is my 1/48 Monogram P-47D Razorback, customized with many scratch-built
details, and finished as ‘Dallas Blond’, a colorful jug flown by the
‘Checkertail Clan’ in the Mediterranean theater.
being my first model since I joined the U.S. Air Force, I started it with the
idea that I would finish it in a weekend, straight out of the box. I’m not
sure what happened, but before I knew it this baby turned into an almost-all-out
effort to kick the detail up a notch. The kit is a decent one, with some
noticeable in-accuracies, but great value for the money. To make a long story
short, 5 months later, and after much scratch building, I finally finished
‘Dallas Blond’. I must say that it took 5 months because I naturally keep
very busy, not simply because of the work I put into it.
first area of attention was the cockpit. The cockpit was detailed with scratch
built seat belts, gun sight details, throttle, a map, and a headrest that was
made from real leather! The N-3 gun sight was courtesy of Cutting Edge, while I
scratch built the mount for the back up ‘ring and bead’ sight, and added the
sighting lens cut from clear styrene. The belts were made from masking tape, cut
to size and painted. The buckles are sheet styrene, and the map is a folded bit
of paper. The rear view mirror above the windshield was scratch built using a
fashioned piece of sprue, then super glued to a metallic candy bar wrapper to
replicate the actual reflective surface.
the fuselage went together, I detailed the R-2800 and ducting underneath it. The
engine was detailed with copper wire, to represent the pushrods and harness.
of the more tedious tasks in building this kit was in joining the wings to the
fuselage, and cleaning them up. The wings are all very thick on the trailing
edges, and I spent quite a bit of time sanding away the edges to get them
thinner. While I was doing this, I cut away the elevators, and glued them in a
more realistic ‘relaxed’ position. I had to replace all the trim tab
actuators on all the control surfaces after I finished sanding, since they went
away with the extra plastic.
with most Monogram kits, fit is not perfect, and filler was used on most of the
seams. Anyone who has built a 1/48 P-47 knows that there is usually a tricky
seam right through the wheel wells that can be quite difficult to get rid of.
The problem is that the raised grooved detail is lost if you fill and sand the
seam like normal, resulting in a bald spot where the seam once was. After much
soul searching, I went an alternate method and scratch built the wheel wells
with sheet styrene. I’m not sure which Evergreen product number I used, but
the styrene sheet I used had lines/grooves scribed into it, so all I had to do
was cut the sheets to the shape of the wheel wells, and glue them in place.
Presto, seams eliminated, detail intact.
one of the small inaccuracies of the monogram kit is the alignment of the 4
Browning 50 cals in the leading edges of the wings. They should be parallel to
the ground, not the leading edge, as on the kit. To resolve this issue, I cut
the kit iterations off, and drilled new holes, properly aligned. Next I cut
brass tubing to the desired length (Tarmac product), and super glued the new
barrels into the leading edges. The pitot tube was also done in a similar
Squadron vacuum formed canopy was detailed with a single piece of copper wire
across the front to simulate the brace/ handhold in the real aircraft, and the
frame is painted scotch tape, cut in strips and laid in place.
details included the addition of scratch built nav lights, formation lights (MV
Lenses), landing light (MV Lens), bomb braces, sway braces, air conditioning
intake, gun camera portal, True Details wheels, and radio antenna.
model was finished with airbrushed Model Master paints, and clear coated with
Future. Cutting Edge decals of
Dallas Blond were applied, and sealed with Model Master Acrylic flat coat. The
noseart on the sheet is well done, however the sheet comes with no stencils, and
indeed is missing some markings. I had to hand paint the cowl flap checks since
one decal from the CE sheet is printed backwards. Finally, I weathered the model
with pastels, graphite, and dry brushing.
All in all, this was a great project to get me back into model building.
I tried many new things with this kit, and it definitely challenged me along the
way. Despite some inaccuracies and fit problems, it looks great when finished,
and is above all, readily affordable.
am in the U.S. Air Force, based at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. I’m assigned to the
517th AS, the ’Firebirds’, flying the C-130H Hercules in the airlift
capacity throughout the Pacific, Asia, and the Artic. My job is working on the
T-56A-15 turbo prop that powers the Herc, and it is a challenging one. My time
with this squadron has already brought me to many different parts of the world,
and I have had many wonderful experiences thanks to the Air Force. Recently, I
got the fantastic opportunity to ride in an F-15E Strike Eagle, of the 90th
Fighter Squadron, the “Pair O’ Dice”, back in July. I have pictures of
that wonderful experience here:
my next model project is the 90th FS flagship, the same aircraft I flew that
day! The 1/48 Revell kit, Black Box cockpit, Aires burner cans, and Eduard photo
etch round out my Strike Eagle package. Until then, good modeling, and stay
Edge decals sheet # CED48127 P-47C/D Nose Art 2
Edge N-3 gun sight
navigation lights and gun sights
vacuum formed canopy
Details P-47 wheels