Hasegawa 1/32 P-47D-30/40 'European Theater'
|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/32 P-47D-30/40 'European Theater'|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Another of those aircraft about which there is a ton of material both in book form or via the internet. The Thunderbolt was the USAAF's hope for an escort fighter for its heavy bomber force, but the aircraft was just too thirsty to be really usable in that role, even after long range tanks were installed the the early P-47D versions. The later P-47s were built with an all around clear vision canopy and it was with this variant, that the Thunderbolt earned most of its accolades as a fighter bomber. The radial engine helped to stave off engine failure from ground fire and made the plane powerful enough to haul the usual mass of under wing ordnance that the USAAF placed there.
Aside from the few high-powered P-47Ms and those redesigned long range P-47Ns used in the Pacific, the P-47D-30/40 was the last of the standard Thunderbolt line. All of the previous modifications were incorporated in these planes with the later -30s getting a new dorsal fillet to help with lateral stability. Many earlier 'bubble tops' were retrofitted with this item.
It was the D-30/40 that soldiered on post war with the Air National Guard and hundreds of them were sold to friendly countries with France probably getting more of these reliable aircraft than anyone else. The plane would have done well in the Korean War, but the far East was already stockpiled with Mustang parts so it is the P-51 that was used in that conflict.
This is the first reboxing of this kit by Hasegawa and will not be the last! From what I can tell, there is no difference in the sprues provided in this kit from the earlier boxing, so I'll refer you to TC's preview for that information. What I can tell you is that the only parts not used are the other three props, so you can consign them to your spares bin for use on other big scale P-47s. Rather than show a confusing mass of parts, I've reproduced the parts guide from the instructions.
The kit is superbly molded, as you'd expect from Hasegawa. A preview build complained of long sink areas on the upper and lower wing and those are still there. They should be easy to fill as there is little detail in these areas. You'll also find ejector pin marks on the gear legs and such as apparently those are impossible to work around.
The kit provides quite a few options during construction. A few of these are open or closed canopy, open or closed fuselage waste gate doors, bombs or fuel tanks for the wing pylons, clear or solid wing tip lights, raised or lowered flaps, spoked wheels or wheel covers and whether to build a version with the fin fillet or not.
The cockpit is quite complete and one may choose a decal or raised detail for the instrument panel. A pilot figure is also provided for those who think their planes should be manned. You also get a full engine and the cowling is designed in sections so that you could leave a panel off if you so desired to add extra detail to the engine. The ordnance/drop tanks are held in with polycaps so you don't have to worry about them getting in the way during construction.
Instructions are typical Hasegawa in that they are superbly done with Gunze paint references. The huge decal sheet is printed by Cartograf, so no worries about color or setting solution compatibility. In fact, it is so large that it would not totally fit on the platen of my scanner.
There are markings for two planes on the sheet, both in overall unpainted metal with OD anti-glare panels. First is the box art plane of the 325nd FG (printed 352 in the sheet), 15th AF CO, Robert Basler in 1944. Odd that the plane has a 1945 serial number so this may not be totally correct, even though the Fiscal year starts in late 1944. In fact, the plane is very much marked more like a post war P-47 with the serial under the wing. The other is 'Big Ass Bird' of Howard Park of the 513 FS/406 FG in Feb of 1944. The superbly done decal sheet will take care of most of the red markings on this one but you'll have to paint the front of the cowling to match.
Another superb big scale Thunderbolt and one that I'm positive most Thunderbolt fans will want to add to their collections.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your local retailer or ask them to order it for you.
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