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Found 6 results

  1. P-47D-30RA Thunderbolt Advanced Kit (48029) 1:48 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Thunderbolt developed from a series of less-than-successful earlier designs that saw Seversky aviation change to Republic, and the project designation from P-35, to P-43 and P-44, each with its own aggressive sounding name. After a realisation that their work so far wasn't going to cut it in the skies over war-torn Europe, they went back to the drawing board and produced the P-47A that was larger, heavier and sported the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radial that would also power the B-26 Marauder, P-61 Black Widow and F4U Corsair. With it they added eight .50cal Browning machine guns aligned along the axis of flight in the wing leading edge. The P-47A was still a small aircraft, and was initially ordered without military equipment to allow faster completion, but it was considered inferior to the competition then available, so an extensive re-design was ordered that resulted in the much larger P-47B, firing up to 100 rounds per second from the eight .50cal wing guns, and with a maximum speed of over 400mph, leaving just the fuel load slightly short of requirements. It first flew mid-1941, and despite being a heavy-weight, its performance was still excellent, and the crash of the prototype didn’t affect the order for over 700 airframes, which were fitted with a more powerful version of the R-2800 and a sliding canopy that made ingress and egress more streamlined, particularly when bailing out of a doomed aircraft. Minor re-designs to early production airframes resulted in a change to the P-47C, which meant that fewer than 200 Bs were made, the C benefitting from improved radio, oxygen systems, and a metal rudder to prevent flutter that had been affecting control at certain points in the performance envelope. A quick way to spot a B is the forward raked aerial mast behind the cockpit, as this was changed to vertical on the C and beyond. The production from a new factory that had been opened to keep up with demand led to the use of the D suffix, although they were initially identical to the C, but the cowling flaps were amended later, making it easier to differentiate. Of course, the later bubble-canopy P-47s were far easier to tell apart from earlier marks, and constant improvement in reliability, performance and fuel load was added along the way. The P-47D-25 carried more fuel for extended range, including piping for jettisonable tanks on the bomb racks for even more fuel. Taking a cue from the British designers, the bubble-top was developed and that improved all-round visibility markedly, although like the bubble-top Spitfires, later models incorporated a fin extension to counter the yaw issues that resulted. TheP-47D-30RA was fitted with air-brakes and built at the Evansville plant, technically identical to the 30RE that was built at Farmingdale. Its weight, firepower and seemingly unstoppable character led to the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was inevitably shortened to ‘Jug’ and led to many, many off-colour jokes during and after the war. Jokes that are still soldiering on to this day, despite being eligible for a pensioner’s bus pass. The Jug was used extensively in the European theatre as an escort fighter, where it performed well in its ideal high-altitude environment. Later in the war when the Luftwaffe was a spent force, it also went on to become a highly successful ground attack fighter, strafing and bombing targets of opportunity, and eschewing camouflaged paintwork to add some extra speed with a smooth (and shiny) bare metal finish. As well as flying with the US forces, many P-47s were flown by the other Allies, including the British, Russians, and after the war many other countries as the remainder were sold off as war surplus. The Kit This is another reboxing of a brand-new tooling from MiniArt, and is labelled an Advanced Kit because it includes an additional sprue of plastic parts, and a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass to increase the level of detail of the kit, including the gun bays, fins for the bombs, and the ability to open the engine cowlings to display the excellent detail that is mostly hidden away on the Basic Kit. The kit arrives in one of MiniArt’s sturdy top-opening boxes with a dramatic painting of the subject on the front, and profiles of the decal options on one side, reserving the other side for practical details and text. Inside the box are nineteen sprues in grey styrene, although in our sample many of the sprues were handily still connected by their runners, which simplified photography. There is also a clear sprue, a sheet of PE in a cardboard envelope, two sheets of decals, and the instruction booklet, which is printed on glossy paper in colour, with profiles for the decal options on the front and rear pages, plus detailed painting and decaling information for the weapons and tanks on the next page. Detail is beyond excellent, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt in the last several years, with fine engraved panel lines, recessed rivets, plus raised and recessed features where appropriate, as well as fine detail in the cockpit, wheel bays, plus gun bays in the wings and engine. If you’ve seen their AFV kits you’ll know what to expect, but this is special in this reviewer’s humble opinion. Advanced Sprue & PE Construction begins with the highly detailed cockpit, starting with a choice of seat style. One option has the seat put together from base, back and two side parts, which have elements of the seatbelts moulded-in, and are finished off by putting the remainder of the lap belts on the seat pan. The other option uses new parts to build the seat without belts, adding the belts from the PE sheet separately. A pair of supports are inserted into recesses in the back of the seat, then it is installed on the ribbed floor, which has control column, seat-adjuster, and two other levers inserted, after which the rear bulkhead, one of the cockpit sidewalls and the front bulkhead are fitted, trapping the rudder bar with moulded-in pedals between them. The starboard sidewall has an oxygen hose added, and a scrap diagram shows the detail painting as well as the location of the decals that need to be applied. The head cushion is fixed to the head armour, then the other sidewall is detailed with four controls and a PE wiring loom, numerous decals and more detail painting, so that it can be inserted along with the instrument panel and auxiliary panel, both of which have decals for the dials, with a choice of styles for the main panel. The tail wheel is made up in preparation for closing the fuselage, building a four-part strut that holds the wheel on a one-sided yoke, then adding a small curved bulkhead with sprung bumper at the front, or a most simplifies three-part assembly. The fuselage halves are further prepared by adding two extra detail parts to the short sill panels that have ribbing moulded-in, and should be painted to match the cockpit. At the rear on the underside, the supercharger fairing is slotted into the starboard fuselage along with the tail gear bay, and at the front, a cooling vent and an insert are added to the underside, fitting another vent to the port fuselage half in the same place. The fuselage can then be closed around the cockpit, adding the aerial mast into a slot in the starboard spine, although whether that will remain there until the end of the building and painting is a moot point, and I’d be tempted to nip it off at the base, gluing the base in to act as a socket for the aerial after the heavy work is over. The engine is created by joining the two highly-detailed banks of pistons together by a keyed peg, adding exhaust collectors at the rear, the push-rod assembly to the front, the ends of which mate with a circular support that is the frame onto which the cowling panels are added later. The reduction-housing bell is detailed with magnetos and other parts, plus a collet at the centre where the prop-shaft would be. This is joined to the front of the engine as it is mounted to a bulkhead at the rear, again on a keyed ring. The