Mike Grant Decals

1/48 & 1/72 B-17G decal sheet

Product # MG72-039 & 48-039 for $12 & $6 

Product Article by Steve Bamford on July 19 2004




This new decal sheet from Mike Grant Decals includes markings for one B-17G.  If you buy the 1/48 decal sheet, you get bonus markings for the P-38 "Miss Virginia".  This decal sheet is a silk screened just like other decals and is not an ALPS printed decal sheets such as some of the limited release Mike Grant decals.

This sheet features a famous B-17G from WW2.  The aircraft is #42-38050 and had the name “Thunderbird” and eventually flew 112 missions with the 359th BS / 303rd BG.  The name “Thunderbird” derives from a Native American symbol for luck and was chosen by Pilot Vern L. Moncur.  The artwork was drawn by James S. Andus, Radio Operator on the Thunderbird crew in January 1944. 

A variety of American and Canadian squadrons and crews adopted North American Native symbols and names for their squadrons and individual planes.  The First Nations symbols were an identity that was purely North American.  As time went by, “Thunderbird” became a first mission ship, which meant it was a plane used by new crews on their first mission.  The idea was to give the new crews good luck.  Thunderbird was definitely a lucky ship, because no regular crewmember was ever injured on a “Thunderbird” mission.  Thunderbird had staggered waist guns, so you’ll have to check and possibly correct this feature depending on which kit you choose.  

The paint scheme is Olive drab on top and Neutral gray on the underside.  This particular B-17 arrived in England in bare metal and was hastily painted without primer, so by wars end she was a heavily weathered bird.

The decals on the 1/48 example before me are contained on 2 decal sheets…..the B-17 is a big plane and the red triangle on the tail dominates the larger decal sheet.   

Markings are pretty straight forward with noseart/mission markings on the nose, code letters and national insignia on the fuselage sides and identification numbers and red triangle on the tail.  The wings also have national insignia and a identification triangle. 

This is a B-17 G so it comes fully loaded with machine guns everywhere. 

The instruction sheets are contained on 2 pages of coloured instructions that include views of every part of the aircraft that had markings.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow and include text instructions pointing out different features of Thundebird.

Also included on this decal sheet are markings for Miss Virginia.  The instruction sheet don’t cover this aircraft, but the markings are on the decal sheet. 


The decals were flawlessly printed and in perfect registration and the clear carrier film is trimmed very close to the crisply printed colored areas.  

A very nice decal sheet and highly recommended if you want to build a B-17G.

Click on images below to see larger images of the instruction sheets

I would like to thank Mike Grant Decals for providing me with this review sample.


Photos and text © by Steve Bamford