Very early on in JET EYES land we released the first ever F-14 aircraft tag. Those vertical stabilizer shaped tags were a big hit and have been sold out for some time. It was right around that time as well that we were working on standardizing a shape for our tags, and we settled on the dog tag. The very first dog tag shaped JET EYES tag released was the A-10. Those tags were cut on a waterjet along with a slew of other tags at the same time, to include these tags cut from belly panels off an F-14 (panel A51B16007). At the farm here we refer to these tags as the “big holes” because the hang hole at the top is larger than the more recently released tags. Other big hole tags that were cut at that time were some of the B-1 Interior Grey tags, the T-38, and B-52. And maybe one more you haven’t seen yet. After this first cut batch we made the hole a little smaller and moved it down. The first tag cut with the smaller hole was the Bodo Express SR-71 tag. I’ve been trying to work these Tomcat tags into the line-up, and this March is JE Greatest Hits month, so it seemed perfect to let them fly again now.
Tomcat material is special, but I wanted these tags to feel a little more spicy than the previous Cat tags. We used the same artwork that was on the previous Tomcat runs, but added some teeth in the form of missiles, and I asked BVR to channel some vintage Trapper Keeper vibes for the card art. The result, I think, is a super fun tag. They are laser etched with polished edges and they are the thickest solid aluminum Cat tags we’ve done. The goal was to make something a little different than our previous F-14 runs, but the finished product may actually be my favorite Cat tag to date.
These tags were cut from 3 different identical belly panels – part no. A51B16007. This panel was located just behind the nose gear and adjacent to the Sparrow missile well. It would have been covered if the Phoenix rails were installed. These tags range from a little under an 1/8” thick to .25” thick. They are solid and heavy tags and are offered in 2 variants: Thin and Structured. The Structured tags have a combination of rivets, screw holes, and varied thicknesses. The Thin tags are a single layer tag, but are still quite thick. Some Thin tags may have a small area that is a little bit thicker. Another fun aspect of these tags is that they are the first to have the panel part number on them! Only 165 were cut way back when, so don’t wait too long to grab one.
These tags rock, and it is so cool seeing how far we’ve come since these tags were cut. I’ve been holding onto this material for a time when I felt we could do it right, and I’m confident we’ve nailed it.
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