The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States between 1941–1945.
Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 pounds (1,103 kg). When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons (tonnes) making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war.
The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters.
In the box Based on Hasegawa's P-47D, and arguably still the best 1/32nd Jug on the market, Eduard's EduArt boxing uses the plastic Hasegawa parts along with two sheets of photo etch, one of which is coloured, and resin parts to transform this kit into a show stopper. Adding to that you also get an A2 size poster of Dottie Mae, superbly drawn by French artist Romain Hugault.
The basic Hasegawa kit was reviewed by Nigel Julian here
, who knows more about P-47s then anyone else I know, so I will just give a quick look at the plastic parts.
The plastic parts and moulded in a shiny grey colour with the kit having 177 parts, of which about 30 are unused, 13 clear parts and 12 polythene caps.
The parts are flash and blemish free, and although there are quite a few sink marks, I don’t believe any of them will be seen once the kit is assembled.
One area as noted by Julian is the shallow depression lines on the upper and lower wings, caused by the internal spars.
Fine engraved panel lines adorn the kit along with fasteners, with screw slots, and a few raised panels where appropriate.
The wings have several inserts to include in them, but if you wish to add the clear navigation lights then some surgery will be required to cut way the sold plastic parts on the upper and lower wings.
The main wing flaps are separate, and can be positioned dropped or up by using different hinge parts.
The engine is made up of six parts and is a fairly good representation of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine. Ignition harness is not supplied on the basic kit, but Eduard have supplied a photo etch one.
A choice of open or closed inter-cooler doors is offered.
Both Curtiss and Hamilton propellers are supplied and Eduard tell you in the instructions which prop is needed for each decal option.
The cockpit out of the box with out any of the Eduard upgrades is pretty good but does come with a smooth cockpit floor. A pilot figure with a harness is included if you wish to add him to the cockpit.
A choice of canopies is given with an open or closed option. The open canopy is made up of two parts, front windscreen and main canopy. The closed option is one piece. All the clear parts are blemish free.
The clear sprue also include the two wingtip navigation and under-wing formation light.
The wingtip navigation light needs cutting out to include the clear part, unless you can live with the solid plastic part.
Two 500lb GP bombs or two teardrop fuel tanks are supplied for the two underwing pylons, and a flat 165gallon fuel tank for the centerline station. The most disappointing part of the kit is the machine gun barrels, these are basically just plastic rods. These will need either drilling out or replacing with A.M items.
The polycaps supplied in the kit are for use with the external stores and fit into the pylons, so the stores can be fitted after painting.
The Eduard bits
As usual with one of Eduard's re-boxing kits, they have supplied a few extras to up the detail.
Two frets of Photo etch are supplied, one of with is coloured.
The majority of the coloured fret is for the cockpit, with a 14 piece instrument panel, which fits over the Hasegawa plastic part (the dials on the plastic part need to be taken off).
The sidewalls also get a ton of P.E to add detail, with the throttle levers being completely replaced with P.E.
A 6 part photo etch seat replaces the plastic part and has a 4 part harness to be fitted.
The canopy rail on the inside of the fuselage and the rear cockpit spine rail both get P.E parts.
As already mentioned the engine gets a etched ignition ring. This part looks to be a bit time consuming as it needs gluing in about 30 places.
The plain fret holds the parts for the exterior and undercarriage bays, with parts that go onto the bay doors.
The flaps also get new parts including end plates.
The fuel tanks get new P.E filler caps to cover the moulded on detail.
New resin wheels and tires are supplied which are way better then the kits plastic offerings.
An anti-shimmy tail wheel is also supplied to replace the plastic one.
The wheels have separate spoked hubs for the outside faces. The tires have a lovely tread pattern on them and are suitably flattened and bulged.
Last but not least is the inclusion of masks. These are the typical Eduard kabuki tape style and cover the edges of the main canopy, full windscreen masks and masks for painting the hubs on the wheels. There is also ma mask for the underwing light supplied.
Instructions and decals
The instruction booklet is A4 sized and will be all too familiar to anyone who has built an Eduard kit, with the build sequence taking place over seven pages in their usual style.
Any surgery required for the plastic parts are highlighted in red, and the inclusion of any P.E or resin parts appropriately marked. As the kit comes with three decal options any differences to the build are marked in blue.
Internal colours are given along the way for the Gunze Aqueous and Mr Color paints.
The decals are printed by Cartograf, so quality is all but assured. Stencils are supplied, but you will need to go online and find the Eduard PDF file for the positioning.
The three marking options that can be built from this boxing are -
P-47D-28-RA, Lt. Larry A. Kuhl, 511th FS, 405th FG, 9th AF, Saint Dizier, December 1944.
P-47D-26-RA, Lt. James R. Hopkins, 509th FS, 405th FG, 9th AF, Ophoven, Belgium, March 1945.
P-47D-28-RA, Lt. Francis Norr, 510th FS, 405th FG, 9th AF, Saint Dizier, France, January 1945.
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