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Random P-47 Questions


11bravo
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Hi folks, 

 

I'm in the process of building this P-47D:

dazHQZ3.jpg

 

I noted the very small centerline tank (75 gal?).   Was this the standard 75 aluminum tank as used by P-51's or something else?  Does anyone have details on the brackets / fuel lines?   Assume unpainted aluminum?  

 

Also, does anyone happen to have a picture or two showing the undersides of WW2 era P-47's?   I'm trying to get a feel for what I need to do for weathering.   I'm having a hard time finding any decent shots.   

 

Lastly, this P-47 is an ex-Brazilian Jug that was returned to the USAAC.  Note the overpainted rudder and national insignia on the right wing.   As I understand it, the marking on the upper right wing was added in the field as an additional ID measure and did not have the "bars" present   For Jug's with this extra insignia, should I assume that a similar one was added under the port wing?

 

Thank you in advance! 

 

John

 

PS - If anyone's interested, here is where I'm at with this project (note - cowling is just press fit in place):

e2njILd.jpg

 

qwZ5ms5.jpg

 

7ZA3Erl.jpg

Edited by 11bravo
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@11bravo I don't recognise that tank; you are right that it's not the usual shape, but someone will know all about it. With regard to weathering, much more my field, see Matt McDougal's videos of his P-47 as he knows what he's doing and is a very thorough researcher. HTH.

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45 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I think this is the same tank that was adopted by the Seafires in the British Pacific Fleet.   It was not circular in cross section but "squashed" to allow ground clearance under the P-47 (and hence \seafire).

The tanks used by the Seafires on Implacable in 1945 were described as 89/90 gal tanks for the P-40 Warhawk from a stash in New Guinea. Photos here top of page and also further down.

https://www.armouredcarriers.com/seafire-variants

 

 

 

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The centerline tank does look like the one carried by P-40's, and since the 57th FG replaced its P-40's with P-47's, I'm guessing there were a lot unused  P-40 belly tanks available. As for the colors and markings of '54' during the time period you are going to model it, I am going to make some guesses based on the period photos I was able to find.

  • I don't believe the overpainted area on the upper RH wing was to cover a national insignia; P-47's frequently had a much larger national insignia painted under the LH wing for recognition purposes, but I don't think I have ever seen or read of an additional national insignia being painted on the upper RH wing. Battle damage with a coat of fresh OD added, perhaps? (The national insignia info came from the Ducimus Camouflage and Markings  monograph on the P-47.)
  • I have linked a period photo of '54' that might be helpful, if you haven't seen it before. The darker areas appear to me to maybe be fresher OD paint, not RAF dark green over medium sea grey, as I have read in some modeling articles. It might be fresher paint was applied to cover previous markings when the Jug was given back to the 57th and its new pilot had his markings painted on?
  • Not sure if the rudder was overpainted, as none of the photos I saw showed any evidence of this, the rudder having the same appearance as the paint on the fin. perhaps fresher OD to cover a different colored rudder when the Brazilians had it or a replacement rudder with fresh paint? If so, I would think the white band that covered the rudder would be brighter or fresher than the band on the fin.

Just guesses on my part; I'm thinking our resident Jug expert @Tbolt could probably shed some light on this subject- my references on MTO based P-47's is pretty thin. Regardless, it's going to be a very attractive Jug! (I'm sure you are already aware of the numerous decal sheets that have this P-47D in both 1/72 and 1/48 scales, none of which show an overpainted area on the upper RH wing, but I have no way of knowing if the markings and colors are correctly portrayed on the instructions.

Mike

 

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/25533

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I remain unconvinced why the P-40s, with a good ground clearance under its belly, would need a squashed tank, whereas the P-47 with very limited ground clearance, didn't?  Just which aircraft type would have been operated by the 57th when the BPF hove into view?

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This P-40 in New Guinea looks like it’s carrying a flattened tank.

https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/p-40-warhawk/curtiss-p-40-new-guinea/

 

And on New Zealand P-40s in the Solomons.

http://rnzaf.hobbyvista.com/gl.html

 

I believe the tank may also have been used by the P-39. Possibly of Australian manufacture. It might well also have been used on P-47s in New Guinea. The Mexican 201st FS was attached to the 58th FG in SWPA in the Philippines in 1945.

