Hasegawa 1/32 P-47D '79th Fighter Group'
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Another great Hasegawa limited issue kit.|
I think we all know quite a bit about the P-47 so here is some background on the 79th Fighter Group.
Constituted as 79th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 13 Jan 1942. Activated on 9 Feb 1942. Redesignated 79th Fighter Group in May 1942. Moved to the Middle East, Oct-Nov 1942, and became part of Ninth AF.
Trained with P-40's while moving westward in the wake of the British drive across Egypt and Libya to Tunisia. Although many of the group's pilots flew combat missions with other organizations, the 79th group itself did not begin operations until Mar 1943. By escorting bombers, attacking enemy shipping, and supporting ground forces, the 79th took part in the Allied operations that defeated Axis forces in North Africa, captured Pantelleria, and conquered Sicily, the group being awarded a DUC for its support of British Eighth Army during that period, Mar-Aug 1943.
Assigned to Twelfth AF in Aug 1943 and continued to support British Eighth Army by attacking troop concentrations, gun positions, bridges, roads, and rail lines in southern Italy. Operated in the area of the Anzio beachhead, Jan-Mar 1944. Participated in the drive on Rome, Mar-Jun 1944, and converted to P-47's during that time. Flew escort and strafing missions in southern France during Aug and Sep 1944, and afterward engaged in interdictory and close support operations in northern Italy. Received second DUC for numerous missions flown at minimum altitude in intense flak to help pierce the enemy line at the Santerno River in Italy, 16-20 Apr 1945.
Remained overseas as part of United States Air Forces in Europe after the war. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US in Jun 1947. Inactivated on 15 Jul 1947.
This is another 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. 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. Actually some of those options are not needed as, according to the instructions, all the planes for the sheet have the spoked wheels and fin fillet. They also all use the same prop so you'll have a couple of spares for another project.
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 so large that it was a tiny bit too big to completely fit on the platen of my scanner. All three options are for, of course, the 79th FG. All are unpainted metal with OD anti-glare panesl and all have blue tails, though two of them are a lighter blue than the box art plane. Speaking of which, that one is for the HQ flight of the 79t and has alternating red cowl flaps and a very nice nose art. Next is 'Dove Andare Babe/Kooleys Komet' with the 87th FS and coded X71. The third option is X98, also with the 87th FS and named Miss Bette II. The fin lighting bolts are different on each aircraft so that is why there are three options provided. The decal sheet looks to be an in-house printing and is very nicely done.
So there you have it. Another fine limited issue kit from our friends at Hasegawa. If you haven't had a chance to build one of these, those who have say they are great. I'm sure there will be many more reissues to come.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your favorite shop or ask them to order it for you.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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