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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 72-006 Bombcat Weapons Set
1:72 Scale



vol_2_image

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat started out life as a long-range fleet defense interceptor, armed with only the AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder, and an internal M61 20mm cannon.  With the retirement of the A-6 Intruder in 1997, the U.S. Navy faced a major gap in strike capability. The decision was made to bring out the dormant air-to-ground potential that existed in the F-14 since its earliest days.  At least one early Grumman prototype flew with racks filled with Mk. 82 bombs, and the F-14D PDU (Pre-Deployment Update) program in 1992 validated a stores configuration with MK.84s fitted to BRU-32 adaptors in Phoenix missile pallets.  By the mid-1990s, the AN/AAQ-25 FLIR/laser designator pod (originally developed as part of the F-15E’s LANTIRN system) was cleared for flight on the F-14. 

Tomcats, now quite informally nicknamed “Bombcats,” demonstrated their tremendous flexibility beginning in Operation ALLIED FORCE over Kosovo.  Along with the B-2 Spirit, it was the F-14 that led the charge into Afghanistan in 2001, as they had the greatest range and greatest precision strike capability of anything in-theater.  In 2003, F-14s participated widely in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and a special land-based detachment of five jets from VF-154 were tasked as forward air controllers and close air support for Special Forces operators, and garnered the highest praise from ground forces overall.  The F-14 was a great fighter, and in its ‘Bombcat” incarnation, the F-14 shaped the course of conflicts in ways that it could not have done previously.  
           
In this 1:72 scale decal sheet, Furball Aero-Design provides a comprehensive decal sheet for F-14 munitions that were carried during the “Bombcat” era.  Literally, this was everything in the F-14’s air-to-air and air-to-ground inventory from the mid-1990s onward. These decals cover:

This is a very useful decal sheet as it provides definitive and accurate markings for F-14 munitions.  Decals for alternate paint schemes are provided for most of the air-to-ground ordnance including for inert training rounds.  I find that to be a really neat touch.  Do know that the number of decals for each type of munition vary, as there’s markings for four AIM-54s, four CATM-54s, eight Sidewinder rounds, four GBU-10s, six GBU-12, two TARPS pods and two AN/AAQ-25 pods, and so forth.

The quality of the decal design is top-notch, and the printing by Cartograf is impeccable. Beyond the gorgeous printing, it’s the attention to little details that impress, such as the NavAir stenciling on the bombs.  There is one small accuracy error: the SERNO (serial numbers) on the AIM-54s and CATM-54s are identical to each type and are repeated.  Every single AIM-54 had a different SERNO stenciled on the guidance section of the missile.  The number variations held pretty important meaning: the unique SERNO was tied to a unique frequency that the F-14’s fire control system used to talk to and guide an individual Phoenix missile to a target.  As an example, if two missiles had the same SERNO, it would not matter if you simultaneously acquired and shot the missiles against two radar contacts.  If they shared the same frequency, they would improperly guide to only one shared target.    

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

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
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