S u m m a r y
||EagleCals EC#101 - P-51 Mustangs - To War with the Yoxford Boys
|Contents and Media:
||Waterslide decals and full-colour
available online from Eagle
||Good colour saturation; perfect
register; thin carrier film; outstanding support material and colour instruction sheet.
Reviewed by Rodger Kelly
Eagle Cals #101
- To War with the Yoxford Boys are available online from Squadron.com
This is the first of a trilogy of sheets from Eagle Editions Ltd that tie in with their book “To War with the Yoxford Boys. Written by Merle Olmsted with Col. Bud Anderson, USAF (Ret.) with a foreword by Brig/Gen Charles E. Yeager, USAF (Ret.) it tells the complete story of the 357th Fighter Group (FG) in World War Two as well as its legacy post that war.
Apart from the appeal of the its history, the 357th FG has always been a favourite with modellers as it’s aircraft offer the option of both natural metal finish and camouflaged painted P-51s.
This sheet offers three options that are pretty well known to modellers:
- “Old Crow” P-51D-10-NA 44-14450 B6 S flown by Colonel C.E. “Bud” Anderson. The accompanying notes list the machine as being in overall natural metal finish and it wears the group’s red and yellow striped spinner and chequerboard markings as well as a red rudder indicating that it was an aircraft belonging to 363rd Fighter Squadron.
(The colours and markings worn by aircraft of the 8th Air Force in World War Two is a study in itself and a brief synopsis of these will help here so as to give you a idea of why the 357th FG wore different coloured rudders on their aircraft. Within the 8th Air Force a Group was assigned a colour or colours so as to identify the group in the air. Examples of this are red for the 56th FG, white for the 355th FG and yellow for the 361st FG. When the primary colours ran out two colours were assigned. Examples of these are red and white of the 339th FG, yellow and black of the 353rd FG, yellow and green of the 55th FG and of course red and yellow for the 357th FG. These group colours were displayed in a variety of ways such as rings on the forward cowlings of the P-47 and on the spinner and forward fuselage of P-51s. Some of the designs were plain – just the colour on the spinner/cowl and some of them were complicated – P-51s generally copped the complicated designs the – entire blue nose and spinners the 352nd FG, the green ones of the 359th FG and the yellow ones of the 361st FG. The two colour groups had some spectacular designs that generally ended up as a chequerboard – the black and yellow chequerboard cowls of 353rd FG P-47s and forward fuselage of their P-51s, same for the 78th FG P-47s and P-51’s. In the case of the P-51, some of the two-colour groups adopted two stripes on their spinners and a chequerboard on their forward fuselage – the red and white 339th FG, the green and yellow 55th FG and of course the 357th FG. Some of the two-colour groups went a different route – the 20th FG wore it’s black and white colours as a “keyboard” on the noses of their P-51s with their spinners being in just black and white, the blue and white of the 364th FG was worn as a horizontal blue and white ring around the forward fuselages on their P-51s, the red and blue of the 356th FG was worn as a red forward fuselage with blue diamonds. There you have it - group colours so as aircraft of a group can be identified from others in the air. Now, you have Squadron colours. Generally, and I stress generally a group comprised of three squadrons. A different colour was applied to the machines of the individual squadrons within a group for the same reason – to identify them from others. The colours varied with the groups with some having just two colours and the third squadron having no colour. Examples of the former include yellow, red and blue for the squadrons of the 352nd FG, red, white and blue for the 4th FG and red, white and black for the machines of the 78th FG. An example of the latter is the 357th FG. To complicate matters, some groups used a system of geometric symbols to identify their individual squadrons – the 20th FG used a triangle, a square, and a circle as did the 364th FG. The final marking worn to identify the squadron within the group were squadron codes. This was either a two letter code or a letter and number code – in the case of 357th FG it was G4 for the 362nd Fighter Squadron (FS), BS for the 363rd FS and C5 for the 364th FS. These were applied to the sides of the fuselage.
Whew, now back to the review! The machine also wears the remnants of its black and white ‘D’ Day markings to the undersides of her wings and rear fuselage. The aircraft does not carry the normal European theatre P-51 identity markings – but that is another story!
- “Missouri Amada” P-51D-10-NA 44-14789 G4 E flown by Major John B England. This machine is in camouflage finish. The paint used in camouflaging of the 357th FG machines is much debated with most researchers agreeing that it was Royal Air Force (RAF) paint, the “dark green” being that used in the RAF temperate scheme finish of dark green and ocean grey that graced their fighting aircraft post 1941. Similarly, debate is also waged as to the undersides of the camouflaged machines with opinions divided between US Army Air Force neutral grey, RAF medium sea grey and others arguing that it could be that the undersides remained in the natural metal finish that they were delivered in. Again, no theatre markings are carried.
- The final option is P-51K-5-NT 44-11622 “Nooky Booky IV” G4 C. This machine is also in overall natural metal finish. This machine is a ‘K’ so you will have to source the Aeroproducts propeller blades from either the Hasegawa kit, purchase aftermarket ones from Ultracast or modify the kit ones accordingly. It also has small blue formation lights on the fuselage as well as AN/APS-13RWR antenna on the vertical stabiliser, both f which are pretty easy to scratch build. No European theatre identity marking s for this bird either.
The placement guide is a little different from previous EagleCals sheets. It is A-3 in size and folded in four so that when you open it up you have full A-4 sized illustrations. A left hand side full colour profile (artwork is by Tom Tullis) is provided for each option with the markings keyed by letter to those on the decal sheet. Smaller plan views are provided for upper and lower surfaces. The stencil data placement guide is a line drawing and it too is full A-4 sized. Notes for each option are also provided and these include a brief history of each machine’s pilot.
The placement guide appears to have been printed using a good quality laser printer rather than the normal printing press. A good thing too as this process displays the exquisite detail of Tom Tulli’s original artwork.
The decals themselves are top class too. Everything is in perfect register and there is an absolute minimum of carrier film around each of the designs which is what you want if you are applying them over a natural metal finish. A set of yellow and red chequerboard group markings are provided with each option as are individual data blocks which display the appropriate serial number for the option. Two sets of national insignia are provided, a “greyed out” set for the first option as well as a normal set. A single comprehensive set of stencil data is also provided.
The decal sheet and placement guide come packed in a clear plastic zip-loc bag.
This is a top quality well researched and well produced decal set that will appeal to 8th Air Force enthusiasts as well as fans of the P-51.
Thanks to Judy at Eagle Editions for the review sample
EagleCals decals are
available from Eagle Editions
or Hobby Retailers including Squadron.com
Preview Text Copyright © 2008 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 12 February, 2008
12 February, 2008
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