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Phancy Phantoms Part VI


AeroMaster Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: AMD 48-555 - Phancy Phantoms
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes
Price: USD$8.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Bright and varied markings from a colourful era; perfect register; thin; minimal carrier film; comprehensive stencil data; good instructions and background
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aeromaster's 1/48 scale Phancy Phantoms Pary VI is available online from Squadron.com




AeroMaster’s 48-555 Phancy Phantoms Pt VI bring you markings for three Atlantic Fleet F-4s from the era when it didn’t seem to matter a hoot about camouflage and the motto for the squadron’s painters seemed to be the brighter the better! 

First is F-4B Bureau number 152965 of VF-11 “Red Rippers”.  The markings depict her from the time that she fulfilled the role of CVW-17’s CAG aircraft aboard the USS Forrestal in 1973.  Finish is gull grey and white with a white radome and a black anti-glare.  The fin cap, wing and horizontal stabilizer tips are red. These red areas are edged in black.  Whilst you will have to paint the red yourself, the edging is given as decals.  The canopy rails are also red but this time they are given as separate decals.  These last decals are a bonus as trying to paint red over black (you need to paint the rails black first as the inner faces of the canopy is black) is not an easy task. 

The markings consist of:

  • Rudder marking of progressively larger diamonds, each in a different colour signifying each colour carried by squadrons within the Airwing.

  • The vertical stabilizer carries The AA airwing identifier in white with black shadowing with a red lightning bolt through the centre of the letters, VF-11 squadron insignia of a boar’s head over a red and blue shield, CVW-17 insignia, and 00s for the fin cap.

  • Large red lightning flashes for the fuselage sides.

  • Large VF-11 titles in white with black shadowing for the fuselage sides to the rear of the cockpits.

  • 100 modex which is white with black shadowing for the nose and a pair of 00s for the nose wheel door.

  • The remainder of markings are in black and they include USS Forrestal titles for the fuselage, the Bureau number block, large NAVY, large 2965 (the “last four” of the Bureau number).  The air-conditioning inlets were painted black and these are also given as a decal – thanks AeroMaster this saves some irksome masking!

Next is a Jolly Rogers CAG bird.  F-4J Bureau number 155861. The markings depict it whilst it was a part of CVW-6 aboard the USS Franklin D. Rooseveldt in 1970.  Finish is gull grey and white whilst the radome, anti-glare and vertical stabilizer is black with the fin cap and wing tips in yellow. 

Markings include: 

  • White skull and crossbones incorporating the AE airwing identifier, “last four” of the Bureau number, and black 200 Modex for the vertical stabilizer.

  • White stars for the rudder.

  • Large black 200 modex for the nose, a further smaller set for the tops of the wing flaps and an even smaller set for the nose wheel door.

  • Black USS Rooseveldt, NAVY and VF-84 titles as well as the Bureau number block for the fuselage.  VF-84 also painted the air-conditioning inlets black and these are also supplied as a decal.

  • The final marking for this aircraft is the VF-84 black and yellow sash.  This is supplied as separate left and right hand side two-part decal with the yellow being placed over the black.  This is a sensible approach to this marking and it will ease the placement task as well as the register issue

The last aircraft is F-4J Bureau number 155544 of VF-101 “Grim Reapers” depicted as she appeared at Naval Air Station Oceana in July of 1976.  Whilst not a CAG aircraft it is every bit as colourful as the previous two aircraft as it performed the duties of VF-101’s “Bicentennial Bird”. 

Finish is gull grey and white with a white radome and black anti-glare with the entire vertical stabilizer in the patriotic colours of red white and blue, and the canopy frames in blue.  Unlike the VF-11 aircraft, you will have to paint the frames yourself in the same blue as the tail markings. 

Markings include

  • The entire red white and blue vertical stabilizer decal which incorporates the AD airwing identifier which is black with yellow shadowing, 1776-1976 in yellow and 106 modex in white.  Does it fit?  Yes it does!  AeroMaster have “sized” it so that it is a tad larger on the leading and trailing edges so that you can wrap it around.  The only downer is that the ECM fairing is “cut-out” so you will either have to paint it yourself or you can cut a suitable sized “patch” from the VF-11 lightning bolts.

  • VF-101’s squadron insignia for either side of the fuselage.

  • Black 106 modex for the nose, wing flaps and nose wheel door.  The nose modex is edged with a white shadow with the shadow a separate decal.

  • Black with white shadowing VF-101 titles for the fuselage.

  • Black NAVY scripts, “last four” of the modex for the fuselage and the Bureau number block.

There are three decal sheets provided.  The standard sized one holds the majority of the squadron markings.  Of the two smaller sheets, the first one contains a set of two-part national insignia with larger sized ones for the wings of the VF-84 aircraft, whilst the other holds the remainder of the squadron markings that did not fit on the standard sized sheet. 

You can build one complete aircraft from this sheet.  If you wish to build the other two aircraft you will have to find a further set of national insignia as well as NAVY scripts and stencil data from elsewhere.  Speaking of stencil; data, only the largest and most visible of it is provided.

The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf and they are absolutely superb. 

The CVW-17 insignia for the VF-11 aircraft is in perfect register (as are all of the decals on the sheet) and there are eight different colours in it!  They are all sharp and clear with minimal carrier film.

Decal placement is guided in AeroMaster’s normal fashion by way of a full-colour double-sided A-4 sized sheet.  The sheet shows left hand side profiles of each aircraft as well as the smaller detail pics of the wings.  The wing views show that the national insignia is placed on the lower surface of the left wing – this is not correct.  Whilst the majority of modellers will pick up on this goof it may trap some of the younger less experienced ones.  AeroMaster recommends the Hasegawa B/N and J kits which is what I measured the VF-101 tail decal against (F-4J)

The three decal sheets and the placement guide are packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

In summary, thus is an excellent sheet from AeroMaster. 


Thanks to AeroMaster / Eagle Strike Products for the review sets

On-line sales are available from the AeroMaster Products / Eagle Strike Productions web site.

Review TextCopyright © 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 10 February, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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