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Tamiya's 1/72 scale Razorback
P-47D Thunderbolt

by Jamie Haggo

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt "Bubbletop"


Tamiya's 1/72 scale P-47D Thunderbolt is available online from Squadron 




This is the superb Tamiya P-47 in 72nd scale. If ever there was a shake Ďní bake this is it.

I built her straight from the box, to be honest all that needs to be added is an etched seat harness but I decided to use the kit decals as I wanted to stick to the OOB rules just to see what I could do with the kit. The cockpit is superbly detailed and is the same as the 48th kit. The cockpit parts were given a pre shade with matt black then a mix of Gunze lacquer was sprayed on to approximate the green of the original. Paint chipping was done using a random grey dabbed on with a sponge. The bits were post shaded with the ubiquitous Red Brown/Black mix and given a dry brush. The detail bits were picked out with the relevant colours and the whole ensemble was matted down with Xtracrylics.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Next up were the wheel wells and gear doors. They were treated the same way as the cockpit. I feel that the sponge technique worked well, itís the first time I used it and will definitely be doing so in the future.

Now it was time to build. All the bits went together with no fuss, the rear fuselage decking is separate, something which I am not a fan of but it was no bother really. I added the relevant bits to the fuselage halves to make it like a regular kit. I had trouble with the seams; I kept getting a ghost seam which was a bit disconcerting as I had a NMF in mind. Superglue, Mr Surfacer and Tippex were used in the end. I have heard that using liquid cement can cause the seams to shrink, hence the gap appearing, next time I might use superglue from the off.



Painting and Markings


Now for the best bit. I had picked up some Alclad shades and primer from Robin Carpenter (Cammett) at Telford and was keen to give it a go. The primer spayed beautifully and when dry it was knocked back with Master Casterís excellent sanding sticks, in this case the grey half moon miracle shiner. After that the first layers of Alclad Aluminium were misted on, after each coat the surface was buffed with the Master Casters buffer. I felt the Aluminium shade was a tad grainy, but some panels were masked off for Polished Aluminium and Duralumin panels. When done the whole surface got a good polish with the polishing sticks, this smoothes out the surface and all those bits of dried paint which hit the surface are buffed away.


The Maskol came out to mask the paint chips next and so did the Tamiya tape for the stripes and anti glare panel. These were sprayed on using Gunze acrylics and were shaded during application to add to the weathering look. When the tape was removed and the Maskol rubbed of a plain but nice looking model was revealed. The model then had a few coats of future, again smoothed out with the sanding sticks.

Next up were the excellent decals from Sky Models, the only concession to the after market. They went on superbly with MicroSol and Set. I had to use the kit under wing markings as they are not included with the Sky Models sheet, I was a bit worried using these as they are on the thick side but I was very impressed how they reacted to the setting solutions. There were quite a few wrinkles and bubbles but they were easily dealt with a scalpel and more MicrolSol. When dry all the decals were lightly sanded with the grey half moon sanding stick to kill the shine and reduce their thickness.

To get a weathered natural metal finish Xtracrylics matt was sprayed on and knocked back with the buffing sanding sticks (an awesome product as you can tell). Natural metal aeroplanes weather just like painted aircraft in that the shiny aluminium oxidises to a dull finish. More weathering came next as I chipped the paint on the cowl ring and OD bits with a scalpel and then post shaded the whole model with the black/red brown mix.


With the airframe complete the other bits were tacked, the engine was painted up and glued to the fuselage quickly followed by the cowling. The undercarriage had been painted on the sprue and this was stuck together and added. The weapons were built, painted, weathered and shaded and added, this was tricky as I had forgotten to open up the holes in the wing, oops. With the last few dangly bits stuck on she was finished.





What a lovely kit. It just fell together and is Tamiya at itís best, it was quite cheap too as I got it from HLJ and it worked out at about £9 including P&P, bargain. I think the painting took at least twice as long as the building, for me this is ideal as that is my favourite bit!



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Modelling the P-47 Thunderbolt
Osprey Modelling 11

Author: Brett Green
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 July 25, 2004
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1841767956
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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2007 by Jamie Haggo
Page Created 02 February, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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