F-14A Tomcat Ejection Seats with Safety Belts

Published: August 23rd, 2017     
Reviewed by: 
Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Company: Quickboost
Price:

Without question, the F-14 was the Navy's finest long range interceptor ever built. Now retired, the Grumman built F-14 was the best of all Grumman "cats". It had firepower, speed and presence with its wings fully swept forward or aft. The F-14 job was fleet defense and it used the long range Phoenix, mid-range Sparrow and the short range Sidewinder to accomplish this task, it even had a 20mm Vulcan cannon as a back up. The F-14 came in three variants; the F-14A, the F-14B and lastly the F-14D. The ejection seats used the A and B marks was the Martin Baker GRU-7A. Quickboost has recently made and offers a resin pair of these seats and they are recommended for the Hasegawa kits. These seats are finely cast with no flash or holes.

What passes for instructions are two side drawings of the seats with part of the lower section darken, these are the areas to be removed. I used a new #11 Exacto blade to carefully cut out the notch area on the front base as seen in the seat drawing. What's not shown, but what is seen when you handle these ejection seats are the overhead ejection grab handles that are cast in this area just in front of the seats. The area is too tight to try to remove these grab handles first, you'll have to remove the seat first. Go slow in using the blade to notch out the marked areas without damaging these grab handles. With that out of the way, I used a razor saw to make cuts on both sides, cutting it so the heaviest or deepest cuts were at the rear of the ejection seat base and hardly any pressure up front. After having made these side cuts you can the cut from the rear base forward going cross way. That should release the seat without damaging the grab handles. I didn't use the grab handles in this review, but I would use the tip of the #11 blade to open up the flash inside of the grab handles going slowing and with a light touch so not to break the sides. With that done the grab handles can be cut off with a razor saw. If they are damaged at any time doing these operations, new ones can be made using fine wire to recreate the handles. There is one last grab handle to open up and it is located at the front base in the area between the crewman's legs. Lastly, I used a sanding stick to clean up and level the ejection seat base.

The only 1/72 scale F-14A kit that I have is the Fujimi one (#28002), so I thought I would see how these seats fit even though the recommendation is for the Hasegawa models. To make a long story short the seat fit fine into the cockpit tub but the resin seats were about .060" too tall, which prevented the canopy from closing on the Fujimi kit. I suppose you could use the seats if you wanted to keep the canopy up but... Then I remembered that the F-14B was the F-14+ just renamed. That I had a Hasegawa kit (#113). I assembled the cockpit and placed it in the forward fuselage and these resin seats not only fit the cockpit tub but were the same height as the kit's plastic seats, so the canopy did fit over these seats and closed. So when Quickboost says that a product of theirs is recommended for a particular model brand they have a good reason for doing so.

Now for us modelers who own a 1/72 Fujimi F-14A kit don't feel left out as Quickboost has also recently made a set of GRU-7A ejection seats that will fit the Fujimi models. That would be the Quickboost QB 72556. That may have a review coming from someone else shortly. Finally, while the Quickboost offering does not give any color recommendations one can go onto various internet websites and fine many color photos of the Martin Baker GRU-7A ejection seats that you can use to paint them.

I can highly recommend these Quickboost resin ejection seats as they have excellent detailing cast into them and would be a big improvement on the original plastic seats. One has to exercise a little care in removing the seats from the cast base, but with painting they will be a real eye catcher in the model. I want to thank Aires/Quickboost and IPMS/USA for allowing me to do this review.

  • Martin Baker GRU-7A
    Martin Baker GRU-7A
  • Martin Baker GRU-7A
    Martin Baker GRU-7A
  • Comparison Kit seat on top, QB on bottom
    Comparison Kit seat on top, QB on bottom
  • Comparison QB - Left, Kit - Right
    Comparison QB - Left, Kit - Right
  • Comparison QB - Left, Fujimi - Right
    Comparison QB - Left, Fujimi - Right
  • Comparison QB - Left, Kit - Right
    Comparison QB - Left, Kit - Right
  • Comparison QB - Left, Fujimi - Right
    Comparison QB - Left, Fujimi - Right
  • Note ejection handle location
    Note ejection handle location

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