Thrust Decals 1/72 Strega conversion

KIT: Thrust Decals 1/72 Strega conversion
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $100.00 at
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin and vacuform with decals and masks


Stregheria is an archaic Italian word meaning "witchcraft",[1] that has been revived, principally by Raven Grimassi, to refer to an Italian-based tradition of witchcraft. It is sometimes called La Vecchia Religione (the Old Religion). Therefore, one who espouses to this variety of witchcraft is said to be following the Strega path.  So much for the name. Now on to the aircraft itself with this brief history.

USAAF Serial 44-13105

1945: sent to RAAF as A68-679 soc. '48
1966: recover from farm put on display
1980: Dave Zeuschel, shipped to USA and rebuilt as racer
1983: N71FT "Strega" Bill "Tiger" Destefani with whom six Unlimited Gold races were won as well as five national championships between the years 1987 and 1997.
1997: After winning unlimited gold race at Reno, suffered a hard landing,
shipped back home for repairs
1998: Full rebuild
1999: Flying again, appeared at Reno, DNF Gold race on Sunday- mech. problem
2002: raced in gold but DNF lap 1 with engine problems, has not raced since.
2003: did not enter races.
2004: did not enter races.
2005: Strega is back, but Tiger is not the pilot this time. Curt Brown tucked inside the streamlined racer. Team Strega had troubles with both of their race engines and did not compete.
2006: Tiger is back! Tiger raced Strega but battled various problems during the week. Was 2nd during the Gold Final a few seconds behind Michael Brown in "September Fury", when he called a mayday with engine trouble.
2007: Tiger will race, but with a stockish Merlin V-12.


The Thrust Decals kit is pretty much a complete airframe onto which you add some resin bits included which are basically canopy section, wheels and a lower radiator vent exhaust. The rest of the parts come from the Tamiya 1/72 F-51D kit that was included with my sample.

The box states that this kit is for the experienced modeler and that it is. The molding of the resin airframe is pretty good, but not perfect. For instance there are some resin bits in the exhaust openings to clean up, the right wing needs to have the wingtip area cleaned up and a bit of a lump at the end where the modified tip was joined in the master needs sanded down. Same goes for some of the mold lines running along the fuselage sides. My copy had a particularly rough rightt side with many pinholes and some areas that need filling (see the indentation on the upper spine in the parts photo) or sanding down. I also found the panel line work to be uneven with some areas raised, some engraved and some engraved areas uneven in depth along a line. The wheels suffer from some mold misalignment as well. None of these is a deal breaker and all are things that those modelers for whom the kit is aimed (the experienced ones), will be able to tackle with little difficulty.

Two clear vacuformed canopies are provided. These are not Falcon quality with one having a canopy panel line so faint as to be impossible to see. Both have a lot of stress marks in them, making what you see through them somewhat distorted. You are given two as one is designed for an open canopy and one closed. Thrust Decals have gone to a lot of trouble to provide interior detail for this kit and while not what you'd get from the stock Tamiya kit, it is appreciated and will help to make the interior look busy.

A very nicely done sheet of decals is provided. These have a solid carrier over the entire sheet so each marking needs to be cut out individually. These do not seem to be ALPS printed and the white looks to be quite opaque. However, red is a notorious color when it comes to applying white over it, so you are provided with a full set of vinyl masks to assist when painting.

The instructions are first rate. They take you step by step through the building process, providing superb reference photos on modifying the Tamiya kit parts as needed to fit the Strega kit. Two full color sheets are provided for decal and paint guides. As you know, racers often are a bit different in terms of markings or sponsorship logos from race to race and I have to assume this is how Strega looked at its last event in 2007. As you can see from comparing the box art to this 1984 photo, there are differences in the schemes and fonts.


So there you have it. I know that this subject will not appeal to all, But I also know that air racing fans will be very pleased to have this available to them, even if it does require an experienced modeler. Conversion sets will soon be available in 1/48 and 1/32, though I suspect they will not be full airframe conversions as is this one.


February 2008

My thanks to for the review kit. Get yours direct from the link.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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