USN F-14 Tomcats Colors & Markings Part III

Published on
January 15, 2017
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Company: Furball Aero-Design - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Furball Aero-Design - Website: Visit Site
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Furball; a dogfighters’ term for a fighter-themed modeling company. We sincerely appreciate Furball Aero-Design’s support of IPMS USA and their providing one more of their great products for review. And thanks to the reviewer corps leaders for sending this set to me to review!

This set provides markings for nine early-model F-14A’s from the Bicentennial era:

  • VF-14, F-14A 159421, USS John F. Kennedy, 1976 (AB-100)
  • VF-32, F-14A 159008, USS John F. Kennedy, 1976 (AB-200)
  • VF-41, F-14A 160379, USS Nimitz, 1976 (AJ-100)
  • VF-84, F-14A 159013, NAS Oceana, 1976 (AJ-200)
  • VF-101, F-14A 158620, NAS Oceana, 1976 (AD-144)
  • VF-142, F-14A 159606, USS America, 1978 (AE-201)
  • VF-142, F-14A 159453, USS America, 1978 (AE-204)
  • VF-143, F-14A 159456, USS America, 1976 (AE-100)
  • VF-143, F-14A 159453, USS America, 1976 (AE-103)

Continuing the dream of addressing all F-14 markings for Tomcat lovers, this set provides the modeler with a bit of difference in what others may build, or improvement on the kit markings. I chose the Jolly Rogers markings, because it’s my model and I paid for it… and they are slightly different than the kit markings, being a different Bureau Number cat. Quoting Bloom County’s “Bill the Cat”©.,,, “AAACK Ptttth!.

These decals by Cartograf perform as expected and provide the modeler with improved decal performance (although Tamiya’s Kit decals have been doing MUCH better in the past few years…). You also have some choice other than the standard markings; in this case there are differences between the kits’ VF-84 markings from Oceana and these markings.

True, these guys rarely carried weapons stateside. True, it’s ‘nother skull n’ crossbones bird. But it’s also another Tomcat, and there is just something about that old Lou Drendel paining on the cover of Squadron’s 1978 release of “F-14A in action” with these markings that appeals.

The Tamiya F-14A is a master stroke of work. Buy them in bunches if you like your cats big. The kit is a dream to assemble, and this kit, (along with the AML Mig-31 released this year), were two builds that caused me to smile with enjoyment through most of the build. It shows just what can be done with a dedicated team, great CAD work, and just plain fun.

It took me a while (a couple of weeks) to get this one done… Gull gray over White schemes require masking. The use of the Furball slat and flap masking sets saved a couple of hours masking (see separate review) but you still have to deal with white undersurfaces with a non-masked edge on the gull gray uppersurfaces, and that required a lot of effort to complete. After gloss-coating the model, the decals went on in an evening.

Decal performance: no problems. All stencils are readable and accurate under magnification, and in perfect register. Color is spot-on; saturation was dense as well. The only place I had a problem was the fuselage black and yellow bands showed through the U.S. insignia; plan ahead here and either (1) cut away the band where the insignia sits, or (2) source white backing insignia of the correct size to prevent “show thorugh”. You could alternately use the kit fuselage bands…

A wipe-down to clean off excess decal adhesive, another gloss coat, and a flat coat, and I had an excellent Kitty on the shelf. I did not include the external stores in this review as that is not part of this sheet.

Pictures tell the final story!

Highest ratings to Furball for this set; I was very pleased with the value… Decal adhesion was excellent, and only required solvents over the wing “slime” lights and around the tail hook bands decal. These decals are fantastic; so much so I bought for and will be using a set of Furball “Sundowners” decals (from their Air Wing All-stars Tomcats part 1 set) to do my later F-14A. Buy them and keep another small successful manufacturer in business!!!


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