Squadron Name: Stallions
Call Sign: Stallion
Date Received First Tomcat: April 1985
Fleet Location: Atlantic
Date Disbanded: September 1994
Kit: Revell F-14A Tomcat in 1/72nd scale
VF-302 stood up on the 21st of May 1971, less than a year after VF-301. From its inception until November 1973 they operated the F-8K Crusader, at this point trading in their Crusaders for F-4B Phantom II's. Like their sister squadron, VF-302's time with the B model was short, the squadron moving to the N in January 1975. During their time with the F-4N VF-302 won the USNR Battle 'E', signifying them as the best fighter squadron in the Naval Reserve. 1981 saw the wind of equipment change blow again, when VF-302 started to move to the F-4S. After four years operating the last F-4 variant VF-302 began to receive the F-14A in February 1985. They and VF-301 deployed onto the USS Ranger in January 1986, performing the first Naval Reserve carrier qualifications in F-14's. 1986 had seen VF-302 pick up the TARPS mission, the first reserve squadron to do so. VF-302 went the way of all old fighter squadrons, being disestablished on the 11th of September 1994.
This kit is the heinously cheesy Revell F-14A Tomcat with upper and lower fuselage halves that defy fit and wings that swing forwards and backwards with one of the most complex folding mechanisms known to man. Weird engine exhaust cans that do not fit an F-14A, but look 'right' on an F-14A+. The kit is bland with little options and no airbrake detail to speak of. The boat-tail is also wrong so some surgery is needed to make it look like an F-14A or an F-14A+.
The squadron markings are homemade using two Testor's Modelmaster Paint Pens: Gloss Black and Gloss Yellow. I freehand drew the black stripe border to the yellow panel and also drew the knight "chess piece" at the back of the yellow panel. The stylized "AA" came from another Tomcat decal set so all's well there. This kit was around 75% finished, so again, having a house all to myself was the perfect opportunity to finish it. There were four Naval Reserve squadrons that flew the Tomcat and this is my second one for my collection.
The Revhell weapons weren't worth using, so into the garbage they went and Hasegawa's Aircraft In Action Weapons Set Three to the rescue with it's cast-off AIM-7C Sparrow missiles and four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Two of the Sidewinders are blue, signifying that they are training rounds. Notice the lack of panelling and scribing and especially the lack of wheel-well detail. Not really a pisser until you realize that Revhell wants close to thirty damn dollars for this kit! Yeah...really... Even the clunky Chinese knock-off Zhengdefu kits are better! I was lucky, I picked this up at a toy store (KB Toys) that was going out of business.
Whoa! Wings swept forward! Surprised it works... Well ya get what you pay for, and for around fifteen or so dollars more, I'd spring for one of the high end Hasegawa kits. If you're on a budget, I've got good news: the budget Hasegawa's are only around twenty. The paint scheme is the standard U.S. Navy Cold War scheme of Gloss Gull Grey on top and Gloss White on bottom. I used Testor's Modelmaster paints in the rattle can for both of them.
The cockpit is closed up as you really don't want to look at what's in there. Revhell just threw their generic-ass jet panels and seats in there and gave you decals for everything else. So that's what I did. Besides...it's a reserve squadron... This is the first and last Revell "glue" kit in 72nd scale that I have (of a Tomcat, that is). Highly unrecommended, though having said that, the Revell Germany offering is supposed to be much better.