convex firewall at the front of the fuselage is detailed with a ring of fasteners on a PE strip that curves around the edge, and the cylindrical intakes with PE mesh grilles. There is a fuselage insert in front of the cockpit, and that has the two-part gunsight with clear lens, PE backup sight and link-plate added to its mating point, adding more equipment and a PE lip to the coaming before it is inserted under the coaming and joined by your choice of complex or simple firewall that closes the front of the fuselage. The intake trunking at the bottom of the nose cowling is made from five parts and installed in the lower panel, and you have a choice of open or closed top cowling panels by using additional parts. To leave the cowling open, the engine is fitted to the detailed firewall along with the lower cowling and the three sections of cooling gills. the closed option is surrounded by all four cowling segments, and at the rear you have a choice of installing open or closed cooling gills, using different parts to achieve the look you want, sliding the assembly over the completed engine, to which you can add the wiring loom if you are feeling adventurous, using the helpful diagrams near the back of the booklet, which also includes diagrams for extra wiring in the gear bays. The rudder is completed by adding an insert at its widest point (the bottom) to avoid sink marks, and it is mated to the fin on three hinges, allowing deflection if you wish. Under the tail, your choice of bare or canvas-covered wheel assembly is inserted in the bay, with doors on each side, or if you are building your model in flight, a closed pair of doors is supplied as a single part, adding a small outlet further forward under the fuselage. Note that these closed bay doors can be used effectively as masks by gluing them in place with a relatively weak adhesive for later removal. The upper wing halves have well-defined ribbing detail for the gear bays moulded-in, which is augmented by fitting two rib sections, front and rear walls, and an additional structure that has a retraction jack pushed through a hole in one of the wall segments. The gun bays and their extensive ammunition stores are supplied in this boxing, using different upper wing panels with the bays opened. The gun bays themselves are built from a mixture of styrene and PE surfaces, making up a four-compartment box into which the gun breeches are inserted, linking them to the outer wall with ammo feed chutes, and placing the ammunition boxes with open tops into the upper wing from within. The closed bay option is shown with just the barrel stubs projecting from the leading edge, while both options install the wingtip lights and a pitot probe in the starboard wing. A scrap diagram of the lower wing shows the location of the flashed-over holes that you can drill out for rocket tubes or pylons, then the flaps are made from two sides, plus a pair of hinges, and these are glued into the trailing edge of the wing with the ailerons, then the lower wing can be glued to the upper, along with two inserts at the tip and to the rear of the gear bay, which includes a flush landing light. Three PE bay edge strips are inserted over the open gun bays, adding a PE indicator and PE bay prop to hold the styrene panels at the correct angle, the gun bay hinging forward, the ammo bay hinging aft. The same process is then carried out in mirror-image for the other wing, omitting the pitot probe and landing light, after which the wheels and their struts are made up, each wheel made from two halves plus a choice of three hub types, and two styles of tyres are also provided, one without a flat-spot, the other under load on the ground, leaving it to your taste. The struts are detailed with separate compressed or relaxed oleo scissor-links plus stencil decals, and they are mated with their wheels, plus the captive gear bay doors, the lower door made from two layers, again to avoid sink-marks. The wings are glued to the fuselage with an offset joint making for a stronger bond, and the elevator panels are each slotted into the tail, and have separate flying surfaces that can be posed deflected, each one a single part. If you are building your model with the gear down, the inner gear bay doors are fitted to the fuselage, which contains the inner edge of the main gear bays, so remember to paint that while you are doing the bays. If you plan on making an in-flight model, there are two single parts that depict the closed main bays, or you can insert the two struts with their wheels for the grounded aircraft. The four centreline supports are fitted between the main bays for some decal options, then the model can be flipped over to stand on its own wheels so that the canopy can be installed, gluing the windscreen at the front, and deciding whether to pose the blown canopy open or closed. The prop is also fitted, and this is made up from two parts glued perpendicular to each other, each holding two blades in opposition, and the spinner with PE washer is glued into the front section. The Jug could carry quite a load, whether it was extra fuel or bombs, and all these are included in the box, starting with the two-part pylons, which can be depicted as empty by inserting a cover over the business end. You have a choice of four styles of tank, a 108gal compressed paper tank with a ribbed nose and tail, a 200gal wide and flat tank, the third 150gal streamlined tank with flat mating surface, and the last one slightly smaller at 75gal. All but the third option has a pair of sway-braces between them and the pylon, which fit into slots in the pylons. They are built in pairs to fit under the wings, but the first two options can also be used solo on the centreline support. The bombs use the same pylons, and can be built in 1,000lb, 500lb or 250lb variants, each one made from two halves for the body and two parts for the square tails or thinner PE fins if you prefer, and mated to the pylon by a pair of sway-braces that varies depending on size. There is also a smoke generator that looks like a drop-tank with a spout on the rear, which would be used to lay smoke for the Allied troops below to cover their actions, at least temporarily. Markings There are three decal options in this boxing, all with very little camouflage and some very colourful nose art to draw the attention. From the box you can build one of the following: 366th Fighter Sqn., 358th Fighter Group, ‘Orange Tails’, 9th Air Force, Spring 1945. Pilot: Lt. Ike Davis 509th Fighter Sqn., 405th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, Germany, May 1945. Pilot: Capt. Milton William Thompson 379th Fighter Sqn., 362nd Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, Germany, Spring 1945. Pilot: Col. Joseph L Laughlin Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion MiniArt aren’t the only choice in this scale for a Thunderbolt, but I have a feeling that this rapidly becoming the de facto standard, as their selection of variants and detail level widens. The detail is exceptional and even better than the alleged ‘Basic Kit’ that preceded it. VERY highly recommended. At time of writing, this kit is at a healthy discount from UK importers, Creative Models Ltd. Click the button below to pay them a visit. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hi there, This is the last in line, build for a last minute challenge a few days before the Day (13 days, IIRC) Silver Lady was flown in combat by several pilots of 61st FS/56th FG, and was credited with more than a few victories. Among them, Gabreski, with five. I hope you'll like it!
