Starfighter Decals 144-137: Tomcat's first cruise 1974


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Scott Van Aken


For the Revell kit.

Starfighter Decals has released a new sheet for the Revell AG F-14A kit. Though I've not seen this one, if it is like their F-14D, it will be a very nice one. The markings on this sheet are for two of the US Navy's initial Tomcat fleet squadrons, VF-1 and VF-2. These two units made the first Tomcat  Cruise aboard the USS Enterprise during 1974 and it was the only time the Tomcat participated in the Vietnam War, albeit during the last year when there was little or no US Navy combat.

VF-1 was named 'The Wolfpack' and sported some of the fanciest coloring on any USN plane with the bright red unit markings. The plane on this sheet was the squadron commander's aircraft. VF-1 was one of the first Tomcat squadrons to be disestablished in 1993 after the decommissioning of its ship, the USS Ranger.

The other unit, VF-2 was named 'The Bounty Hunters'. This unit is currently extant and flies F-18F Super Bugs. The markings on this plane are for the CAG bird.

Both of these aircraft are in the early light gull grey over white scheme. Though for the Revell kit, it is quite possible that these decals will fit the old LS kit or any of the other boxing of this kit. Nearly 40 years ago, Microscale did several 1/144 sheets; one of them contained similar markings for VF-1 and VF-2, but those are very difficult to find and of questionable viability.

 The ALPS printed decals are very nicely done and for those who have used these before, not a problem. New users should be advised that these are somewhat fragile in terms of scratching if over-handled and need to be cut out individually from the solid backing.

Thanks to for the review sample.

February 2010

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