Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by LanceCriminal86

  1. The current tails also have a D feature, an extra light on the right VSTAB cap below the mentioned anti-collision light. Not present on As or A+/B as far as I can see. Let's see if they can get some liquid nitrogen or dental floss out and chop it off like a skin tag.
  2. ..... Well, I've been staring at that area because the stab or rudder is slightly crooked and never noticed that. Guess I'll add that to the stack.
  3. I was researching on that the other day, trying to get ideas for some VN era skins for the Es that we will have as far as slats but not TISEO jets. It had seemed that some of the Es rushed out to VN around that time supposedly had both slats and TISEO under RIVET HASTE in '72 or '73? or something like that, and then older jets had slats retrofitted from there through the end of the war. If you've got anything showing the slatted, non-TISEO Es in VN I'd really appreciate it.
  4. I had to start finding former maintainers to finally get the radar stencils along the anti-glare that was added somewhere around the -75 or 80 jets. And finding some of the factory stencils that usually were obliterated over the years and rarely covered in books. There's still a whole ton not covered in the Detail and Scale books. There were also some stencils only done on certain squadrons in certain earlier years, like VF-124, VF-14, VF-2 to name a few. Up around the forward antenna on the spine some kind of stencil was added, I think we determined it basically said "do not paint" or something along those lines. Example here from an early VF-124 jet, one of the -65GR jets: Of course there were also the ones VF-2 had around their wing box area, with no explanation that I have ever been able to find as to why. And some of the stencils would just be too small to even be readable. The pitot/probe stencils are already barely legible, trying to do the other factory markings you'd be fine making squiggly lines.
  5. Should be "Normal Canopy Control", give me a few and I can find some pics Basically a reminder not to use the f@*$)%& emergency canopy release, because that absolutely did happen. Wording may change the further you get in years past "factory fresh" but this at least is an example from VF-201's last CAG jet as it was being flown to AMARC:
  6. Yeah, imagine volunteering your time to do something like reworking panels so the core HB art guy(s) don't have to. Or reworking the default skins so they don't have to. Painting up replacement helmets so they don't have to. That definitely sounds like nationalistic socialism to me.
  7. Clearly the rational response is for you to go back to the first post, download the paint kit, and create the skins you desire. You can then submit them to UserFiles. You may then feel free to delete the packages for any other liveries that are released through the F-14 module, because they were made by a bunch of "rivet-nazis" which you clearly don't need or want.
  8. Keep calling people rivet-nazis and don't get all shocked pikachu faced when they stop making liveries.
  9. There are a lot of timeframes to fill in, with looming reworks of the base textures, panel lines, normals, etc. and earlier configurations coming it makes sense to hold up and do things once instead of having to completely rework skins later on. I get everyone wants every jet now, whether correct or not, but there's also a ton of work that goes into getting it *right*. For those that don't care about the differences between the B and A, might as well go right ahead and start working on them. If a better way to manage optional skin packs can be done then absolutely expect a lot more "official" skins coming down the pipe with as many jets as you can shake a stick at. But the challenge right now is guys are already complaining about drive space, and adding 4x detailed skins per squadron per year/cruise, with a couple eras represented is already hammering on drive space, imagine that spread out across 3x different iterations of the F-14.
  10. I remember the 90s as a military brat, the budget cuts definitely hit pretty hard. But even before Clinton it sounds like the Tomcat was marked for death. Tailhook and the Clinton budget cuts just helped drive some bigger nails in.
  11. The "LANTIRN" episode of the Tomcast paints a pretty nasty picture of how hard the Hornet Mafia was working to kill the Tomcat, and kill the Intruder, and literally anything else that threatened their budget. If it weren't for quite literally the right people being in the right jobs at the right time, it would never have happened. "The Guy" knowing the back end of the AWG-9 and where and how you could piggyback to listen in on the WCS and INS, the guy knowing that there was a pile of A-12 control sticks, the other guy loaning a LANTIRN pod for testing, and guys like Dave Parsons who had worked on AIM-9X and other projects trying to get digital stuff working with analog jets. All while actively having admirals making threats and stealing every last dollar they could to ensure it couldn't be funded, tested, etc. Even more sad when you consider the light attack community that became the strike fighter community was mostly the A-7E guys, the "we don't need a RIO/WSO" guys. And when the Intruder went away a lot of those BNs and pilots actually ended up on the Tomcat side, bringing their strike experience to enhance the training for the Tomcat RAG and LANTIRN stuff. OH, and the PTID was a separate effort from LANTIRN, it just ended up that they went together perfect. PTID was part of separate upgrade programs to replace the old TIDs that you couldn't even read or see anymore. I believe that effort was called the MCAP Mod (Multi-Mission Capable), which was happening on one of the former VF-74 jets in 1995 at VX-9/Pt. Mugu at about the same time that LANTIRN was happening out at Oceana.
