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What size squadron codes are these?

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Can anyone help me with what size and colour the squadron codes are on this aircraft? I'm making one of the other aircraft from the squadron (258) for a pal who's father flew it.





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The outer diameter of the roundel is 16" so 18" for the codes looks reasonable.  Codes: anyone's guess - white, pale blue, maybe pale grey.


NB the above is artwork.  You would do much better working from a real photograph because otherwise you are at the mercy of how observant and/or diligent the artist was.  I notice from a quick scan of SEAC Thunderbolt I photos that:

  • the upper/lower colour demarcation line normally goes forward in a straight horizontal line from the leading edge of the wing to the nose...
  • .. and goes down vertically from the leading edge of the tailplane and then into a much tighter-radiused curve to join the lower fuselage demarcation line
  • bomb-carrying Thunderbolts usually had an adapter on the bottom of the wing pylons to carry British bombs: this is partially inset into the pylon but shows itself as a bar projecting forward from the lower edge of the pylon.
  • Not sure what the bomb is supposed to be: it looks misshapen.

And from the one photo of a 258 Sq Thunderbolt I that I can readily find, I reckon those checks are closer to squares than the rectangles depicted.


I would also welcome evidence of the circular section belly drop-tank being used on SEAC Thunderbolts.  I'm not sure about this but ISTR that they used only the "squashed" oval-section drop-tanks under the fuselage - but under-fuselage tanks are not that common at all.


NB the area behind the glass on the canopy is the exterior camouflage colour, not any variety of interior green.


Hope this helps.

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Thank you. I do have one picture of N-ZT which is a bit difficult to load here. It isn't a great image but I'll look at it again in the light of your advice.




Edited by Watcher
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Another 258 artwork piece:




I took a cropping of both fuselage areas, and pasted into vector software program.   Using 8 inches as the serial codes height, in both illustrations, the roundels came in at 18 inches. but fuselage code height varied a bit.  The OP's example  were 16 inches, while from the image I have linked are approximate 17 inches - but due to pixelation they could be same height as roundel dimension.




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FWIW, all of the observations made by @Seahawk above are correct; in looking at all of my CBI Thunderbolt photos, including the ones in the Geoff Thomas RAF Thunderbolts monograph, I noticed the following that might be helpful:


The only RAF Thunderbolt photo I could find that showed the sloping  demarcation on the cowling/wingroot like ZT-D was on FL844, used at Boscombe Down for stores/tank dropping trials; I'm guessing it was in the delivery scheme of MAP colors from the factory. All of the other photos showed a straight line demarcation.


I could only find two photos that showed an external tank or bomb on the centerline rack, and they showed one 90-gallon tank on the centerline and two 90-gallon tanks on the wing pylons- used for long range escort missions. The standard fit appeared to be two 137-gallon Lockheed-type  or two 90-gallon cylindrical tanks on the wing pylons, or two 500lb U.S. or RAF type bombs.


One other small detail- on the color profile posted above, the centerline external tank is missing one of the fuel lines- there should be one pressure and one suction line going from the tank to two small openings on the LH side of the lower fuselage. Also, when external tanks were carried on the wing pylons, there was a rod-shaped "kicker" bar that attached  from the rear edge of the pylon to the upper rear edge of the tank; this ensured that the rear of the tank didn't pitch up upon release and damage the wing; you can see it in the linked photo below. When no tank was fitted, the bar remained retracted as seen in the photo- the fork rested on the upper edge of the tank when carried. Also note the two openings that were located on the LH side of both pylons; these were for the pressure and suction lines that attached to the tank and had glass connections inline with the metal/rubber fuel lines that broke when the tanks were jettisoned.



http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/AWA1/001-100/walk057_P-47M/images/P-47M pylon rear.jpg


Scroll down to see a factory diagram of the centerline and wing external fuel tank plumbing.



good photos showing how the esternal tank "kicker" works




Edited by 72modeler
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