 

Edit:- As noted previously the Seafires tanks are described as 89/90 gal. In my library I have a copy of the Squadron Signal “Thunderbolt. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in the Pacific Theater”. In it are photos of 348th FG P-47Ds in New Guinea with flattened 200 gal drop tanks under the belly. The photos all seem to date to summer 1943. These were made by Ford Australia as reported here.

https://checksixblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/drop-tank/

 

From the photos I have it’s possible that the tank on the ex-Mexican aircraft above is actually one of those 200 gal tanks.

 

So there are two different sizes of flattened tanks in circulation in SWPA between 1943 and 1945.

Edited by EwenS
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I'm no P-47 expert nor a drop tank expert, but to me it looks like it might be the standard 75 gal tank on the centre line, though the image does look slightly distorted. The wing tank is the 110 gal teardrop tank and the 57th FG did use a number of different tank including the vertically split type and the vertical split extended type (this locally made tank doesn't seem as common) on the centre line.

 

Here's the 75 gal tank.

 

51408072917_7dd63023e4_o.jpg

 

51408077152_cf9532cbe5_o.jpg

 

Here's the vertical split type. Notice the 110 gal teardrop tank on the wing in the first shot.

 

51408843321_8d5671d29f_o.jpg

 

51408849396_ec1d63ee15_o.jpg

 

51409817825_4882983901_o.jpg

 

 

This shows were the fuel and pressure lines connect to the fuselage. Note this is on a 108 gal tank.

 

51409631189_d741b90313_o.jpg

 

I'll dig out some more photos for you tomorrow, I need some sleep.

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@Tbolt,

 

After your nap, can you help me with something? In the first two photos you posted above, there is an inverted 'T-shaped device just outboard of the small landing gear fairing door that I don't recall ever seeing before. At first I thought it was associated with the external wing tanks, but IIRC, the plumbing for them comes out of the streamlined fairing that covers the shackles. Could they possibly be mounting points for the bazooka rocket clusters sometimes seen on MTO and PTO Jugs? Just curious? That first photo is one pristine P-47! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Mike

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2 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Could they possibly be mounting points for the bazooka rocket clusters sometimes seen on MTO and PTO Jugs? Just curious?

Not to disturb his repose, this is a cut from the TM for the rocket launcher.  The inverted "T" is the front mount.

 

P8280399.jpg

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The Forgotten Fleet by John Winton, interview on 16 July 1968 with Admiral Sir Charles Evans about when he was Commander (Air) on HMS Implacable.  The Kittyhawk drop tanks were trialled by Lt. Cdr. Campbell Horsfall and the improvement in deck landing characteristics noted, no date is given but it is part of the build up to Operation Inmate, the strike by Implacable on Truk in May 1945 with a dump of the tanks discovered when Implacable was at Manus Island.

 

"We were very sold on these tanks, But where to get them from?  With a lot of signalling, we discovered there was a base for Kittyhawks in New Guinea.  Quite a long way away.  An Australian destroyer came in and I called on the captain, who was the same rank as I was.  I asked him what he was doing here and he said he was not really quite sure, he had to stay at Manus for a few days.  I talked him into going to New Guinea.  Having just come out from England, we had some booze on board.  So I gave him one case of Scotch and said take the other case and give it to the chap you are going to get the tanks from.  He went off and when he came back his ship was full of these goddam fuel tanks.  We transferred them to implacable and they were absolutely everywhere, in every passageway.  Everywhere there were tanks.  I have two in my after cabin and I think the captain had some in his.  They lasted throughout the war.  We flew Seafires on every strike and they made superb fighter bombers."  The slipper tank is reported to be for ferry only, and unpopular as it was not easily jettisoned and caused "peculiar drag" during flight deck landing.

