And they’ve just been hit with Mr Cement S. And it will all look Ok when it’s been weathered and got a close canopy over it…      I’m over doing it again aren’t I?




Here’s another view of the set decals from the other side. As I think I mentioned, it will all come good with a bit of weathering and a grainy photo later 😉



With the decaling dilemma over, I could get back in the swing of finishing off the pit. Here it is with a coat of Citadel Nuln Oil having been liberally brushed on. Looking a bit more industrial now 🙂




While the wash was drying I moved onto the wheel wells for a quick interlude…

I’m doing her in wheels up configuration, so time to close up the wheel wells.

It seems to me that Academy designed this bird to be sat on her wheels because the gear doors are a pretty poor fit as you can see.

To be fair, two of the gear doors fitted Ok, but the one with the right angle bend in it doesn’t fit at all along its bottom edge. I’ll let the glue set and then sand it and fill it.

BTW the cocktail stick and white tack isn’t something else I have snapped off, it’s just on there to act as a handle to help me position the gear door while I glue it…




With the Nuln Oil dry, the cockpit got a dry brush with Citadel Dry Necron Compound, and also a touch of Citadel Dry Grey Beard. It’s all starting to blend in a bit now…




And back to the decent camera for a few shots of the finished cockpit…




Given how naff the plastic and the decals were I’m really pleased with the outcome. It’ll look even better when Stan & Olly are sat in there 😀


Thanks for visiting!

I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

2 comments on “1/72 Academy F-14A Tomcat – Build Log
  1. delys says:

    It was my Christmas present and I was blown away by it. Couldn’t have been moredelighted or impressed by the work that went into it.

  2. dan says:

    i really enjoyed reading this. And you are funny 🙂 glad your mum liked it. I will use some of these techniques when i build my academy tomcat

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