Aeromaster 48-434 F-14A/D
'Anytime Baby pt 1'

Units: VF-2, VF-211




Chris Ishmael:  Photos by 'Doc' Bibay


Undoubtedly on its last legs as the Navy’s premier fighter -interceptor, the F-14 still will live on in the hearts & minds of modelers  & aftermarket companies everywhere, much like the F-4 Phantom has.

     This is the first sheet in the “Anytime, Babe!” series of sheets, which, as of this writing, number 8 sheets, covering 14 different squadrons, and 2 different stencil sheets.  This particular sheet highlights the reason why the F-14 is such a popular subject to model; colorful markings (VF-2), and one of the more striking subdued schemes (VF-211). 

     The printing is sharp, the smaller lettering is legible, and there is hardly any carrier film.  There are 2 instruction sheets in this set, with the first showing the typical left side profile drawing of each a/c, along with painting & construction notes.  The second sheet has the top & bottom views for each a/c, as well as a full size 1/48th template for the canopy hood for the VF-211 a/c.  No maintenance stenciling or formation light decals are provided.  The Hasegawa kit is recommended.

     First up is the CAG F-14D from VF-2 “Bounty Hunters” (circa1996), the first carrier fighter squadron, dating back to 1922.  This is a specially marked CAG a/c, in that this a/c is in a “throwback” modified gloss gull gray over white scheme.  All of the upper surfaces of this a/c are gloss gull gray, with no white control surfaces.  The gull gray also covers the forward underside in each intake.  Several of the decals are of multi-piece construction.  The red areas of the Langley stripe on the fwd fuselage are separate from the blue/white areas.  Additional white triangle shaped underlays are provided for the ejection seat warning decals to ensure the red will not be darkened by the blue area underneath.

     Moving back to the tail, the insignia blue rudders are provided as decals, along with decals for the yellow fin caps.  There is a special Tomcat logo on the inside of the vertical tails, with the concentric yellow rings as separate decals to be placed over the logo.  The instruction sheet does not show it clearly enough in words & in the drawings, but the ventral fins have the same blue/yellow design on the inboard side as well, but without the white stars & “VF-2” lettering.  This a/c had very little maintenance stenciling, so the lack of those decals might not be an issue with some modelers. 

     Next is an F-14 A from VF-211 “Fighting Checkmates”, in the overall matte gull gray scheme.  All the markings for this a/c are either FS36081 Dark Gunship Gray or FS 35237 Medium Gray.  Thankfully, the nose hood & the stripe that runs parallel to the canopy are provided as decals, giving the modeler a choice of painting themselves with the provided template, or using the decals.  A Safety “S” & a Battle “E” are provided for each side of the a/c.  Each is another two-piece decal, with the gray letter & the white shadowing that goes completely outlines the letter. With a little bit of work, these decals can be used to depict an F-14B that the unit flew for a brief period.

     Both the Bounty Hunters & Checkmates are still F-14 operators today.

     This is a sheet I recommend for all you F-14 & naval aviation fans out there. 

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