2 Bobs 48-097: F-14B Tomcat

Units: VF-11 retirement scheme




Chris Ishmael

To modern era fast jet modelers among us, Two Bobs is an instantly recognizable name, known for quality decals.

             This offering is for 2 F-14Bs from VF-11 “Red Rippers”, one of the navy’s longest serving fighter squadron dating back to 1927.  VF-11 has the distinction of being the only front line operational fighter squadron to operate all three versions of the F-14 (A, D & B, in that order).

             The instruction sheet is typical Two Bobs; full color 4 view line drawings of each of the two aircraft, a color guide with F.S. numbers & the manufactures numbers of four popular paint brands for each color.  A short list of F-14 kits & aftermarket items is also listed.  Nine small color reference photos of the actual aircraft depicted are also on the sheet.    

            The decals are printed by Microscale.  The sheet has all the major unit & common markings for both aircraft.  There is only one set of formation lights & walkways, so the second set will have to come out of your decals stash or use the kit decals.  Several of the smaller decals are of the 2 & 3 layer design, with the color decal applied first, & then the second decal with the black details placed over it.  There are two, smaller scrap decal sheets, one with the walkway, “NO STEP/LIFT” stenciling , part of the tail markings,  & the outline nose art, & the second sheet contains a pair of small white “01” modexes for the tail.

         First is the CO’s aircraft in a one-off, retro gull gray over white retirement scheme to commemorate the last F-14 operated buy the unit.  It’s interesting to note that VF-11’s F-14s never were in the gull over white scheme.  They transitioned from overall gull gray F-4Js to overall gull gray F-14As starting in 1980.  The supplied walkway & “NO STEP/PUSH/LIFT” decals are for this aircraft, as well as the red stripe that goes completely around the top & bottom of the aft fuselage. As this was a one-off type paint scheme, the grey/white color demarcation lines are not standard when compared to a similarly painted F-14, & there is a small, easily corrected difference between the sheet painting diagram & the way the aircraft was actually painted.  The main landing gear doors are all painted white, but the fuselage directly behind the aft most doors is gull grey.  As a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some links to photographs of the undersurface of the aircraft:

             The remaining special markings are the “Thanks For The Ride” nose art, which shows a tomcat riding a AIM-54 Phoenix missile,  the “World Famous Red Rippers” title & the boars head logo decals that go on the outside of each of the external fuel tank.  The boars’ head logo, whose name is Arnold, is a two piece decal, consisting of the color underlay, & the black line overlay. 

             The second aircraft on the sheet is the CAG aircraft from a slightly earlier time frame.  This sheet presented me with the unique opportunity to model an operational aircraft that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph at an air show.

 This aircraft is in the three tone grey tactical paint scheme with gloss insignia blue tails & canopy hood.  Since this is the CAG bird, almost all of the markings are, appropriately, red.  There are only 8 grey decals total for this aircraft, 4 per side.  Each external tank has a red boars head decals on the left & right side.  All of the red “200” modex decal have a black underlay for the shadowing.  Note that the slanted modex goes on the nose, while the upright modex goes on the wing flaps. The only rescue markings are the grey arrow on each side of the nose.

             This aircraft also caries the same nose art as the other aircraft, although it is in color.  This decal is a 4 piece affair, & is best explained using the photograph below.

             The largest decal that is applied first is the color section of the missile, which has the red, yellow, white & black areas.  The next decal contains the white areas of the tomcat.  The final 2 decals are the black overlay of the missile & the tomcat. The alignment of the white areas of the tomcat is critical in relation to the missile so the modeler will have to pay special attention to this area.  The final decals are the two piece triangular CVW-7 badges that go in the inside of each tail. The stylized 7 is formed from 2 intersecting tail hooks.

             The first aircraft now resides in an aviation museum, whiles the second aircraft is getting a tan in the desert. 

March 2006

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