Wednesday, May 22

The Thunderbolt in Europe gets a textual overview from Kagero ... and a review from us...

I really like the P-47 Thunderbolt – in fact it is my favourite 'plane (ever) – so when a book comes out documenting it I always take notice. Let’s see if this one is a worthy addition to the cupboard or is it a case of “don’t meet your heroes?”
Tomasz Szlagor
84 pages – softcover
English/polish text
Decals in 72nd, 48th and 32nd scales for 4 aircraft.
Available at:  Kagero’s Webshop

This is the latest book in the SMI Library series from Kagero, a new bunch of books concentrating mainly on an aircraft/machine at a certain time or theatre of operations. We have already had the Hetzer tank, the Bf-109G/K, the P-51D and the B-26 Marauder – it is about time for the Jug don’t you think?
This book from Kagero is a softcover A4 title coming in at eighty-four pages and is written in a nice and engaging style by Tomasz Szlagor. The English version is perfect in translation (well better than my writing anyway) and the story of the aircraft is encompassing of the whole operations of the aircraft in Europe in WWII – but it is also brief- this is not a "Seversky to Victory"  400 page opus - but that book didn't have decals and profiles did it?.
There are perhaps fourteen pages of story in dual text in this book. The story of the Thunderbolt is chartered and little bits often not featured in other books – like the use of the war weary Jugs for search and rescue for instance – are talked about. Those wanting a brief overview should look here – but those wanting an in depth analysis and history of the aircraft should look maybe to Kagero’s “monograph” series of books – (17,20,24 &28) for a full story – plus decals and scale drawings. This book includes decals but it’s party piece are pictures – and plenty of them
The book contains 93 b&w photos with the usual dual English and Polish captions. For every picture I have seen already there is one or two I had either not seen or forgotten about. The shots in here are relevant and in good focus – showing you just what is talked about in the captions (which are brief and informative)
There are also twelve colour pictures in the book. Large and clear – they are all too well known to a p-47 aficionado – I had seen them all, but if you do not have these pictures here is a good place to “catch em all”.
There are also four planes are featured in colour profiles painted by Janusz Światloń, these are well drawn with most of the right rivets and panel lines that I can see and the slight weathering on the profiles, which show not only port and starboard, top and underwing views but also nose-art as well. The four planes are….

- P-47D-22-RE (s/n 42-26293) coded 'UN-L' and named Belle of Belmont, flown by Lt. Armand A. Laflam of 63rd FS / 56th FG,
- P-47D-25-RE (s/n 42-26628) coded 'LM-C' and named Miss Fire / Rosie Geth II, flown by Capt. Frederick J. Christensen Jr. of 62nd FS / 56th FG,
- P-47D-22-RE (s/n 42-26249) coded '2Z-D' and named Kansas Tornado II, flown by Lt. Howard J. Curran of 510th FS / 405th FG,
- P-47D-28-RE (s/n 44-20209) coded '7U-W' and named Jeanie of 23rd FS / 36th FG.
Why have these profiles in the book you ask? Well they have a very handy if you wanted to make a model of them with the decals supplied in the book. A large page of decals printed by Cartograph features all three major aircraft scales for these four ships in 1:32, 1:48, and 1:72.
The decals are of a mid-thickness and low in excess carrier film which is something I really look to avoid on my decals. The printing is very fine and in register and the colours are of a strong hue. The whites do not look see through at all on this sheet.

The 32nd decals on the left and the 48th and 72nd on the right
Now when I saw two of these choices I was a bit perplexed as not only “Rosie Geth/Miss fire” and “Kansas Tornado II” had been done before – especially in 1/32 I noticed that these sheets have slightly improved on a few things, like Kansas Tornado II’s” correction on the serial number (the one provided previously is valid for a D-25 Bubbletop, not Razorback), wrong C/C Asst. name, and lack of stars for wheel hubs. Things like this make me appreciate the real improvement I have seen in the Kagero books over the last few years.

Well I am impressed – the decals top off a lovely little book quite well. This isn’t the deepest book I own about thunderbolts by far – but it is a nice little read with lots of good pictures for inspiration – I can feel some more research on “Sexy Texan” coming up!

Adam  Norenberg
Thanks to Kagero for this book to read and review