Sheet #

Superscale 48-268 for 1/48 F-14A Tomcats




VF-33 and VF-154

Review By:

Scott Van Aken





After the fiasco of the TFX, aka F-111, the Navy went looking for a suitable platform on which to base its Phoenix missile program. Amongst the many entries, the Grumman one got the nod. The F-14 is similar to the cancelled F-111 in a few respects. It uses the same TF-30 engines, has a crew of two, can carry 6 Phoenix missiles and has swing-wings, a feature that was very popular in the late 60's/early 70's but which hasn't been seen since on new combat aircraft.

The Navy was quite pleased with the Tomcat and replaced the F-4 Phantom with it on board carriers as soon as it could. The first combat cruise of the F-14 was in 1974/75 as VF-1 and VF-2 on the USS Enterprise assisted in the evacuation efforts in South Vietnam. It was never used in anger during that event, but was able to prove itself in skirmishes against the Lybians in the 1980s and again in Desert Storm in 1991. Long out of production, the F-14s diminishing number have caused several Tomcat units to become disestablished and replaced by F-18 Hornet squadrons.  

This is actually a Microscale sheet, but was repackaged in a Superscale envelope after the Kraesel brothers went their own ways about 10 years or so ago. As a result, the folks at Superscale pulled the old Microscale instructions and just photocopied one side of the instructions sheet The result is that we are missing any information that may have been on the back side of the Microscale sheet.

There are only two schemes on this sheet, mainly due to the size of the tail markings and the fact that Superscale provides national insignia, something they did not always do.

Both aircraft are from the 1984 time period and both are in overall gloss gull grey, FS 16440. I have always liked that scheme as it is generally a breeze to paint! 

The first scheme is from VF-33, the Starfighters. Although they tried several variations on that tail markings, this is the one they chose for that time period, the yellow bolt with black star being very nice. This scheme uses the grey insignia. VF-33 is one of the Tomcat Squadrons that was disestablished after Desert Storm.

The other is a VF-154 aircraft in full color with the bold black and red tail stripes. This one also has a rather complicated anti-glare panel and you are directed to copy the decal sheet and use the decals for a guide to masking the area.

You get a full stencil suite for one aircraft. Unfortunately there is no stencil guide, that being on the back of the sheet that was not copied over by Superscale!!

On my copy the red is off register. Careful trimming can save most of the decals, but you will have to find a source for at least two of the full color national insignia.

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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