North American Mustang
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Part 9
Lifelike Decals, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Mick Drover
HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com
I first reviewed Lifelike Decals last year when I review some of their World War One era decals. Impressions left on me then still remain today with Lifelike Decals having some of the most well researched subjects on their sheets. I was impressed by the excellent level of craftsmanship, attention to detail, wealth of research and the continuing assistance from their customer base. I was reassured of this when I saw these sheets. Though some of the subjects maybe familiar to modellers already, they are covered in excellent detail and where conjecture exists they are haps yo leave the decision to the builder. I’ve not come across to many decal manufacturers that are like that. Both sets come with a colour placement guide however no suggested colours are offered leaving it to the builder to decide these for themselves. Each sheet also comes with a full set of stencils and excellent placement guide for a one aircraft.
I understand the lack of colour callouts due to the extensive background information available on WWII subjects but it would be handy to have some colours as a starting point. The other niggle I have is that only a single set of stencils is supplied per sheet. With the copious research that is evident for each aircraft it would be a shame not to build each off them. Aftermarket to the rescue here perhaps.
48-048 P-51 Mustang Pt.4
The first aircraft is a P-51B-5-NA serial number 43-6913 “Shangri-La” famously piloted by Captain Don Gentile. This marking option was released in 1/48 Tamiya Boxing of the P-51B back in 1995 under item number 61042. The aircraft is an all over green with with red and white checkers on the nose cowl, red spinner and red on the outer wheel faces. White bands feature on the upper and lower surfaces of the wing. Coded VF-T it also feature kill markings for the lower port cockpit area. Two styles of the ‘Shangri-La” and graphic are supplied. One features the yellow back and one without leaving the area to be painted by the modeller. A cutting template is supplied should you choose to paint the yellow component of the “Shangri-La” decals.
The second aircraft is a P-51D-30-NA serial number 44-72025 “Shangri-La”also piloted by Don Gentile while flying a war bonds tour in the United States during October. This aircraft is unpainted though features similar artwork found on the P-51B of the first aircraft also flown by Gentile. The markings reflect those found on the earlier P-51B with the red and white nose checker, red spinner and red rudder. The ‘Shangri-La’ graphic and text is again supplied in the appropriate design for the aircraft. Be sure to pick the correct one for the subject.
The third aircraft is a P-51D-NA-30 serial 44-14292 “Man O’ War” piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Claibourne Kinnard. This aircraft is unpainted but features a black band around the wing with D-Day theatre markings applied to the lower half of the rear fuselage. The ‘Man O’ War’ text features prominently on the left side of the cowl in red text with the spinner and forward part of the cowl being colour matched to the text. The glare stripe was Kill markings for the cockpit framing are provided as a curved decals to fit around the bas of the canopy frame. The highlight of the subject and probably the reason I’d do this one is the well known tiger stripe scheme supplied as RAF Dark Green though the decals looks more like a blue/grey colour and some printing patterns a re noticeable on it. I’d probably use the decal as a template to cut a hard edge pattern from tape. The aircraft codes are different with the body being in black with an outline in red, quite eye catching combination with the tiger stripe scheme.
The final aircraft is a P-51D-15-NA serial 44-15103 “Dirty Dick IV” piloted by Colonel Dick Rowland. This aircraft was unpainted though featured some attractive marking colours. The spinner was painted blue, yellow and red with a black glare stripe extending through the canopy and extending to the antenna post. The text ‘Dirty Dick’ is stylised black font outlined in red and curved across the port front side of the cowl. Kill markings are supplied below the port canopy and a map of Ohio in black is found below the rear section of the canopy. Two black stripes feature on the lower and upper wing while a single bad is wrapped around the fuselage near the antenna post. A single black band features on the fin with overlaid aircraft number.
48-049 Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Pt.9
Unlike the previous sheet this product contains only three subjects and they are as follows.
Aircraft one is a P-47D-15-RE serial 42-76179 “Little Chief” flown by Lieutenant Frank Kibbe. This aircraft is a razorback Thunderbolt in the green over grey scheme. What does make it interesting are the colourful red trim markings and Indian head on the cowl. Two versions of this aircraft are provided representing different time frames when makings were applied. Late style markings are provided which include some white trim around the cowl and rudder, quite a nice touch and something a little different. This is the only razorback on the sheet.
The second aircraft is a P-47D-30-RA serial 44-33221 flown by Colonel Frank S. Perego. It too has two sets of marking supplied for pre and post maintenance versions. Primarily an all metal aircraft the colour for this aircraft comes from the various colour plashes that adorn the aircraft. Pre maintenance the air aft has a red swoosh part way down the fuselage ending just below the canopy. The red extends around the cowl and spine. The lion and rudder is topped with a yellow and black section.A glamorous “Slick Chick” nose art adorns the cowl. Post maintenance decals are slightly modified with the size of the red on the cowl increasing and the addition of a red section to the already yellow and black fin/rudder.
The third and final aircraft is a P-47D-30-RE serial 44-20984 flown by Lieutenant Jack Reams. This is another natural metal finished aircraft with some more fancy nose art. “The Reamer” has two prominent nose art pieces on the nose. The Vargas artwork inspired artwork for the reamer is a single piece decals that sits on the port side of the fuselage just behind the cowl flaps. The donkey nose art that site on both sides of the cowl is again done by Cartograph to a high standard. I think this aircraft would be my favourite of the three due to the exotic nose art. The olive drab glare shield extends from the nose to forward of the vertical fin. The fin features a large red ‘A’ though no mention of what this represents is stated on the sheet. Perhaps a unit code? Finishing this particular aircraft off is the bazooka tubes. These will certainly add some visual interest to the model.
Combined with the excellent research and documentary evidence, excellent production quality and wallet friendly price these decals go to the top of my ‘must have’ list. I can’t extoll the virtues enough of this wonderfully manufactured sheet. If you like accurate subjects both in terms of markings and the research to back them up then you can go no further than these decals. These come with a high recommendation.
Thanks to Lifelike Decals for these samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2017 by Mick Drover
Page Created 22 June, 2017
22 June, 2017
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page