Jasmine Model

F-14D VF-31 Tomcatters

Final Day's CAG

1/72

72001

There are many aftermarket decal sets for one of the most beautiful warplanes of modern age, F-14 Tomcat. You have a choice of hundreds of different markings, from the plainest to the attractive colourful ones. As recently Tomcat reached his official retirement, his role (and mostly nice schemes too) was taken by Super Hornet. And now, all of us admirers of that great machine are left with the tear in the corner of the eye to remember his long lasting career which marked one era of naval aviation. For memory on the last days of their operational service new Chinese decals manufacturer Jasmine Models released this decal set: Final Days of VF-31 Tomcatters CAG Bird. Tomcatters with its 60+ years service is second oldest US Navy squadron, and the only US squadron of all three air arms to score confirmed kills in three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It is the same squadron that had honour to escort Tomcats to their retirement as their last operator, what ended on September 2006. as "Last Time, Baby...!" and "Last Cat Standing, Baby!".

 

In this set you get decals for one complete aircraft, including complete stencil data and cockpit instrument panels. Furthermore you get nice decal resembling VF-31 Tomcatters badge which can be nice addition to the display base for your model. Decal film on all decals is just a bit larger than print on them, so there is almost no bigger excess anywhere. Decals look nice and clean, with slightly blurry edges of some of larger black and red areas, and part of text. Colour of decals is a bit different story. Red colour of danger triangles and jet intake sign is a bit brownish, and also text "Danger Jet Intake" comes in black instead of white colour. Also yellow colour of rescue arrows and marks is a bit to orange, and "Rescue" text is a bit too thick. With all of that I don't have a problem, as all of those decals can be get from the kit. The instrument panels look nice, with quite intense green displays, and for that I can tell you it looks far better than Hasegawa's dull green or Fujimi's blue. Formation light panels look clear and sharp, and their colour looks better then any you get in the kit (it is very similar to colour of Formation light panels Pro Modeler decal set).

And now, let's get to the point of this decal set. White emblems and inscriptions are sharp and clear, and they all look very, very good. All Tomcatters emblems (cat with the bomb) are printed clear and sharp in al sizes (4 bigger ones for tails, 6 smaller ones for fuel tanks, and one more of smaller size with inscription "Anywhere", for which I still didn't find place to put it together with the other emblem showing "Uncle Sam" cat with inscription "Anytime"). Emblems for inner side of tails are made from two pieces, and they are also made nice and clear (yellow colour of the bird is correct). The biggest problem are yellow circles for tail emblems and decals for tail tips which are printed in different colours, and on the real airplane they are painted with the same colour (see here), and what is clearly visible on the painting instructions. Fortunately, yellow circles for emblems are much closer match to the yellow on that Cat, so you won't have to "kill yourself" masking them (they have thin black circle near outer rim). Tail fins are much easier to mask and paint, aren't they? The only problem is matching the colour of tail fins to decals for emblems.

Painting instructions are printed in colour, with side drawings, inner tail section and one side of fuel tank in 1/100 scale, while top and bottom drawings are in 1/200 scale. Colours are marked with FS, Hubrol and Gunze Sangyo codes. The problem is that from those drawing you cannot clearly see positioning of all decals. For stencils you can refer to kit instructions, but for some other things you might have some hard time (e.g. previously mentioned "Anytime" and "Anywhere" cat emblems which I couldn't find on any photo of that aircraft).

 

Well, to conclude, for 8 USD, what is the price of this set directly from manufacturer, you get good decals base for making another beautiful Tomcat for your collection.

 

Rating:

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Tomislav Martan