Hasegawa 1/72 P-47D Thunderbolt


B 8




Three versions: 354 FS, 66 FS and 81 Sq


Scott Van Aken






The P-47, known as the 'Jug' because of a similarity in shape between it and a milk jug, was the first truly decent offensive fighter used by the USAAF in Europe during WWII. Hampered only by relatively short range, the Thunderbolt has superb firepower in the form of 8 .50 cal machine guns, a great engine in the turbocharged R-2800 and a superior airframe that could take a great deal of punishment and keep on flying. It was this rugged airframe that endeared the P-47 to its pilots and along with its air-cooled engine, made it a perfect ground attack aircraft.

Thunderbolts were flown by many of America's aces in Europe including Gabreski and Eagleston just to name a couple. It was the premier escort fighter until replaced by the more long-legged P-51 Mustang. From there it went on to ground attack with the 9th and 15th AF in France and Italy. During the war it was flown by Brazilian units in the Italian campaign, Mexican units in the Philippines and by the British in Burma. Postwar the Jug was flown by ANG units and many of our allies around the world until replaced by jets.




 Hasegawa's P-47 has been around since the early 1980's. It was one of the first of a series of new kits that featured engraved panel lines instead of the raised lines found before that. It has adequate cockpit detail with a decal for the instrument panel. The rest of the kit is also well detailed but it suffers from not having boxed in wheel wells, a trait we come to expect from kits today. Underwing stores include either drop tanks or 500lb bombs.

The kit is relatively devoid of sink marks though on all the kits of this I have built, there have been some on the upper wing and occasionally you will find a few along the fuselage. The engine is represented by a full row of cyliders in front, and a half row in the rear along with the firewall. Overall the molds are still nice a crisp though some have a small amount of flash.




This is  probably one of the most trouble free kits I have ever built. Everything fits very well. The only problems are the aforementioned sink marks and the fact that you have to cut the doors apart to model the kit with wheels down. I never seem to get the doors properly cleaned up. There are also no positive locators for the inner main gear doors and the tail wheel doors. Makes a bit of a mess to attach.

The wing pylons are part of the lower wing so building a clean aircraft will require some surgery. Cleanup of the seam around the lower turbocharger exhaust is also a bit of a pain, but with time can be cleaned up nicely. I know this is a bit short on construction, but the kit really does fit extremely well and there is little I can say about it!




 Finding a USAAF P-47D Bubbletop in a scheme of other than natural metal is challenging to say the least. By the time this version was in service, there was no real need to use camouflage. The aircraft depicted here were all painted with Metallizer non-buffing aluminum and had the anti-glare panels painted in black or olive drab. The first kit shown was built with kit decals. The nice thing about this kit is that the cowling doesn't have to be painted with the rest of the kit. In this case it was painted yellow before reattaching it. Kit decals were used and though a bit thick, worked very well.

The next kit, LM-C, is also using kit decals, this time from the Thunderbolt double kit of a P-47 and A-10. True Details resin wheels were used with this one, but the kit ones are just fine. Just above is another natural metal aircraft using kit decals, this time from the Minicraft boxing. The black fuselage stripe is a decal from Microscale's solid color sheets. Had I known what a pain it was to put on, I would have painted it! The final kit (also in natural metal), was built using some Mexican AF decals. The stripes on this one are Scalemaster stripes and were equally as big a pain as the one mentioned above. This decal sheet included the white nose scallop, but it just didn't work out at all well so was left off. Later P-47Ds had a small strake on the upper fuselage just in front of the fin for extra stability. This was made of plastic card and glued in place prior to painting. 




 A really nice kit that builds into a great model. What's more, it is the kind of kit you can recommend to a beginner, it fits so well. If you haven't built one of these, and P-47s are something you like, I can only recommend you buy one. In my opinion, it is still the best 1/72 P-47 available.

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