Spotlight On Grumman F-14 Tomcat... from MMP Books

Title:  Spotlight On Grumman F-14 Tomcat

Author: Marcelo Ribeiro

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65958-02-0

The latest in their Spotlight On series from MMP takes on one of my own favourite all time aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat.  I still find it hard to believe that this iconic aircraft has been out of service with the US Navy since as long ago as 2006.  I will never forget the very first time I saw one fly, at RIAT 1972 at Greenham  Common.  I was in the crowd just over half way down the runway.  A roar and cloud of back smoke she started rolling, didn't get as far as me, lifted the nose and went ballistic, vertically up into the clear blue sky of that hot summer.  To say I was impressed is putting it mildly.  Later we had the 2 Hollywood films which featured the Tomcat, firstly 'The Final Countdown' and then of course, 'Top Gun'.  'Nuff said.

Filled with some 40 superb profiles created by Brazilian artist Marcelo Ribeiro these are excellent.  Some feature the Tomcat in the early days of service, when marking were colourful (and as seen in The Final Countdown and the release of the excellent Tamiya 1/32 kit, in the markings of VF-84 'The Jolly Rogers' on board the USS Nimitz) which is included and equally the later toned down schemes where even the national markings were reduced to low visibility greys.  The later period of service saw the F-14 involved in operations such as Desert Storm in 1991 as well as the later Iraqi Freedom, among others.  Different units, different colour schemes and some very interesting mission symbols on some of them.  I must also mention the inclusion of a number of Iran operated F-14s, in their multi-colour camouflage schemes, aircraft acquired in the days of the Shah of Iran and which despite sanctions, the Iranian Air Force have managed to maintain serviceable so they are still operational to this day.  A good variety of units, colour schemes etc. which will please both aviation enthusiasts and modellers alike.  I suspect a number of the illustrated schemes might make some modellers want to add them to their collections.

A neat addition to the series from MMP and some excellent illustrations from Marcelo Ribeiro.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.