All in a flap…

So why is there is level of hand wringing over Tamiya’s omission? Because we as modellers want the moon on a stick and a bag to put it in.

Tamiya’s Tomcat and the details that won’t be provided…


So the dust has settled over the new Tamiya F-14A and there is now commentary on both what will be provided, but mainly, what won’t be in the kit. We all now know that the contents will arrive sans weapons, but we also know that Tamiya has taken the decision to include only ‘hard’ wings i.e. wings that do not allow the deflection of flaps and slats – in exactly the same way that their 1:32 kit was designed.

This omission has certainly raised a few eyebrows, many wondering how such a progressive company could decide to corner-cut in such an important release. The fact of the matter is that they haven’t; Tamiya’s kit, as supplied will accurately portray the aircraft as seen on the ground. Simple as that.

The nonsense about the flaps and slats being left out of the kit is just that – nonsense. More often than not, the aircraft – unless seen on approach (and how many modellers will model the aircraft like that?) – have the flaps and slats retracted, as modelled by Tamiya. Once shut down, the wings are cleaned up and then swept back into their overswept position to save space – both on deck and on shore bases. There are exceptions, but they are just that: exceptions. Tamiya’s kit is perfectly correct for the majority of aircraft seen either on a carrier deck, or an airfield…

So why is there is level of hand wringing over Tamiya’s omission? Because we as modellers want the moon on a stick and a bag to put it in. We are used to being offered fantastic products that offer every single detail and set-up option and when it’s not there – accurate or not – we become annoyed by the choices made by the manufacturer. The thing is, we shouldn’t. Simply because a company decides to – quite rightly in this case – create a model that doesn’t offer what we believe should be in the kit, doesn’t me that they are wrong, cost-cutting, or inept. In some cases – and I’ll say this quietly – they may be doing it, because that’s the correct thing to do!

So the next time you hear discussion over a detail or feature that is missing from a kit, take a little time to think about why that is so – you never know, the company involved just may have got it right!




4 thoughts on “All in a flap…

  1. Jon Bius May 15, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I may be an oddball (my wife says I am… 🙂 ), but I prefer that all those flaps and ailerons and stuff be molded in. I generally build my kits with all control surfaces neutral, so I appreciate it when they’re already set up that way. And half the time when they are separate, they never fit right anyway.

  2. Michael Douglas Scott May 15, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    As I posted on Hyperscale, although I seldom visit the forums there since the Eduard G6 whine-fest, this deluge of complaints is also a form of virtue signaling. It stems from the attitude that certain modelers “know” more and have the key to the correct and most virtuous information. Their views and opinions are superior to anyone else’s, especially the poor designers, engineers and marketing professionals who have made the “wrong” decisions. Even more egregious, these pontificators also claim to know what you, I, and the hobby “needs”. The signaling also includes those who quickly agree with these claims.

    Disagreement with the virtue signalers goes rapidly nowhere since it provides opportunities for them to bolster and promote their positions repeatedly.

    Personally, I am very pleased that Tamiya will be releasing this kit. I have seen some very nice Tomcat models at various shows over the years. Being a Navy veteran has also enhanced my desire to build one, but from looking through reviews and comments over the years about available kits I have stayed away from it. Tamiya kits are my favorite non-WWI kits. I expect this to kit to meet the high standards of their F-16 releases, one of which is presently on my bench.

  3. Tom Gloeckle May 15, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    I don’t know why everybody is in a snit over whether munitions are included in a kit. I was in the Air Force and almost NEVER did an airplane have weapons hanging from the wings. The exception, isn’t there always an exception, was when an aircraft was being prepared for a mission or an interceptor was on alert status. Munitions maybe interesting, but in the real world, an aircraft sitting idle on a carrier deck or flightline fully loaded is extremely dangerous. Obviously.

  4. Hoppie May 16, 2016 / 2:15 am

    Well, I agree to a certain extend. With an F-16 kit for example having the slats in the retracted position makes a lot of sense because there really are very few situations where they will be lowered on the ground.

    With an F-14 I personally think that one of the most interesting ways to depict the aircraft is on the catapult. And there the works are out.

    But I will take the kit as is and I’ll suspect I will be very happy with it. VERY happy. I am thrilled with it really, I suspect it will be the most accurate F-14 in 48th scale, it only has to beat the Hasegawa kit in that regard.

    @ Michael Douglas Scott:

    I very much disagree in regards to the eduard Bf 109. There HAS been a mistake somewhere in the design process, the complainers DID know better given that they were right when eduard still made fun of them.The only reason why there is a very acurate eduard G6 now is because of all those know-it-all whining virtue signalers. I am glad that the stink was big enough for eduard to retool the kit. And a fine job they have done.

    The one thing that really drives me up the wall is the “do we really need another xyz?” talk. Manufacturers make their decissions based on what they think will sell (I suspect). And that means they take a look at the market and go: “what would most modelers want?”. That is a very sound approach.

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