Book Review: Color & Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 2; Pacific Fleet and Reserve Squadrons

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Book Review
Color & Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 2; Pacific Fleet and Reserve Squadrons
By Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak.

Summary: Details:
Title and ISBN: Colors & Markings of the F-14 Tomcat, Part 2: Pacific Fleet and Reserve Squadrons, Detail & Scale Publications, by Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak
ISBN: 979-8-4570657-4-1
Contents and Media: Print Format; Print, iBook and Kindle
Price: Print editions; $23.99, digital editions; $14.99
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Well written with high quality photography, profile artwork.
Conclusion: Recommended for its style, historical reference, high quality photography and color profile drawings.
How to Order: www.detailandscale.com; Amazon or Sprue Brothers, https://spruebrothers.com/

Book review by Don Linn

The F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic naval jet fighters of the 20th century and a favorite among both model builders and aviation enthusiasts. The pleasing aerodynamic lines, the many different paint schemes with colorful squadron markings in its early years, and later the various low visibility camouflage schemes at the end of its service life, have captured the imagination of its many admirers. And the popular movie Top Gun only helped to enhance its appeal as the number one naval fighter of its generation and a position it richly deserves.

It is no surprise then to see Detail & Scale Publications put forward its newest publication Colors and Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 2: Pacific Fleet and Reserve Squadrons in the Colors and Markings Series, by Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak. A companion work to publication Colors and Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 1: Atlantic Fleet and Reserve Squadrons published in April 2021, it being the first in the Tomcat trilogy. A third F-14 book in this series, Colors and Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 3: Prototypes, Test, Evaluation and Adversary Aircraft is to be released in the near future to complete the trilogy.

This book, like its predecessor, is excellent beginning with the eye catching cover photo of one of the most colorful paint schemes to adorn the Tomcat. The photo is of F-14A “Miss Molly”, BuNo 161621, serving as the CAG Tomcat of VF-111 Sundowners as it appeared in 1989, by photographer Sunil Gupta. But the cover photo is only a teaser for what follows between the covers. This book is packed with beautiful Tomcat photography. It begins with an introduction by authors Kinzey and Roszak discussing the book’s contents and future plans for Part 3.

Unlike the Detail & Scale series, which as its name implies, extensively covers the details of each aircraft from cockpit to tail wheel and includes a modeler’s section. The Colors & Markings series is different and concentrates on squadron markings and camouflage schemes. The squadrons are presented in numerical order, beginning with VF-1 “Wolfpack”, and includes a brief summary of each squadron’s Tomcat service. Presented in chronological order are color photographs and drawings illustrating the evolution of the paint schemes and markings for each squadron as they changed to meet service requirements at any given period. The authors took on the daunting task of researching each squadron’s markings and explains in detail the how and when markings and paint schemes changed for each squadron during its service. I found it interesting to see how much the markings and paint schemes did change. There were a few surprises for me, I had never seen the temporary desert style camouflage schemes that appeared on VF-213 “Fighting Blacklions” aircraft.

Colors and Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 2: Pacific Fleet and Reserve Squadrons is well illustrated with 330 color images in the print edition, 340 in the digital edition, of high quality images almost all of which come from the private collections of aviation photographers, plus 9 color profile drawings in each edition. It is an ideal companion to Colors and Markings of the F-14 Tomcat Part 1: Atlantic Fleet and Reserve Squadrons and when the final book in the trilogy, Colors and Markings of the F-14 Part 3: Prototypes, Test, Evaluation and Adversary Aircraft, is published will make a complete reference set to your aviation library.

It seems each new publication from Detail & Scale is better than the last, and this new F-14 book is an example of that fact. This book is highly recommended for the thorough research into the details of each squadron’s paint schemes and markings, not to be found elsewhere, and the high quality color photography. The trilogy, when completed, with the publication of Part 3, will be the “Go To” reference books for the Tomcat. I eagerly look forward to Part 3.

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