1/48 Tamiya P-47D and

U.S 2 1/2 Ton 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck Diorama

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Dec 26 2014



For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Tamiya P-47D and 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck Diorama.

Designed in 1939 as an escort fighter, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was one of the largest and heaviest fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine. It was heavily armed with eight 50 caliber machine guns, four in each wing. When fully loaded the P-47 weighed about 8 tons. Nicknamed the "JUG" because its profile was similar to that of the common milk container of the time, the P-47 was one of the main USAAF fighters of WWII.

The model here depicts a P-47D-25 Bubble Top. Many versions of the P-47D, D-1óD-40, were produced. The one version that marked a major external change was the D-25. The D-25 replaced the Razorback type with an electric powered canopy. The Bubble Canopy was employed on each version produced after the D-25.

U.S 1/2 Ton 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck
During WWII the allies had a fleet of some 500,000 heavy trucks. One of the most important trucks of the fleet was the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 airfield fuel truck, used by the USAAF to fuel aircraft and service their engines.

Three versions of the fuel truck were produced. The largest capacity fuel truck had a 750 gallon tank. Fuel was transferred from the from the tank to the aircraft via an engine powered pump at the front of the tank. The pump, which was accessed via doors on the left side of the truck, was also used to fill the large tank up to three quarters of its capacity. The manhole on the top of the tank was used to fill the tank up to the top. The engine powered pump gave the fuel truck an advantage over previous pump-less trucks, it was deployed on all fronts of WWII, from Europe to Asia.


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Building the Tamiya P-47D and Airfield Fuel Truck kits were pretty much an out of the box build, except for the PE seat belts I added to the pilots seat. Overall, construction for both kits is straight forward just following the instructions, which are very goodóthe illustrations are excellent. The parts fit for both kits was superb, you almost did not need glue.

To paint the P-47D model, I used Alclad Polished Aluminum over a MM Gloss Black primer, and MM Olive Drab, using Tamiya tape to mask the Olive Drab. The wheel wells and the inside of the wheel well doors were painted with MM Interior Green. The Airfield Fuel Truck was airbrushed with MM Olive Drab. I deviated slightly from the paint guide by painting the fire extinguisher Floquil signal Red.

Decals for both the P-47D and the Airfield Fuel Truck were excellent. The were easily applied and adhered well to the model. The P-47D kit provided markings for two aircraft. I chose to use the decals for the aircraft flown by Lt.Col. Benjamin Mayo of the 84th FS. 78th FG. Duxford Airbase, 1944. Note that the P-47D kit provides invasion stripes for the underside of the aircraft, I chose not to use them.

To sum up, these two kits were easy and enjoyable to build. Tamiya has done a great job with these two kits. The external detail is good, the parts fit is excellent, and the decals were excellent. I recommend these two kits to any modeler.

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson