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F3H Demon in
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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
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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 V -- 1:48 Scale


Grumman’s F-14 Tomcat carried some of the most interesting, eye-catching, and unforgettable paint schemes over its service lifetime – even during the “drab days” of the low-visibility TPS (Tactical Paint Scheme).  Into the 1990s, Atlantic and Pacific Fleet squadrons sported some great schemes, from the Sundowners to the Checkmates.  In this August 2018 release by Furball Aero-Design, scale modelers will find nine different markings options for a selection of F-14As, -Bs, and -D as they appeared between 1985 and 2002. 

This decal sheet was made possible with research materials provided by Detail & Scale.  It is designed to compliment Detail & Scale’s digital reference, 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.

In this set, there are decals for six F-14As, two F-14Bs, and one F-14D.  There are also stencil and data markings provided to build two complete models.

The first observation I have to share regards decal quality.  The quality of the decal by Furball Aero-Design is superlative and wonderfully accurate.  The printing (including the incredibly restrained and thin carrier film) by Cartograf is impeccable.  The set also includes Furball’s F-14 stencil set (#48-059) on a second, smaller sheet.  Beyond the awesome printing, it’s the attention to little details that impresses me just as much, including the fidelity of the airframe stencils which include markings for the GRU-7A ejection seats, the various and correct styles of “No Step” and “No Step/Lift” stencils, and other airframe markings.

These decals are sized for the Tamiya 1:48 scale Tomcat, and several of these (e.g., the markings for the VF-31, -143 and -211 jets would best fit on the Tamiya Tomcat, since their tail shape is just a bit different than Hasegawa’s, for example.  Beyond that, the other markings, from VF-14, -41, 213, and -302 should be generic enough to adapt to any 1:48 scale F-14.  

I can offer no substantive critiques of this decal set.  Bottom line:  gorgeous, baby!  Moreover, I am personally delighted to see NICKEL 101, the VF-211 CO’s jet from Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.  That airplane was assigned to my friend, former Topgun instructor, former Checkmates skipper, and now well-known aviation author CDR Dave “Bio” Baranek.  It’s really nice to see Dave’s jet so well represented on this sheet.   

Overall, Furball Aero-Design does another consistently great job with this offering and it will allow scale modelers to model a wide range of great looking and distinctive F-14 Tomcats.  The high standard of research also shines through on the accuracy of these decals.  Well done!

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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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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