Monogram 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt




$ Long out of Production (May 2003)


Two  planes


Scott Van Aken


1977 boxing




With the huge influx of P-47 stuff reviewed over the last few months, I think I can safely leave the history section out for now. The Monogram P-47D 'razorback' version has been around for quite a while, though not as long as the older bubbletop kit. Though both kits are by Monogram, there are differences between the two. If you'll compare the sprues of this with the earlier kit, you'll see what I mean. However, one thing for sure, it is equally as simple a build, equally good detail level and equally as nice a model when done.

This particular kit offers a few things different from the bubbletop and that is most obvious when it comes to things under the plane. Though the bombs are still there, so are a set of rocket tubes. These were not very widely used as they slowed down the plane and really were not much loved. It wasn't until the zero-length lower wing stubs were introduced late in the war that carrying rockets was less of a hassle. Also changed is the fuselage centerline drop tank. This one is of the 108 gallon paper variety. It would actually be a lot nicer to have had these as optional items to carry on the wing pylons instead of the bombs, but there you have it.

Another difference from the bubbletop kit is that this one has the 'standard' Curtiss-Electric prop. Real P-47 enthusiasts will be careful to note whether the plane they are modeling has the correct prop (there was also an asymmetrical version) and whether the shape of the lower engine cowl flaps is the correct size. I'll leave it up to the experts to make a choice on the accuracy of the kit vs the decal options that are provided. One thing for sure, there are oodles of aftermarket decals for the razorback D so finding something shouldn't be too difficult. That aftermarket may be needed as on this kit, the decals are also 25 years old which puts to question their usability.

Markings are provided for two aircraft, each from the same unit and each with the same code! However, they are not the exact same plane as the serials and artwork is different. First is the box art plane, one that has been produced by every kit maker that has done a P-47D razor back with the possible exception of Otaki. I believe the Testors/Hawk kit had these as well. This plane is OD over Neutral Grey with a red engine cowl front and rudder. Naturally, the red bits will have to be painted. The other is in natural metal with D-Day stripes on the lower surface of the wings and fuselage. It also has a red rudder and forward cowling. An OD anti-glare panel is in front of the windscreen. Decals are well printed and a bit on the matte side. They have not yellowed much at all so could still be viable.



Even though you can get a nice Hasegawa kit for $25-30 and an even nicer Tamiya version for $40, the Monogram kit can be found for under $10 and for most people will be just as nice looking on their shelves as the more expensive versions. It is a kit I've built and makes into a very nice model.

Review kit courtesy of me. Below is an image of this kit in markings of a plane I saw in a picture on the wall of HQ USAF Iceland.

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