  3. P-47D-25RE Thunderbolt Advanced Kit (48001) 1:48 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Thunderbolt developed from a series of less-than-successful earlier designs that saw Seversky aviation change to Republic, and the project designation from P-35, to P-43 and P-44, each with its own aggressive sounding name. After a realisation that their work so far wasn't going to cut it in the skies over war-torn Europe, they went back to the drawing board and produced the P-47A that was larger, heavier and sported the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radial that would also power the B-26 Marauder, P-61 Black Widow and F4U Corsair. With it they added eight .50cal Browning machine guns aligned along the axis of flight in the wing leading edge. The P-47A was still a small aircraft, and was initially ordered without military equipment to allow faster completion, but it was considered inferior to the competition then available, so an extensive re-design was ordered that resulted in the much larger P-47B, firing up to 100 rounds per second from the eight .50cal wing guns, and with a maximum speed of over 400mph, leaving just the fuel load slightly short of requirements. It first flew mid-1941, and despite being a heavy-weight, its performance was still excellent, and the crash of the prototype didn’t affect the order for over 700 airframes, which were fitted with a more powerful version of the R-2800 and a sliding canopy that made ingress and egress more streamlined, particularly when bailing out of a doomed aircraft. Minor re-designs to early production airframes resulted in a change to the P-47C, which meant that fewer than 200 Bs were made, the C benefitting from improved radio, oxygen systems, and a metal rudder to prevent flutter that had been affecting control at certain points in the performance envelope. A quick way to spot a B is the forward raked aerial mast behind the cockpit, as this was changed to vertical on the C and beyond. The production from a new factory that had been opened to keep up with demand led to the use of the D suffix, although they were initially identical to the C, but the cowling flaps were amended later, making it easier to differentiate. Of course, the later bubble-canopy P-47s were far easier to tell apart from earlier marks, and constant improvement in reliability, performance and fuel load was added along the way. The P-47D-25 carried more fuel for extended range, including piping for jettisonable tanks on the bomb racks for even more fuel. Taking a cue from the British designers, the bubble-top was developed and that improved all-round visibility markedly, although like the bubble-top Spitfires, later models incorporated a fin extension to counter the yaw issues that resulted. Its weight, firepower and seemingly unstoppable character led to the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was inevitably shortened to ‘Jug’ and led to many, many off-colour jokes during and after the war. Jokes that are still soldiering on to this day, despite being eligible for a pensioner’s bus pass. The Jug was used extensively in the European theatre as an escort fighter, where it performed well in its ideal high-altitude environment. Later in the war when the Luftwaffe was a spent force, it also went on to become a highly successful ground attack fighter, strafing and bombing targets of opportunity, and eschewing camouflaged paintwork to add some extra speed with a smooth (and shiny) bare metal finish. As well as flying with the US forces, many P-47s were flown by the other Allies, including the British, Russians, and after the war many other countries as the remainder were sold off as war surplus. The Kit This is a reboxing of a brand-new tooling from MiniArt, and is branded an Advanced Kit because it includes an additional sprue of plastic parts, and a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass to increase the level of detail of the kit, including the gun bays, and the ability to open the engine cowlings to display the excellent detail that is hidden away on the Basic Kit. The kit arrives in one of MiniArt’s sturdy top-opening boxes with a dramatic painting of the subject on the front, and profiles of the decal options on one side, reserving the other side for practical details and text. Inside the box are twenty-two sprues in grey styrene, although in our sample many of the sprues were handily still connected by their runners, which simplified photography. There is also a clear sprue, a sheet of PE in a cardboard envelope, two sheets of decals, and the instruction booklet, which is printed on glossy paper in colour, with profiles for the decal options on the front pages, plus detailed painting and decaling information for the weapons and tanks on the back page. Detail is beyond excellent, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt in the last several years, with fine engraved panel lines, recessed rivets, plus raised and recessed features where appropriate, as well as fine detail in the cockpit, wheel bays, plus gun bays in the wings and engine. If you’ve seen their AFV kits you’ll know what to expect, but this is special in this reviewer’s humble opinion. New Sprue & Photo-Etch Construction begins with the highly detailed cockpit, starting with a choice of seat style. One option has the seat put together from base, back and two side parts, which have elements of the seatbelts moulded-in, and are finished off by putting the remainder of the lap belts on the seat pan. The other option uses new parts to build the seat without belts, adding the belts from the PE sheet separately. A pair of support are inserted into recesses in the back of the seat, then it is installed on the ribbed floor, which has control column, plus seat-adjuster, and two other levers inserted, after which the rear bulkhead, one of the cockpit sidewalls and the front bulkhead are fitted, trapping the rudder bar with moulded-in pedals between them. The starboard sidewall has an oxygen hose added, and a scrap diagram shows the detail painting as well as the location of the decals that need to be applied. The head cushion is applied to the head armour, then the other sidewall is detailed with four controls and a PE wiring loom, numerous decals and more detail painting, so that it can be inserted along with the instrument panel and auxiliary panel, both of which have decals for the dials, with a choice of two for the main panel. The tail wheel is made up in preparation for closing the fuselage, building a four-part strut that holds the wheel on a one-sided yoke, then adding a small curved bulkhead with sprung bumper at the front. The fuselage halves are further prepared by adding two extra detail parts to the short sill panels that have ribbing moulded-in, and should be painted to match the cockpit. At the rear on the underside, the supercharger fairing is slotted into the starboard fuselage along with the tail gear bay, and at the front, a cooling vent and an insert are added to the underside, fitting another vent to the port fuselage half in the same place. The fuselage can then be closed around the cockpit, adding the aerial mast into a slot in the starboard spine, although whether that will remain there until the end of the building and painting is a moot point, and I’d be tempted to nip it off at the base, gluing the base in to act as a socket for the aerial after the heavy work is over. The engine is created by joining the two highly-detailed banks of pistons together by a keyed peg, adding the push-rod assembly to the front, the ends of which mate with a circular support that is the frame onto which the cowling panels are added later. The reduction-housing bell is detailed with magnetos and other parts, plus a collet at the centre where the prop-shaft would be. This is joined to the front of the engine as it is mounted to a bulkhead at the rear, again on a keyed ring. The convex firewall at the front of the fuselage is detailed with a ring of fasteners, the cylindrical intakes with PE mesh grilles, or you can utilise the similar less detailed part from the Basic Kit if you plan on leaving the engine covered. There is a fuselage insert in front of the cockpit, and that has the two-part gunsight with clear lens and PE backup sight and link-plate added to the middle, and it is inserted under the coaming and joined by your choice of firewall that closes the front of the fuselage. The intake trunking at the bottom of the nose cowling is made from five parts and installed in the lower panel, and you have a choice of open or closed top cowling panels by using additional parts. To leave the cowling open, the engine is fitted to the detailed firewall along with the lower cowling and the three sections of cooling gills. the closed option is surrounded by all four cowling segments, and at the rear you have a choice of installing open