DXM Decals 1/48 F-14D USN VF-31 Tomcatters

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This decal sheet, 91-4235, covers 7 aircraft:

  • AJ-100, 164342, USS Theodore Roosevelt, 2006
  • NK-101, 164600, USS Abraham Lincoln, 2002
  • NK-100, 164601, SS Abraham Lincoln, 2003
  • NK-200, 169893, USS Carl Vinson, 1995
  • AJ-105, 159619, NAC Oceana, 2006
  • AJ-106, 164343, USS Theodore Roosevelt, 2006
  • AJ-103, 164350, “Tomcat Sunset”, 2006

VFA-31 or Strike Fighter Squadron 31 is known as the Tomcatters, callsign “Felix”, a United States Navy strike fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. The Tomcatters are the second oldest Navy Fighter Attack squadron operating today.

In 1992 VF-31 moved to NAS Miramar and to USS Carl Vinson, and exchanged its F-14As for the new and improved F-14Ds. VF-31 was the last Tomcat squadron, with the last F-14 flight occurring on October 4, 2006.

The decals arrived from DXM Decals in an envelope clearly marked ‘Do Not Bend’. Inside the envelope, the decals were secured between 2 pieces of cardboard. The decals themselves are in a self-sealing plastic bag, with a tab at the top for hanging the bag on a sales rack in a store. There’s plenty of space in the bag so getting the decals in and out is not a problem. The bottom folds up over the bag and has a sticky stripe on it to seal it. I found that the sticky strip tends to stick to everything, so I folded the sticky tab back on itself and sealed the bag with a second, smaller, piece of tape. This way I can put things back inside the bag a lot easier. Inside the bag are:

  • One A4/Letter sized double-sided, glossy colour sheet of decal placement instructions.
  • Two large decal sheets. (15cm x 21cm and 15cm x 15cm)

The instructions are on both sides of the sheet of paper and the only part of the instructions not used for decal placement is the cover. You are given left and right views of the aircraft and you also have top and bottom views so you can clearly see the positioning of the large decals on the top of the aircraft. You’re also given views of the ‘inside’ parts of the twin rudders. The instructions, as you can see from the images, are clearly laid out.

The decals themselves are by Cartograph so the quality is very good. There is minimal carrier film around the stencils except for the places where it is being used to hold the text together to make sure the alignment between them is correct.  The decals themselves look very thin and in register and the colours are vibrant and overall look very good. You also have one set of stencils.

Overall, it’s a very well done decal sheet with a good range of F-14Ds from VF-31.

Many thanks to DXM Decals for the review sample. You can buy this set for $25.00 from the DXM Decals website.

Paul Tosney – Editor
HobbyLink International
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