It is a common problem: pilot figures sitting in a cockpit or posed outside the aircraft are often incomplete. Often absent are their prominent flight suit patches. In this set, Furball Aero-Design has released an innovative and highly useful decal set for contemporary 1:48 scale U. S. Navy pilot figures.
On this single decal sheet, Modern USN Fighter Squadron Aircrew Patches (#48-074; MSRP = $7.99) you will find no less than 552 decals, comprising three complete sets of patches. A number of these patches can apply equally for Vietnam-era Phantoms, Tomcat squadrons, and modern Super Hornet operators – representing the last fifty years or so. Others are a bit more aircraft- and period-specific. A quick survey of the emblems allows one to find the emblems of each and every squadron that ever flew the F-14 Tomcat (with various points of cross-over with the earlier F-4 Phantom II and current F/A-18E/F communities) with patches for the “Wolfpack,” “Bounty Hunters,” “Red Rippers,” “Tophatters,” “Freelancers,” “Renegades,” “Tomcatters,” “Swordsmen,” “Jolly Rogers” (both as VF-84 and VF/VFA-103), “Screaming Eagles,” “Be-Devilers,” “Sluggers,” “Sundowners,” “Diamondbacks,” “Aardvarks,” “Pukin’ Dogs,” “Black Knights,” “Checkmates,” and “Black Lions.” Even shorter-lived and Reserve squadrons are represented, such as “Satan’s Kittens,” “Red Lightnings,” “Hunters,” and “Superheats.” Both of the F-14 RAGs are represented here, too, with the “Grim Reapers” and the “Gunfighters.”
At least one F-4 operator has an appearance here with VF-96, while one member of the attack community with VFA-151 Vigilantes shows up (spanning the Legacy Hornet and Super Hornet eras). The U. S. Navy adversary community are also present, with VFC-12, VFC-13, and VF-126, and TOPGUN patches. The test community receives a nod here, too, with emblems for VX-30 and the Pacific Missile Test Center. The set also features generic Tomcat, F-14 triangle, and U. S. flag shoulder patches.
As is always the case, these decals are typical Furball – they are top-notch. The quality of both the decal design and artwork by Furball, paired with the printing by Cartograf, has produced a superlative product. Decals simply do not get any better than this. While optimized for 1:48 scale aircrew, it is my opinion that you could also get away with using some of these in 1:32 scale as well.
Overall, this set is great. It is not just useful in adding detail to your pilots and NFOs/RIOs/WSOs, but the resolution and detail make these emblems recognizable to all.
Many thanks to Furball Aero-Design for the review sample. You can find them on the web at http://www.furballaero-design.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FurballAeroDesign
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale