1:48 Kits, Reviews 'n' Builds Tamiya US Navy


Was a return to Tamiya's wonderkit all I hoped it would be? Yes and then some...

So, have I changed my mind about the kit? Not a bit of it – it’s every bit as stunning as I considered it to be in 2016. 


In 2016, I was fortunate to have been asked to build a white box of the Tamiya F-14A Tomcat for TMMI, and at the time I described it as the best 1:48 kit I’d ever built. Fast forward 18 months and I thought I’d have another go, this time using some of Eduard’s upgrades and also Furball’s stunning decals, the latter allowing me to complete the aircraft in arguably my favourite scheme, the black-nosed early colours of VF-41 ‘Black Aces’. Well, it’s now done for the next MAI and a staring role in my display. 

So, have I changed my mind about the kit? Not a bit of it – it’s every bit as stunning as I considered it to be in 2016. 

Hmm, I wonder if I should build a third..?


If you would like to read more about this model, back issues containing my in-depth feature are still available from the Doolittle Media website:




I'm formerly the editor in charge of Military In Scale magazine and latterly, Model Airplane International. Editing duties to one side, I'm now a full-time modelmaker with Doolittle Media, working to supply modelling articles and material for a number of their group titles, including MAI and Tamiya Model Magazine International. I'm also an avid fan of Assassin's creed, Coventry City FC and when the mood takes me, a drummer of only passing skill. Here though, you'll find what I do best: build models and occassionally, write about them!


  1. a333driver

    Having built the kit myself I can say you are spot on in your comments


  2. David Hansen

    Definitely the best engineered, best-building 48th scale Navy jet out there. Worth every penny.


  3. David Hansen

    And a beautiful paint scheme too. Those markings look great on both the Tomcat as well as the Phantom.


  4. Tom Potter

    You’re tempting me!


  5. Dan Belton

    Absolutely stunning as per usual Spencer. It really is an incredible kit and you do it justice ever time.

    Congratulations on the finish variation around the nose, the matt anti-glare panel in front of the windscreen next to the overall gloss is spot on, can’t wait to see it in print.


  6. Harold Cline

    Spencer: My intent is to build Black Aces #107 from the Gulf of Sydra incident 1981. I have not been able to model for years, so I am building some simpler kits as a run-up to the TomCat. My wife insisted I buy the Tamiya kit after hearing my enthusiastic description of your You Tube comments about it. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your blog and your You Tube channel very much. Cheers.


  7. FJ-3 Fury

    Agree with Dan. Your mastery in dealing with gloss, satin, and matte is very inspiring!


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