or closed cooling gills, using different parts to achieve the look you want, sliding the assembly over the completed engine, to which you can add the wiring loom if you are feeling adventurous, using the helpful diagrams near the back of the booklet, which also includes diagrams for wiring the gear bays. The rudder is completed by adding an insert at its widest point (the bottom) to avoid sink marks, and it is mated to the fin on three hinges, allowing deflection if you wish. Under the tail, your choice of bare or canvas-covered wheel assembly is inserted in the bay, with doors on each side, or if you are building your model in flight, a closed pair of doors is supplied as a single part, adding a small outlet further forward under the fuselage. The upper wing halves have well-defined ribbing detail for the gear bays moulded-in, which is augmented by fitting two rib sections, front and rear walls, and an additional structure that has a retraction jack pushed through a hole in one of the wall segments. The gun bays and their extensive ammunition stores are supplied in this boxing, using different upper wing panels with the bays opened. The gun bays themselves are built from a mixture of styrene and PE surfaces, making up a four-compartment box into which the gun breeches are inserted, linking them to the outer wall with ammo feed chutes, and placing the ammunition boxes with open tops into the upper wing from within. The closed bay option is shown with just the barrel stubs projecting from the leading edge, while both options install the wingtip lights and a pitot probe in the starboard wing. A scrap diagram of the lower wing shows the location of the flashed-over holes that you can drill out for rocket tubes or pylons, then the flaps are made from two sides, plus a pair of hinges, and these are glued into the trailing edge of the wing with the ailerons, then the lower wing can be glued to the upper, along with two inserts at the tip and to the rear of the gear bay, which includes a flush landing light. Three PE bay edge strips are inserted over the open gun bays, adding a PE indicator and PE bay prop to hold the styrene panels at the correct angle, the gun bay hinging forward, the ammo bay hinging aft. The same process is then carried out in mirror-image for the other wing, omitting the pitot probe and landing light, after which the wheels and their struts are made up, each wheel made from two halves plus a choice of three hub types, and two styles of tyres are also provided, one without a flat-spot, the other under load on the ground, leaving it to your taste. The struts are detailed with separate compressed or relaxed oleo scissor-links plus stencil decals, and they are mated with their wheels, plus the captive gear bay doors, the lower door made from two layers, again to avoid sink-marks. The wings are glued to the fuselage with a stepped joint making for a stronger bond, and the elevator panels are each slotted into the tail, and have separate flying surfaces that can be posed deflected, each one a single part. If you are building your model with the gear down, the inner gear bay doors are fitted to the fuselage, which contains the inner edge of the main gear bays, so remember to paint that while you are doing the bays. If you plan on making an in-flight model, there are two single parts that depict the closed main bays, or you can insert the two struts with their wheels for the grounded aircraft. The four centreline supports are fitted between the main bays for some decal options, then the model can be flipped over to stand on its own wheels so that the canopy can be installed, gluing the windscreen at the front, and deciding whether to pose the blown canopy open or closed. The prop is also fitted, and this is made up from two parts glued perpendicular to each other, each holding two blades in opposition, and the spinner moulded into the front section. The Jug could carry quite a load, whether it was extra fuel, rockets or bombs, and all these are included in the box, starting with the two-part pylons, which can be depicted as empty by inserting a cover over the business end. You have a choice of four styles of tank, a 108gal compressed paper tank with a ribbed nose and tail, a 200gal wide and flat tank, the third 150gal streamlined tank with flat mating surface, and the last one slightly smaller at 75gal. All but the third option has a pair of sway-braces between them and the pylon, which fit into slots in the pylons. They are built in pairs to fit under the wings, but the first two options can also be used solo on the centreline support. The bombs use the same pylons, and can be built in 1,000lb, 500lb or 250lb variants, each one made from two halves for the body and two parts for the square tails or thinner PE fins if you prefer, and mated to the pylon by a pair of sway-braces that varies depending on size. There is also a smoke generator that looks like a drop-tank with a spout on the rear, which would be used to lay smoke for the Allied troops below to cover their actions, at least temporarily. The final option is a pair of three-tubed rocket pods, which are made from two halves, plus inserts front and rear, which have their mounts moulded-in, and attach directly to holes drilled earlier under the wings. A large diagram shows the correct location for all the pylons and their loads, and you are advised that drop-tanks weren’t carried under the wings with the rocket packs, which seems sensible. No-one likes to fly home with their wings blown off, after all. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, and a page near the rear of the booklet shows the location of all the many stencils on a set of grey-scale profiles to avoid cluttering the main profiles. From the box you can build one of the following: 62nd Fighter Sqn., 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, July 1944 – Pilot Capt. Frederick Joseph Christensen Jr. 61st Fighter Sqn., 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, June 1944 – Pilot Lt. Col. Francis Stanley ‘Gabby’ Gabreski 82nd Fighter Sqn., 78th Fighter Group ‘The Duxford Eagles’, 8th Air Force, Duxford, September 1944 – Pilot Capt. Ben Mayo Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There are a few other kits of this fighter on the market in this scale of course, but I have a feeling that this will soon become the de facto standard in due course as the selection widens. The detail is exceptional and better still than the alleged ‘Basic Kit’ that preceded it. VERY highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Republic P-47C Thunderbolt with Ferry Tank (DW48054) 1:48 Dora Wings imported in the UK by Albion Alloys The Thunderbolt was developed from a series of less-than-successful earlier designs that saw Seversky aviation change to Republic, and the project designation from P-35, to P-43 and P-44, each with its own aggressive sounding name. After a realisation that their work so far wasn't going to cut it in the skies over war-torn Europe, they went back to the drawing board and produced the P-47A that was larger, heavier and sported the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radial that would also power the B-26 Marauder, P-61 Black Widow and F4U Corsair. With it they added eight .50cal Browning machine guns aligned along the axis of flight in the wing leading edge. The P-47A was still a smaller aircraft, and was initially ordered without military equipment to allow faster completion, but it was considered inferior to the competition then available, so an extensive re-design was ordered that resulted in the much large P-47B, firing up to 100 rounds per second from the eight .50cal wing guns, and with a maximum speed of over 400mph, leaving just the fuel load slightly short of requirements. It first flew mid-1941, and despite being a heavy-weight, its performance was still excellent, and the crash of the prototype didn’t affect the order for over 700 airframes, which were fitted with a more powerful version of the R-2800 and a sliding canopy that made ingress and egress more streamlined, particularly when bailing out of a doomed aircraft. Minor re-designs to early production airframes resulted in a change to the P-47C, which meant that fewer than 