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Colorful Tomcat





S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: AMD 48-588 - Colorful Tomcat
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Waterslide decals - 2 x decal sheets plus instructions and notes
Price: USD$7.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Single-sheet re-release of earlier (and now unavailable) "Special" set; perfect register; thin; minimal carrier film; comprehensive stencil data; good instructions and background
Disadvantages: Missing crew names
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com




Back 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!

First 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 them completely.

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 elsewhere.

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 zip-loc bag.

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.


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 08 February, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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