 

The British began including drop tank production in the monthly reports in December 1943, and stopped in April 1945, a quick snapshot

 

December 1943, tanks for British aircraft in Imperial gallons, for US aircraft in US gallons with an initial exception.
Spitfire 30 gallon wood, metal and fibre, 90 gallon metal tanks in production, 45 and 170 gallon metal tanks on order.
Seafire 30 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47 90 gallon paper and metal tanks in production. (Probably Imperial gallons)

 

July 1944,
Spitfire 30 gallon wood, 45 gallon wood, metal and fibre, 90 gallon metal, 170 gallon metal in production.
Seafire 30 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47/P-51 108 gallon paper and metal tanks in production.
P-47 150 gallon metal tanks in production.

 

April 1945,
Spitfire 90 gallon metal in production.
Spitfire/Seafire 50 gallon metal tanks in production (First deliveries in December 1944)
P-47/P-51 108 gallon paper and metal tanks in production.
P-47 150 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47 215 gallon metal tanks in production.

 

Roger Freeman in the Mighty Eighth War Diary notes the widespread early use of P-39 75 gallon tanks on P-47 and P-51.  Also that the official size of the tanks was not always the same as the actual capacity.  Along with, the steel 108 gallon tank for the P-47 only, paper for both P-47 and P-51, a US 110 gallon steel tank for P-51, a US 150 gallon steel tank for P-47, a US 200 gallon paper tank for the P-47

 

No information on the size of external tanks available for the P-40 and it clearly changed during the war.  America's Hundred Thousand quotes maximum external fuel as 52 gallons (P-40C to E), 170 gallons (F, K, L, M, N-1) and 450 gallons (N-5 onwards)

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5 hours ago, 72modeler said:

@Tbolt,

 

After your nap, can you help me with something? In the first two photos you posted above, there is an inverted 'T-shaped device just outboard of the small landing gear fairing door that I don't recall ever seeing before. At first I thought it was associated with the external wing tanks, but IIRC, the plumbing for them comes out of the streamlined fairing that covers the shackles. Could they possibly be mounting points for the bazooka rocket clusters sometimes seen on MTO and PTO Jugs? Just curious? That first photo is one pristine P-47! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Mike

 

Like Don f shows it's the mount for the M10 launchers.

 

51409510976_e9ae1823e8_o.jpg

 

51410487590_0d03a8de30_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's a picture of the sway braces and B10 bomb shackle.

 

51409755263_c3d79204a9_o.jpg

 

Here's another drawing from the Pilot's manual from 1945 and it shows forward fuel and pressure lines, with the rear ones being alternate lines. I can't find the forward ones in the IPC.

 

51409528251_cffa611fcd_o.jpg

 

Here's a drawing showing the line connection points which shows the forward lines on the 75 gal tank.

 

150427075335788734.jpg

 

Forward fuel link, sway braces and shackle.

 

49389033136_c0f33120e1_o.jpg

 

 

Here you can just work out the aft connection point in the fuselage for the fuel line.

 

500-drop-tank-jpg.67288

 

A couple of underside shots.

 

51408864712_bbb61bd96d_o.jpg

 

51410377379_6c63037dc6_o.jpg

 

Great job on the paint work by the way.

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2 hours ago, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

The Forgotten Fleet by John Winton, interview on 16 July 1968 with Admiral Sir Charles Evans about when he was Commander (Air) on HMS Implacable.  The Kittyhawk drop tanks were trialled by Lt. Cdr. Campbell Horsfall and the improvement in deck landing characteristics noted, no date is given but it is part of the build up to Operation Inmate, the strike by Implacable on Truk in May 1945 with a dump of the tanks discovered when Implacable was at Manus Island.

 

"We were very sold on these tanks, But where to get them from?  With a lot of signalling, we discovered there was a base for Kittyhawks in New Guinea.  Quite a long way away.  An Australian destroyer came in and I called on the captain, who was the same rank as I was.  I asked him what he was doing here and he said he was not really quite sure, he had to stay at Manus for a few days.  I talked him into going to New Guinea.  Having just come out from England, we had some booze on board.  So I gave him one case of Scotch and said take the other case and give it to the chap you are going to get the tanks from.  He went off and when he came back his ship was full of these goddam fuel tanks.  We transferred them to implacable and they were absolutely everywhere, in every passageway.  Everywhere there were tanks.  I have two in my after cabin and I think the captain had some in his.  They lasted throughout the war.  We flew Seafires on every strike and they made superb fighter bombers."  The slipper tank is reported to be for ferry only, and unpopular as it was not easily jettisoned and caused "peculiar drag" during flight deck landing.

