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Star and Crescent with Nose Arts – Turkish Thunderbolts

TigerHead Decals, 1/48 and 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number and Description

TigerHead Decals 48005 and 72002: Star and Crescent with Nose Arts – Turkish Thunderbolts

Scale

1/48 and 1/72

Contents and Media

Both sets contain 1 x waterslide decal sheet of national insignia, codes, serials and nose art; internet address provided for downloading instructions

Price

48005         - Ultracast CDN$15.95

                   - FlightDecs USD$10.50

                    - Hannants £10.50

72002          - Ultracast CDN$9.95
                   
                   - FlightDecs USD$7.50

                    - Hannants £5.99

Review Type

First Look

Advantages

Interesting subjects; well-produced decals

Disadvantages

More information on the subject aircraft would have been welcome

Conclusion

This is a welcome release from TigerHead Decals that shines light on a less widely known aspect of the P-47’s service history. Highly recommend to anyone interested in the Turkish Air Force or who wants a very different looking Thunderbolt model.


Reviewed by Brad Fallen


Iliad Decals' 1/48 scale ANG Mustangs is available online from Squadron.com

 

F i r s t L o o k

 

According to the TigerHead Decals website, Turkey operated 180 P-47D Thunderbolts between 1947 and 1954.  I haven’t been able to track down much more information about these aircraft, but they were surplus USAAF stock and appear to have replaced the Hurricanes and Fw 190 A-3s that had been in service since 1939 and 1941 respectively. 

The three machines featured here are bubbletop P-47D-30s (assuming that the numbers on their vertical fins are original US serials).  All carry the Turkish national insignia in six positions over a natural metal finish, with a more elaborate star and crescent emblem on both sides of the vertical fin, a yellow ring around the engine cowling, and modest but interesting nose art on the port cowling.  Details are as follows, noting that I haven’t been able to find photos of the subject aircraft, and that the information about previous USAAF service is provisional only:

  • ‘Tulsa Redhead/Holy’, with an individual identification number of ‘42’.  This aircraft is probably a P-47D-30-RA, with the serial number 44-33501 and formerly operated by the 365th Fighter Group.  The ‘Tulsa Redhead’ nose art would likely have been carried over from this earlier service.
  • ‘Sierra Sue’, with an individual identification number of ‘63’. Also probably a P-47D-30-RA (serial 44-33173), ‘Sierra Sue’ likely served with the 511th Fighter Squadron, 405th FG, which is where it would have received its nose art.
  • Individual identification number ‘28’, with an unidentified unit badge on the port engine cowling.  Probably a P-47D-30-RE (serial 44-20995), this aircraft may have served with the 358th and 86th Fighter Squadrons.

In line with TigerHead’s business model, the painting and marking guide for these decals can be downloaded free from the internet – only the decals themselves, and a small colour sheet of profiles, are supplied to the purchaser.  This is a good way to keep costs down, and we will likely see more decal producers adopting this approach in the future. 

 

 

That said, I think the decal instructions are slightly disappointing in that little information is provided about the subject aircraft; most of the details listed above I’ve had to cobble together myself.  TigerHead’s website does mention that these P-47s served “at first in the 9th, 5th and 8th air regiments”, but given that many modellers will be unfamiliar with Turkey’s use of the P-47, some more information would be welcome.

More positively, the instructions are in full colour, and very clear in terms of decal placement.  Colour swatches are included to assist with painting.  Only port profiles are provided, but this is probably all that’s needed given the minimal markings carried by these aircraft.

 

 

The decals appear to have been produced by TigerHead and look very good (the 1/48 sheet is being examined here).  In a nice touch, there are enough decals on the sheet to complete all three P-47s – no hard decisions or compromises are required!  Overall print quality appears to be excellent, with a crisp demarcation between the red and white on the national markings, and some subtle font variations in the serials and names.  The reclining ‘Tulsa Redhead’ figure looks convincing, although I haven’t got a photo of the original art to compare it with.  No stencils are provided.

 

 

C o n c l u s i o n

 

This is a welcome release from TigerHead Decals that shines light on a less widely known aspect of the P-47’s service history.  Minor shortcomings in the instructions aside, TigerHead has combined interesting subject choices and high quality decals to deliver a package that I can highly recommend to anyone interested in the Turkish Air Force or who wants a very different looking Thunderbolt model.

Thanks to TigerHead Decals for the review samples.


 

Text and Images Copyright 2014 by Brad Fallen
This Page Created on 19 February, 2014
Last updated 19 February, 2014

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