Matchbox 1/72 P-47 Thunderbolt
|PRICE:||63 pence when new|
|REVIEWER:||Carmel. J. Attard|
|NOTES:||Pavla upgrade parts used.|
P-47 Thunderbolt was the biggest and heaviest single-seat piston-engine
fighter to see combat in WWII. It was a mighty warplane which dwarfed
its rivals but which was to become one of the most influential aircraft
of the war and the most
Between May 1941 and December 1945 a total of 15,683 Thunderbolts of all types were manufactured and at least 6,500 were in front line service at the end of the war in 1945. More than 20 countries operated the P-47 until its retirement.
The kit follows the
usual Matchbox style with parts in two color plastic and being basically
accurate though lacks any fineness whatsoever with particular presence of trench
deep surface detail but basically limited to control surfaces and several raised
panel lines. Fit of parts was good and filler was required at wing root joints.
One major complain was the thickness of canopy in
that it was clear. A vac-form one from Pavla set provided the right replacement.
Incidentally I also built the P-47 “Silver Lady” in its later life with Malcolm
Hood that was also provided in the same Pavla detail set. The replacement vac-form
canopies required careful trimming using a sharp razor blade until they fitted
nicely on the respective P-47s. The Matchbox kit comes with two decal options;
fighters, American P-47s carried highly colorful unit and individual
markings during operations in the European Theatre. No standard scheme
applied, most fighter groups could be identified by particular tail colors
and nosebands painted around the engine cowlings. In addition combat pilots
adorned their Jugs with fanciful insignias and flamboyant nicknames as
“Little Chief”, “Silver Lady” and “
The Matchbox kit of the P-47 proved to be a straightforward assembly. A certain amount of small details enhanced the model considerably and the following additions were made. The cockpit coaming and instrument panel was lacking, this was made from scrap plastic shaped to suit. Side panel detail was also added and seat straps decorating the seat were made from cut to size masking tape. A forward gun sight was fixed over the coaming. Engine cowling gills were tapered to a sharp edge. A small air intake was opened at the lower end of the cowling front and a separating panel between radial engine and the lower intake was added made from shaped plastic card. Exhaust outlet under fuselage also opened by drilling and shaping with needle files.
The undercarriage legs were shown in the wrong way round on the instruction sheet, these were fixed in correct mode. These were also reshaped at upper end adjacent to the wheel wells. Two tail wheel doors, which were missing, were shaped from scrap plastic pieces and glued in place. A small fairing was also built up with Plasto filler positioned at the front of the tail wheel forming the Turbo Supercharger compartment air vent, which is behind the exhaust hood fairing. A thin nylon thread aerial also added at the rear upper fuselage while an aerial mast replaced the kit one with one made from a metal pin. A fixed tab was added to elevator and another one to starboard aileron. The exhaust gas gate at forward fuselage lower was not convincing and it was drilled open.
Missing formation light on fuselage and one at rear were added. A more detailed central fuel tank from Pavla resin set was added. Finally a bombs also coming from Pavla set, was added under each wing. Also coming from the Pavla set was an accurate pair of triple-tube 4.5-inch M10 rocket launchers. These were aligned with the guns as the pilot used standard gun sight to launch the rockets. These could have been fitted in place of the bomb racks but instead I fitted these on P-47 ‘Silver Lady’
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
October 1943 camouflage on P-47s was officially dropped from production
aircraft, so natural metal aircraft began to appear in theatre from early
1944. Under wing insignia were usually large to help avoid friendly ground
fire. Nose art was rife from an early stage. In June 1944 black and white
invasion stripes were added mostly to undersides but on occasions these were
wrapped round the entire fuselage and wings. All decals of the metal finish
P-47s came from Pavla set which also contained the resin parts. The ‘Red
Indian “ decals on the camouflaged P-47D came from Hasegawa offering while
‘Silver Lady’ and ‘
“Little Chief”, a Frog kit.
P-47 was the mount of Lieutenant Frank Klibbe, and is depicted as it
appeared in March 1944. Klibbe was assigned to the 61st Fighter
Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group then stationed at Halsworth.
P-47 was used to gain four of Klibbe’s seven confirmed Kills. During this
period the 56th was employed on long range escorts for bombers,
having received drop tanks in February.
P-47 D- 22RE
“Silver Lady” is a Hasegawa kit.
This is another P-47 assigned to 61st
Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group. This machine carries
seven German crosses and flown by such well-known aces as Gabreski, Lanowski
and Smith. The aircraft seemingly had a charmed life and completed countless
missions without a single abort.
building three scale models of the P-47D I felt that justice was done and was a
tribute to a very important fighter that without doubt gave its full share to
shorten the war in
Carmel. J. Attard
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page