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VF-211 Checkmates
OEF 2001 - 2002
OIF II - 2004

Fightertown Decals, 1/48 scale


Summary

Catalogue Number:

Fightertown Decals FTD48-028 - VF-211 Checkmates - OEF 2001 - 2002 OIF II - 2004

Scale:

1/48

Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes

Price:

USD$16.00 available online from Fightertown Decals

Review Type:

FirstLook

Advantages:

Comprehensive sheet; six interesting subjects; outstanding support material; sheet packed with markings.

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusion:

First rate research and top quality decals that will go toward first rate and historically correct Checkmates F-14As


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

New decals from the guys at Fightertown Decals.  In keeping with their tradition of producing decals for squadrons that flew the Grumman F-14 Tomcat this one features the machines of VF-211 Checkmates and spans their participation in Operations Enduring Freedom (2001 to 2002) and Iraqi Freedom II in 2004.

The sheet provides markings for four different machines plus alternative markings for two of them which in essence gives you six options in all.

 

  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals VF-211 Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
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The aircraft are all F-14As and they are finished in the standard tactical paint scheme (TPS) consisting of FS36375 light ghost grey undersides, FS36320 dark ghost grey on the fuselage sides/vertical stabilisers and FS35237 medium grey that was worn by the F-14 in its latter days.

The individual options are:

  • Bureau Number 159428 Nickel 100 aboard the USS John C. Stennis as it was marked circa 2001-2002 during Operation Enduring Freedom.  This was the Squadron’s CAG bird at that time and as such she wears full colour squadron markings comprising of red and white checkerboard rudders, red, white and blue horizontal banding on the vertical stabilisers, red ventral strakes (with thin white edging) and full colour national insignia and appropriate stencil data.  This machine, as with all of her sisters during Operation Enduring Freedom, wore a score card on the port side of her nose. 

  • Bureau Number 161603 Nickel 101.  Another Operation Enduring Freedom option aboard the USS John C. Stennis.  The use of full colour squadron markings also extends to the squadron’s Commanding Officer and this option reflects that.  She wears the same red and white checkerboard rudders and red, white and blue banding but that’s were the colour stops.  Her remaining markings are all in low visibility greys.  She wears the names of members of the New York Fire and Police Departments who lost heir lives during the terror attack on the World Trade Centre on 9 September 2000 on her canopy rails (as did all her squadron sisters bar the CAG bird).

  • Bureau Number 161612 Nickel 102 aboard the USS John C. Stennis, Operation Enduring Freedom 2001-2002.  Being a line bird all of Nickel 102s markings are in low visibility greys.   She wears a distinctive squadron emblem on her drop tank as well as the words ‘Team Checkmate’.

  • Bureau Number 158632 Nickel 103.  A change of operation and a change of ship.  The markings depict her as she appeared during Operation Iraqi Freedom II between October 2003 and March 2004 when embarked aboard the Atlantic Fleet’s
    USS Enterprise.  More low visibility markings with this option in line with her status of line bird.  Her squadron markings have undergone a re-vamp too with the return of the check mark to her vertical stabilisers along with a ‘Battle E’, ‘Battle S’ Clifton award and Grand Slam Precision Strike Award scripts.

  • Bureau Number 1161162 again.  This time she is marked up as Nickel 100 aboard the USS Enterprise during Operation Iraqi Freedom II.  Befitting her status as the Squadron’s CAG bird she now sports full colour markings this time and her radome, canopies and spine are in black.

  • Nickel 101, Bureau Number 161603 again.  Now promoted to the Commanding Officer’s aircraft her markings are now all in full colour and her ventral strakes are now in black.  Her droptanks now wear the ‘Team Checkmate’ scripts in red.

Support material/placement guides come in the form of two sheets just shy of A-4 size.  They are printed on good quality glossy paper and feature left and right hand side profiles of each option as well as a generic upper and lower plan view.  One sheet also carries artwork for the Lantrin pod, crew helmets and squadron patches as well as images of the gear legs to show placement of their stencil data.  Included on the sheets are notes on colour, loadouts, and cruise information so as you get a fuller picture of the operations as well as just a guide as to where each decal is applied.

You certainly get your monies worth of decals with this one!  Included are two normal sized sheets, a half sized sheet as well as a sheet that carries two sets of slime lights, two further sheets that carry stencil data and a spare red and white checkerboard rudder marking.  There is no indication as to who has printed the sheets but they are beautifully done indeed.  Everything is in perfect register with the colours used appearing to be right to my eye.  Fightertown Decals certainly give you a complete package as there are even tiny squadron patches and helmet markings on the sheet!  Given their minuscule size the squadron patches have been realised by using multi-part decals.

Given that you get two sets of slime lights, you can produce any two options on the sheet.  Find more slime lights and further low visibility national insignia from another source and you could produce a further four as you get four sets of rudder checkerboards .

The placement guide/information sheets and six (yes six!) decal sheets come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

This really is an excellent product from the guys at Fightertown Decals.  It provides you with top quality comprehensive decals and first rate support material.


 

Postscript

I had the great fortune to go aboard the USS John C. Stennis when it pulled into Fremantle here in Western Australia on their way back from Operation Enduring Freedom. 

As such, the VF-211 F-14s were all still wearing the comprehensive scoreboards on their noses and I was able to photograph them.  I have included some of these images in a separate Reference Gallery (click here to visit the Gallery). 

Unfortunately, they were taken on wet film and as such are not as clear as digital images, but they do capture the moment.


Review Copyright 2009 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 11 March, 2009
Last updated 11 March, 2009

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