FCM 32020: F-14A Tomcat

Units: VF-114




Scott Van Aken

It has been ten years since the last US Tomcat shut down its engines, ending of the USN's neatest aircraft. Political paranoia over Iran getting the bits from retired Tomcats meant that those which did not make it into museums were quickly scrapped, along with all their spare parts and support gear. Of course, it hasn't stopped Iran from fabricating what it needs to keep them flying and Israeli companies have been more than willing to help out in that regard.

VF-114 was the one of the first three Tomcat squadrons to be disestablished by the USN after the end of Desert Storm, going away in 1993. To many this unit was one of the coolest with its big stripe and aardvark tail mascot. Of course, the unit went all greys in the mid 1980s and we have FCM to thank for offering a couple of markings options for the 1/32 Tomcat kits out there.

Two markings options are offered on this sheet. One is in the two color TPS (Tactical Paint Scheme) from 1984, when on the USS Enterprise. This version has the low viz fuselage band. The other is from later in 1986. By this time the band was gone and according to the instructions, it was in a single shade of FS 36320 grey. While you may be thinking this is only a case of the TPS colors fading together, looking at dozens of F-14 slides in my collection, I found quite a few low viz grey single color schemes. Note also that this scheme has a false canopy on the underside and both planes have bare metal wing leading edges.

Since one plane is 'darker' than the other, you are offered insignia and data markings for both options, though there are only sufficient tail markings for one plane. A smaller sheet includes the bazillion 'no step' markings that festooned the Tomcat upper surfaces.

The sheets are superbly done by Microscale and if you have either the Tamiya or the older Revell F-14A, you should consider this very nice sheet.

May 2016

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