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F-14B Tomcat
VF-103 Jolly Rogers



Yellowhammer Decals


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: YHD32010
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: lour cross references & bibliography
Price: USD$11.99 each
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent full-colour instructions; markings are in register, sharp and clear; minimal carrier film; well packed.
Disadvantages: Not all stencils supplied; limited (and expensive) opportunities to build a big F-14B
Recommendation: Recommended 


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions




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 Jolly Rogers.

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.



F i r s t   L o o k

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 stabilizers.

Other 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 all decals.

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.


Thanks to Cutting Edge Modelworks for the review samples..

Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals, can be viewed at
Meteor Productions website

Review Copyright © 2001 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 11 October, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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