Republic F-105 Thunderchief

Warpaint Series No. 38
By Kev Darling
Warpaint Books Ltd., 2003
36 pages, softbound

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

This is a timely release considering that imminent issue of the 1/32 Trumpeter F-105 kits. For those who have no references on the Thud, this will be a nice one-stop reference. This title follows the format laid out by other Warpaint titles, with lots of photos, several color profiles, and a well-written history of the type. The text covers the design and development of the F-105 as well as the lengthy operational record of the Thud. While much of this text relates to Vietnam, there is plenty on other aspects of the F-105’s life, including involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, European operations, and Air National Guard service.

The photos in this book do an excellent job of showing the wide variety of markings worn by F-105s, from the early natural metal years to the final wrap-around Euro-1 camouflage years. A handful of the photos are in color, but the majority are black and white. One interesting feature in many of these photos are the varied weapon loads carried by the F-105, including lots of bombs, rockets, missiles, and even nuclear shapes. One F-105B is loaded up with a total of 26 Mk. 82s, with an interesting side-by-side MER arrangement on the centerline.

The other two main parts of this book are the color profiles and the scale drawings. The scale drawings cover all the operational F-105 types from the F-105B to the F-105G. Cross sections and weapons drawings are also included. Unfortunately there is at least one problem with these drawings, and it seems to be a common one with F-105 drawings. The vertical fin on the F-105F/G side views is depicted as the same as on the earlier variants, which is not the case. The tail for the two seater variants was both taller and broader in chord. This error is continued in the color profiles as well, but that does not detract from the interesting color schemes presented.

Overall this is a nice reference on the F-105 and a good starting point for a Thud book collection.

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