Reviewed - Tamiya 1/48 P-47D "Thunderbolt"
Hey there everybody! With the Tamiya 1/48, P-47D finished I thought I'd take a moment and share my thoughts on this kit as well as share some pictures.
First released in 2002, this kit is from a fairly modern style tooling used for models these days, recessed panel lines, and plenty of detail out of the box can be found on this kit. While the kit in its entirety doesn't contain a huge allotment of parts it does present a fairly good and thorough buildup of the model. Although I must confess, I ditched the instrument panel included for one from Eduards Look Line of products that includes a pre-painted resin instrument panel that drops right in, as well as PE seatbelts, again already colored.
Everything on the model fit very well, including the Eduard bits, as a matter of fact, it was a direct drop-in replacement of the kit parts, no extra sanding, etc required, beyond needing a dab of CA glue versus Tamiya extra thin to secure it in place.
Construction of the model were fairly straightforward for a model aircraft, with the cockpit being built first, before adding it to the fuselage halves and then adding wings. The cockpit was fairly nice to build as the detail wasn't just on the sidewalls, but rather separate pieces where you could paint the details really well beforehand and then stick it all into the frame. Another nice feature was wing struts that not only form part of the wheel bays but also give the wings structural rigidity to help align and form the correct airfoil pattern.
Upfront a fairly decent depiction of the radial engine is present, with both banks stacked before adding them to the mount and adding that to the front of the now sealed fuselage. Various doors and such could then be added, closed or open, your preference, I chose everything open because why not. A few holes get added for armament later, and the wings could be glued up and added to the main body of the plane with no problem.
When building this model one must choose one of the two markings at this point as some parts are dependant on that but other than the canopy everything else was left off to paint the model. I chose to paint mine as «Little Chief.» There are many well-done decals to add to the model, they all laid down very well, with maybe the exception of the little chief himself and the band that wraps around the cowling of the engine, but with some decal setting solution and time it worked just fine.
Once all the decals were done, I was able to seal the model and add the final details like landing gear, antenna, pitot tubes, and guns. The final result was pretty stunning, but there was still one more thing to do, armament. Building the various drop tanks was very easy, very quick to paint, and attached solidly to the pylons included, something that doesn't happen often with other manufacturers.
Check out more about this model over on the model page here.