Zhengdefu 1/72 F-14A Tomcat






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




After reviewing multitudes of decal sheets as well as several kits of the Tomcat, I have actually run out of things to say about it! I'll just let it suffice that there are fewer of them around than there used to be and that they will have been replaced in the next few years by the F-18F Super Hornet.


What I'd really like to discuss is this kit.  You know, it looks suspiciously like the Italeri kit. Now it has been a few years since I built that particular model, but the layout of the sprues, the fact that there and the size of them (to fit snugly in those Italeri boxes), leads me to believe that this is a flagrant copy.

That brings up another subject. Should one buy these kinds of kits. Now it is an open secret that certain Korean companies base their new 1/72 releases on other companies models. However, they generally improve upon them to the extent that no copyright laws are violated.  This does not seem to be the case with Zhengdefu, unless the kits are produced under license. A close inspection of the sprues shows no indication that these are from any other company. This can be a real poser to a conscientious buyer. Should one purchase a kit that appears to have been stolen from another company. Afterall, copying is basically stealing someone's copyrighted material. I'll leave that up to you to decide. It will also be interesting to see what impact these kits have in the general market.

If this is the kit I suspect it is, then the general fit is fair, but not outstanding. There will be some problems with the engine intakes and the nose will be the proper shape. There are a nice selection of stores, including Phoenix, Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. There are also properly shaped fuel tanks and a camera pod. Despite what the box states, this is an F-14B (previously known as an F-14A+ until about 1990) as you get the larger burner cans.

The instructions look very much like Italeri ones, even to giving Model Master paint references. The decal sheet is for a plane from VF-74, and unlike other Zhengdefu sheets I have seen, this one looks pretty good. If it doesn't disintegrate when you put it in water, it should be usable. Of course, there are a lot of aftermarket sheets out there.

As with other Zhengdefu kits, reading the box can be a bit misleading. Not only is this kit NOT an F-14A (it is an F-14B), but it is also not an Air Force Trainer!  I guess that little things such as proper service and aircraft type are not that big a deal to the Chinese in the PRC. BTW, the F-14D kit they have shows a VF-111 F-14A on the box art. It will be interesting to see what is in the box!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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