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Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

by Roy Long


Republic P-47D Thunderbolt


 Hasegawa's 1/48 scale P-47D Razorback is available online at Squadron.com




Every now and then I tend to get frustrated and or bored with a kit or a "must build" kit comes along and I stop working on one and start up the next. This leaves an unfinished kit to languish in the back of the closet waiting to come back to the workbench. Often, I start again on these kits with just as much enthusiasm as I started and complete them.

Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale P-47D Thunderbolt did not fall into this category.


I started this kit in the spring of 1997. It had been recently released and was to be my first build following a year-long deployment to Bosnia. I had acquired all the necessary items via mail order while I was gone and they were all waiting for me when I returned. I jumped in head-first and started cutting and gluing. Then, the AM Sturmoviks came along and into the closet it went. It returned to the workbench several times, went through a move and my dog chewed on the cowl. Each time it was put on the bench, I did a little more until one time I realized, to my surprise, it was ready for a paint job.





I won't go into the construction too much, as there are parts I don't remember. I used the KMC cockpit, KMC Curtis paddle-blade propeller, Cutting Edge brass main gear legs, Hi-Tech 500lb bombs, flaps and rudder from the Verlinden set and the flap actuators from the Fotocut photoetch set.

Of the construction points I remember most, because it was the one that made it so easy to set aside was the addition of the Verlinden flaps and rudder. They were basically horrible, the outline of the flaps' trailing edge is completely wrong, about half of the surface detail from the kit original is in the resin copy and the flap actuators are overly simple bits of metal.



The rudder suffered from both hinge points being misaligned. I used the blades and the tip of the propeller hub from the KMC set mounted to the kit hub, as the KMC hub looked a little "out of whack".



Painting and Finishing


I couldn't have asked for more in the painting and finishing of this model. I had planned at the beginning to do a 56th FG plane but over the years found other potential schemes. However, these schemes were all Natural Metal Finished A/C. I had been only marginally pleased with previous attempts at NMFs using SNJ and Testor's Metalizers and had been keeping my eye open for new methods for a "good" NMF. I then heard about AlClad II, after getting a couple of bottles and spraying a few test shots on some scrap model parts (a Monogram Ju 87G ), all the NMF planes I had wanted to do were suddenly possible with far less difficulty.

I looked through the 15 or so sets of decals for the P-47 I had accumulated and, with the help of my 2 year old, picked the gaudiest I could find. Which is actually difficult if you are familiar with the 405th FG sets from Aeromaster because almost all of them are gaudy. Except for a slip or two of the knife during masking I don't think I harmed the metallic finish at all. In fact, a near disaster struck when I noticed that I had not sanded my primer coat out well enough in many places. I tried to remove the AlClad and the primer and found that Polly Scale "Easy Lift Off" was far less effective than on any other paint I had tried to strip in the past. I ended up sanding much of the primer and AlClad off. I found that the AlClad II took well to masking, I was able to mask with Parafilm, Post It Notes and 3M Drafting Tape.



After the primer disaster the model was polished out again and I sprayed a coat of AlClad "Duraluminum (B)". Then various panels and were masked and sprayed with "Aluminum (A)" or "Dark Aluminum" (C) and "Magnesium (K)". Alclad II dries so fast, the entire NMF was completed in about five hours, and the most time was consumed by masking. I then masked the areas that would be painted OD and red and did some light "reverse shading" with flat black along the panel lines. After the OD and red was sprayed and had dried I left the masking in place and airbrushed a light coat of future to prepare for decals. When the Future had dried, I removed the masking and started decaling the model. The decals went down nicely with Solvaset and other than the bull being a hair over size there was no problems with them. When the decals were dry again I re-masked the OD and Red parts and sprayed a light coat of Testor's Dullcote. I also sprayed a light coat of Dullcote on some of the decals to take some of the shine off and to protect them. Weathering was done with pastels and artists inks.





I am really glad to have finally finished this one. Even though there are some scratches in the plastic and a few other flaws that show well due to the NMF, I'm very pleased with the look of the NMF.



There are also other errors that the P-47 buff will pick up on, the D-30-RA had compressibility flaps and the under wing light was in a different position. But, it's DONE. Now, where's that P-51 I started last year?


Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Roy Long
Page Created 15 September, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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