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WIP Super Tomcat 21 (Finished Page 4)

Started by Tomcatter, December 03, 2022, 11:18:20 PM

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Tomcatter

This is a lengthy one, but well worth it!
(COMPLETED PICS ON PAGE 4)
To start off, I have to give some credit to user Spino, who jumped me to starting an ST-21 Cat.
The backstory to this WHIF is tragic and well established—in an effort to evade the evil machinations of Dick "God I Love Boeing (and Shooting People)" Cheney, Grumman begged the DOD to keep the Tomcat production lines with a series of modular upgrades to the bird that would have kept it one of the most versatile and deadly fighters on the planet. They went so far as to produce a very handsome scale model, which I often pass while volunteering in the Cradle of Aviation Museum in New York.









But since going faster that Mach 1.5, going long range, fighting competent peer nation-states, or spending money was out of the question in the years of the Peace Dividend, the Big Fighter was consigned unceremoniously to the museums by 2006, wing boxes chopped so as to never take to the air again.

But if Grumman had been allowed to digitize and strike-ize the Tomcat, we could be looking at a very different story (and a very different movie sequel). Using the WarZone's excellent and comprehensive article with illustrations by HangarB, I've ventured out to make my advanced Tomcat dreams come true.











I decided to take some risks and spend probably more than I should modifying a Tamiya kit, with interesting results for my skill level as it stands right now. Additionally, I used an array of add-on parts in order to try and achieve this modernization. My only thing I can't wrap my head or experience around, both of which are somewhat empty, is how to make the leading-edge extensions from scratch. :banghead: More to follow.

If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Tomcatter

I am going to apologize once more before hand for the sheer depth with which I'm going to try and present this project. I obtained a lot of reference imagery and information, and am very very passionate about the subject. So, this is my "Turn Back Now, Weary Traveler!" warning. Proceed as you dare.
If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Tomcatter

MAIN KIT

The relatively new F-14D mold on the market that appealed to me is the Tamiya 1/48.



This kit is sheer magnificence. Excellent panel lines, panel fit so buttery smooth and precise it can even make a moron like me look good, and a build process that is actually decently easy, especially since I had to do no gap corrections.



Lots and lots of decals--some of which I'll be using--and the included masking paper, which is a fantastic addition.







If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Tomcatter

ADD-ONS PART ONE: SENSORS AND ELECTRONICS




Rogoway's theoretical upgrade to the upgrade includes a fearsome update to the sensor package of the ST21, improving its commonality with other strike assets in the U.S. inventory and further increasing its capabilities. To this end, I need to integrate the AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER XR targeting pod, alongside a LANTIRN navigation pod, the same configuration present on the current F-15E Strike Eagle. The kit already comes with LANTIRN components, so I purchased the Hasegawa Weapons E kit, which contains the needed pod, alongside some more modern kinetic options for the kitty that I'll go into next. The aircraft retains the ahead-of-it's time IR and TV chinpod that the F-14D, and the kit, came with.





Grumman imagined, and so does Rogoway, the ST21 with a fully digital cockpit replacing the MFD's-plus-steam-gauges cockpit of the D-model. I concur to a degree, but use existing technology--the premade Eduard F/A-18F screens will replace the dash for the RIO and pilot.


Mocked up, with significant fudging, cursing, double checking, and modifications to host and addition.

Like the Superbug backseat, the RIO gets two control sticks, one of which is the LANTIRN stick that comes with the kit, and the other is part of a spare pilot's stick because I dropped the spare LANTIRN stick into the abyss. These allow the RIO to seamlessly control many functions of the aircraft, including manipulating screens under G-loads without having to reach for them.

Martin-Bakers and the front screens join the cockpit.








Lastly, we're joined by our intrepid aviators. They wear JHMCS visors, as these guys are actually leftover add-on 1/48 U.S. Pilots that came in at the perfect time.

Also, disbelieve your lying eyes. That is definitely the shadow of the screens back there, and I definitely did not chop off the RIO's legs at the knee to allow him to fit back there.





If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Tomcatter

ADD-ONS PART TWO: AIR-TO-AIR

The primary mission of the F-14 was all-domain air supremacy and fleet air defense. With a massive AESA radar and modern FOX-3's, the ST21 would have been a missile truck before the concept was even thought of, roaming through enemy bomber or fighter formations far away from the carrier with missiles to spare. In a strike configuration, the Tomcat's payload could allow it to still fight its way in and out to a target area.
During my research, I found this bizarre and fascinating image on the Eagle Dynamics forums, depicting a Tomcat with a mysterious pylon configuration it never flew with.


