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F-14A Tomcats
Afghan War Heroes


Yellowhammer Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

YHD 48024

Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Double-sided full colour letter-sized instructions plus notes sheet; 1 x full-size decal sheet.
Price: USD$8.99 from Meteor Productions website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well researched; beautifully printed; high quality instructions; interesting subjects
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




Sheet number YHD48024 is Yellowhammer Models’ latest release. It covers three F-14As from VF-41 whilst the squadron was aboard the USS Enterprise during the opening rounds of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

VF-41’s aircraft were painted up especially for this cruise to commemorate the last time that they would by flying the F-14 before transitioning onto the F/A-18E. Each aircraft on the sheet features the scripting “Last Tomcat Cruise 1976-2001” on the top of the vertical stabilizers with “First to Strike” on the leading edge of the port wing and “First to Fight” in the same position on the starboard wing. Also, in an unusual move for USN aircraft, each of them features a woman’s name on the right hand side of the radome.

First up is the Anna, the CAG bird, Bureau number 162608. Anna is painted in three greys with a black anti-glare that covers the nose, canopies and turtledeck. Befitting a CAG bird she features a little colour. The tops of the vertical stabilizers are red as is the turbine warning stripe over the fuselage, the intake warnings and ejection seat triangles.

Red also shadows the 100 modex numbers on the nose and the 00 on the vertical stabilizers and the nose undercarriage door. The use of colour continues to the squadron insignia on the outer sides of the vertical stabilizers which cleverly includes the “AJ” of airwing identifier.

The remainder of the markings are in black with the exception of the CAG and DCAG names which are in white to show against the black of the canopy rails. (both sides). The black markings include the national insignia, ships titles, bureau number – in an unusual font, Plane Captain of the Quarter (?) and Seaman of the Year names plus some minor stencilling. The names of the entire VF-41’ Corrosion Control Team also feature as a decal but where this is placed is not clear.

Next is “Delores”, Bureau number 158612, Modex 103. Dolores is painted in the standard tactical paint scheme (TPS) of FS 35237over FS 36320. No colour this time! All markings are in either dark grey or light grey.

The final aircraft is “Lauren”, Bureau number 161856 Modex 103. Lauren is more of the same and is the same TPS and her markings, with the exception of air and ground crew names, as Dolores. Whilst the TPS finish lacks colour; in many ways this scheme is more challenging for the modeller to replicate. Once TPS finished aircraft have been at sea for a few months they take on a very patchwork and grimy appearance due to constant attention of the corrosion control guys and the boots of Plane Captains. Done right, they look very good.

Although it is not printed on the sheet, it sure looks as if they have been printed by Microscale, such is the quality of the printing and the thinness of each of the individual decals. Decal placement is guided by a full colour letter-sized sheet and both the decal sheet and instructions are packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

Summed up it is a well researched and excellently produced decal sheet.

With the F-14 scheduled to be off the flightdeck by 2005 we can expect to see many more of this type of sheets to be issued. This sheet I suspect is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals, can be viewed at
Meteor Productions website

Review Copyright © 2003 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 15 January, 2003
Last updated 14 August, 2003

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