I started this kit back in November 2016, when it was released.
As the Tomcat is a complex machine, so is every model kit of it. I worked on this off and on, fighting boredom and loss of interest for 3.5 months. It's a very, very good kit - the intake trunking are genius-level engineering. Really.
However, the cockpit detail is soft, the main landing gear legs DO NOT need to be in three pieces (3 seams on a cylinder, thanks so much), and those issues irritated me.
I do, however, like how the underwing stores/weapons are laid out - those are my modern jet albatrosses (albatrii?). The weapons go together easily, and the myriad of stencils are laid out numerically and logically on the decal sheet. Ironically, this was my favorite part, next to the intake trunking.
Decals were mainly from an Afterburner Decals sheet, depicting a machine in operation during my tenure with VF-84. I have some good stories about Fred "Bad Fred" Lewis, lol! We had a lot of fun on a Key West det. The stencils were from the kit.
Is this the best 1/48 Tomcat kit on the market? Yes.
Is this Tamiya's best kit? No. No, it's not.
1. 1/32 F4U-1A/D Corsair
2. 1/48 Feisler Storch
3. 1/12 Yamaha YZR-M1
4. 1/48 F-14A Tomcat (probably)
Anyways, here are some photos: