With 15 years in this business, we ordinarily take any news we come across with a grain of salt, particularly when new products are announced, since they sometimes end up as no more than pipe dreams or chest-beating rants by boastful manufacturers. However, when Hobby Master announced their intent to offer a 1:72 scale replica of the Grumman F-14 Fleet Defense Fighter, we sat up and took notice. Hobby Master has been one of the most reliable model makers in business today, while one of their rivals, Century Wings, is equally well-respected, largely confining its efforts towards producing a narrow gaggle of aircraft. The F-14 has always been one of Century Wings most passionate projects, with something on the order of 35 different aircraft released to date. Some command a small fortune in the after market, prized for their accuracy and limited runs.
Hobby Master’s first effort will be based upon a bird that was used by the commanding officer of VF-211 “Fighting Checkmates”, which was embarked upon the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) during 2004 (#HA5201). Moreover, the model will feature variable-geometry wings, thereby permitting them to be displayed in launch or in-flight configuration. Barring any licensing issues, a good subject for replication might be the F-14s depicted in the feature film, Top Gun, seeing as how the movie’s sequel is about to enter production.
Anyway, we thought it a bid odd that Hobby Master would devote precious resources towards producing a model that has become the bastion for another model maker, when loads of other untouched subjects could have made better choices. We wish them well in their endeavors and hope there’s enough market to go around for both companies to remain satisfied.