Author Topic: The Original Tomcat  (Read 2048 times)

Offline taiidantomcat

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The Original Tomcat
« on: December 24, 2016, 06:18:15 AM »
Well everyone this is a long story so get some popcorn, or eye drops. Posted this a while back, allow myself to quote.... myself:


Quote
A lot of us seem to have that "big project"-- That model we are aspiring too. Diamondbacks -53 is like that, well for me Its the Taiidan Tomcat. A what?! Taiidan being one of the sides in the video game Homeworld which has wonderfully bright and interesting stripey space ships. And the Tomcat being my favorite Airplane. It was only natural that I combine the two! And what perfect timing with me getting back into modeling! I even had a couple of old Tomcat models, and one in 1/32 too!! Wow Big model! So how should this thing look....??

And this is as they "where the trouble started" It was 2005. My stash was small, and mainly leftovers from when I had been modeling previously (pre teen/early teen-- at a certain age girls suddenly become more interesting, and all other things fall by the wayside...) I started to work on the big Tomcat, which was actually just a giant 1/32 scale toy from way back. I gutted it of the electronics, and made a quick plan, a simple vision... but then I realized that this toy couldn't meet that vision, So I moved onto the actual 1/32 scale model an F-14A from Revell. I cut off the engine nacelles (big mistake) with the idea that I would make new nacelles that better fit the aesthetic, but having never attempting a conversion this intricate I failed miserably, and to this day that kit resides in my garage in its sad state.

I didn't give up on the idea though. I refined it. I worked on the backstory, How could this Earth- bound 1970's airplane become a space fighter? is it a great fighter? is it high end like an F-22? is it something only a wookie would find himself in? how do you portray an expensive technological look in a model? How do you make something look futuristic or otherworldy? I want this to be perfect! And I have a lot of ideas, so maybe more than one 1/32 Tomcat?

...This is where all the worlds collided. I didn't have the modeling skill to achieve the look I wanted and I didn't have a good idea of what I would actually need either. I didn't have the backstory that made sense. I had ideas that contradicted other ideas that required a rewrite of the backstory. In the mean time I planned and back storied I wrote notes, started multiple notebooks, but while I planned I did not sit idle-- not at all in fact. I had Ideas!! ...and the internet ...and a credit card. The prefect storm. My stash grew massively between 2006-2008. If a few 1/32 revell cats were good, then a half dozen 1/32 Tamiya Tomcats were surely better. And not just models, books. Books about modeling, books about conversions, books about how to build and finish planes, and starships, and figures. Art books as well. The tools grew as my plans and backstory demanded too. So I spent a lot, dreamed and though a lot, but produced very little. Which makes sense I was demanding perfection. Perfection across multiple models as well. Maybe I shouldn't start with 1/32 but practice on a smaller scale? how about 1/48? Oh! I have a lot of 1/48 ideas too!!

I entered a familiar catch-22 I wanted to get better at building models through practice, but wasn't willing to "lose" a model through practice. The kits piled up, but it didn't stop me from refining the backstory, and buying more. Did you know that when you spend 100 dollars from squadron you get free shipping? Because I sure did. Did you know that Hobby Lobby has weekly 40 percent off coupons and at the time did 50 percent off sales? Because I sure did. Did you know that most scale modeling forums have buy and sell sections with prices that make hobby lobby look expensive? Because I sure did. And Ebay? Well you get the idea...

You see somewhere in there too, I discovered other distractions I love Russian stuff, and Japan? You betcha. And the Taiidan backstory is going nowhere... Maybe I will build some russian stuff... did I say build? I meant plan and backstory. You can't just have a Russian Abrams tank. because... well, you just CANT So it needs a backstory too...

Eventually the buying curtailed, and it went hand and hand with the modeling. I realized that one kit will keep you busy for quite a while and then assessed that I probably had enough kits to last a couple lifetimes at this point, and being a youngin still and not having settled down in that house you will live the rest of your days in, and that means a lot of model moving, and heavy-@$$ books to haul all over. 

I have given up on the dream of producing the perfect model. I am far more satisfied with the imperfect model I can admire on a shelf, than the perfect model I can see only in my head. And its actually pretty neat to watch my skills evolve and improve, I still cherish the older, worse models often more in fact. I realized I spent an awful lot of money on kits and books with very little to show for it. I have yet to produce a single 1/32 scale Taiidan Tomcat, and have only produced 2 in 1/48 scale, at the time of this writing I still don't have the 100 percent finished decisions, plans, and backstory.  I am getting better, I am building more models, And all the long thoughts and stories did get a lot of details solidified, but with hindsight I realize it could have been done a lot faster, and with more money left in the bank. Sometimes you don't realize you are chasing your tail until you catch it.

Watching a movie review, a critic cut to the point about writing in films "The point of the [2009] star trek movie is to get kirk into the captains chair"  Its just an origin story so we can get on with the rest of it, which in our case is building a model. I realize that this whole journey started with me just wanting to have Tomcat with cool big fins and stripes and I got lost in the larger story and trying to make it "fit" with a bunch of self-imposed "rules" that i had in my head-- never mind that it really doesn't have that much impact anyway when you are modeling science fiction. I try to model now with "the rule of cool" And sometimes a back story just interferes with that to the point of paralysis, especially when you just want a cool looking giant F-14 model, and that is the point of the story. I try to build more than I write now. And sometimes its more fun to make what you have done fit, rather than trying to fit what you will do.

