Sheet #

Superscale 48-624 for P-47D-30 Thunderbolts




85 and 87 FS / 79 FG

Review By:

Scott Van Aken



Called the 'Jug' because of the similarity of its shape to a milk jug, the P-47 was initially the USAAF's premier escort fighter. When the P-51 came on the scene, the P-47 was transferred to ground attack duty. This was because of its ability to carry a large ordnance load, the ruggedness of the airframe and its radial, air-cooled engine. These engines were capable of running with entire cylinder banks shot off, something that no in-line water-cooled engine was able to do. 

In short time, the P-47 was in all theaters of operation, again, mostly as a ground attack aircraft in support of troops. No where was this more evident than in the Italian Campaign. In this theater, there wasn't the air opposition that was found in Western Europe. Not to say it was completely gone, just that there wasn't as much. In the last years of the war, when it was found no longer necessary to have camouflaged aircraft, units began adding color to their aircraft. Most of this was in the form or colorful fin and rudder markings, and Thunderbolt squadrons were not immune to this trend. In fact, some of the more colorful aircraft of the period were P-47s.

This sheet is designed for the the Hasegawa 1/48 kit. It includes two aircraft of the 79th Fighter Group. The markings are very similar as groups in the MTO (Mediterranean Theater of Operations) generally did not have codes as those in the UK. Here the planes were numbered and that number determined which squadron in the group the plane was assigned.

Aircraft  X71 was assigned to the 87th FS. While both aircraft have blue tails, this one has the yellow lightning bolts outlined in black. It also has a large unit insignia on both sides of the cowling.

Aircraft X01 is the Squadron Commander's plane from the 85th FS. This one has no black outline to the lightning bolts and has the required semi-nude figure as nose art on the left side, with the squadron badge on the right.

Both schemes would look very nice on any P-47 kit. There are enough insignia and data markings to do one of these aircraft.

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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