AOA Decals 32-016:  VF-143 Pukin' Dogs: Taproom 102

Units: VF-143


$22.00 (free US shipping)


Scott Van Aken

Here is another great AOA Decals set that covers one aircraft during several different periods of time. In this case, it is F-4J 155887, and F-4J that was assigned to VF-143 Pukin' Dogs (where do they come up with these names?) from 1969 to 1973. It is unusual for a plane to stay with a unit for that long so apparently the plane either never went into rework during that time, or it was earmarked to return to VF-143. Not only did it stay with the squadron, but it kept the nose number 102 for the C.O. despite changes in the markings scheme.

The first option is for the 1969/70 cruise aboard the USS Constellation. For this deployment the unit marking was on the fin with small amounts of red trim on the fin tip and the wing tips. Apparently the nose gear was painted red, though not the wheel hubs.

Next is from the 1971/72 deployment aboard the USS Enterprise. In this case, the red markings were considerably expanded to the leading edge of the fin, the stab tips, and a big stripe along the upper fuselage. This one has the squadron mascot on the fusleag and the wing letters moved forward on the fin.

In the final option, the set portrays the 1972/73 USS Enterprise deployment. In this case, the markings were changed to blue, though remained pretty much the same. Note also that the nose antiglare area is different on this one compared to the previous options and the radome is white.

The sheets themselves are superbly printed by Cartograf and the decals themselves are fitted to the Tamiya kit. Now most of you know that Revell also did a 1/32 F-4J, but you are on your own when it comes to fitting the markings to that kit. As is usual with AOA Decals, the instructions are among the best researched in the business. Any notes applicable to each marking option is with that option.

If you like your Phantoms super sized, then this set is for you.

September 2016

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Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet at this link, where you can also see profiles of each markings option.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.