Using the station "B" adapter usually used for carrying a LANTIRN pod (here on the opposite side of the aircraft, this F-14 mounts two AIM-120's! I still have absolutely no clue what the context or author of this photo was, presumably during the AIM-120 integration trials. I did find, however, that the missile rail there is a dual-mount used on the Hornet.


Luckily, this comes with the Hasegawa weapons kit, alongside a crap ton of AIM-120s and AIM-9Xs.




The ends of the Hasegawa missiles are flat; using an Exacto knife, I carve in concave rocket motor exhausts.




Clipping a jettison release thingy from the LANTIRNs, who aren't using 'em, we then add in the missiles.




With the AIM-9X attached to the Sidewinder station, we've now significantly enhanced our air-to-air via the power of kitbashing.

If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Gondor

Very nice so far. Couple of things I have noted though, don't worry, nothing negative.
Don't forget to have the crew strapped into their bang seats, a basic mistake that is often missed by far more experienced modellers at times, and why I don't have crew in my builds.
Love the cockpit and the mix of Hornet and Tomcat instrument panels as well as the mix of pylons and adaptors for the weapons.

The concept of a heavily armed aircraft to shoot down attacking aircraft at a distance is not new, the Douglas F6D Missileer is the nearest the idea came to fruition.

Gondor
My Ability to Imagine is only exceeded by my Imagined Abilities

Gondor's Modelling Rule Number Three: Everything will fit perfectly untill you apply glue...

I know it's in a book I have around here somewhere....

Old Wombat

He's back with a vengeance! :thumbsup:  ;D
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

PR19_Kit

Quote from: Gondor on December 04, 2022, 03:31:48 AMThe concept of a heavily armed aircraft to shoot down attacking aircraft at a distance is not new, the Douglas F6D Missileer is the nearest the idea came to fruition.


Surely the original F-14 was even closer? The F-14's radar and Phoenix missile combination was the longest ranged system of its time, and it was operational, whereas the F-6D/Eagle missile programme never left the drawing board.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

kerick

I finding this fascinating on its own and numerous ideas for my medium bomber project if I get going on it'
I'll meet you on the dark side of the moon.

Tomcatter

Quote from: Gondor on December 04, 2022, 03:31:48 AMVery nice so far. Couple of things I have noted though, don't worry, nothing negative.
Don't forget to have the crew strapped into their bang seats, a basic mistake that is often missed by far more experienced modellers at times, and why I don't have crew in my builds.
Love the cockpit and the mix of Hornet and Tomcat instrument panels as well as the mix of pylons and adaptors for the weapons.

The concept of a heavily armed aircraft to shoot down attacking aircraft at a distance is not new, the Douglas F6D Missileer is the nearest the idea came to fruition.

Gondor

That's true, but I refer more to the recent conceptual trend of loading a 4+ gen fighter with tons of spamraams in future air battles. The underlying is not new, just updated.
If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

Tomcatter

Quote from: Tomcatter on December 04, 2022, 02:11:29 PM
Quote from: Gondor on December 04, 2022, 03:31:48 AMVery nice so far. Couple of things I have noted though, don't worry, nothing negative.
Don't forget to have the crew strapped into their bang seats, a basic mistake that is often missed by far more experienced modellers at times, and why I don't have crew in my builds.
Love the cockpit and the mix of Hornet and Tomcat instrument panels as well as the mix of pylons and adaptors for the weapons.

The concept of a heavily armed aircraft to shoot down attacking aircraft at a distance is not new, the Douglas F6D Missileer is the nearest the idea came to fruition.

Gondor

That's true, but I refer more to the recent conceptual trend of loading a 4+ gen fighter with tons of spamraams in future air battles. The underlying is not new, just updated.

Forgot to add, thanks for the seatbelt reminder, the add-on kit comes with nice etched ones that I can still probably weasel in there.
If it doesn't trap on a boat or do... things related to boats, I probably won't like it.

DogfighterZen

"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

NARSES2

I'm still looking at the size of that transfer sheet  :o  Some lovely work so far  :thumbsup:

Quote from: Tomcatter on December 03, 2022, 11:39:14 PM-and the included masking paper, which is a fantastic addition.


Only issue I have is that they need to be cut out (Tamiya aren't the only company to provide this style of masks), just whish they go the whole hog.
Decals my @r$e!

Wardukw-NZ

This I am thinking is going to be pretty good as it's well on its way to looking great ..we had a saying in my unit...some is good..more is better ..mostly meaning ammo but smokes and whiskey was also included and I can see that saying with the weapons.
A F14 loaded with a couple of missiles is like a double decker bus with one passenger..rather empty.
If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .

KiwiZac

Oh, this will be good. I'm so on board!