FCM 72-040: Sundowners part 1

Units: VF-111




Scott Van Aken

This particular set from FCM is on the F-14A Tomcat and specifically those operating with VF-111. The Sundowners have always been a favorite of modelers and while no specific kit is mentioned, most will gravitate towards the two different Hasegawa kits.

Markings are provided for three aircraft. The first option is from the USS KittyHawk circa 1978 and is probably the least colorful that VF-111 wore. The sunburst is only on the ventral strake, which will need to be painted red along with the fin tip. The aircraft does have the unit's signature shark mouth. and the aircraft is overall gloss light gull grey.

By 1981/82, the markings had changed yet again, this time taking up most of the fin. Two different options are provided for these markings. One is an overall gloss light gull grey plane with the markings in red. The other is a Tactical Paint Scheme plane with the markings redone in shades of grey. For the latter scheme, small shark mouths are provided for the drop tanks.

There is a full stencil suite for one aircraft and insignia for all. If you choose kit data markings, you can do all the options. To my eyes, the border around the US insignia is too thin, a problem that seems to pop up from time to time.

I've included two images of these two schemes. They are not the same planes, but are in the same time frame and serial number range. The earlier plane in the upper photo is 160674 from 1979, while the second is 160668 from 1980. You'll notice that the low viz photo is of a plane that is overall gloss light gull grey, so if you want to change the modex and serial, you can do this option as well. In case you are wondering, the intake warning stripe is in red and all the warning markings are in color.

The decals themselves are very nicely  printed by Microscale.

April 2010

Thanks to FCM for providing the review sheet.

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