This set is designed for Great Wall Hobby’s recent F-14D Tomcat kit and will nicely spruce up your build. The set includes complete photo-etch replacements for the instrument panels and cockpit side consoles for both cockpits, including the circuit breaker panels behind the Radar Intercept Officer’s (RIO’s) seat. A nice touch is the inclusion of not only the rudder pedals for the pilot, but also the foot pedals for the RIO which while not connected to any flight controls are important as the location of the RIO’s radio/ICS talk buttons. In order to install the etch parts you will need to remove the molded-on details from all the panels and consoles before painting the cockpit and installing the etched parts. Unfortunately, I received the set after I had painted and assembled the cockpit, so I have set them aside for the next one.
The set also includes the lap belts and should harnesses for both ejection seats along with details such as the lower ejection handle (the SJU-17 seat does not have a face curtain with upper ejection handles like the GRU-7 use in the F-14A) and leg restraints. The leg restraints are very small and delicate, but I decided to leave them off as they will not be seen once the seats are installed and in reality, they should droop to the floor not stick stiffly out from the seat. The set also includes a large yellow and black handle for the left side of the seat, but as I did not see it in any of the online photos of the seat, I left it off (to me it looks more like the canopy jettison handle that is located on the lower right side of each instrument panel, so I will probably use them for that purpose next time).
Finally, the set includes a replacement radar antenna with the associated transmitters/receivers. The antenna itself is easily mounted by super gluing it onto part A49, but I strongly recommend that you not attach A49 to the antenna mount (part A50) until after you have mounted all 10 of the transmitters/receivers to the antenna. The transmitters/receivers are very delicate and like many other small pieces of photo-etch seem to be determined to launch themselves into the unknown. However, as there are no spares provided for these, you will need to keep track of them! I tacked them onto a piece of folded over Tamiya tape stuck to a scrap of sheet styrene as I removed them from the fret. If you take your time and use quick setting super glue to attach the transmitters/receivers, the result is impressive. Since there were no painting instructions for the transmitters/receivers and they are hard to see, I left them unpainted.
This is a very nice set from Eduard and will add some great detail to F-14D but get it before you start so you can install the etched cockpit parts before closing up the fuselage.
Very highly recommended.