Fightertown Decals 48-082 F-14 Tomcat Data
What appears at first to be another data sheet for ordnance details turns into an amazing detail laden decal sheet for the F-14A/B & D Tomcat. This 8 inch by 10 ¼ inch decal has much more than nice ordnance detailing decals. Full ordnance data and many detailing stencils and artwork are provided for approximately two aircraft. Then the magic begins. Once you take a closer look it becomes apparent there is much more than ordnance artwork on this decal sheet.
The instructions are excellent. You definitely have to pay attention to things as there are many small differences between F-14A/B and D aircraft. You also get some nice additional bits. I will list below many but not all the unique detailing items that come with this sheet. At first glance it just looks like another data sheet but for ordnance which is only for Bombcat modified birds. However, once you look over every inch of the decal sheet you will find an amazing treasure trove of unique F-14 Tomcat detailing artwork.
Although the instruction sheet is excellent there are so many details packed onto this sheet there could have been one additional page of instructions. It would have been helpful to have the many detail items numbered with the description on a separate sheet. Some of it is intuitive after building a few Tomcats. Some items I had to research. The more I looked at the sheet the more sublime the incredible details and usefulness became apparent. Once I used the sheet I had to order some more. I was in the midst of detailing a 1/48th scale Aires F-14D Tomcat resin cockpit. If you have seen one they are so detailed it is almost a shrunken version of the real thing. The problem is how to paint some of the finer details such as the buttons on the variety of displays? You will find several versions of displays with finely printed cockpit consoles. You have to see it to believe it. So this is when you realize – this decal sheet is not just another ordnance detailing stencil sheet but a very helpful F-14 Tomcat super-detailing tool.
What does it have that makes it so unique? Here’s a partial list of detailing items:
Green tinted front-windscreen
Coroguard metallic leading wing edges with black panel lines and just the panel lines if you paint the grayish metallic leading edge just to give it a very fine panel line look.
Several types of boot print treads
Silver rear view mirror faces with and without black frames
HUD transparent glare shield data display with reticle markings
GE Engine interior and exterior dark metallic panels
Formation lights, wing tips and fuselage with and without frames for the wingtip lights
Seat cushion patterns (look closely at the seat to see the porous material) to mimic the real thing for both green (SJU-17 NACES) and khaki brown colored seats (GRU-7A).
Multiple boarding ladder non-slip surface steps with red edges and without.
Rivet fastener detailing strips
Placards for both SJU-17 NACES and GRU-7A ejection seats.
Landing gear data plates, launch bar decal and choice of Goodyear or Michelin tire stencils
Gear door inside placards and missile launch rail signage
Comprehensive missile and bomb detailing stencils for GBU and Mk.82/83/84 bombs plus Lantirn pods.
Bright metallic heat exchange frames
External fuel tank caps – three types
Remove before flight streamers
Flare and chaff dispenser detailing with a choice of five configurations
Instrument panel dial clusters and display screens with gray-white buttons for pilot and RIO stations
My favorite – a white panel with the green, yellow, red lights for the landing indexer box on the nose landing gear.
The sheet is very nicely printed by Cartograf and is an excellent sheet. This decal is one that you really should pick up for your next Tomcat project. If you build more than one Tomcat you will find it to be a mistake not to have used this for any previous efforts at building the F-14 Tomcat. This decal must be a labor of love from someone who really knows and loves the subject, U.S. Naval Fighters and specifically the F-14 Tomcat. Now that Tamiya has entered the arena with their superb 1/48th scale Tomcat and AMK perhaps providing us with an equivalent F-14D what are you waiting for?