Hopefully I didn't bore anyone to tears, and I think a lot of us have had similar points and problems, and if you feel "stuck" maybe this will unstick you a tad, or at least you know that you aren't alone on this big Purple and yellow marble we call, What if Modeling. Where "fiction is harder to write, because it has to make sense" as Tom Clancy once said


I realized that with Baby-2 on the way if I don't get a 1/32 scale Taiidan Tomcat done soon, It won't get done. For me this is the Ultimate Unfinished project. After a lot of thought and a lot of time I have realized this is as much a personal journey as it is about a model, and its time to come full circle and start back at the beginning. So its going to be a revell 1/32 Taiidan Tomcat. It won't be perfect. But it will be something, and it will be a wonderful lesson on how to do the next one better. I learn every time I build and this should be an important one.

quick primer the very first 1/48 Taiidan Tomcat I built in 2008 is currently in a defunct state and that was so long ago, the pictures online don't even work anymore. so I had to dig them up and reupload them. here it is back in 2008:






Here is my second cat. Finished in 2011:







Commisiond Art work by Clave from the same year:




"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Artoor_K

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 05:07:25 AM »
Well, I'm waiting for Your 1/32 Tomcat :) And to keep a good mojo flow...future Tomcat for you :)
Sickening, weakening
Don't let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes a bit of dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 02:37:32 AM »
I realized that with Baby-2 on the way

Congratulations mate!  Soon you will be able to have the names for both 'crew' on your Tomcat! ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 10:58:41 AM »
Very nicely done

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 03:54:19 AM »
1st things first. I cleaned off the desk:





Bucket full of Revell 1/32 scale cats. There are "about" 5 of them in various states and conditions, some pre-owned and pre built. Posting pictures of the interesting stuff so far:



Cockpits not built buy me. Inherited it in a sale. Its seen better days so I won't be using it. Won't be using this one either:





Don't know if i could even fix the glue avalanche!





This I think I can fix though. I will hopefully be able to and if so will use this one. If not, well onto the next



Blast from the past!! This was the original I was using over 10 years ago to plan. You can still see the pencil marks if you look



The modified cat, that I then fixed. I will probably use another fuselage half to save some time. But I believe this is repairable.





Pre built wings. Someone painted them white, then had a change of heart and stripped it . Makes the panel lines pop though!



Broken wing tip. This will be "fixed" by cutting the edges of the wings off anyway.

Things are starting to move, slowly but surely.








« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 03:55:56 AM by taiidantomcat »
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Artoor_K

  • On the run from Polish Rivet Counters...
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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 03:49:59 PM »
That "glue avalanche" is ...err...something 😵 I'm impressed...

PS:

Mr. TT maybe a Taiidan GB in the nearest future?😊
Sickening, weakening
Don't let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes a bit of dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you

Offline taiidantomcat

  • Plastic Origamist...and not too shabby with the painting either!
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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 04:10:36 AM »
That "glue avalanche" is ...err...something 😵 I'm impressed...

PS:

Mr. TT maybe a Taiidan GB in the nearest future?😊

HA! Now that would be a lot of fun! Maybe 2018 since the 2017 poll is already up...

So here are some of my original ideas:






from February 27th, 2005?!  :o




Here is a list of changes to the standard F-14 from March 6th, 2007



One of the latest line drawings that I plan on putting into the computer via GIMP.



Tinkering with some F-35 F-22 nose contours:







"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Artoor_K

  • On the run from Polish Rivet Counters...
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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2017, 05:45:30 AM »
So...in 2018...now Taiidan future Tomcat, Taiidan Aardvark or Taiidan retro future F4U Corsair? 😊
Sickening, weakening
Don't let another somber pariah consume your soul
You need strengthening, toughening
It takes a bit of dark to rekindle the fire burning in you
Ignite the fire within you

Offline Tophe

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 01:11:20 PM »
How can you finish when you focus so much on details? If you can: congratulations! ;)

Offline kerick

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2017, 09:07:22 PM »
Some of that glue looks like hot glue. You might be able to peel it off.

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 03:36:19 AM »
How can you finish when you focus so much on details? If you can: congratulations! ;)


that is the problem  :o

Some of that glue looks like hot glue. You might be able to peel it off.


I thought it might be too, luckily its a problem for the future.  :)

So...in 2018...now Taiidan future Tomcat, Taiidan Aardvark or Taiidan retro future F4U Corsair? 😊


I like the way you think!!  8)

So working on the cockpit. Interesting stuff since I started working on this. At the time I pictured big MFD screens like this:



4.5th generation fighter (Super Hornet) but in the mean time the 5th Generation happened:



Its just one giant screen, F-35 doesn't even have a HUD! So I went from trying to decide all the colors in the cockpit to basically realizing its all black and then display screens anyway  :-\



I used a motor tool and then measured and cut some styrene. This styrene will then receive Colored hologrpahics to appear like futuristic screens 






But then I decided to check something and it changed my whole approach to this build.  :-[ the CAM F110 engines do not fit the Revell 1/32 scale Tomcat.








The Revell Tomcat has YUGE engines. Thats disappointing. I like the F110, but the good side is this will be easier to paint. So this already turning into a bit of a compromise. So with that in mind I'm going to return to the previously shown constructed cockpit. And rather than do a whole new one from scratch I'm just going to modifiy that one and go with good enough. It will be closer to the F-22.




 one Big screen, but still lots of buttons on the consoles. I feel I have already wasted too much time with the cockpit so I Am vowing to wrap it up soon and get started in other areas!  :icon_ninja:



« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 03:38:25 AM by taiidantomcat »
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 07:43:43 PM »
Killer work, Mr Tomcat! I especially like the burner cans!

Brian da Basher

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 05:32:08 AM »


Still working on the digital part too
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2017, 04:10:59 AM »
Guys I'm no where near making the cut on this one  :(  :-[ I am going to put it on the back burner for the next week and (attempt to) finish something else
"They know you can do anything, So the question is, what don't you do?"

-David Fincher

Offline Tophe

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Re: The Original Tomcat
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2017, 04:49:04 PM »
Please finish it someday anyway... ???