F-14A Weapons Set

Published: June 15th, 2017     
Product Image
Reviewed by: 
Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $29.95
Product / Stock #: SIN 64828

If you prefer the added level of detail provided by aftermarket resin items, Eduard has recently released a set that you will love for arming your F-14A Tomcat. Consisting of the AIM-9G/H Sidewinder, AIM-7E Sparrow, and AIM-54A Phoenix, this Big Sin set provides four of each missile in glorious resin detail. I would highly recommend the set, and if you have some experience fitting resin parts, and working with fine decals, you should have no problem building and marking these missiles for your Tomcat.

The Phoenix has always been of interest to me as the missile was developed from the AIM-47 Falcon, which was being designed for use on the A-12 version of the SR-71 that never entered service, and the F-108 Rapier, which also never entered service. The start of the AIM-54 project was for the F-111B that oddly did not enter service either. The long-range missile had enough redeeming qualities to be the big stick carried by the Tomcat until both were retired. The AIM-54A saw production start in 1974, and by the time that it ended in 1981, nearly 2600 of the A and B models had been built, and at that time, the C version started rolling out.

Both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force used the AIM-7E Sparrow as a medium-range missile, with some 25,000 total units being produced by Raytheon. The version made for the Tomcat was the E-4, which used an improved seeker head. The AIM-9G was an improved version of the short-range AIM-8D Sidewinder, which were both naval variants of the missile. The AIM-9H, not surprisingly, was an upgrade of the G model that made the transition to solid-state components, and 3000 of these missiles were built.

This Big Sin release is a composite of sets 648303 (AIM-9G/H Sidewinder), 648062 (AIM-7E Sparrow), and 648097 (AIM-54A Phoenix), but at a savings of over ten dollars as compared to buying the sets separately. Each set is contained in its own plastic bag for the resin parts while an additional bag holds the decals for all of the missiles and the brass motor end rings for the Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles. Assembly and painting instructions are provided on the inside of bi-folded sheets of paper that include the calling out of Gunze paint colors White, Stainless, Red, Russet, Metal Black, Silver, and Gray.

I primed my assembled missiles with Alclad White Primer and Filler followed by Model Master Acryl Gloss White. I also used Model Master Metalizer Stainless Steel, Model Master Acryl Rust, Humbrol Metallic Black, and Vallejo Natural Steel and Red. The decals (the Phoenix requires 44, the Sparrow receives at least seven (another four can be added to the forward fins), and the Sidewinder has seven as well) reacted as expected to Micro Set and Micro Sol. I have left the Sparrows entirely white for this review as I noticed when recently watching the movie The Final Countdown, that the Sparrows on the Tomcats were all white (it is common to see either a gray head on a white body or white head on a gray body). As a note, remember to use the blue band decals only if you are creating inert practice missiles for your plane.

My hits for this set would include the fantastic level of detail present in the Brassin parts as well as the added brass nozzle rings for the Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles. The clear-cast heads for the Sidewinders are a great extra, and optional nose covers are provided as well if you want to model your aircraft in a pre-flight status. There are also launch rails and their applicable markings provided for the Sidewinder missiles. The decals go to the right level of detail as I have seen kit manufacturers provide the exact same serial numbers for all of the Phoenix missiles in their offering, which is completely inaccurate.

Although I did not have any major misses to mention, I did have some issues with my decals for the Phoenix missile rolling up when I removed them from the backing paper. I also found that the provided stripes for the Sidewinder and Sparrow bodies did not quite reach all the way around the bodies, so I placed mine so that the open spot will align with the attachment area, and will not be noticed. When installing the decals on the Sparrow missiles, you will need to add decals 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7 as shown in the first two drawings when you are building the missile shown in the third drawing (which only shows the numbers for the yellow and brown body stripes).

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this Eduard Big Sin set to modelers who are looking to exchange the molded missiles of their Tomcat kit with some beautifully cast resin replacements. There should be no fit up issues when installing the Brassin missiles and modelers with some experience in working with resin parts should find it easy to utilize the set.

I would like to thank the folks at Eduard for graciously providing this Big Sin weapons set to the IPMS-USA for review and to Dave Morrissette for allowing me to receive this set. I would also send kudos out to the assistants in the Review Corps for the great job they do in keeping the Corps running strong and as always, my appreciation to anyone who takes the time to read my comments.

  • AIM-7 Tail detail
    AIM-7 Tail detail
  • AIM-9 Tail detail
    AIM-9 Tail detail
  • AIM-54a Tail detail
    AIM-54a Tail detail
  • AIM-7 Air-to-Air missile
    AIM-7 Air-to-Air missile
  • AIM-9 Air-to-Air missile
    AIM-9 Air-to-Air missile
  • AIM-54a Air-to-Air missile
    AIM-54a Air-to-Air missile
  • AIM-9 seeker head
    AIM-9 seeker head
  • AIM-9 Air-to-Air missile
    AIM-9 Air-to-Air missile
  • AIM-54a Air-to-Air missile
    AIM-54a Air-to-Air missile
  • Completed Air-to-Air missiles
    Completed Air-to-Air missiles
  • Comparison with kit missile
    Comparison with kit missile
  • Comparison with kit missile
    Comparison with kit missile
  • Comparison with kit missile
    Comparison with kit missile