 

The British began including drop tank production in the monthly reports in December 1943, and stopped in April 1945, a quick snapshot

 

December 1943, tanks for British aircraft in Imperial gallons, for US aircraft in US gallons with an initial exception.
Spitfire 30 gallon wood, metal and fibre, 90 gallon metal tanks in production, 45 and 170 gallon metal tanks on order.
Seafire 30 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47 90 gallon paper and metal tanks in production. (Probably Imperial gallons)

 

July 1944,
Spitfire 30 gallon wood, 45 gallon wood, metal and fibre, 90 gallon metal, 170 gallon metal in production.
Seafire 30 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47/P-51 108 gallon paper and metal tanks in production.
P-47 150 gallon metal tanks in production.

 

April 1945,
Spitfire 90 gallon metal in production.
Spitfire/Seafire 50 gallon metal tanks in production (First deliveries in December 1944)
P-47/P-51 108 gallon paper and metal tanks in production.
P-47 150 gallon metal tanks in production.
P-47 215 gallon metal tanks in production.

 

Roger Freeman in the Mighty Eighth War Diary notes the widespread early use of P-39 75 gallon tanks on P-47 and P-51.  Also that the official size of the tanks was not always the same as the actual capacity.  Along with, the steel 108 gallon tank for the P-47 only, paper for both P-47 and P-51, a US 110 gallon steel tank for P-51, a US 150 gallon steel tank for P-47, a US 200 gallon paper tank for the P-47

 

No information on the size of external tanks available for the P-40 and it clearly changed during the war.  America's Hundred Thousand quotes maximum external fuel as 52 gallons (P-40C to E), 170 gallons (F, K, L, M, N-1) and 450 gallons (N-5 onwards)

 

Implacable was in and around Manus for the first time exercising between 29th May and 12th June when she sailed on Operation Inmate to Truk. She arrived back on 17th June. Broadly most accounts of the acquisition of the drop tanks agree, but Mike Crossley in "They Gave Me A Seafire", notes that they came on board after Implacable returned from Inmate. with the search party having been sent out before she sailed. He noted that there were 100 and they were rusty.

 

I believe that the most likely place they came from was the large US/Australian base in the Lae/Nadzab area of New Guinea. There were 5 airfields in the area and by that time it was a large maintenance and aircraft storage hub for the USAAF and RAAF. Lae is about 275 miles as the crow flies from Manus, a bit longer by sea and was the nearest major aviation base.

 

These smaller "flattened" tanks were also being used by the 8th FG in New Guinea on P-39s in 1943 See photos on "Attack & Conquer. The 8th Fighter Group in World War II".

 

I don't recall ever seeing such "flattened" tanks in the ETO or MTO. So maybe they are peculiar to Australian production for the units operating throughout SWPA. That would make the most likely candidate for the tank on the 57th FG machine something like a round 75 gal tank.

 

Graham.

The 57th FG operated in the Med in WW2 so would never have encountered the BPF!

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Thanks very much guys, it's greatly appreciated.   One last question, if I may-what color should the area of the upper fuselage, directly behind the pilot's seat and normally covered by the closed canopy be painted?   

 

John

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18 minutes ago, 11bravo said:

Thanks very much guys, it's greatly appreciated.   One last question, if I may-what color should the area of the upper fuselage, directly behind the pilot's seat and normally covered by the closed canopy be painted?   

 

John

@Tbolt can  answer this one, as soon as he wakes up, but until then, I think that area is painted OD on the bare metal Jugs just like the OD antiglare in front of and behind the canopy, and on camouflaged  P-47's  the same color as the exterior surface, but possibly dull dark green.  Where I'm not really certain, would be on the 56th FG P-47M's that had the bare metal in  which they were delivered painted in two-color schemes on the upper surfaces, but that's not the version you are modeling.

