Having had the pleasure to read the opus on the “Hellhawks” unit of P-47’s in the European theatre in WWII (“Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks - 365th” FG) – so I am pretty stoked to see this – a large – and I mean large - set of 48th scale decals from Barracuda studios about to hit the market to match the aircraft featured in the book – With all of the seamless research conducted in making the book and the quality of Barracuda’s releases together this could be one of the decal releases of the year.. We have all of the profiles of the concerned aircraft here for you now...
Direct from Roy at Barracuda studios comes this announcement of their new decals in this special release…
Barracuda Studios are proud and excited to announce the impending release of the long promised decal sheet featuring 21 subjects from our recent book "Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks", the history of the 365th Fighter Group in WWII.
BC48036 Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks 1/48th scale
This special decal release will be a limited run and will not be reprinted. Once they are gone, they are gone. All but one of the subjects, Coffee's Pot, have never been done in decal form before. Coffee's Pot was released a number of years ago by another deal manufacturer, but this new sheet has the complete and accurate markings, due to new photos not seen before.
Don Barnes spent 2 years digging through almost a thousand unpublished photos and piecing together the markings for these Thunderbolts. All aircraft feature complete and accurate pilot and crew names, as well as all mission markings and serial and data blocks. Nose art has been meticulously recreated from original photos, often with the help of the pilots that flew the actual aircraft. Twenty one pilots were interviewed and many were very helpful in putting together the story of these brave men and their P-47s.
The 365th were part of the 9th Air Force, and they did a lot of the down and dirty ground attack work that took such a heavy toll on the men and machines of the 9th Air Force. The Hell Hawks were often the first combat unit into the area, sometimes taking over airfields that the Luftwaffe had left mere hours earlier.
The Hell Hawks were the unit that discovered the breakout at the Falaise Gap, and were instrumental in raining destruction down on the armored units attempting to escape there.
The sheet contains 21 aircraft from the book, ranging from the early days of the 365th and their OD/NG Razorbacks, until the last days of the war, when they had the time to adorn their aircraft with extravagant and colorful nose art. The sheets are printed by Cartograf, one of the best in the business, and features over 14 spot printed colors and full color process as well. This means that the nose art will be fully shaded like the originals. The sheet is also supported with full national markings and stencils to build two complete aircraft. Given the huge range of star and bar sizes carried by P-47s, this is a sizable sheet. We may make extra P-47 national markings and stencil sheets available separately later on.
A word about the cost. The price for this large format sheet will be about $22.95 in the US. Outside of the US, it may cost more due to duties and VAT. Yes, this sheet is a bit on the expensive side. Some thought was given towards breaking it up into a number of separate sheets, but with so many colors, plus the 4 color process to render the shaded noseart, the regular sized sheets would have been in the 17-18 dollar range. For a few dollars more, why not get them all?
Once you read the book, I think you will want to build more than one 365th FG P-47, as their exploits are really quite amazing and inspirational.
We have more previews here of the aircraft profiles on this sheet