Afterburner Decals 1/48 F-14 Tomcat VF-103 Sluggers Decal First Look
|Date of Review||January 2011||Manufacturer||Afterburner Decals|
|Subject||F-14 Tomcat VF-103 Sluggers||Scale||1/48|
|Set Number||48071||Pros||12 F-14A, F-14A+, and F-14B options|
|Cons||None noted||Skill Level||Novice|
|MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Afterburner Decals continues to turn out some impressive decal releases covering contemporary US subjects and this latest set is definitely no exception. This release covers a somewhat overlooked part of Tomcat lore - the F-14s of VF-103. While many folks associate VF-103 (now VFA-103) with the Jolly Rogers' distinctive skull and crossbones logo, before October of 1995, it was still VF-84 that was the Jolly Rogers.
VF-103 was originally the 'Sluggers' when they activated with the F4U Corsair in 1952. While they were one of the last squadrons to receive the F-14 in 1983, this decal set picks up the markings history of the Sluggers in 1986 after US Navy tactical aircraft adopted low visibility camouflage.
This decal set provides a nice cross-section of tactical schemes and markings from the skipper's high-visibility hold-out in 1988 through the last markings of the Sluggers in 1995. The subjects included in this set include:
- F-14A, 162706, AA/201, VF-103, USS Independence, 1988, Skipper's aircraft
- F-14A, 160896, AA/202, VF-103, USS Saratoga, 1986, XO's aircraft
- F-14A, 161156, AA/211, VF-103, USS Saratoga, 1986
- F-14A+, 162921, AA/200, VF-103, USS Saratoga, ODS, CAG's aircraft
- F-14A+, 163219, AA/201, VF-103, USS Saratoga, ODS, Skipper's aircraft
- F-14A+, 161430, AA/212, VF-103, USS Saratoga, ODS
- F-14B, 162921, AA/200, VF-103, USS Saratoga, 1992, CAG's aircraft
- F-14B, 163219, AA/201, VF-103, USS Saratoga, 1993, Skipper's aircraft
- F-14B, 161601, AA/214, VF-103, USS Saratoga, 1993
- F-14B, 162921, AA/200, VF-103, CVW-17, 1995, CAG's aircraft
- F-14B, 161873, AA/202, VF-103, CVW-17, 1995, XO's aircraft
- F-14B, 161608, AA/213, VF-103, CVW-17, 1995, 'FLIR CAT'
This set provides two complete sets of maintenance stencils and markings to replicate at least three aircraft, and what a nice selection to choose from! These markings are designed for the Hasegawa kit.
My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!