Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat

Colours & Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 1

Detail & Scale is converting its digital books on the F-14 Tomcat to print versions. Chris Clifford examines Part 1 of the series

Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat

The books produced by Detail & Scale have been go-to references for a whole army of modellers since the company launched them in the late 1970s. The much more recent advent of digital publishing, however, enabled the company to expand on its previous works via ebooks for computer/tablet use.
A subject ripe for this treatment was the F-14 Tomcat, and the firm released two digital works on the colour schemes of this legendary US Navy jet. Now, D&S has decided to vary the format with a three-part paper print release of what was in the two previous digital-only packages.

Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat
Above: The photos in this volume show the mighty Tomcat on land and at sea.

The first of these new volumes, co-authored by Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak (the latter also created the colour artwork) explores Atlantic Fleet and Reserve Squadrons, and is a 130-page delight for anyone seeking inspiration and detail while contemplating a Tomcat project, and it will also help throughout the actual build because many of the structural nuances of the jet are on show. Aircraft from all 15 of the Atlantic Fleet's frontline units, as well as the two reserve entities, feature in full colour.

Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat
Above: Due to the full timeline of the F-14’s service with the Atlantic Fleet being examined, all forms of camouflage appear. Don’t you just love ‘old school’ US Navy markings!

To reduce costs, the paper versions are printed to order by Amazon, and the interior paper is not glossy like the volumes of old… but the photos and reproduction are that good, it doesn’t matter. This much-loved Grumman feline appears in all its camouflage, from the early Light Gull Gray over White livery, and overall LGG, to the later service low-visibility greys.
Modellers who have studied US Navy squadrons will know that the rise of low-vis grey didn’t stop them adding full-colour unit markings, and that’s fully evident in this volume.

Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat
Above: While the book’s purpose is to educate on F-14 colour schemes, some of the photos will also help if you’re thinking of posing your model on a carrier deck base.

Each squadron is addressed in numerical order, with the following all featuring:

VF-11 ‘Red Rippers’; VF-14 ‘Top hatters’; VF-31 ‘Tomcatters’; VF-32 ‘Swordsmen’; VF-33 ‘Tarsiers/Starfighters’; VF-41 ‘Black Aces’; VF-74 Be-Devilers’; VF-84 ‘Jolly Rogers’; VF-101 ‘Grim Reapers’; VF-102 ‘Diamondbacks’; VF-103 ‘Sluggers/Jolly Rogers’; VF-142 ‘Ghostriders’; VF-143 ‘Pukin’ Dogs’; VF-211 ‘Fighting Checkmates’; VF-213 ‘Fighting Blacklions’; VF-201 ‘Hunters’ and VF-202 ‘Superheats’… the last two being reserve units.

The introduction includes a useful squadron timeline, including shootdowns (Su-22 and MiG-23), but then it’s straight into the coverage of each unit and the myriad photos. Besides being handy for the appreciation of markings, you also get a sense of how these airframes weathered, so you can try reproducing this on your models if desired. Each unit chapter has its own history text, followed by the photos and their informative captions.

Detail & Scale F-14 Tomcat
Above: There are 20-plus colour profiles also included.

Regardless of scale, whether you have older kits in your stash, or more recent items such as those from AMK and Academy, this book will be a splendid reference tool. For further details visit:

Don't miss the forthcoming July issue of Airfix Model World Magazine, on sale in the UK June 3, as it features a stunning build of AMK's recent 1/48 F-14D!