Tamiya 1/72 P-47 Thunderbolt
Good ol' Squirt II has become a bit of a cliché since Kits-World came out with the decals for it in various scales. But what the hell, it's a pretty cool scheme and besides, who doesn't like a nekkid lady on their model airplane?
The Tamiya kit is very good indeed, in fact it's the first I've built that actually lives up to their reputation for fit and finish. After the difficulties I had with their Skyray and Mosquito kits this was a joy to build. The fit of all parts was darn near perfect and I used virtually no filler, other than a bit of Mr. Surfacer here and there.
Paint is Testors Model Master Olive Drab, Humbrol 64 Neutral Grey, Humbrol 14 French Blue, and Model Master acrylic Zinc Chromate Yellow. Invasion stripes are Tamiya XF-2 Flat White and Humbrol 33 Flat Black, the former also being used for the cowling and tail ID stripes. I read somewhere that Model Master Euro Dark Green is a good match for the unique cockpit green used by Republic and since I happened to have that paint on hand I used it.
I didn't go too mad with detailing, the kit really doesn't need much to improve it. I used an Eduard Zoom set for the cockpit and a few landing gear bits, added wiring to the engine and brake lines to the gear legs and replaced the kit canopy with a Falcon vacform. I replaced the Eduard instrument panel with one from Yahu Models as they are far superior to Eduard's pre-painted stuff which I am not a big fan of.
This is the first time I've used Kits-World decals and I must say I was very impressed with them. They are thin and beautifully printed with great register and colour density. A bit of Micro Set and Sol settled them into the details very nicely. If I have one very minor nitpick it's the kill marking under the cockpit which is oddly proportioned; the white circle around the swastika is too large when compared to the photos of this aircraft. I didn't have a suitable replacement so I used it as is. Close examination of the photos of this aircraft show it to have most, if not all, of the standard P-47 stencilling. Kits-World only supply a bit of stencilling so most of it came from the kit decal sheet. They also missed the wing walkways on their colour profiles but again, these are visible in photos, at least on the left side anyway. Presumably they were on both. Okay, I guess I have three minor nitpicks....
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