200 Bs were made, the C benefitting from improved radio, oxygen systems, and a metal rudder to prevent flutter that had been affecting control at certain points in the performance envelope. A quick way to spot a C is the vertical radio mast behind the canopy, which was changed from forward raked on the C and later variants. The production from a new factory that had been opened to keep up with demand led to the use of the D suffix, and they were initially identical to the C, but the cowling flaps were amended later, making it easier to differentiate. Of course, the later bubble-canopy P-47s were far easier to tell apart from earlier marks, and constant improvement in reliability, performance and fuel load was added along the way. Its weight, firepower and seemingly unstoppable character led to the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was inevitably shortened to ‘Jug’ and led to many, many off-colour jokes during and after the war. Jokes that are still soldiering on to this day, despite being older than many of us. The Kit This is a minor variant on a brand-new P-47B tooling from Dora Wings, following on from their P-43 Lancer that we reviewed earlier, which bears more than a passing family resemblance. The kit arrives in a petite top-opening box, with an attractive painting of the subject on the front that has a gloss varnished finish over the aircraft itself and the Dora logo, adding an air of class to the package that is replicated within. Opening the box reveals a clear re-sealable bag that contains eight sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a set of resin wheels in a Ziploc bag, and the instruction booklet in portrait A5 with colour throughout that has two decal sheets and vinyl canopy masks slipped inside. We have been reviewing Dora’s output for several years now, and every kit they release is an improvement over the last, with this one no exception, which is particularly impressive given the ongoing situation in Ukraine. The surface detail is excellent, with fine engraved panel lines, raised and engraved features, a full rendition of the massive power-plant, detailed cockpit and gear bays, and posable flying surfaces. Construction begins with the instrument panel, which has three decals applied to the front, and a pair of rudder pedals with separate actuators attached behind it. The seat has a PE diagonal in the rear of the pan, and has PE four-point belts added to it, plus a mounting frame at the back, also creating a throttle quadrant with PE gate and levers ready for installation in the cockpit later. The cockpit floor is a flat part that is covered in ribbing and other details, adding PE and styrene levers before putting in the rear bulkhead on a keyed tab, then fitting the seat assembly and control column into the centre of the floor. The two sidewalls are detailed with styrene radio and document box, plus the throttle box and PE levers, with a detailed painting guide that continues throughout the build. The sidewalls trap the instrument panel and rudders near the front of the cockpit, with a semi-circular bulkhead closing off the view forward. Attention then shifts to the engine, starting with the reduction bell-housing, which has a horse-shoe wiring harness added to the rear, magnetos and other equipment added to the top of the housing, then fitting a ring of push-rods behind it before fixing the two banks of cylinders behind, both with fine cooling vane detail engraved around the sides, and in order to reduce the thickness of the styrene the rear faces are hollow where they won’t be seen, which is eminently preferable to sink marks in the fine details. This is a trick they have been using for a while, including the Vultee Vengeance I built last year. The cowling is supplied in two halves, with a multi-part insert making up the ducting in the lower portion, locked in place by the one-part cowling lip with its distinctive horse-collar frontal profile. The newly-tooled fuselage is closed around the cockpit, adding a spar through the wing root mouldings, intake backing surfaces in the sides of the fuselage, and the detailed turbosupercharger insert under the tail. A tiny rib is also added to the front of the nose gear bay during closure. The rudder is made from two parts, adding thickness to the lower section, then the elevator fins are each assembled from two parts in preparation for installation in the tail. Before this, the wings are made, starting with the upper skin, which has the main gear bay roof detail moulded-in that is augmented by fitting the bay walls around the edges, and several ribs running aft, plus a retraction jack in the outer section. Before closing the wings, the four .50cal machine gun barrels are inserted into the leading edge on a carrier that sits inside the wing on a groove to ensure they project the correct distance and at the right angle to the wing. The completed wings are slid over the spars and glued in place, adding a smooth central insert in the belly, the ailerons, posing them deflected if you wish, fitting leading-edge inserts around the guns, and a choice of deflectors over the outlets on the fuselage sides. Two small triangular PE webs are glued to the rear of the bays that should be done before painting the bays, a landing light is inserted into a hole in the lower wing, and twin cowling flaps are fixed into position in front of the exhausts. The fairing over the turbosupercharger is then fitted, the detail remaining visible thanks to the outlet at the rear, which you could thin a little more for additional realism. More sub-assemblies are created next, starting with the four-bladed Curtiss Electric prop, which is cleverly made from two almost identical parts with half the boss moulded into each blade pair. The two-part spinner and prop-shaft are slipped through the hole in the centre, and a PE spacer ring is glued to the rear before it is put aside, although it might be as well to paint it and apply the stencil decals to the blades at this stage. The cockpit coaming is vaguely triangular and has the gunsight with reflecting glass fixed to the slot in the rear along with a backup PE ring sight, then the wheels are built using resin tyres that have no central seams, plus styrene hubs each side, while the resin tail wheel is fitted later in the build. The ferry tank is moulded as a two-part dome that conforms to the underside of the new fuselage. The main gear legs are each single parts to which the two-part scissor-links are fitted, adding the lower captive bay door first, then the narrow upper section that has PE links, and a long strut joining the top. The tail wheel strut is in two halves with a separate yoke and two-part actuator that extends deep into the bay for insertion later. The engine is mated to the front of the fuselage via the bulkhead that has a raised centre portion to achieve the correct position so that it will be properly visible through the cowling that is placed over it. The elevator panels and cowling are installed, fitting the wingtip lights and a PE trim-tab to the rear of the starboard aileron, then installing the prop, the rudder that traps the single part elevators in position, the vertical mast behind the cockpit and the pitot in the port wingtip. The canopy is supplied in two parts, the windscreen forming a separate part that has a rear-view mirror fitted to the top, then is joined by the main canopy, which sadly can’t be posed open because it is moulded integrally to the fixed rear sections. Underneath, the main gear is added with its resin wheels and inner bay doors plus actuators, the tail wheel strut is inserted into its bay and has the resin wheel slipped over the axle, gluing bay doors to the sides with PE actuators. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, all wearing the same olive drab over grey schemes with wavy demarcations, but with decals and bright nose art that help to individualise them. From the box you can build one of the following: P-47C-5-RE (41-6347) 56FG 62FS, Cpt. Eugene W O’Neil, May 1943 P-47C-5-RE (41-6539) 4FG 336FS, Cpt. Kenneth D ‘Black Snake Pete’ Peterson, April 1943 P-47C-5-RE (41-6330) 56FG 62FS, Col. Hubert Zemke, April 1943 P-47C-2-RE (41-6192) 4FG 336FS, Woodrow W Sooman Debden, May 1943 Decals are by Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There is a full painting table on the rear page that gives the colour names, plus Mr Hobby, Tamiya, AMMO, Hataka and LifeColor paint codes to assist you with painting your model. Conclusion Dora Wings make interesting and detailed models that are a little out of the ordinary, and while the P-47 is hardly unusual, this and the -B variant were very short-lived, so have their own rarity value and appeal. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Distributed in the UK and Available in all good model shops by
