Monogram 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt
KIT #: 5302
PRICE: $4.00 from on line auctions
DECALS: See review
REVIEWER: Chris Baltrinic
NOTES: Currently (2004) out of production


What can I say about the P-47?  The Thunderbolt has always been one of my all time favorite aircraft. I think we all know the history of this aircraft—it was the heaviest, most durable and well armed allied fighter of WW2. It is unique among other Allied fighters with its 8 x .50 caliber guns and loaded weight of over 13,000 pounds. Yet, with all that weight, its massive water injected R-2800 could propel it to speeds faster than even the P-51 at high altitudes. It really only had two weak points: mediocre climb rate and range. Climb rate was not a huge issue since the P-47 had plenty of time to climb before engaging the Luftwaffe over the sky’s of Europe.

 I think it was Francis Gabreski who said “The Mustang was a fine plane to get your picture taken in, but if you wanted to fly into combat and come back alive, you would  take a Thunderbolt.”  I could not find the exact quote, but I think that was pretty close.



 Most people know about Monogram kit. Old, raised, yet nice panel lines, and can be built into quite a good and accurate replica with  little hassle. It also has very good fit for a kit of its age. For those that don't know about the kit, please visit this preview.


I had this kit sitting around for a while when all the sudden I needed a D-Day theme for a local modelers meeting here in San Diego. I had an Aeromaster sheet with full D-Day stripes for a 353rd FG Razorback. Since the cowl checkers on the decal sheet were fitted for the Monogram kit, I had no excuse to save them for a Tamiya or Hasegawa wunder kit. Also, I was pressed for time and the Monogram kit could be thrown together muy pronto. 

I made just a few modifications to the kit. I put a brass prop shaft into the propeller and drilled out the engine to insert a corresponding shaft to receive it. This insured against the dreaded drooped prop profile. Secondly, I replaced the kit guns with .042 inch stainless steel tubing. I recommend this as it goes a long way to making the finished product look more like a model and less like a toy. It also makes sanding down the leading edge of the wing much easier. I admit, however, I did not do  a great job at this as I was determined to have this be a fun, quick, low stress build ( I even glued the wings on AFTER painting and decaling). I simply drilled holes in the leading edge of the wing with a drill press. Well, needless to say, it is difficult to drill accurate holes on a curved surface and I fell victim to drill bit travel. Having said that, the new guns are marked improvement over the plastic stubs that come with the kit.


While I have long since converted to Acrylic paints, I did a retro paint job on my jug with Model Master Enamels. The underside was painted Medium  Grey and the upper surfaces, if I remember correctly, were ANA OD Green. Invasion stripes were compliments of Floquil Reefer White and a home brew of faded black. The yellow cowling was painted Floquil Reefer Yellow ( I love Floquil Reefer White and Yellow, they are airbrushable straight from the bottle and are very very opaque).

A coat of Future and the Aeromaster Decals went on with no problems


 I was actually quite impressed with the final result, considering my attitude while building the kit. Maybe I should attack more projects with the “I don’t care, I just wana have fun” attitude. I totally recommend this kit to salty modelers looking to save a few bucks as well as those just cutting their teeth in our little glue sniffing world. You can still find them all the time on eBay and you won’t have to part with much green stuff to get one.



Just the Decal Sheet Instructions Ma’am.

Chris Baltrinic

November 2004

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