P-47D "Bubble Top"
Platz, 1/144 scale
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||Platz kit number PD-13 - P-47D "Bubble Top"
|Contents and Media:
||35 parts in grey plastic; two parts in clear plastic; decals for three marking options.
1,400 Yen (around USD$13.27) available online from HobbyLink Japan
||FirstLook and FirstBuild
||Two full kits with three marking options; incredible detail; fine recessed surface features; useful options (ordnance, propeller blades, fin fillet); excellent fit and fast build.
Hasegawa's 1/32 scale P-40E Warhawk is available online from HobbyLink Japan
1/144 scale modelling has come a long way.
In recent years, the cause of these tiny models has been greatly advanced by two Japanese model companies - Sweet and Platz.
Platz has now released a model that eclipses those before it - their 1/144 scale P-47D "Bubble Top".
Platz's 1/144 scale P-47D Bubble Top package includes two complete Thunderbolt kits and three marking options. Each kit comprises 35 parts in grey plastic and two parts in clear.
The crispness and quality of the plastic must be seen to be believed. Despite their size, the surface texture is beautifully fine and crisp, featuring recessed panel lines and vents that look "in-scale" even under significant photographic magnification. Trailing edges of wings and control surfaces are amazingly sharp too. They put many larger scale offering to shame.
There are no sink marks or other moulding imperfections obvious on my sample. A small amount of flash is present on the end of each pitot tube (moulded to the wing), but this will only take seconds to clean up.
The detail is as impressive as the moulding. A separate seat is supplied, along with a clear instrument panel. Although there are no instruments on the panel (you are welcome to have a crack at these yourself), the real benefit of this clear panel is the integrated gunsight which may be seen through the closed canopy.
Main gear bays are boxed in and incorporate a decent representation of the corrugated interior. Each undercarriage leg is made up from three parts, including a separate wheel and upper gear cover.
The one-piece engine includes the cylinders, push rod, magneto and crank case. The complex three-section intake inside the engine cowl is also well represented by a separate part.
Platz has supplied ample ordnance options including bomb racks and bombs, "bazooka" rockets, and centreline flat drop tank. Three styles of propeller are also included (Hamilton Standard plus symmetrical and asymmetrical Curtiss Electric), as is an optional fin fillet.
Marking options are supplied for:
a P-47D-25-RE flown by Maj. Glenn Eagleston with lower fuselage invasion stripes (supplied as decals and a black skull on a yellow cowl.
)a P-47D-25-RE of the 84th FS, 78th FG with black and white checquered nose and invasion stripes. Decals are supplied for the stripes and checks.
a P-47M-1 (I am not going to complain about the early style crank case in this scale!) from Zemke's Wolfpack.
The decals are thin, opaque and well printed. Colours look good. Black and Olive Drab anti-glare panels are supplied in decal form too.
The build is just as impressive as the contents. As this is a small kit with a relatively low parts count, I decided to assemble one of the Thunderbolts for this review.
Care is required when removing some of the parts, especially along the wing leading edges and the bottom rear of the fuselage. The sprue attachments are not large, but it is easy to gouge out sections of plastic if you rush this important preparation task.
Fit is remarkable. There were no gaps whatsoever on any of the main components. The engineering of the wing to fuselage join is especially clever and results in a perfect match at the wing root.
The locating hole for the undercarriage legs is fairly shallow so I secured these parts using super glue.
There is some room for error when installing the fin fillet. I didn't get mine quite right, and I also applied too much liquid glue. Take your time and you should be able to manage a better job than I did.
Platz's P-47D "Bubble Top" is the best 1/144 scale kit that I have seen. Despite its diminutive size, it makes almost no compromises in detail or surface features.
The engineering is superb too, resulting in a fast precise build.
At less than USD$7.00 per kit (around $13.00 for two), you will be able to afford a whole Squadron of small scale Jugs!
Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2008 by
Page Created 1 June, 2008
Last updated 1 June, 2008
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