Shanghai Dragon

1/144 F-14A model kit

Product Article by Steve Bamford

April Fools Day 2003




ARC has a strong following of modelers with an interest in the F-14 Tomcat.  This has not escaped the notice of the folks at Shanghai Dragon.  This kit will be released in the coming days.....what I have here is a "test shot" of the production sprues, although I've been assured the production kit will be identical. 

Anyways...on to the inbox look at this amazing and tiny kit.  Shanghai Dragon makes quite a few 1/144 scale kits and they have been quite good.....but Shanghai Dragon decided to go back to the drawing boards and try to raise the bar for 1/144 scale kits up a few notches.  As you can see by the picture of the sprues below....this kit is loaded with parts.  

Panel lines are all recessed and very fine.  Instead of the usual blob of a cockpit....this kit comes with a full cockpit....each seat consists of 7 parts.  The 2 instrument panels have raised detail....and instrument panel decals are also included with the kit if you want to go that route.  I tried to photo the instrument panels but they were too small for my camera to properly focus on and show the detail.  This kit even has a tiny fret of photo etch.  This photo etch provides tiny panels for the cockpit side panels as well as mirrors for the canopy.  No doubt about it...this kit is scary when you examine the detail and number of parts and consider this kit is 1/144.


For markings you get a choice of VF-31 "Tophatters", VF-102 "Diamond backs", and 2 sets of markings for VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" of which is a CAG bird.

Although the kit markings are good.....I would like to see some aggressor markings.

With luck, maybe decal producers like the Two Bobs will see the awesome potential of this 1/144 scale market and start releasing their F-14 decals in 1/144 scale.

My apologies for not including more photos of the unbelievable detail on this kit.....but my camera just can't properly focus on detail that small.

If you've never built 1/144 and want the challenge of your life.....I strongly recommend you pick up this kit.  For the suggested price of US$11....this kit is well worth picking up just to see the level of detail.  Other kit manufactures have much to fear...Shanghai Dragon has achieved a level of detail that was formerly impossible.

My thanks to the folks at Shanghai Dragon for sending me this review sample.


Photos and text by Steve Bamford