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F-14A Tomcat

Exhaust Nozzles Varied Positions



1/48 scale




S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4256 - F-14A Tomcat Varied Positions
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text below
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Superior to kit parts in terms of accuracy and detail; excellent casting; well packaged.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires 1/48 scale F-14A Tomcat Exhaust Nozzles will be available online from Squadron.com




New from Aires Hobby Models is 4256, 1/48 scale exhaust nozzles for the Grumman
F-14A Tomcat.

A mixed media kit, it supplies six resin parts as well and two photo-etched ones. The resin parts include the exhausts, nozzles, and afterburner cans whilst the photo-etch pieces are the two afterburner sections.

The set is meant for the Grumman F-14A Tomcat only. The A model F-14 used the TF-30 engine as opposed to the GE-F-110-GE-400 fitted to the later build F-14A+ (also called the F-14B) and F-14Ds.

A distinct feature of these engines and the F-14A was that, when shut down, the exhaust of the port engine closed down whilst the exhaust port of the starboard engine remained open. Aires has identified this feature and has cast this set appropriately.

The parts themselves are cast in mid-grey resin. No problems with the casting were evident on my set; there are no mis-casts or pinholes. The cast-in detail is excellent too and once painted and treated to a wash and dry brushing will really stand out.

Click thumbnails below to view larger images:

Aires don't say what kit they have based the set on. I have compared the resin parts to that of the Hasegawa kit though and look to be drop-fit replacements.

Are the Aires parts better than those supplied in the Hasegawa kit? Yes they are. Whilst the Hasegawa ones are very nice, the Aires ones exhibit far more depth to the detail.

Assembly instructions are by way of black and white exploded view drawings on a small instruction sheet that also carries a "parts map" to help you identify the pieces. No painting instructions are provided apart from a colour photograph of the kit's parts on the box top.

Packaging is by way of the resin parts being placed in a plastic zip-loc bag which is then wrapped in a small square of bubble wrap. The bubble wrapped package is then placed into a flimsy cardboard box. The photo-etch fret is placed into a plastic bag that also contains a piece of stiff cardboard to prevent the fret from bending.

Do you need this set? It's your choice of course but for my money, yes. The detail of the resin parts is superior to that of the Hasegawa kit and for that reason, it is recommended.


Sadly, the F-14 is being replaced and is all but gone. When it was in its heyday I was fortunate enough to go aboard carriers of the Pacific Fleet when they visited us here in Perth and photograph it.



I have included a couple of shots with this review that gives you an idea of what the back end of a VF-213 Black Lions A Tomcat looked like.



Thanks to Aires for the review sample

Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 26 September, 2005
Last updated 27 September, 2005

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