Mike

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1 hour ago, 11bravo said:

Thanks very much guys, it's greatly appreciated.   One last question, if I may-what color should the area of the upper fuselage, directly behind the pilot's seat and normally covered by the closed canopy be painted?   

 

John

 

Yes it would be OD as this area is painted as part of the external finish, so the anti-glare is painted here or the appropriate colour depending on the finish in the case of RAF or FAB aircraft.

 

Republic-Aviation-Farmingdale-P-47s-line

 

 

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54 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

@Tbolt can  answer this one, as soon as he wakes up, but until then, I think that area is painted OD on the bare metal Jugs just like the OD antiglare in front of and behind the canopy, and on camouflaged  P-47's  the same color as the exterior surface, but possibly dull dark green.  Where I'm not really certain, would be on the 56th FG P-47M's that had the bare metal in  which they were delivered painted in two-color schemes on the upper surfaces, but that's not the version you are modeling.

Mike

 

Reference the P-47M's if you look at photos there seems to be aircraft that were painted with the canopy closed, as they have NMF at the sides of the cockpit were the canopy masked it, so I paint these aircraft OD here. 

 

There is also M's that don't show this masking from the canopy so I assume that the canopy was removed for painting on these aircraft so I paint the camo colour, or black in the case of the 61st aircraft, here. Whether they masked the canopy rail area or just the rail itself I have no idea though.

 

 

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All correct. Yet there are exceptions, which is quite an obvious statement in these kind of discussions. Well, doubts would be a better word here. There are pics of OD camouflaged Razorbacks showing the shade of the area under the sliding hood clearly contrasting to camouflage paint and corresponding with interior colour. Still pics are black and white. I wouldn't go a step farther than doubt though, as these are 405th FG birds. The group aircraft where often delivered from VIIIth AF groups receiving new Bolts or converting to P-51s. In my opinion it is more than possible that the effect is the result of refurbishment before delivery and new paint contrasting with original one. But, there is an oddity and I am bringing it in.

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1 hour ago, greatgonzo said:

There are pics of OD camouflaged Razorbacks showing the shade of the area under the sliding hood clearly contrasting to camouflage paint

That may well be true, but I remember a thorough discussion a few years back regarding the coves under the rear quarter windows on P-40's, and one of the participants posted several color photos taken at the factory that showed that due to light refraction between the plexiglass and the underlying metal surface, the OD (or MAP equivalents in the case of  RAF aircraft) the coves appeared to be painted in a lighter color, which was assumed to be interior green. P-47 razorback photos show the same difference in tone. That being said, who knows what took place in the field, especially if that area had sustained battle damage, and in modeling, there are no absolutes, as you have correctly stated; so anything is possible. It appears that, for the most part, the paint applied to the coves on razorback  P-40's and P-47's at the factory was the same as applied to the surrounding surface.

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
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33 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

as you have correctly stated; so anything is possible

Not me. I really don't like this statement, as  it is far to general and opens door for unsupported speculations. When you start to study anomalies of finishes or equipment it usually turns out these are result of agreements between manufacturer and purchaser, or at least internal factory instruction. And usually it is possible to define the period when it was even possible with many aircraft being known to be excluded out of such 'strange finish pool'. Of course with thousands aircraft of one type produced not ordinary examples had to happen, yet it is always better to have an explanation for anomaly, and it better will  not be 'it could have happened', or 'they used whatever fell into their hands'.

This is general idea and not meant as personal to You :).

 

The pics I am talking about are clear close ups  and there is no doubt the effect is not generated by light games. True, it happens very often and may be misleading but not here. The thing is we cope against consequent US way of finishing fighter aircraft in these areas (under canopies and hoods) being valid for both Army and Navy, production process evidence and many pictures. It is up to modeller to decide what it was, yet in my opinion it would be better to recognise the whole background, or at least as much of it, as possible.

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28 minutes ago, greatgonzo said:

The pics I am talking about are clear close ups  and there is no doubt the effect is not generated by light games. True, it happens very often and may be misleading but not here.

 

I feel you are being over-confident here.