  5. P-47D-25RE Thunderbolt BasicKit (48009) 1:48 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Thunderbolt developed from a series of less-than-successful earlier designs that saw Seversky aviation change to Republic, and the project designation from P-35, to P-43 and P-44, each with its own aggressive sounding name. After a realisation that their work so far wasn't going to cut it in the skies over war-torn Europe, they went back to the drawing board and produced the P-47A that was larger, heavier and sported the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radial that would also power the B-26 Marauder, P-61 Black Widow and F4U Corsair. With it they added eight .50cal Browning machine guns aligned along the axis of flight in the wing leading edge. The P-47A was still a small aircraft, and was initially ordered without military equipment to allow faster completion, but it was considered inferior to the competition then available, so an extensive re-design was ordered that resulted in the much larger P-47B, firing up to 100 rounds per second from the eight .50cal wing guns, and with a maximum speed of over 400mph, leaving just the fuel load slightly short of requirements. It first flew mid-1941, and despite being a heavy-weight, its performance was still excellent, and the crash of the prototype didn’t affect the order for over 700 airframes, which were fitted with a more powerful version of the R-2800 and a sliding canopy that made ingress and egress more streamlined, particularly when bailing out of a doomed aircraft. Minor re-designs to early production airframes resulted in a change to the P-47C, which meant that fewer than 200 Bs were made, the C benefitting from improved radio, oxygen systems, and a metal rudder to prevent flutter that had been affecting control at certain points in the performance envelope. A quick way to spot a B is the forward raked aerial mast behind the cockpit, as this was changed to vertical on the C and beyond. The production from a new factory that had been opened to keep up with demand led to the use of the D suffix, although they were initially identical to the C, but the cowling flaps were amended later, making it easier to differentiate. Of course, the later bubble-canopy P-47s were far easier to tell apart from earlier marks, and constant improvement in reliability, performance and fuel load was added along the way. The P-47D-25 carried more fuel for extended range, including piping for jettisonable tanks on the bomb racks for even more fuel. Taking a cue from the British designers, the bubble-top was developed and that improved all-round visibility markedly, although like the later mark Spitfires, later models incorporated a fin extension to counter the yaw issues that resulted. Its weight, firepower and seemingly unstoppable character led to the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was inevitably shortened to ‘Jug’ and led to many, many off-colour jokes during and after the war. Jokes that are still soldiering on to this day, despite being eligible for a pensioner’s bus pass. The Jug was used extensively in the European theatre as an escort fighter, where it performed well in its ideal high-altitude environment. Later in the war when the Luftwaffe was a spent force, it also went on to become a highly successful ground attack fighter, strafing and bombing targets of opportunity, and eschewing camouflaged paintwork to add some extra speed with a smooth (and shiny) bare metal finish. As well as flying with the US forces, many P-47s were flown by the other Allies, including the British, Russians, and after the war many other countries as the remainder were sold off as war surplus. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from MiniArt, and from my point of view, they’ve picked an excellent subject to bring their talents to bear upon. The kit arrives in one of their sturdy top-opening boxes with a dramatic painting of the subject on the front, and profiles of the decal options on one side, reserving the other side for practical details and text. Inside the box are twenty-one sprues in grey styrene, although in our sample many of the sprues were handily still connected by their runners, which simplified photography. There is also a clear sprue, two sheets of decals, and the instruction booklet, which is printed on glossy paper in colour, with profiles for the decal options on the rear pages, plus detailed painting and decaling information on the weapons and tanks on the back page. Detail is phenomenal, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt in the last several years, with fine engraved panel lines, recessed rivets, plus raised and recessed features where appropriate, as well as fine detail in the cockpit, wheel bays and engine. If you’ve seen their AFV kits you’ll know what to expect, but this is pretty awesome in this reviewer’s humble opinion. Construction begins with the highly detailed cockpit, starting by putting the seat together from base, back and two side parts, which have elements of the seatbelts moulded-in, and are finished off by putting the remainder of the lap belts on the seat pan. A pair of support are inserted into recesses in the back of the seat, then it is installed on the ribbed floor, which has control column, plus seat-adjuster, and two other levers inserted, after which the rear bulkhead, one of the cockpit sidewalls and the front bulkhead are added, trapping the rudder bar with moulded-in pedals between them. The starboard sidewall has a hose added, and a scrap diagram shows the detail painting as well as the location of the decals that need to be applied. The head cushion is applied to the head armour, then the other sidewall is detailed with four controls, numerous decals and more detail painting, so that it can be inserted along with the instrument panel and auxiliary panel, both of which have decals for the dials, with a choice of two for the main panel. The tail wheel is made up in preparation for closing the fuselage, building a four-part strut that holds the wheel on a one-sided yoke, then adding a small curved bulkhead with sprung bumper at the front, or an alternative assembly can be made from four different parts plus wheel, which is less detailed as the mechanism is hidden by a canvas cover. The fuselage halves are prepared by adding two extra detail parts to the short sill panels that have ribbing moulded-in, and should be painted to match the cockpit. At the rear on the underside, the supercharger fairing is slotted into the starboard fuselage along with the tail gear bay, and at the front, a cooling vent and an insert are added to the underside, fitting another vent to the port fuselage half in the same place. The fuselage can then be closed around the cockpit, adding the aerial mast into a slot in the starboard spine, although whether that will remain there until the end of the building and painting is a moot point, and I’d be tempted to nip it off at the base, gluing the base in to act as a socket for the aerial after the heavy work is over. There is a fuselage insert in front of the cockpit, and that has the two-part gunsight with clear lens added to the centre, and another equipment box on the port side before it is inserted and joined by a firewall that closes the front of the fuselage. The engine is created by joining the two highly-detailed banks of pistons together by a keyed peg, adding the push-rod assembly to the front, the ends of which mate with a circular support that is the frame onto which the cowling panels are added later. The reduction-housing bell is detailed with magnetos and other parts, plus a collet