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F-14A "Tomcat Alley"
VF-111 Sundowners 1985


CAM Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description:

48-121 Tomcat Alley; F-14A VF-111 Sundowners 1985

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: One decal sheets; instruction sheet with a colour cardboard header
Price: USD$9.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Impressive markings; sharply printed; perfect register; minimum of decal film.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron




Arguably, some of the most colourful markings ever painted on U.S. Navy aircraft were those of VF-111, the Sundowners.  Their well known red and white "sunset" and shark mouth markings have been carried on a variety of aircraft over the years including the F-8 Crusader, F-4 Phantom and the F-14 Tomcat. 

CAM Decals 48-121 provides markings for a single aircraft, F-14A Bureau Number 160660, the Sundowners' CAG bird in 1985 when the squadron was flying from the USS Carl Vinson. 

The markings depict the machine when it was painted overall FS16440 glossy light gull during the transition period from the gull grey and white scheme to the modern day Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS).  Interestingly, and as an aside, E-2 Hawkeyes are still painted in this fashion.

The supplied markings comprise: 

  • Eyes and sharkmouth for the nose.  The eyes are separate decals whilst the sharkmouth is a one-piece decal so it will require a little care in applying.

  • 200 modex in black for the sides of the nose and the tops and bottoms of the flaps the application of modex to the bottom of the flaps is unusual.  A further pair of red abbreviated 00s are included as part of the one-piece squadron tail marking.

  • Red and yellow "superman" logos. Apparently, these were applied as the CAG Captain Ron Zlatoper was nicknamed "Super CAG" because of his high rank.

  • USS Carl Vinson titles in black for the leading edges of the wings

  • NAVY titles and Bureau Number block in black for the rear of the fuselage.

  • The VF-111 tail marking.  This is a one piece decal that incorporates the NL airwing identifier and abbreviated 00 modex.  The "sunrays" have coloured edges for each of the squadrons within the air group.

  • Crew names in black for the canopy rails.

  • Plane Captain's name for the nose gear door.

  • VF-111 titles in white for the ventral strakes you will have to paint the strake (and fin caps) red yourself to match the red of the decal.  The placement guide also advises you to paint the insides of the vertical stabilizers red as well, whilst I am not saying that this is incorrect, it is certainly unusual.

  • White edging for the ventral fin strake.

The sheet also carries a fair selection of stencil data the bigger and more visible of it at least including walkways for the top of the intakes, the red turbine warning stripes for the rear of the fuselage, ejection seat triangles, and intake warnings.  A complete set of slime lights and lo-viz national insignia are also included. 

The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale and are well up to the standard we have come to expect from this company.  They are sharply printed, in perfect register apart from the black edging to the "sunray" on the right hand side vertical stabilizer decal but this is minor and would be easily fixed with some deft painting with a 000 brush.  

The placement guide is the standard A-4 sheet with full colour side profiles (left and right hand sides as well as a plan view of the upper surfaces. 

The decal sheets and placement guide come packed in a clear plastic ziploc bag. 

The recommended kit Hasegawa. 

A nice sheet for a very colourful aircraft. 


CAM Decals has also catered for fans of 1/32 and 1/72 scales.  Sheet 32-085 carries markings for just this machine whilst Sheet 72-059 also carries markings for the VF-11 aircraft as well as markings for VF-41 and VF-84 machines.



I was not able to find a photograph of this machine wearing these markings anywhere on the net.  Everything I did find showed it wearing the later and much smaller version of the Sundowners tail markings.  If you have one, I'd appreciate a copy.


Thanks to Brookhurst Hobbies for the review sample.

CAM Decals are available online from their website at http://www.camdecals.com and from Brookhurst Hobbies

Review Copyright 2004 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 28 December, 2004
Last updated 28 December, 2004

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