Book Review
U.S Navy Tomcat Squadrons
Colors & Markings of U.S. NAVY F-14 Tomcats, Part 1: Atlantic Coast Squadrons
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]

Detail and Scale have been producing books since 1978 and produced a 114 books, including 24 titles in the Color and marking series about military aircraft. They now produce eBooks for the Kindle and IBook.

The first book in the Detail and Scale series was about the F3H Demon, and has been followed by three other publications in that series.

The US Navy Tomcat Squadrons, Part 1, Atlantic Coast Squadrons, is the first in the Color and Marking series, in the new digital format.
This book contains.
  • Over 31,000 words of text
  • 725 color photos
  • 26 color profiles
  • 7 paint scheme diagrams.

The eBook is split into several chapters starting off with a couple of chapters on the author, Bert Kinzey, and the Illustrator , Richard S. "Rock" Roszak. Both these chapters are very interesting on the history, knowledge and qualifications of these two enthusiastic writers.
A short piece on the merits of digital books over traditional printing.

This is the first book of two on the Tomcat color schemes and markings, with this edition on the aircraft that served the Atlantic coast squadrons.
This chapter goes into the research and development and praises the help of the many contributors that submitted information and photographs' of the Tomcat over its 34 years of service.

Tomcat paint schemes
This chapter is split into three parts, covering the three official paint schemes.
  • Gloss Light Gull Gray over Gloss Insignia White
  • Overall Light Gull Gray
  • Tactical

Each section covers the years the scheme was in use, and any variations in the paint schemes.
A nice touch is that FS numbers are given for the major paint colors, along with several photos of various Tomcats sporting the difference in schemes.
Text and photograph's also show the how the markings and stencils changed from full colour to black and gray over the course of time depending on the color scheme, due to decreasing the visual and infrared signatures of the Tomcat.
3 view diagrams of the paint schemes drawn by Rock accompany each section, with the tactical scheme having several different schemes.

U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet Squadrons
This is the biggest chapter of the book, and covers the 15 units that flew the Tomcat over the Atlantic.
A very useful table of the when the units were in the service of the Atlantic and Pacific fleets is given, with any unit name changes highlighted.
Each unit is given a brief but none the less useful history, and contains loads of photos, which include the (normally) much more colourful CAG and Squadron Commanders aircraft.
Each unit biography has various items of interest written and is a thoroughly absorbing read.
The units listed are -
  • VF-11 Red Rippers
  • VF-14 Tophatters
  • VF-31 Tomcatters
  • VF-32 Swordsman
  • VF-33 Tarsiers/Starfighters
  • VF-41 Black Aces
  • VF-74 Be-Devilers
  • VF-84 Jolly Rodgers
  • VF-101 Grim Reapers
  • VF-102 Diamondbacks
  • VF-103 Sluggers/Jolly Rodgers
  • VF-142 Ghostriders
  • VF-143 Pukin Dogs
  • VF-211 Fighting Checkmates
  • VF-213 Fighting Blacklions

U.S. Navy Atlantic Reserve Squadrons
This chapter covers the two reserve squadrons that were fully combat ready. These squadrons were also deployed to various bases for training exercises and conducted carrier qualifications, although they never made carrier deployments at squadron strength unlike the regular squadrons.
The two units listed are
  • VF-201 Hunters
  • VF-202 Superheats

Grumman Prototypes and Test Aircraft
The chapter is dedicated to the first twelve Tomcats produced that were considered pre-production aircraft and prototypes, and were used to evaluate the aircraft in areas of operation, systems, flight testing and weapon delivery.

Atlantic Coast Test and Evaluation Tomcats
NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, served as the primary test facility for the Naval aviation on the east coast and a few Tomcats were used in the various test programs.

A separate section covers the "Salty Dogs" of VX-23, with the first section covering the Naval Air Test Center.

About the eBook
I have the Kindle version of this book, and in a way it is better then your normal "paper" book as pictures can be "blown" up to a bigger size, without much lose of clarity, so more detail is revealed.

You can go to any section in the book via the menu hyperlinks, search for text and add your own notes.
Also a book of this size would cost a great deal more as a "paper" book, and would be of a considerable size and weight.

This book is a very in-depth and concise book to the Atlantic coast Tomcats. Photos are accompanied by text which gives more information on the aircraft shown.

A nice touch is some very good walk around type photos within the book.

Filled with a great deal of photos, and some great artwork for the profiles, this book is no doubt a great resource for the Tomcat enthusiast and modeller.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Interesting text, fantastic photos, and a highly recommended book.
Lows: To some it would be that it is only available as an eBook.
Verdict: The best reference book for Atlantic Coast Tomcats. The price is spot on and worth the $9.99 for the quality and content offered.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: n/a
  Suggested Retail: $9.99
  Related Link: Colors & Markings of U.S. NAVY F-14 Tomcats,
  PUBLISHED: Aug 03, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Detail & Scale Aviation Publications!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright 2021 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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