Tamiya's 1/48 scale
P-47D Thunderbolt "Little Ann"
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
Tamiya's 1/48 scale P-47D Thunderbolt is available online from Squadron.com
Modelers have been well served over the years with decal options for the P-47 Thunderbolt, yet there always seems to be room for new and improved subjects. Enter BARRACUDAcals, a new line of high quality and carefully researched decals that includes (on the review sample I received) some familiar, and some not-so-familiar, markings for the P-47.
BARRACUDAcals #48002 features three attractive P-47D schemes from the 9th Air Force, including the razorback “Kansas Tornado II”, and two bubbletops from the 512th FS, 406th FG – the well known and colorful “Angie” and the lesser known but similarly marked “Little Ann”.
All three schemes are also available in 1/72 (BC72002), and the two bubbletop schemes will soon be available in 1/32 scale (BC32-001).
The decals I received were thin, crisp, and included a full complement of stencils with placement instructions. The artwork for all three options was simply outstanding, capturing perfectly the images they were meant to portray (as opposed to the comic approximations of artwork that one so often finds on decal sheets).
Using the Tamiya kit, I opted to build the P-47D “Little Ann” as it appeared when it was based in Asch, Belgium early in 1945. The pilot of this aircraft is unknown.
Tamiya’s P-47D bubbletop Thunderbolt needs no introduction and in my opinion ranks among the best model kits available in 1/48 scale. Unlike its Hasegawa counterpart, the Tamiya kit captures very well the portly nature of the P-47D. Construction is straightforward and problem free, and the engineering and detailing is excellent. The only aftermarket addition I made to my model, apart from the decals, was a resin seat from Ultracast.
I painted the cockpit dark dull green using Polly Scale RAAF Foliage Green mixed with a touch of RLM 67 Dark Olive Green, and the wheel wells and inner surfaces of the gear covers with Misterkit yellow zinc chromate primer.
I then masked these areas and primed the exterior surfaces of the model with Tamiya fine grey surface primer.
A micromesh sanding cloth (3600 grit) was used to polish the surfaces and remove any rough spots.
Next I painted and masked the yellow on the spinner and cowl using Polly Scale USAAF orange yellow lightened with a touch of white. Although BARRACUDAcals provides decals for the yellow triangles behind the cowl, I opted to paint and mask these areas to maintain consistency with the color I applied on the cowl. The invasion stripes were also painted and masked.
I used Alclad II Duraluminum for the natural metal finish. Once the Alclad was dry I applied numerous washes of Tamiya black acrylic to give the metal a somewhat weathered look. I then masked and painted the upper deck of the fuselage with Polly Scale Olive Drab.
Before applying the decals I sprayed Future over the yellow areas on the cowl and fuselage to provide a glossy surface for better decal adhesion.
The BARRACUDAcals performed as close to flawlessly as one would hope for. I was particularly pleased by how well the nose art went on and how opaque it looked on the model. Often decals with higher quality artwork are exceedingly fragile and must be applied over a white decal to achieve an opaque appearance. Not so with the decals I used.
The only glitch I encountered was that the decals for the tail stripes didn’t quite meet at the leading edge of the fin, so I had to touch up those areas with paint. It was a quick and easy fix to make.
Once the decals were dry I applied a 1:3 mixture of Polly Scale clear flat and satin to tone down the glossy appearance somewhat.
BARRACUDAcals #48002 provides three excellent and well researched schemes for the P-47D. The quality of the decals is top notch, and I would not hesitate to use more decals from this line on future projects. I am certain I will.
Model, Images and
Text Copyright © 2008 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 17 January, 2008
Last Updated 17 January, 2008
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