Mike Grant Decals

1/72 “Thunderbird” B-17G decal sheet

Product # MG72-039 (also available in 1/48)

Product Article by Steve Bamford on Nov 13 2014



This new decal sheet from Mike Grant Decals includes markings for one B-17G. 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 Native 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.


Click on images below to see larger images

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 instructions include views of every part of the aircraft that had markings and are clear and easy to follow and include text instructions pointing out different features of Thundebird.  

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.  This decal sheet is also available in 1/48 scale.

You can buy this decal sheet directly from Mike Grant Decals.

Steve Bamford


Photos and text © by Steve Bamford