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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Academy Republic P-47 (1 of 3)

If you have been reading this blog during its two years of existence, you’ll know that I have an abiding respect for P-47s. Not only do I find it an interesting type, but there are dozens of examples with elaborate nose art and we have a superlative kit available in 1:72. That is a great combination for the Profoundly Average Modeller.

Alas, I am currently out of Tamiya P-47s. But I did find a half dozen Academy examples during a recent stash crawl. While not as gloriously incandescent as the Tamiya version, it is a good serviceable modern kit that won’t have you rolling out your inventory of creative invective. The detail is certainly better than the aged Hasegawa version. While I did pause for a moment over the Kora conversion kit for a field-converted two-seat P-47, my plan at present is to give myself some less troublesome builds.

I had recently picked up Xtradecal X72153, a sheet of war-weary P-47 squadron hacks. The rules for these non-combat aircraft are considerably more relaxed than their frontline brethren, so you tend to get all sorts of odd tail and cowl colors along with the usual nose art. Another advantage is that the subject hasn’t gotten that much mainstream attention, so most of the schemes on the sheet were new to me at least.

So I decided to take 3 of the remaining P-47s (two razors and one bubble) and put them into markings from this sheet. I feel like I can practically build a P-47 model in my sleep (some would say that’s how I must build all of my models) so there isn’t much to say about the construction. Fit fine, filler minimal. In fact the only time-consuming thing was masking and painting them, due primarily to all those stripes and cowl colors I mentioned. Today’s example required a red white and blue cowl, along with yellow stripes on both vertical and horizontal tail and wing surfaces.

Since this is the P-47 with the disaster attached I thought I would get it out of the way first. I had just put the nose art onto the cowling (a parrot with a telescope) and had applied some AeroSet. You can see where this is going. When I put the model down to dry for a while I found a glob of melted decal stuck to my thumb. I’ll spare you the details (and the language) but it was a total mess. I eventually decided to consolidate this with another example on the same decal sheet. Instead of a parrot, we have a dog (or maybe a horse; not every squadron artist was Vargas). This now carries the reviled “representative markings”, meaning it doesn’t represent an actual aircraft, but an amalgam of two. Still 5 Emergency Rescue Squadron, still with a red/white/blue cowling, still based at Boxted in the UK, still 1944. Actually, this one was a bit snakebit from the beginning in any case; I managed to overlook the blown canopy – even though I have a Pavla example of this variation in the stash – until after construction was completed. Times like this are when I doubt my resolve to display all completed models on this blog. Bah!

This is completed model #420 (#1 for the year), finished in January of 2013. 

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