  12. There were a few things going on in conjunction with Cheney and Chu, before during and after. In the 80s the light attack role was taken over by the Hornet, with the concept of the multirole strike fighter. You also had the sunsetting of the A-6E and the medium attack role, brought on by both the ending of the cold war, experiences in the Gulf War, and the oncoming Super Hornet program (plus the failure of Grumman's proposed replacement). Somewhere in there was the Air Force's ATF program and I believe considerations for a Naval ATF, and you also had the JSF program. All of which were being touted and pushed to eliminate as many aircraft types from inventory as possible to "keep costs down" and reduce maintenance. Those factors, plus Tailhook, led to a perfect storm situation for those decisions to happen. The senior officers from the fighter community soon found themselves swept up in Tailhook, with brass from the strike fighter community taking their places or so the tale goes. Now you have Hornet guys with all the ammunition they need to usher the Tomcat out the door and hang everything on the Super Hornet. Replace the F-14, F/A-18 A+/Cs, replace the A-6E and KA-6Ds, replace the EA-6B eventually even. Of course Grumman was going to lose that "war" at that point. Effectively the decision was made further back as said above, but the years after slammed the door shut on that position being reversed, or their lifespan further extended. I think the only way you'd have seen much different in history, would be 1) Tailhook scandal not happening, and 2) the A2G and particularly LANTIRN program starting further back. If the Tomcat had a precision strike capability during the Gulf War for example and all through Southern Watch and Northern Watch, perhaps it might have lived longer. Arguments could have been made further back that the Tomcat was providing an essential capability even above the Intruder with its speed and loiter time that would have made it worth keeping. Granted, I think even there we'd still have seen it out the door by the time the Super Hornets showed up, maybe a few years longer at the most. The amputation of the spare parts and related contracts meant they were already on borrowed time. Only by some miracle would the mythical "ground up rework" the Tomcat could have used been funded, because again the brass would still have looked at maintenance hours. Maybe that's the other thing that should have been pushed more, apparently the D models should have been treated less like the As and Bs. We see anecdotes that during OEF and OIF the D models were getting their maintenance hours down and uptime percentages at or even better than some of the Hornet squadrons they were alongside. It sounded like if that had been better tested and proven in the years before, perhaps Grumman and the Navy could have shown that it would be worth it to upgrade the fleet to the D to reduce maintenance overhead, leaving the Navy with two platforms that could do precision strike, long loiter times, and able to fill the fighter and fleet defense role. I think the latest you see the Tomcat go, even in a fictional alternate history, is 2008 or so. Even with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq still going and the money still flowing through the DOD, by then the Super Hornets would still have taken over. I don't think even a major strategy shift towards the South China Sea region would have changed that. The only thing that saves or drastically extends the Tomcat's life is an earlier push by Grumman to get the maintenance down to the Hornet's level and maybe precision strike in the late 80s/90s when the A+ is introduced.
