Twobobs Aviation Graphics | 32-005: F-14A Splintered NSAWC Tomcat

Reviewed by Mark Proulx

The second of four 1/32nd scale limited edition decal releases from Twobobs Aviation Graphics is for a couple of extremely colourful F-14A Tomcats. They are F-14A BuNo 161869 "Splinter" and F-14A BuNo unknown "Red 31Tomcatsky", flown by the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. The aircraft are finished in an eye catching splintered camouflage. This is a great option for those modellers that want their Tomcats to look a little different.

Officially established at Fallon in July 1996, the NSAWC is the successor to the famous Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) based at NAS Miramar. The new course has changed into a Strike Fighter course from a Fighter Tactics course. This represents more accurately the multi role duties that the F-14 Tomcat is now tasked with.

As with the previous releases from Twobobs Aviation Graphics, you are supplied with an abundance of information for the two aircraft. On the front page of the instructions, colour side views of both sides of the aircraft and inboard vertical surfaces are printed on quality gloss paper. Seven small, thumbnail photos are also included showing various views of the subject aircraft. Completing the front page is a listing of many of the aftermarket items and kits that are available at the time the decals were published.

The flipside of the instructions include colour profiles of the top and bottom of both aircraft. This format should prove to be of invaluable assistance when determining how to paint your 1/32nd scale kit. A single photo of "Splinter" is found on this page. Detailed painting instructions are included with all references made to the FS 595b colour standard. Completing the page is a listing of the paint manufacturers that supply the required colours. Paint mixing instructions are given for those colours that are currently unavailable.

The newly released decal sheets are limited to 500 copies. They are printed in perfect register with a minimum of carrier film. The decals appear to be very thin and I anticipate no problems with decal setting solutions, though I have not tried them myself. There are enough markings supplied to complete only one of the aircraft.

Both of these aircraft have the NACA type gun gas purge vents. Contrary to what is stated on the instruction sheet, the only kit available in 1/32nd scale that incorporates this option at the time of this review is the Tamiya F-14A 1994 Version. The Revell kit and the earlier Tamiya release offer the earlier style gun gas vents. To use those kits would require modifications by the modeller.

Bob Guere and Bob Sanchez have set the bar for other manufacturers to follow. Their decal sheets are extremely accurate and well researched. I highly recommend these and other Twobobs Aviation Graphics decals.

Review sample compliments of Twobobs Aviation Graphics.

© Mark Proulx

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016