at the centre where the prop-shaft would be. This is joined to the front of the engine as it is mounted to a bulkhead at the rear, again on a keyed ring. The intake trunking at the bottom of the nose cowling is made from five parts and installed in the lower panel, and you have a choice of open or closed vents on the sides of the fuselage by using the appropriate parts, and in the same step, the rudder is completed by adding an insert at its widest point (the bottom), to avoid sink marks, and it is mated to the fin on three hinges, allowing deflection if you wish. Going back to the engine, the finished assembly is enclosed by four segments of cowling, and at the rear you have a choice of open or closed cooling gills, using different parts to achieve the look you want. Under the tail, your choice of wheel assembly is inserted in the bay, with doors on each side, or if you are building your model in flight, a closed pair of doors is supplied as a single part, adding a small outlet further forward under the fuselage. The upper wing halves have well-defined ribbing detail moulded-in, which is augmented by fitting an insert, two rib sections, front and rear walls, and an additional structure that has a retraction jack pushed through hole in one of the wall segments. The flaps are made from two sides, plus a pair of hinges and these are glued into the trailing edge of the wing with the ailerons, the remaining details of the gear bay, which includes another retraction jack, the gun barrels on a carrier to achieve the correct stepped installation, plus a pitot probe, and the wingtip light, which can be fitted now because the complete tip is moulded into the upper wing so that it can be portrayed as scale thickness. A scrap diagram of the lower wing shows the location of the flashed-over holes that you can drill out for rocket tubes or pylons, then it can be glued to the upper, along with two inserts at the tip and to the rear of the gear bay, which includes a flush landing light. The same process is then carried out in mirror-image for the other wing, omitting the pitot and landing light, after which the wheels and their struts are made up, each wheel made from two halves plus a choice of three hub types, and two styles of wheels are also provided, one without a flat-spot, the other under load on the ground, leaving it to your taste which you prefer. The struts are detailed with separate oleo scissor-links and stencil decals, and are mated with their wheels, plus the captive gear bay doors, the lower door made from two layers, again to avoid sink-marks. The wings are glued to the fuselage with a stepped joint making for a stronger bond, and the elevator panels are each slotted into the tail, and have separate flying surfaces that can be posed deflected, each one a single part. If you are building your model with the gear down, the inner gear bay doors are fitted to the fuselage, which contains the inner edge of the main gear bays, so remember to paint that while you are doing the bays. The engine assembly is also mated to the firewall, locating on a pair of alignment pins. If you plan on making an in-flight model, there are two single parts that depict the closed main bays, or you can insert the two struts with their wheels for the grounded aircraft. The four centreline supports are fitted between the main bays for some decal options, then the model can be flipped over to stand on its own wheels so that the canopy can be installed, gluing the windscreen at the front, and deciding whether pose the blown canopy open or closed. The prop is also fitted, and this is made up from two parts, each holding two blades in opposition, and the spinner is moulded into the front section. The Jug could carry quite a load, whether it was extra fuel, rockets or bombs, and all these are included in the box, starting with the two-part pylons, which can be depicted as empty by inserting a cover over the business end. You have a choice of four styles of tank, a 108gal compressed paper tank with a ribbed nose and tail, a 200gal wide and flat tank, the third 150gal streamlined tank with flat mating surface, and the last one slightly smaller at 75gal. All but the third option has a pair of sway-braces between them and the pylon, which fit into slots in the pylons. They are built in pairs to fit under the wings, but the first two options can also be used solo on the centreline support. The bombs use the same pylons, and can be built in 1,000lb, 500lb or 250lb variants, each one made from two halves for the body and two parts for the square tails, and mated to the pylon by a pair of sway-braces that varies depending on size. There is also a smoke generator that looks like a drop-tank with a spout on the rear, which would be used to lay smoke for the Allied troops below to cover their actions, at least temporarily. The final option is a pair of three-tubed rocket pods, which are made from two halves, plus inserts front and rear, which have their mounts moulded-in, and attach directly to holes drilled earlier under the wings. A large diagram shows the correct location for all the pylons and their loads, and you are advised that drop-tanks weren’t carried under the wings with the rocket packs, which seems sensible. No-one likes to fly home without wings, after all. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and the first page shows the location of all the many stencils on a set of grey-scale profiles to avoid cluttering the main profiles. From the box you can build one of the following: ‘Hairless Joe’, 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Flighter Group, 8th Air Force, August 1944 – pilot: Col. David Schilling 82nd Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, Duxford, Summer 1944 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There are a few other kits of this fighter on the market in this scale, but I have a feeling that this will soon become the de facto standard in due course when a few more variants are released. The detail is exceptional, and the moniker “BasicKit” seems undeserved, and makes one wonder what delights the upcoming Advanced Kit will have in store for us. VERY highly recommended. Currently out of stock at Creative, but you can bet another order is on the way from Ukraine. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Republic P-47B Thunderbolt (DW48051) 1:48 Dora Wings The Thunderbolt developed from a series of less-than-successful earlier designs that saw Seversky aviation change to Republic, and the project designation from P-35, to P-43 and P-44, each with its own aggressive sounding name. After a realisation that their work so far wasn't going to cut it in the skies over war-torn Europe, they went back to the drawing board and produced the P-47A that was larger, heavier and sported the new Pratt & Whitney R-2800 18-cylinder radial that would also power the B-26 Marauder, P-61 Black Widow and F4U Corsair. With it they added eight .50cal Browning machine guns aligned along the axis of flight in the wing leading edge. The P-47A was still a smaller aircraft, and was initially ordered without military equipment to allow faster completion, but it was considered inferior to the competition then available, so an extensive re-design was ordered that resulted in the much large P-47B, firing up to 100 rounds per second from the eight .50cal wing guns, and with a maximum speed of over 400mph, leaving just the fuel load slightly short of requirements. It first flew mid-1941, and despite being a heavy-weight, its performance was still excellent, and the crash of the prototype didn’t affect the order for over 700 airframes, which were fitted with a more powerful version of the R-2800 and a sliding canopy that made ingress and egress more streamlined, particularly when bailing out of a doomed aircraft. Minor re-designs to early production airframes resulted in a change to the P-47C, which meant that fewer than 200 Bs were made, the C benefitting from improved radio, oxygen systems, and a metal rudder to prevent flutter that had been affecting control at certain points in the performance envelope. A quick way to spot a B is the forward raked aerial mast behind the cockpit, as this was changed to vertical on the C and beyond. The production from a new factory that had been opened to keep up with demand led to the use of the D suffix, although they were initially identical to the C, but the cowling flaps were amended later, making it easier to differentiate. Of course, the later bubble-canopy P-47s were far easier to tell apart from earlier marks, and constant improvement in reliability, performance and fuel load was added along the way. Its weight, firepower and seemingly unstoppable character led to the nickname ‘Juggernaut’, which was inevitably shortened to ‘Jug’ and led to many, many off-colour jokes during and after the war. Jokes that are still soldiering on to this day, despite being eligible for a pensioner’s bus pass. