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F3H Demon in
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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SBD Dauntless in
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F-102 Delta Dagger 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 #48-021
Air Wing All-Stars – Tomcats Part One
1:48 Scale

 

vol_2_imageThe Grumman F-14 Tomcat was a legendary 4th generation fighter.  Over its 36-year career, the F-14 evolved from the U.S. Navy’s premier long-range fleet defense interceptor to a potent strike fighter.  The Tomcat also played crucial roles in the Cold War, the first Gulf War, the Kosovo air campaign, and after 9/11, it was a key player in the global war on terror.

The Tomcat reached the fleet in 1973, and from those early days into the mid-1980s, F-14s sported some of the most colorful and memorable paint schemes ever seen on Navy jet fighters.  A handful of those schemes are represented in Furball Aero-Design’s 1:48 scale decal sheet “Air Wing All-Stars - Tomcats Part One.” This is a re-release of their very popular and now virtually unavailable 2013 decal sheet.

The sheet has markings for seven high-viz jets:

    - F-14A, Bu No. 159631, VF-24, USS CONSTELLATION, 1976
    - F-14A, Bu No. 160393, VF-84, USS NIMITZ, 1978
    - F-14A, Bu No. 161134, VF-101, NAS Oceana, 1982
    - F-14A, Bu No. 160666, VF-111, USS KITTY HAWK, 1983
    - F-14A, Bu No. 159825, VF-114, USS ENTERPRISE, 1984
    - F-14A, Bu No. 159446, VF-142, USS AMERICA, 1977
    - F-14A, Bu No. 158621, VF-124, NAS Miramar, 1974

This offering from Furball covers early Block 71 thru Block 79 Tomcats.  In terms of construction notes, most of these jets were standard early F-14As, and flew with only the ALQ-100 chin pods (except for the VF-124 jet).  Some have the very early style gun gas purge vents (five sets of grills, instead of the later two sets).  The choices of schemes on the sheet are fairly stellar, from the iconic gull gray-over-white VF-84 Jolly Rodgers CAG jet, to other colorful CAG and CO jets from VF-24 Renegades, VF-111 Sundowners, and VF-142 Ghostriders, and others as listed above.  I particularly like the fact the Sundowners sharkmouth scheme sports a different tail art design than most decal sheets offer.  I am also a fan of the choice for early markings for the VF-124 Gunfighters CAG jet, with the distinctive red stripes on the wingtips and horizontal stabilizers… it’s a sharp-looking throwback to the days of elaborate high-viz Navy markings.

While these decals are sized for the Hasegawa family of 1:48 scale Tomcats, many of these decals can probably be rather easily adapted to other 1:48 scale F-14s from other manufacturers as well.

The quality of the decal design is top-notch, and the printing by Cartograph is impeccable.  Beyond the gorgeous printing, it’s the attention to little details that impress me just as much, including the fidelity of the airframe stencils that include markings for the GRU-7A ejection seats.

Overall, Furball Aero-Design does a great job with this offering and it will allow scale modelers to cover some very colorful early F-14s.  Highly recommended!

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/?fref=ts

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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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