Furball Decals FD&S 48-09: Colors & Markings of USN Tomcats Pt.2
This is Furball Aero-Design's F-14 Tomcat set is the second for this type in association with Detail & Scale. All of the options are F-14A/B versions from 1990 until 1998, and as such, are all in variations of the Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS). Also as usual with many decal sheets, the majority of the markings are for CAG or squadron commander planes. This means that there is a bit more color than the norm, but nothing like the first years of Tomcat operation in the earlier schemes.
There are eight options on this sheet and Furball provides sufficient data and stencil markings to do two complete aircraft from this set. While no specific kit is listed on the instructions, other sets have been sized for the Hasegawa kit and I assume that is the same for this. Does not mean they won't fit Hobby Boss, or Monogram or other 1/48 Tomcats, just that you might have to do some fudging to get them to do so.
As mentioned, all of these have a variation on the Tactical Paint Scheme and I have to confess that to my eyes, I have trouble telling which grey is which on the placement guide. For instance, I have difficulty telling if an upper color is FS 36320 or FS 35237. It would be quite helpful if part of each plane's description would indicate which colors are used rather than just having color patches at the top of the page.
First option is an F-14A aboard the USS Forrestal in 1991. This VF-11 plane has a gunship grey surround to the canopy area. This was probably the Forrestal's last cruise as an active carrier before its brief career as a training carrier, replacing the Lexington.
Next, with the Tomcat patch on the fin is a VF-14 F-14A from the 1996 John F. Kennedy cruise.
One of the more colorful planes is this VF-31 F-14A, also from the USS Forrestal, this time in 1990. It has a black radome. A year or so later, this unit moved to Miramar and F-14Ds.
With a lot of engine grey bits, is this F-14A with VF-33 Starfighters, a unit that did not survive the Tomcat era. This is from the USS America in 1992.
Can't have a Tomcat sheet without the Jolly Rogers. This one is an F-14 from when it was still VF-84 and has a gloss black fin. This scheme is from when it was land based at Oceana in 1993.
The first of two VF-101 schemes is this one in overall light gull grey from 1998. It is an F-14B and has a gloss black cockpit surround.
The other VF-101 scheme is also an F-14B, this time from 1993 and has an engine grey fin and cockpit surround.
The final option is with VF-103 'Sluggers' when aboard the USS Saratoga in 1993. This is also an F-14B. This unit went through more unit name changes during its Tomcat career than any other, eventually becoming the Jolly Rogers when VF-84 disestablished.
Included with the set, but not shown is a set of six wingwalk markings in three shades. This is effectively sheet 48-050, so is a nice bonus. The decals are printed by Cartograf and you get a complete stencil and data markings guide. This is a set I hope makes it to 1/72 scale as I'm a real fan of the type.
Review sheet courtesy of http://furballaero-design.com. You can get yours now at this link.
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