  13. The oldest Tomcats even remotely considered for representation would be the Iranian jets, and potentially at least from a visual/systems standpoint the equivalent US jets from the same production block. I say that in the sense that *IF* an economic way to allow swapping/mounting of TCS pods and ALQ-126 jammers is achieved, you could remove the jammers & TCS from the "early" 135 jets and represent back to about the -95 jets. The ALQ-126 and associated beaver-tail are the quickest way to differentiate jets that are older than the 110 GR block where the feature was introduced, and newer production jets. But kind of like SkateZilla alluded to, the rest of the systems/features aside from that like AWG-9 updates and tapes and such would all have been brought across to older jets. Just not the jammers without the jets going back to Grumman for a significant rebuild (which did happen to the -60/-65 and one other BuNO). And yes, for a period of time that would mean working glove vanes, but that would be a visual only feature if Cobra takes the time to work them in. He already surprised us with the removable refueling probe door, so I'd say let's see what he can do. Though removable fuel pylons may not get done anytime really soon, the ALQ-126 and removable TCS have been discussed with a higher likelihood and optimism so we've just got to hold on and see. IF we do get them, then everyone can party with their '79 VF-41/84 Hi-Vis skins, '81 Sidra shoot-down jets of the same vintage, '89 Sidra skins, updated '88 and '91 VF-11 and VF-31 skins, all that jazz with and without the appropriate jammers and TCS pods. And most likely with the old style gun vents modeled in too.
  14. No, because they were the actual F-14A pilot tuning the F-14 to fly like an F-14. That is what they spent their time doing in DCS. It sounds like you need to go buy the F-16 if that's your primary drive and focus in life.
  15. You're not going to win or lose a dogfight because fuel tank pylons are attached. This is usually where our resident F-14 pilot and tester would and has said the same thing, repeatedly, in these forums.
  16. By the time of the current presented Tomcats, A and B, the pylons and tanks generally stayed on. If you were on the boat, there were tanks. There's anywhere from 3-10 threads thrashing this to death already. If removable pylons happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it really doesn't impact anything but the IIAF/IRIAF and shore-based jets. Even by the mid 80s tanks pretty well stayed on.
  17. The S was also in USMC Reserve use into the 90s before they were retired.
  18. I don't think your pessimism is founded, and you're looking for the worst interpretation of a statement.
  19. I'm well aware of the issues. In this case replacing a portion of the cockpit panel's texture with another separate texture file is simpler than creating a "dynamic" BuNO that changes based on the mission editor or loadout screen. We can already replace the BuNO by overwriting the HB_F14_CPT_FRONT_03 texture and its roughmet, and it works in the Livery arguments. But that means re-exporting what already was a compressed DDS file. Also likely simpler than cutting up the external model for dynamic MODEX. Since we're seeing cockpit bits and external model stuff happening again, now's the time to ask.
  20. My research brings all the boys to the yard. Something something, it's good I don't chaaaaarrrrge. What's sad is I have had more success researching other people's projects than my own. 1991 VF-31? Easy, plenty of pics in the Lock On book and elsewhere. VF-11 from the same cruise? Can't even get 1 jet other than the 100 or 101, maybe the 102 with all the names because they had 4x names per jet (more pilots than jets) that cruise. Vf-24 and VF-211's year or so with the A+? Barely a handful of pics that I can find, and maybe 1 or 2 have legible names, most MODEX from either squadron unphotographed or hiding in someone's shoebox. VF-11 from 1998 cruise? Forget about it! Painting the jets is easy. Finding names, plane captains, obscure stencils that can barely even be hazily seen in a distant formation photo or from across the flight line and no closeups, or trying to discern if the early big engine jets had A+, A PLUS, or A(PLUS) stenciled on the nacelles is where the hard part is.
  21. *IF* the BuNO could be separated from the main panel texture as its own, then it could be tied to skins at least without adding another large texture to each skin. Since the BuNO is not dynamic on the outside of the jet anyways, trying to make "dynamic" cockpit BuNO wouldn't make sense. But letting it be more easily controlled at least by the base skin would be a lot easier to manage. Now, if you guys do a MODEX controlled by mission editor, then various stenciled or stickered numbers somewhere in the cockpit should be doable at the least which I think is something you already mentioned being considered before. But the BuNO makes more sense to tie to the skins and you have to duck pretty far down right now to see it anyways.
  22. Apparently not, don't know if the hotfix/patch was communicated or not. Hopefully we can get this ironed out to have some stuff ready for the next one to also take advantage of the new probe door feature. Also time to give the F-14A+/B some love again too.
  23. Oh hey, Eagle Claw Tomcats with refueling doors removed:
  24. Anyone have a solid reference for the differences between the E and F? Visual differences, systems, antennas, slats, anything that would differentiate the two?
  • Create New...