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@greatgonzo,

 

Kinda thought what you said is what I said, if I understand your post. There are several articles regarding how the area under the canopy of bubble canopy and razorback P-47's was painted, and they all pretty  much said the same thing, so that's why I made the statement regarding that area. I have exerpted  the section regarding this from the IPMS Stockholm article on U.S, aircraft colors, which is regarded by many to be pretty accurate, U.S. color expert Dana Bell also has written on the subject, but I don't have that link handy at the moment.  In fact, when I was building the 1/72 Hasegawa P-47D razorback as a No. 81 Squadron OTU aircraft, I painted the area under the canopy dull dark green, as it looked so much lighter to me than the surrounding area in the period b&w photos I had seen, but upon discovering 'new' information, I repainted that area to match the surrounding camouflage, as seen in the factory photo posted above. No offense taken, I was just posting what had been discovered and written regarding how those areas of the P-40 and P-47 were painted. It also makes sense that the area under the canopy of late production razorback P-47D's that were built after camouflage paint was discontinued would have that area painted grey, possibly neutral grey, due to the surrounding area being bare metal, and this is clearly seen in period photos. Is this a great and interesting hobby, or what?

Mike

 

According to the Erection and Maintenance manuals, the fuselage decking under the bubble canopy of the P-47D from the windscreen to the area aft of the cockpit armour plating, was to be painted Dark Olive Drab 41, the same colour being specified for the anti-glare area of the forward fuselage. Armour plating was specified to the same colour as the interior finish of the cockpit.

Another yet unresolved mystery is the turtleback area beneath the rearmost cockpit window of the razorback versions. Many variants have been called for, but the most likely choices (based on the available contemporary colour photographs) are Olive Drab for the early camouflaged aircraft, and some kind of medium grey further down in the production.

 

https://www.ww2incolor.com/gallery/us-army-air-force/45313/bare-metal-p-47d-razorback

 

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/58367-p-47d-22/

 

Hard to tell in this photo of the oft-photographed 'Kansas Tornado,' but either bare metal or grey cove area.

http://www.kiwimodeller.com/~kmodel/index.php/forum/d-day/29170-corran-s-d-day-build-p-47d-razorback

 

This is a photo from a P-47 discussion we had a while back- note how the area under the plexiglass appears like a lighter color, though we know the canopy is slid over an area painted OD (I think this was one of @Tbolt's posted photos from that discussion.)

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16485-strange-bubbled-canopy-in-p-47d-razorback/

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7 hours ago, greatgonzo said:

All correct. Yet there are exceptions, which is quite an obvious statement in these kind of discussions. Well, doubts would be a better word here. There are pics of OD camouflaged Razorbacks showing the shade of the area under the sliding hood clearly contrasting to camouflage paint and corresponding with interior colour. Still pics are black and white. I wouldn't go a step farther than doubt though, as these are 405th FG birds. The group aircraft where often delivered from VIIIth AF groups receiving new Bolts or converting to P-51s. In my opinion it is more than possible that the effect is the result of refurbishment before delivery and new paint contrasting with original one. But, there is an oddity and I am bringing it in.

 

I'm not sure how we got onto razorbacks, but most of the pictures I've seen are OD here for pre D-20 aircraft and NMF for post D-20 aircraft. There are a few pictures which look like they could have been painted something else and yes they could be repaired aircraft but, but no way of telling what that colour could be.

 

I've posted this photo before and the colour under the canopy is the exact same OD as the rest of the aircraft. 

 

51413874000_913098b43d_o.jpg

 

 

Now look at this picture of the same model from a different angle, the colour looks much closer here. But the difference is down to weathering. I've got other P-47's which are weathered differently and it hard to see a difference in the OD.

 

51412999856_a9240ba3a2_o.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, 72modeler said:

Kinda thought what you said is what I said

Cool then :).

Turtle buck under the hood was NMF for silver aircraft just like Tbolt said.  No reason to think different. And light reflexes are doing their job on many pics.

OD anti reflex panels are camouflage colour here and so was the top fuselage space under bubble canopy.

 

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

I feel you are being over-confident here.

Who knows, but I disagree. Are You sure we are talking about the same picture? If not, glad to send You mine, so You can admit I am not ;).

Edited by greatgonzo
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