Custom bundles are available upon request to save you money when ordering multiples or mixed baskets of items. Just ask!
You can turn your Skystriker into a F-14 Tomcat (or even a F-14D Super Tomcat) with a few easy add-ons, each available in "vintage" and "modern-era" versions:
- TV Camera Set/Infrared Search and Track Ped (TCS/IRST Pod)
- F-14 Arresting Hook (Tailhook, this listing)
- Low Altitude Navigation Targeting Infrared for Night Targeting Pod (LANTIRN Targeting Pod)
- Engine Nozzles, available in "open" or "closed" positions (based roughly on the General Electric F110 and Pratt & Whitney F100 engine nozzle designs)
This 2-piece bundle includes the TCS/IRST Pod and the Tailhook at a discounted price compared to buying them separately.
The TCS/IRST Pod is a new accessory designed to plug into the front screw hole on the vintage
model of the GI Joe Skystriker. The peg is sized to be a very snug fit into the screw hole, so you basically just push and twist the TCS/IRST pod piece into place until it is flush with the bottom of the airplane body. This add-on DOES NOT require any cutting, drilling, gluing, or other permanent modification of your Skystriker whatsoever. It can be removed and replaced at will.
The peg is a very snug fit, however. If you are uncomfortable with the tightness of the peg, you can sand down the diameter of the peg a bit until you find a tightness you are more comfortable with. If you sand too far, you can use the indented ring area of the peg to place a small rubber band, a wad of blue sticky tack, or whatever else you may wish to help with peg retention in the screw hole if you have sanded too much down. This way anyone should be able to get a stable hold whether you choose to sand the peg or not.
The arresting hook (or "tailhook") is a new accessory designed to be screwed or glued onto the vintage
model of the GI Joe Skystriker. The tailhook has a working hinge which will allow the hook to be raised and lowered (see photos for range of motion). Please note that due to print tolerances this model will require some shaving and shaping of the mating parts in order to assemble them and have the articulation be properly functional.
Assembly of the hinged tailhook will require some minor reaming, scraping, and sanding in order to get the tailhook arm, base tower, and hinge pins to go together nice and tight. This is a slow, trial-and-error process and patience is key!
Be sure to assemble the entire tailhook before installing it on your plane or you will likely end up having to take it back off for assembly, which may be impossible if you elected to glue the tailhook in place.
To install the assembled tailhook by screwing it in, you will need to select a screw with a head no larger than about 7/32" in diameter (so it can fit down inside the screw hole in the tailhook assembly). If your screw head is larger than that you will need to drill out the tailhook's screw hole larger to accommodate your screw's head. Then, based on the size of the screw you selected, drill a pilot hole of appropriate diameter in the bottom of your vintage Skystriker (you may wish to dismantle your Skystriker first to ensure you do not drill too far into internal parts or through the top shell of the plane). This hole should have a diameter SMALLER than the diameter of your screw's threads - usually the hole should have the same approximate diameter as the solid shaft part of the screw (the part that the threads "wrap around"). Then, just screw the tailhook into place. A dab of blue sticky tack under the tailhook can help prevent rotation of the installed tailhook assembly. Alternatively, you may wish to bolt the part in place using a small bolt, nut, and flat washer. Installation in that method will require you to dismantle your Skystriker, however it will also provide a more secure connection and will be less likely to pull out from the plane if any rough handling occurs.
To install the assembled tailhook by gluing it on, you will need to use an adhesive that works with this sintered nylon product. I do not know if hot glue works on this material or not, but you can try it before resorting to more-permanent adhesives. Forum posts in several places have suggested making use of Permatex 84101 PermaPoxy 5 Minute General Purpose Epoxy. It's available on Amazon, among other places, and it's what people suggest using for this material for good results. DO NOT assume superglue you have on-hand will work, because it most likely won't. It is pretty well documented on the web that superglue WILL NOT WORK for bonding these 3d printed parts, so plan ahead!
Other Skystriker/F-14 attachments are available in my shop for both the vintage and modern-era versions of the Skystriker. Custom bundles are available upon request to save you money when ordering multiples or mixed baskets of items. Just ask!