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Afterburner Decals 1/48 F-14A Victory Cats Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2010 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject F-14A Victory Cats Scale 1/48
Set Number 48069 Pros Options for 12 aircraft
Cons Nothing noted Skill Level Basic
MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Afterburner Decals has released another 'super set' of decals, this time focused on the F-14A Tomcats of Fighting 84 'Jolly Rogers'. This set covers the end of the colorful cats in the early 1980s as the Navy transitioned into the dark ages of low-visibility camouflage in the mid-1980s. This set starts the coverage in 1981, about a year after VF-84 starred in the movie 'Final Countdown' and performed some fun flying against a pair of T-6 Texans dressed up as A6M Zeros. Coverage of this set continues through the early 1990s, a few years before the Navy decommissioned VF-84 and moved the 'Jolly Roger' banner over to VF-103.

F-14A F-14A F-14A

This decal set comes on one large sheet containing the high visibility markings and maintenance stencils, plus a small sheet with the remainder of the low-visibility markings. This set provides marking options for 12 aircraft:

  • F-14A, 160386, AJ/200, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1981, CVW-8 CAG
  • F-14A, 160414, AJ/201, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1981, VF-84 Skipper
  • F-14A, 160382, AJ/200, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1983, CVW-8 CAG
  • F-14A, 160389, AJ/202, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1984, VF-84 XO
  • F-14A, 160393, AJ/201, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1984, VF-84 Skipper
  • F-14A, 160382, AJ/203, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1984
  • F-14A, 162702, AJ/201, VF-84, USS Theodore Roosevelt, 1989, VF-84 Skipper
  • F-14A, 162688, AJ/200, VF-84, 1987, CVW-8 CAG
  • F-14A, 162688, AJ/200, VF-84, USS Nimitz, 1986, CVW-8 CAG
  • F-14A, 160480, AJ/201, VF-84, 1992, VF-84 Skipper
  • F-14A, 160655, AJ/207, VF-84, 1992
  • F-14A, 162688, AJ/200, VF-84, USS Theodore Roosevelt, 1991, CVW-8 CAG

This set provides maintenance stencils for two complete kits and these markings are sized for the Hasegawa Tomcat kit. The color profiles are well documented and show you which aircraft have the early versus the late-type gas vent gun doors.

This decal set will greatly enhance the Hasegawa kit with decals for at least two kits. If you look at the nice printing from Cartograf, you don't have the nonsense of separate red bars for the US star and bar national markings as done by some other decal makers and all of the artwork is done as a single decal for your convenience rather than forcing you to stack decals atop one another as done by others. Nice work Afterburner Decals (as usual).

This is a nice set and will add some colorful sharkmouth options for your next Phantom project.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!