by: Wiggus [ ]
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
By 1940 Republic Aviation Corporation were developing a prototype aircraft built around the enormous and powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine. It was designated the XP-47B. Its maiden flight was on May 6, 1941. This lead to production runs of both the P-74C and D 'Thunderbolt' models, now known now as the Razorback versions. It was nearly twice as heavy as other modern fighters, but the giant motor hefted it and its eight 0.50 cal guns easily.
Initial runs of P-47D were identical to the P-47C, but the later variants represented here introduced underwing pylons for bombs, bubble canopy for much greater visibility, a dorsal fin to improve stability, and finally rocket tubes for 5” in high velocity aircraft rockets.
This kit was initially released by Platz in 2008 and included markings for three versions, none of which are duplicated in this 2018 re-boxing. Platz has also released the Razorback version in this diminutive scale.
IN THE BOX
3 sprues in smooth gray styrene
1 clear sprue
1 page instruction manual
Full color marking and decal guide
The instruction sheet is a single A4 sized sheet; build steps on one side, color marking guide on the other. Paints are called out for Mr. Color and Model Master. Two complete USAAF Thunderbolts are included in this boxing which you can finish in four different American Thunderbolts from 1945. They are:
• 388FS 365FG 1945
• 315FS 324FG 1945
• 356FS 354FG 1945
• 509FS 405FG Capt. Milt Thompson 1945
All have natural metal finishes with the fuselage tops painted anti-glare olive drab, which are supplied as decals if you don’t want to paint them. The decal sheet is printed by Cartograph and is in perfect registration. In fact, with the exception of some of the stripes around the cowling, nearly all the paint markings are supplied as decals. There are even decals for the painted canopy frames.
The grey plastic is smooth and has a luster to it. This is welcome since the smoother you can keep your primer coat the better off your metal coat will be. Each Jug is built from 36 parts. Parts are included so that if you like you can load your T-bolts up with 500lb bombs, rockets, and drop tanks. The panel lines look much bigger in my photos than in real life. Maybe theys are a tad thick for this scale. You could argue that ANY panel lines are too much for this scale. But the intent is for an interesting model, not accuracy as seen from 60 yards away. Test fitting shows that the parts fit together splendidly with almost seam that the wing roots.
Maybe you are like me. Maybe you’ve seen a few 1/144 scale kits around. And maybe you scoffed at them too. I didn’t understand what the point was. But after seeing this kit up close, I’m amazed by the detail. This is going to be a fun kit to build. Throw your pretenses out, drop less than $20 USD on two kits, and some have fun. I know I’ll probably build both planes at the same time. This kit would be a great introduction to the hobby, or to build side-by-side with someone. And the end result won’t be a vague, toy-like approximation of a Thunderbolt, but an admirable model kit.
I have to thank Platz and Fred Boucher for sending me this kit to review.