by: Tim Hatton [ ]
This sheet covers twelve F-14As from VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" from the early 80s to the mid 90s. On this sheet there are five CAG birds, four CO jets, and even a one XO gets in on the act. All schemes are covered from 1981 to 1994 including combat and line jets.
2 x decal sheets, one Slightly smaller than A4. The other a little smaller than A5.
7 x A4 colour profiles, upper and lower plan views.
2 x A4 black and white profiles, upper and lower plan views.
This releases includes options for twelve aircraft:
F-14A 160386, CVW-8 CAG, 1981. Overall gloss gull grey.
F-14A 160414, VF-84 CO, Jan 1981. Overall gloss gull grey.
F-14A 160382, CVW-8 CAG, 1983. Overall gloss gull grey.
F-14A 160389, VF-84 XO, May 1984. Overall flat gull grey.
F-14A 160393, VF-84 CO, 1984. Standard TPS camouflage.
F-14A 160382, VF-84, 1984. Non standard TPS camouflage.
F-14A 162702, VF-84 CO, Oct 1989. Overall gloss gull grey.
F-14A 162688, CVW-8 CAG, Sept 1987. Overall gloss gull grey.
F-14A 162688, CVW-8 CAG, June 1986. Non standard TPS camouflage.
F-14A 160480, VF-84 CO, Oct 1992. Overall dark ghost grey.
F-14A 160655, VF-84, 1992. Standard TPS camouflage.
F-14A 162688, CVW-8 CAG, 1991 Overall medium grey.
Each aircraft is illustrated with a colour drawing of the port side. Any variation on the starboard side is noted. There are colour side, upper and lower plan views to aid painting. There are also black and white side, upper and lower plan views to aid the location of stencils common to all aircraft. There are decals for the ejector seats, the striped arrestor hook and the drop tanks. There are no weapon stencils included. There are also some colour photo references.
Quality of the print by Cartograf is simply stunning. Decals are glossy with a minimum amount of carrier film. The larger markings on the tail are linked by a thin strip of carrier film, so there are no large areas of decal to bed down. All the written stencils are sharp and legible, even the red ones. I like the attention to detail, such as the black ejector seat warning triangle without 'danger'. Also on one aircraft the stripes with chevrons is uneven on one side. There are enough stencils to complete two of the above aircraft. But there is nothing to stop the modeler from using the kits stencils to be able to utilise even more of the above markings. Decals are sized to the Hasegawa 1/48 kit.
Any Tomcat fans out there and I know there are a few, will be very happy with this release. I think most folk that usually think of the tomcat, probably visualise it in the marking of the Jolly Rogers. A considerable amount of work has gone into the research to produce this outstanding product. One that the folk at Afterburner Decals should be proud off.