S u m m a r y
||AMD 48-588 - Colorful Tomcat
|Contents and Media:
||Waterslide decals - 2 x decal
sheets plus instructions and notes
||Single-sheet re-release of
earlier (and now unavailable) "Special" set; perfect register; thin;
minimal carrier film; comprehensive stencil data; good
instructions and background
||Missing crew names
by Rodger Kelly
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
in the year 2000, AeroMaster released SP48-13 USS Nimitz CVN-68
Carrier Air Wing Eight 1977/78. It was one of their “specials” and it
provided decals for the Airwing’s aircraft from their ‘77/’78
Mediterranean cruise. You got markings for four F-14s, two A6s, a
EA-6B, Four A-7s, two S-3s and two SH-3s. AeroMaster have now started
releasing single sheets of each of the aircraft from that “special”
and this is one of them.
48-588 provides markings for four F-14A Tomcats, two from VF-41 and
two from VF-84, all of them finished in gull grey and white – sigh!
is Bureau number 160379 VF-41’s CAG aircraft. Standard gull grey and
white scheme with a black radome and white vertical stabilizers.
Markings consist of red bands for the vertical stabilizer over which
you place VF-41’s squadron marking of a black Ace of Spades. CVW-8s AJ
airwing identifier is cleverly placed within the Ace of Spades symbol.
A further set of red bands are supplied for the inner faces of the
vertical stabilizers. The 100 modex for the nose is black with a white
shadow. The white shadow is supplied as a separate decal to address
any problems with register –not that this is an issue with any of the
individual decals on this sheet. A further set of 100 modex is
supplied in black only and these are for the tops of the flaps. Other
decals include the Bureau number, and NAVY scripts for the rear
fuselage, ship’s name for the sides of the intakes, crew names for the
canopy rails, and squadron titles for the ventral fin
The other VF-41 aircraft is Bureau number 160395, Modex 114. Markings
are the same as the CAG aircraft except that the font of the airwing
identifier is a little different (thicker) as well as a smaller set of
abbreviated 14 modex are applied to the inner faces of the fin cap.
The crew names are different as well. The placement sheet notes tell
you that the photos AeroMaster used as reference in producing the
sheet was blurred so they have taken an educated guess at the names.
The first VF-84 aircraft, bureau number 160393, is also their CAG.
Standard gull grey and white finish but this time the radome is gull
grey and white with a tan tip. The vertical stabilizers are in black
with yellow fin caps. The modex is 200 and they are supplied for
either side of the nose as well as the tops of the flaps. VF-84’s
famous skull and crossbones are in white and placed on the vertical
stabilizers. The AJ airwing identifiers are a supplied as hollow
yellow letters so that when you apply the decal on the black of the
vertical stabilizer, it appears that it is a black letter with a
yellow shadow. The ventral fins are also in black with a thin yellow
edge. You will have to paint the fins yourself but the yellow edges
are suppled as a decal. VF-84’s black and yellow “sash” for the nose
is supplied as a one-piece decal with a gap for the national insignia.
As with the previous two aircraft, the remainder of the decals are
made up of the Bureau number and NAVY scripts for the rear fuselage,
ship’s name for the sides of the intakes and squadron titles for the
ventral fin. The CAG’s name is supplied for the rail of the front
canopy only. The researchers at AeroMaster were unable to find out the
RIO’s name so have omitted it completely.
The second VF-84 machine is Bureau number 160401, Modex 202. Markings
are same as the previous aircraft but this time there are no crew
names at all. AreoMaster were again unable to read the crew’s names so
have this time, have not even made an educated guess and have omitted
There is one complete set of stencils and these are supplied on a
separate sheet. The national insignia is included on this sheet as
well as three-part decals with separate red bars, fiddly but this
method addresses the register problem.
All up, you can build one complete aircraft from each squadron using
the decals from this sheet. If you chose to do this though you will
have to get a hold of stencil data and national insignia from
The placement guide is in full colour on an A-4 sized sheet. It
supplies you with a list of references and suggests that the best kit
to use is the Hasegawa one. It advises that some “fitting” may be
required if you wish to use the Italeri, Monogram or Academy kits.
Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:
The decals have been printed by Cartograf.
They are sharp, opaque, very thin and have minimal carrier film. The
placement guide and the two decal sheets or packed in a clear plastic
This is a good sheet and a sensible move on AeroMaster’s part to
release the “Special” as separate sheets. The “missing” crew names are
irksome. I’m sure that the correct names could have been found with a
bit of “networking” amongst modellers, photographers or by an appeal
for help within the U.S. Navy’s Tomcat Community.