P-47 Thunderbolt Title

Model Details

Kit:
Hasegawa Republic P-47M Thunderbolt, "56th FG Wolfpack", 1/32nd scale.

Detailing Items:
Out of box with Eduard etched seatbelts.

Paint:
Various paints from Alclad, Tamiya, Mr Hobby and Revell.

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Republic P-47M Thunderbolt
This was my first attempt at building a 1/32nd scale aircraft and what a model to start with. I had accumulated several 32nd scale aircraft in my stockpile but not started any of them until this project. I still do not know why I started with this one, as there was a Hunter, Sea Venom, FW190 and a Tomcat along with a couple of others. But the P-47 tempted me and the thought of building it in the black and natural metal scheme wetted my appetite for the model.
I am not going to bore you too much by going into the construction of the model in great detail, it is just the same as any other aircraft kit as it comes out of the box. The cockpit was the first section built, all as to the instructions with a little wear and tear added during painting. I added a set of pre-printed etched WWII USAF seatbelts from Eduard as there are none supplied with the kit, which is a shame for this scale. My only grumble about these belts is that the printed surface has a tendency to crack when you are curving the belts to fit the seat. Otherwise, they are a great time saver for the modeller.Next,the finished cockpit tub was mounted onto the main wing support spars before fitting the whole assembly inside the two fuselage halves. The joints along the fuselage were cleaned up and any panel lines re scribed across the joints, etc. This was the point I realised how big this bird was going to be and glad that I was doing the black and metal finish, not the all over metal one. Work continued on the fuselage by adding the tail planes and vents in the open position on the sides.
The main wings were the next stage starting with building the undercarriage bays and fitting them to the lower surface of the wings. After the colour lights were fitted from the inside of one of the sections, the upper halves of the wings were glued in place and all joints cleaned up, etc. Now both main wings were glued in position on the fuselage and this stage of the model, the cockpit opening was masked up and the fuselage was given a few coats of primer. Now the engine was assembled as it is required for the framework which the engine cover panels are mounted on. The engine is assembled as a unit by itself and the frame that fits to the front is assembled with the air intake and these were glued to the lower section of the engine covers. These parts along with the remaining covers and the open cowls were all primed up to.
The model was going to be painted in the scheme of Flight Lieutenant Witold Lanouski
of the 56th FG known as the "Wolfpack", which was black on the upper surfaces and metal on theunderside of the fuselage. Everything now had a coat of Alclad's gloss black before the lower surfaces, leading edges and bottom half of the fuselage received a couple of coats of Alclad's Airframe Aluminium. A few panels were masked off and then gone over with other shades of Alclad Aluminium colours. After leaving it to dry for a couple of days, the metal finish areas were masked off using blutac and masking tape before spraying the upper half of the model in black. Once this colour was dry, the engine covers were masked to spray the red band around the nose of the aircraft and when it was all dry and the masking removed, everything was given a couple of coats of Johnsons Klear for the decals to be added. All of the remaining parts (undercarriage, externals, flaps and prop) were all assembled and primed up before painting in their relevant colours. All of the decals were now added to the model and sealed with a coat of matt clear to protect them.
Next the inner surfaces of the engine covers and undercarriage bays were masked up and painted with Mr Hobby's interior green. The engine was now painted and was weathered with engine grime and oil washes with the insides of the covers before fitting them onto the model. The final assembly of the model was carried out and as usual with me, the aircraft was weathered up with grime and oil stains on the underside of the fuselage. In all, this has been a model that I enjoyed to build, and it has received a good response at various model shows it has been displayed at.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax