Sheet: Warbird Decals 48003: F-100D Super Sabre
Unit(s): USAF Thunderbirds

One of the fun things about browsing eBay is sometimes you never know what youíll find.  For example, when searching for F-100 manuals, I stumbled across Warbird Decalsí Thunderbirds markings F-100D for the 1/48 Monogram kit.  I immediately ordered a set, since the decals that come in the Monogram T-Bird kit are mostly unusable. 

 Warbird gives you two sheets of markings, a large one with familiar-looking nose scallops, tail and stabilator scallops, and a multi-piece bird for the belly.  The smaller sheet has the national insignia, wing tip stripes, and various other markings for the well-dressed Thunderbird.  The set provides spelled out position numbers (ONE, TWO, etc.) for seven aircraft.  These are beautifully printed by Scalemaster using their Invisa-Clear printing process. The colors are spot on, and are perfectly in register.  The scallops and bird on the belly are the same as the Monogram decals.  Iíll stop short of saying they are copies, even though the parts are exactly the same.  This means they will probably fit well, but the blue scallops are wrong just forward of the windscreen, just like Monogramís. The two points there should be much farther apart, but theyíll look fine as-is.  Only someone who has spent way too much time studying Thunderbirds F-100 photos (now who could that be?) is likely to notice.  Monogram has you paint the intake part red, and the white in the nose scallop extends onto the red of the intake.  Warbirds has supplied a strip of red decal to cover the intake.  The red paint should also extend 12 inches into the inside of the intake.

 I would be doing flips over this set, except for three small, but very significant details: 

 First are the crew name blocks.  The pilots named are from the 1958 F-100C team, there are no crew chief names, and the font is wrong.  The crew name blocks have a blue background, which was only used on the 1967 and 1968 teams.  If you have access to an ALPS printer, you can print out some new crew names to fit the name blocks.  They should be in white and in what looks like a Times New Roman font.  Another option would be to use the crew name blocks from the Monogram kit and build a jet from late in the 1965 season.  Each Thunderbirds jet carried its crew chiefís name on the right canopy rail, but based on the amount of trouble Iíve had locating information on who was crew chief for what airplane, I canít fault Warbird for not providing them.

 Second, the flag panel looks like it might have 45 flags, but itís just a mass of colored splotches, and is 1/72 scale.  As bad as the Monogram decal is, itís better than whatís provided with this sheet.  While you have the ALPS printer warmed up, print some flags. 

Finally, the Outstanding Unit Award ribbon is missing from just below the Thunderbirds badge.  For the 1967-68 teams, it should have two oak leaf clusters. If you use Monogramís crew name blocks, youíll need an OUA ribbon with a single cluster.  Monogram includes one, but itís badly out of register.

 I must say my initial excitement for this set was severely dampened by the errors.  These would be some outstanding decals if they had got the smaller details right. A small errata sheet would make this decal sheet almost perfect.  

I was given this contact for Warbird Decals by the person selling their decals on eBay, but never received a reply:

If the person who manufactures these decals would care to contact me, Iíll be happy to share my reference materials for an errata sheet or any future T-Birds decals. I for one would love to see a well-done F-84F and F-100C sheet.

August 2005

 Review sheet courtesy of my wallet.

  Ben Brown

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