This build is the Tamiya 1/48 scale P-47D Thunderbolt “Bubbletop”. It will be detailed with Eduard’s Big Edition photo etch set. For this scheme I will be using the brand new set of decals from Thunder Cals. This is their latest set featuring P-47D’s from the European Theater. I will be doing the “Ozark Queen” of the 84th FS/78th FG from the 8th Air Force. It was flown by Captain Alfred F. Eaton in the summer of 1944.
You can check out the details of their new set on their website at Thunder Cals Newest Decal Set
As typical with aircraft builds, it all starts with the cockpit. While the Tamiya cockpit is highly detailed out of the box, Eduard does add some placards and fine details that further enhance the cockpit. Once the cockpit was built up I started preparing the fuselage to install the cockpit. Eduard does provide an interesting add-on. Typically the inter-cooler on 1/48 scale P-47’s has an opening that just goes into the fuselage and is typically open. Eduard actually includes all the duct work to the inter-cooler. It is difficult to photograph but I was able to just get a good angle to show it.
This week’s update on the Thunderbolt is for the detailing of the fuselage. The oil cooler vents just behind the cowl, like the inter-coolers, has nothing behind them and the detail kit does not provide anything as well. I searched thru my miscellaneous photo etch extras and found some oil cooler grates and used these along with some styrene stock and added details behind the vents. Then I started on the engine. For the firewall I drilled out the lower intakes and added photo etch details. I then added some photo etch details to the engine cylinders and painted them aluminum. The fuselage was then assembled and now I am working on the engine mountings and the wiring. Also I am checking out a new paint source. The interior of the fuselage was painted with yellow zinc chromate. In order to replicate this color I ended up purchasing paint from Mission Models. The color is very accurate and the paint goes on very well. For this being the first time using this brand I am very happy with the results. Will need to try other colors later. Now onto the photos.
This update covers the building and detailing of the engine and the detailing of the ammunition bays for the wing guns. The engine cylinders were painted aluminum, weathered with black and dark gray pastel chalk, then the photo etch wiring was added. The hub was painted neutral gray and detailed with silver and black. The wiring was panted canvas brown. I used some decals from Thunder Cal’s 48005 Thunderbolt Type 4 Insignia + Data 2 decal set for the ID plates. I opted to use the open cowls so I added the cowl braces included with the photo etch set. The engine was mounted into the cowl and the assembly was mounted to the fuselage.
Next I cut open the panels in the wing (a tutorial on cutting open panels will be posted later this week) and assembled the photo etch ammunition bays. The ammo belts were then fed into them and mounted to the wing. A little detail painting and the bays are done. I am working on the landing gear bays now.