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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Fightertown F-14A/B/D Data and Weapons Sheet for the Tamiya/AMK Tomcat -- 1:48 Scale



vol_2_image

The decal work on any given project isn’t done until all the airframe stencils and other small decals are applied.  For some projects, that’s a pretty straightforward, minimal affair, and for others, there can be a lot of stencils.  No matter the complexity, stencils add much to the accuracy and visual appeal of a completed model. 

In general, I would say that the F-14 Tomcat features a mid-range level of stencil detail and complexity, including some details that are quite important for a realistic F-14 model.  There have been several very good and even excellent F-14 stencil and data decal sets for the Tomcat over the last several years, but this new sheet by Fightertown outdoes them all and raises the bar considerably.  In fact, there are many elements on this sheet that have to my knowledge never been represented on any F-14 data decal sheet before this.

This decal sheet is literally packed to its edges with decals.  The decal design and rendering by Fightertown is superlative and exceptionally accurate.  The sheet was printed by Cartograf.  Colors are just gorgeous, everything is in register, and carrier film is so tightly restrained that it is practically invisible up against the margins of the printed edge of any given decal.

Instead of launching into a long-winded narrative, let me just list some of the more notable features of this sheet.  Decals are provided for two aircraft.

Aircraft:

Ordnance – Full striping and data stencils for:

Notably absent from the sheet are the nonskid walkways atop the intakes as well as No Step/Lift stencils.  Frankly, though, that’s not a problem.  The ones provided in the kits are indeed sufficient for the task, and you have stencils in other Fightertown sheets as well.  The remove before flight tags are a really nice little touch, too, but do consult your references as the instructions here don’t go into detail as to where they go on the jet (e.g., ejection seats, gear, arresting hook, and so forth).  

In sum, this is a highly detailed and accurate stencil set for the 1:48 Tamiya and forthcoming AMK F-14 kits.  Many of these markings can also be adapted to other F-14 kits, as well but test fit your markings before you commit to anything.  The quality, detail, and inclusion of features never seen before on an F-14 data decal sheet elevate this from outstanding to borderline epic.  It demonstrates a depth and competence of knowledge about the F-14 that very few people possess.  Thanks to Fightertown Decals, you can bring that detail to your Tomcat project.  Call your reviewer a little weird, but I find this stencil sheet to be somewhat inspirational:  they open a door to make the most accurately marked 1:48 scale F-14 you can do.  In combination with any of Fightertown’s other decal sheets, you’ve got an even better combination.  Tomcats forever, baby!  

Many thanks to Brian Plescia at Fightertown Decals for the review sample.  You can find them on the web and order their sheets at http://www.fightertowndecals.com.  

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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