Hasegawa 1/48 P-47D-25 Thunderbolt




$29.95 MSRP


Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Thunderbolt fans are pretty specific about just exactly which variant is appropriate with the markings that are being applied to it. It wasn't that long ago when most of us just considered there to be two P-47s versions; those with the bubble-top and those with the razorback. Not any more. Now we have to concern ourselves with the proper engine cowl flaps and the appropriate prop. You can add to that wheels and a few other items such as the application of wing pylons and the correct drop tanks.


When Hasegawa released their latest P-47 series back several years ago. It was finally that manufacturers started taking note of the differences and providing the needed bits and pieces for the those variants. This particular version, released in 1996 is for the D-25 variant. This version was the first with the newer 'bubble' canopy that brought much approval from pilots for the additional vision that it provided over the earlier Jugs.

As you can imagine, Hasegawa's kit is properly set up for the multiple variants role that modern kits must often partake. The biggest change from other boxings is the fuselage and canopy section. Fortunately for us, the two piece canopy can be displayed open as there are no worries about it fitting over the rear fuselage spine. The kit is as fully detailed as one expects from newer Hasegawa kits, with the appropriate engraved panel lines.

There are also a number of options in this kit to assist the modeler in building the perfect T-bolt. To start off with, there are two kinds of prop blades; one the asymmetric 'paddle' variety and the other rather straight-forward. I would have thought that perhaps a Hamilton Standard prop hub would be available for the straight-forward blades, but none is in the kit so one is pretty well stuck with the asymmetric Curtis-Electric prop. That being the case, one cannot build a -25 from this kit as it and the -27 used the Hamilton Standard prop. One can only do a -26, -28 and later from what is in the box. The kit also provided bombs for the wing pylons and the larger centerline drop tank. I'd have liked to have seen the 108 gallon paper tanks included as well as I do believe they were used more often. Two different hub options are also given with both the 'solid' and spoked hubs provided. You'll have to rely on photo reference to tell you which of the two to use.

Included in the box, but not shown as used for the two decal options provided is the additional fin fillet that was standard in later production -30s, but often retrofitted to earlier bubble-top aircraft. So where does that leave this kit? Well, I don't have a list of serial number/production block tie-ins so cannot tell you if the two aircraft marking options are appropriate or not. I can tell you that the instructions tell you to use the asymmetrical prop blades with both options, so I'll have to let the experts chime in with the news on that front.

The two planes on the decal sheet are the box art plane 'Angie' from the 512th FS/406th FG and it has an all black tail and stabilizers. The other option is 'Saucy Suzie' with a large red nose flash and from the 513th FS/406th FG. This one does not have the black tail. Both have D-Day stripes on the lower fuselage. All of the markings are provided as decals and while Hasegawa decals can take a lot of abuse, they don't always like setting solutions and the white is more of an ivory color.



With the recent release of the Tamiya P-47, I'm not sure just how popular this kit will continue to be. One thing for sure, it builds into a great model and is over $10 cheaper than the Tamiya kit!


P-47 in Action, Squadron Signal Publications.

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