Hobby Boss 1/72 P-47D 'Thunderbolt'
|$10.00 or so street price
|Scott Van Aken
|Easy Assemble Authentic Kit. 2009 release
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine. It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, and in the fighter-bomber ground attack roles could carry five inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds; over half the weight the B-17 bomber could carry on long-range missions (although the B-17 had a far greater range). The P-47, based on the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, was to be very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and, when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific Theaters.
The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces, notably those of France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.
Many modelers overlook Hobby Boss' easy assemble kits. I found the ones I built in the past to be nicely detailed, but as is typical of the genre, the seams are quite large. A bit of filler takes care of the seams so for most modelers, this is not an issue.As these are basically a snap kit, the cockpit detail is minimal at best and is all molded into the fuselage piece. There is no forward depth to it past the area where the instrument panel would be. The seat is molded in place.
The kit includes two wing pylons that hold 108 gallon paper long range tanks or bombs. There is also a centerline tank. I am not sure if Hobby Boss got the keel right so I will wait for those who know more than I to make that determination. Landing gear are sturdy and have separate wheels and doors. The attachment points are all large and the canopy is a single piece so no open cockpits on this.
The kit comes with both a Hamilton Standard and a Curtiss Electric prop though the prop decals are only for the Curtiss Electric version. There is a two row radial engine to put into the cowling and it is fairly nicely done.
Markings are for two planes. One is the box art plane, 'Big Ass Bird' with the 531 FS/406 FG. You will need to paint the large red nose flash as well as the invasion stripes. The other has red stripes on the tailplanes with a red forward cowling, prop hub, and cowl flaps. All the red bits will need to be painted. This aircraft was with the 527 FS/86 FG. Both options are unpainted metal with OD anti-glare panels. Markings are nicely printed though the fuselage insignia do not take into consideration the waste gate doors.
This is a nicely done kit, but continues the Hobby Boss tradition of this series in producing nicely tooled kits that offer both the beginner and more experienced builder a kit that will make into a nice model.
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