Monogram 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt




$ Currently (May 2003) out of production


Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1973 boxing


I don't usually forego the historical background on a kit, but in the case of something so well known as the P-47, I figured you wouldn't hold it against me. The date of this particular issue is1973 on the box and 1967 on the instructions. Now I'm not sure how many of you have built this kit before, but I have and can tell you that it is one of those kits done after Monogram realized that detail and accuracy was to be more important than working doo-dads. This kit has none of that.

Molded in dark OD plastic, there are remarkably few parts for an aircraft of this size. The well detailed interior consists of a tub, instrument panel with rudder pedals and a control stick. The builder has to use a decal for the instrument panel face as there is otherwise no detail. A nicely formed engine/intake combination will slot right into the cowling and provide room for a spinning Hamilton Standard prop. The canopy can be built either open or closed. Wheel well detail is good as is the tail wheel well. Things under wings include a pair of bombs and there is the flattened drop tank for the centerline. Tank plumbing is part of one fuselage half.

As the model presents itself, it can be built as a D-25 as there is no fin fillet as was found on the -30, though late war -25s could be retrofitted. The kit does come with enclosed wheels with a diamond tread pattern. Those that are really into the P-47 can tell you that one has to be very careful to match the subtype to the markings used. From what I have been told, these markings are applicable. If you don't like them, there are LOTS of aftermarket sheets for the P-47 so something suitable can easily be found.

With fewer than 35 total parts, construction of the kit should be really quick and easy. 5 nicely done construction steps will get one to the painting and decaling stage rather quickly. Markings are provided for two aircraft. First is the box art plane of ace Francis Gabreski in what is listed as light grey and olive drab uppers with light grey lowers. It has full D-Day stripes which will requite some careful masking and painting. The other is an RAF Thunderbolt II from the CBI in medium grey/dark green over light grey. Of course, there are appropriate RAF colors for this and I imagine that the Gabreski plane was painted in RAF colors as well, though research will need to be done to verify that.

Tony Hodun adds: "Monogram not only did their homework, they chose a very interesting RAF Thunderbolt II that likely saw postwar combat in Java!    HD 185 was a P-47D-25, it was issued to 261 Squadron in 8/44, saw combat in CBI from 9/44, was withdrawn and overhauled late 44, issued to 258 Squadron 2/45, flew with that unit in combat until war's end, and in peace until late 1945, when it was transferred to 81 Squadron (and received these markings) on Java and served until 3/46.  Spitfire VIII equipped 81 Sqd. transferred it's Spits to the RIAF, many pilots went home tour expired, and 123 Squadron on Tbolts was withdrawn from combat and renumbered 81 Squadron in 6/45, did not see action against the Japanese. 81 Squadron flew combat missions against the uprising from airfields on Java 10-12/45. Ex Hurri II equipped 60 Squadron was equipped on Tbolts 7/45, saw no action in CBI, also flew combat on Java 10-12/45 until the uprising was put down. "

Decals themselves are 30 years old and are probably not useable. They are quite matte and in good registration though a bit on the thick side. The builder will have to salvage the instrument panel decal though I'd think that an Eduard brass set should have a replacement as well as some other enhancements.



Don't want to spend $30 on a nice P-47 bubbletop? You don't have to. Simply find one of these at a swap meet or the 'oldies' section of your favorite hobby shop. They can easily be found for under $10 and you'll have a super model when you are done.

Review kit courtesy of me. Below is a picture of a model done up in Peruvian AF markings that resides in the San Diego Aerospace Museum model collection.

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