Full title: P-47 Thunderbolt with the USAAF - in the MTO, Asia and Pacific
Book author: Tomasz Szlagor
Related review: P-47 Thunderbolt with the USAAF - European Theatre of Operations.
Another issue of the SMI Library series once again looks at the American P-47 Thunderbolt, but this time author moves out from the European Theatre of Operations and presents machines which were used on the Mediterranean, China-Burma-India and Pacific Theatre of Operations.
This volume is a bit thicker than its predecessor. It contains a brief historical background of the Jug service on particular theatres which is followed by 130 black and white and six colour archive photographs and colour drawings of four selected planes. Each plane is shown on two profile views and view from above. View from below is reduced just to the wings lower surfaces. All this stuff is accommodated on 96 pages.
SMI Library series is actually a photo album. Each of the selected photos have very detailed description. There are information about plane details like serial numbers (only few planes shown of photos are not identified by s/n), unit, pilot, date and place. Quality of the photos is superb. Author have done very good job on selection. There is a lot of close-ups or armament, emblems, pilots or ground crews. Many of these photos can be a great inspiration for diorama, sometimes for example with a captured enemy vehicle, a pilot posing in front of a belly-landed airplane or a battle-damaged plane examined by the pilot just after landing. Some shots presents airfield cramped with airplanes, other shows piles of bombs, first “home-made” napalm bombs made of drop-tanks with fins from regular bombs and a captured German Kettenkraftrad motorcycle in the background. For example there are also two photos of a Jug with a fuselage originally painted in black – description says it was covered with an engine oil which leaked after damage by flak over Brescia. Lot of other photos shows engine maintenance, arming and aligning machine guns, filling fuel tanks and other general maintenance work on the ground. Photos shows also a wide variation of different configurations of the weapons and drop tanks carried on wings and fuselage racks.
Kagero keeps a high standard of the photos quality and attractiveness.
Selection of the colour profiles comprises of:
- P-47D-30-RE (s/n 44-20866) double named Schmaltzie/Mercedes,flown by Lt. Frank “Duffy” Middleton of 65th FS “Fighting Cocks”/57th FG, Corsica, summer 1944
- P-47N-1-RE (s/n 44-87996), coded “08”, named Cheek Baby, flown by Lt. Durwood B. Williams of 333rd FS/ 318th FG, Ie Shima, June 1945
- P-47D (s/n and sub-variant unknown) named Topper, flown by Lt. Warren F. Penny of 317th FS/ 325th FG, San Pancrazio, March 1944
- P-47D-28-RA (s/n 42-29091) coded “42”, named Passionate Patsy, flown by Lt. Ralph Barnes of 310th FS/ 58th FG, 5th Air Force
Decal sheet contains markings for three out of four planes listed above. The one which is not covered on the decal is the Topper
, which is also the only Razorback Jug on this list. Each of these planes is very attractive to the eye and will surely distinguish itself on the shelve. Although the planes are finished in natural-metal painting our scale replicas exactly as it is shown on the drawings will take some time due to many colours, lines, bands, contours, anti-glare panels that will have to be painted using painting-masks, but this is the effort that will surely pay-off.
What I can not find in this book is bibliography. Those who are more interested in the history or inspired to more detailed studies may be disappointed.
Decals are printed by Italian Cartograf with a typical quality of this producer. I don't expect any problems “in wash”. Colours, alignment, sharpness of details and stencils is absolutely perfect, you can easily read pilots name even on 1:72 scale decals.
To quickly sum up, this volume is another must-have position for all the Jug-lovers. Historians will find here a lot of great photos while modellers get about 130 inspirations and references for their scale replicas, often of a very unique situations. I bet you won't be disappointed.
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