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Dora Wings, following on from their P-43 Lancer that we reviewed here in 1:48, which bears more than a passing family resemblance. The kit arrives in a petite top-opening box, with an attractive painting of the subject on the front that has a gloss varnished finish over the aircraft itself and the Dora logo, adding an air of class to the package that is replicated within. Opening the box reveals a clear re-sealable bag that contains eight sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and vinyl canopy masks in a Ziploc bag, and the instruction booklet in portrait A5 with colour throughout. We have been reviewing Dora’s output for several years now, and every kit they release is an improvement over the last, with this one no exception, which is particularly impressive given the ongoing situation in Ukraine. The surface detail is excellent, with fine engraved panel lines, raised and engraved features, a full rendition of the massive power-plant, detailed cockpit and gear bays, and posable flying surfaces. Construction begins with the instrument panel, which has three decals applied to the front, and a pair of rudder pedals with separate actuators attached underneath it. The seat has a PE diagonal in the rear of the pan, and has PE four-point belts added to it, plus a mounting frame at the back, also creating a throttle quadrant with PE gate and levers ready for installation in the cockpit later. The cockpit floor is a flat part that is covered in ribbing and other details, adding PE and styrene levers before putting in the rear bulkhead on a keyed tab, then fitting the seat assembly and control column into the centre of the floor. The two sidewalls are detailed with styrene radio and document box, plus the throttle box and PE levers, with a detailed painting guide that continues throughout the build. The sidewalls trap the instrument panel and rudders near the front of the cockpit, with a semi-circular bulkhead closing off the view forward. Attention then shifts to the engine, starting with the reduction bell-housing, which has a horse-shoe wiring harness added to the rear, magnetos and other equipment added to the housing, then fitting a ring of push-rods behind it before fixing the two banks of cylinders behind, both with fine cooling vane detail engraved around the sides, and in order to reduce the thickness of the styrene the rear faces are hollow where they won’t be seen, which is eminently preferable to sink marks in the fine details. This is a trick they have been using for a while, including the Vultee Vengeance I built last year. The cowling is supplied in two halves, with amulti-part insert making up the ducting in the lower portion, locked in place by the one-part cowling lip with its distinctive horse-collar frontal profile. The fuselage is closed around the cockpit, adding a spar through the wing root mouldings, intake backing surfaces in the sides of the fuselage, and the detailed turbosupercharger insert under the tail. A tiny rib is also added to the front of the nose gear bay during closure. The rudder is made from two parts, adding thickness to the lower section, then the elevator fins are each assembled from two parts in preparation for installation in the tail. Before this, the wings are made, starting with the upper skin, which has the main gear bay roof detail moulded-in that is augmented by fitting the bay walls around the edges, and several ribs running aft, plus a retraction jack in the outer section. Before closing the wings, the four gun barrels are inserted into the leading edge as a single part on a backing plate that sits inside the wing on a groove to ensure they project the correct distance. The completed wings are slid over the spars and glued in place, adding the ailerons, posing them deflected if you wish, fitting the inserts around the guns, and a choice of deflectors over the outlets on the fuselage sides. Two small triangular PE webs are glued to the rear of the bays, a landing light is inserted into a hole in the lower wing, and two cowling flaps are fixed into position in front of the exhausts. The fairing over the turbosupercharger is then fitted, the detail remaining visible thanks to the outlet at the rear. More sub-assemblies are created next, starting with the four-bladed Curtiss Electric prop, which is cleverly made from two almost identical parts with half the boss moulded into each half. The two-part spinner and prop-shaft are slipped through the hole in the centre, and a PE spacer ring is glued to the rear before it is put aside, although it might be as well to paint it and apply the stencil decals to the blades at this stage. The cockpit coaming is vaguely triangular and has the gunsight with reflecting glass fixed to the slot in the rear along with a backup PE ring sight, then the wheels are built from tyres in two halves, plus two hubs, while the tail wheel is moulded in two halves with integral hub. The main gear legs are each single parts to which the two-part scissor-links are fitted, adding the lower captive bay door first, then the narrow upper section that has PE connectors, and a long strut joining the top. The tail wheel strut is in two halves with a separate yoke and two-part actuator that extends deep into the bay for insertion later. The engine is mated to the front of the fuselage via the blanking plate that has a raised centre portion to achieve the correct position so that it will be properly visible with the cowling that is placed over it. The elevator panels and cowling are installed, fitting the wingtip lights and a PE trim-tab to the rear of the starboard aileron, then installing the prop, the rudder that traps the single part elevators in position, the forward-raked mast behind the cockpit and the pitot in the port wingtip. The canopy is supplied in two parts, the windscreen a separate part that has a rear-view mirror fitted to the top, then is joined by the main canopy, which sadly can’t be posed open because it is moulded integrally to the fixed rear sections. Underneath, the main gear is added with its wheels and inner bay doors plus actuators, the tail wheel strut is inserted into its bay and has the wheel slipped over the axle, gluing bay doors to the sides with PE actuators. Markings There are four decal options on the sheet, all wearing the same olive drab over grey schemes with wavy demarcations, but with decals that help to individualise them. The first option also has darker green camouflage splotches around the leading and trailing edges of the flying surfaces to break up the outline a little. From the box you can build one of the following: P-47B-RE (41-6002), Colonel Hubert Zemke, 56th FG, Bridgeport, September 1942 P-47B-RE (41-5905), Wright Field, Ohio P-47B-RE (41-5901), ‘Lucky Seven!’, the Seventh Serial P-47 P-47B-RE (41-6037), 1st Mixed Instruction Group, Brazil, October 1944 Decals are by Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There is a full painting table on the rear page that gives the colour names, plus Mr Hobby, Tamiya, AMMO, Hataka and LifeColor paint codes to assist you with painting your model. Conclusion Dora Wings make interesting and detailed models that are a little out of the ordinary, and while the P-47 is hardly unusual, this variant was very short-lived, so has its own rarity value. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Available in the UK in all good model shops via their importers:
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