VF-103 Jolly Rogers
S u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||lour cross references &
instructions; markings are in register, sharp and clear; minimal
carrier film; well packed.
||Not all stencils supplied;
limited (and expensive) opportunities to build a big F-14B
Reviewed by Rodger Kelly
HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor
The famous skull and crossbones of the Jolly Rogers has adorned
aircraft of the US Navy since January 1944 when they were first
painted on the engine cowlings of VF-17’s F4U-1s.
The black flag with white skull and crossbones symbol apparently
came about when the members of the newly formed Squadron were
searching for a theme to tie-in with their brand new Corsairs. The
pirate's (otherwise known as corsair) widely recognised skull and
crossbones ensign was a natural choice and VF-17 became known as the
Since that time the markings, traditions and history of the Jolly
Rogers have been passed on to a succession of squadrons after VF-17
was disbanded in 1944. These successors are VF-5B, (VF-61 at a later
date), VF-84 and now VF-103.
This Yellowhammer Models sheet provides markings for a single F-14B
(upgrade) aircraft, Bureau Number 162918 when it was marked up as
VF-103’s CAG aircraft whilst it was at Naval Air Station Oceanea in
May 2001. The aircraft is painted in the current Tactical Paint Scheme
of two greys with the only colour on the airframe being the white of
the skull and crossbones markings, which are situated on the vertical
squadron-specific markings include, crew names for the front and rear
canopy rails, the names of the aircraft’s real owners (the maintenance
crew of course!), a stenciled “bomb log” of two LGB from the
aircraft’s’ time in Bosnia, the “double As” of CVW 17’s Airwing
identifier, modex 100s for the nose and tops of the flaps, Clifton
scripts (signifying that VF-103 had won the annual R.Adm Joseph C.
Clifton Trophy Award for being the best fighter squadron in the US
navy), Golden Spanner Award emblems, “Battle Es”, as well as a limited
selection of stencil data.
Don’t be too perturbed about the lack of stencil data as an close
examination of the one-to-one scale examples show that a great deal of
the data has been painted over during the constant maintenance that
these beasties receive whilst at sea.
The decals on the sample sheet are all in register, sharp and clear.
The surrounding decal film on all of the designs has been kept to an
absolute minimum that bodes well in the fight against the dreaded
silvering. I have used Yellowhammer decals quite often and have never
had any problems with any of their sheets, including the opaqueness of
the whites or other light colours. They respond well to the propriety
decal softeners and I have never needed to resort to the really strong
bands to achieve the painted-on look.
Click on the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
The decals come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag with an
excellent, double-sided A-4 sized sheet instruction sheet with full
colour side and plan view profiles clearly showing the placement of
This sheet is an excellent effort by Yellowhammer decals. However, I
just can’t help but wonder how many sheets they will sell as the only
way you can achieve an F-14B in 1/32 scale is by using the expensive
-A from Tamiya combined with the equally expensive resin conversions
from Meteor or CAM.