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VF-154 Black Knights Final Combat Cruise

Fightertown Decals, 1/72 scale


Summary

Catalogue Number:

Fightertown Decals FTD72-005 - VF-154 Black Knights Final Combat Cruise

Scale:

1/72

Contents and Media:

Waterslide decals plus instructions and notes

Price:

USD$16.00 available online from Fightertown Decals

Review Type:

FirstLook

Advantages:

Comprehensive sheet; unique subjects; outstanding support material; sheet packed with markings.

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusion:

First rate research and top quality decals that will go toward a first rate and historically correct Black Knights F-14


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

We have just received a big pile of Fightertown Decals here at HyperScale from Brian Plesica and will be working through them in the coming weeks.

First up is FTD72-005, a re-issue of their 1/48 scale sheet (FTD 48-007) The sheet provides markings for VF-154 Black Knights’ final combat cruise with the F-14 Tomcat in 2003.

 

  • Fightertown Decals 1/72 scle VF-154 Black Knights Final Combat Cruise Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals 1/72 scle VF-154 Black Knights Final Combat Cruise Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
  • Fightertown Decals 1/72 scle VF-154 Black Knights Final Combat Cruise Decal Review by Rodger Kelly: Image
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Markings are provided for five aircraft in all:

  • F-14A Bureau number 161276 Nite 101 the Commanding Officer’s bird.  The aircraft is in the basic Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS) finish of FS35237 dark blue/grey over FS36375 light compass grey worn by the F-14.  She also wears the Black Knights distinctive FS36081 dark grey vertical stabilisers and spine.  Being the CO’s bird she wears a little colour too.  In this case it is red and it is used for the two chevrons on her vertical stabilisers, the “shadowing” to her nose modex, and the words Black Knights on the base of her vertical stabilisers.  The placement guide shows red shadowing to the modex on her flaps too but I could not find these on the sheet.  She also wears a full colour U.S. flag on the base of her vertical stabilisers.  This marking is supplied as a three-part decal and it is worn by all options on the sheet.  This machine operated from their home, the USS Kitty Hawk and dropped 45 bombs during the cruise.
  • F-14A Bureau number 158620, Nite 104, a line bird.  This option is in the same basic TPS scheme and squadron markings of the CO’s bird without the red shadowing.  The chevrons and airwing indicators are in light compass grey.  This machine was shore based at Al Udeid during the conflict and dropped a total of 18 bombs.  She also had the unfortunate distinction of being the only bird the Black Knights lost when she crashed in southern Iraq due to a combination of engine malfunction and fuel transfer problems.
  • F-14A Bureau number 161293, Nite 103 in the same TPS scheme and squadron markings as Nite 104 above.  Carrier based during the conflict and a dropped a total of 32 bombs.
  • F-14A Bureau number 161296, Nite 107 in the same TPS scheme and squadron markings as Nite 104.  Shore based at Al Udeid and had the distinction of the only Black Knights jet to use its gun during the conflict.
  • F-14A Bureau number 161288, Nite 110 in the same TPS scheme and squadron markings as Nite 104.  Shore based at Al Udeid and the squadron’s record holder with a total of 32 bombs dropped.

Post the conflict and during long cruise home, all options (bar the unfortunate Nite 104 of course) had their score cards painted on the left hand side of the nose.  Similarly, crew names were also painted onto the canopy rails on the left hand side of the aircraft (Nite 110 had them painted on both sides).  All score cards and names are provided.

The much welcomed tiny data placards for the landing gear struts, catapult launch bar, warning data placards for the ejector seats are included on the sheet as well as squadron markings for the crew’s helmets, all very tiny in 1/72 scale!  A pair of Lantrin pod stencil data and placard markings is also provided.

The placement guide is A-4 in size and printed on good quality glossy paper.  It shows both left and right hand side profiles for each option (103 and 107 only have their noses) as well as a single generic plan view of the topsides.  Full and comprehensive notes are also included and guide you on weapons load outs and weapon rail configuration.

The decals themselves have been printed by Microscale.  Everything on my sample is in perfect register, sharply printed and looks to be the right shades of colour to my eye.

The decal sheet and placement guide come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.

The products being put out there by Fightertown decals really are first rate, they provide you with first rate research and top quality decals that will go toward a first rate and historically correct Black Knights F-14.


 

Postscript

Whilst the placement guide gives you a thumbnail sketch of the Black Knights involvement in operation IRAQI FREEDOM, it can not hope to give you the full picture.  If you want to know more get a hold of the Osprey Publishing’s Combat Aircraft number 52, U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat Units of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM by Tony Holmes.  It’s a good read!


Review Copyright 2009 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 10 March, 2009
Last updated 11 March, 2009

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