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Detail & Scale Series


F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
**********F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale
Revised Edition

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F2H Banshee in
Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale**********

F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale
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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Furball Aero-Design/Detail & Scale Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy Tomcats - Part 1 - Resized for the Tamiya Kit
1:48 Scale


The Grumman F-14 Tomcat was the U.S. Navy’s premier fleet defense interceptor and air-superiority fighter during the final two decades of the Cold War.  F-14s were called upon to play crucial roles in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM before the last of the F-14Ds were retired in 2006.  For all the tens of thousands of combat hours and thousands of bombs dropped, Navy F-14s only employed its deadly air-to-air capability five times in combat.

Four of those kills took place over Mediterranean waters just north of Libya in the Gulf of Sidra.  The first engagement on 19 August 1981 pitted two F-14As of VF-41 Black Aces against a pair of unfortunate Libyan Su-22 Fitters.  The second engagement saw a pair of F-14As from VF-32 Swordsmen downing two Libyan MiG-23 Floggers on 4 January 1989.  These schemes have been covered in the past by long out-of-print Superscale and Detail & Scale sheets and have been in a few different kits (i.e., 1:72 scale Fujimi boxings).

In 2016, Furball Aero-Design produced a comprehensive decal sheet in 1:48 scale covering these killer Tomcats at different points in their lifetimes as the first in a series (currently seven and counting!) of “Colors and Markings of US. Navy Tomcats.”  Yet, these were sized for the Hasegawa kit, and the tails of the Tamiya F-14A are slightly but noticeably different in shape and profile.  In other words, decals for several schemes in the Colors & Markings of US. Navy Tomcats Part I will not fit quite right on the Tamiya F-14, which is, of course, everyone’s darling F-14 kit these days.

In 2019, Furball redrew and resized this decal sheet to fit the Tamiya 1:48 scale F-14A.  The sheet itself was made possible with research materials provided by Detail & Scale, and are designed to compliment Detail & Scale’s digital reference books, Colors and Markings of U. S. Navy F-14 Tomcats, Part 1: Atlantic Fleet Squadrons, and Part 2: Pacific Fleet Squadrons.  Both eBooks were written by Bert Kinzey with art by Rock Roszak.  In the interest of transparency and impartiality, I wish to disclose that your reviewer had nothing to do with the development of this sheet.  Further, I’m a hardcore Tomcat guy since I was a kid growing up next to Grumman – so if I see any errors, you’re going to hear about it.

The sheet has markings for 11 airplanes:

This offering from Furball provides their typical wide range of diverse and interesting marking options that cover the four historic Fitter and Flogger killers as well seven other jets that showcase the evolution of VF-32 and VF-41 paint schemes over nearly a decade.  While these decals are sized for the Tamiya family of 1:48 scale Tomcats, a number of them (especially all of the VF-41 schemes) can be adapted to virtually any 1:48 scale F-14s from other manufacturers as well. 

The quality and accuracy of the decal design is top-notch, while the printing by Cartograph is impeccable.  The decal sheet includes full stencils for two jets.  Beyond the gorgeous printing, it’s the attention to little details that impress me just as much, including the fidelity of the airframe stencils which include markings for the GRU-7A ejection seats, gun gas purge vents, and panel line decals to represent the glove vane panel lines.

Overall, Furball Aero-Design does another great job with this offering and it will allow modelers to cover some of the most historic Tomcats on their Tamiya Tomcat along with other distinctive F-14s from these two squadrons.

Many thanks to Furball Aero-Design for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at http://www.furballaero-design.com/default.asp and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FurballAeroDesign

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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