Building and detailing the old Revell P-47 Razorback (Part III)
aka "Who cares anymore!?!?!"
by Chris Sherland

Final construction


Flaps

The Jug's fowler type flaps represent a decent challenge. They are by no means easy, but they are not impossible. Planning and more planning before construction and mounting is essential to getting a good result.

I had elected early on to ditch the kit flaps and fabricate my own. I later rescinded this call, and salvaged the kit flaps after all. I would HIGHLY recommend using the kit flaps as they retain valid basic shape and need only fill and finishing. When you remove them however, the bottom portion has a wider chord than the top, this is due to the way fowler style flaps mount and function.

You can see early mounting holes drilled to accept the flap actuators explained below.

Miliput was used to flesh out the flaps' top and leading edge, as well as the inboard section that is covered by the wingroot when the flaps are up. Here you can see the side facades being added. These are not "accurate" in as much as the lightening holes are misrepresented, but they give a good feel.
I used a hand drill and some Jeweler's files to create the actuator bays. Again I must sing the praises of Milliput...it just never fails as a filler. Here are the actuator bays from the top and underside.
For mounting I used small brass "I" beams bent into shape and then epoxied into the actuator bays. The brass goes about 1/2' into the flap for added stability. I then mirrored the mounting holes in the flap bays themselves for the other end of the brass beams to mount into (see the first pic on this page).

Here are a couple of shots of the flaps test mounted. The plan is to paint them separately and then mount them for decaling weathering and sealer.


Landing Gear

The gear was made from brass and styrene rod and sheet. Nothing too special here, lots of measuring and test fitting. Rutman wheels and the kit doors are the only components not scratch built.

The scissor links were a pain in the a$$! I used sheet styrene and cut a template, but they were small and hard to work with. I'll be looking for a better way next time.


Prior to mounting inside the wings, the gear bays were fitted with a mounting cylinder for the MLG. I made these out of brass and epoxied them into place. The MLG shaft tips will be epoxied into these cylinders after basic painting tasks are complete.

Scribing Finals

I made a couple of custom scribing templates out of soda can and sheet styrene. The Jug has a LOT of access panels on the underside of the wings, and getting them consistent from wing to wing would need a template. I Xeroxed some scale drawings up to 1/32 and traced the panels onto the sheet. Then with a trusty #11 and some jewelers files I cut and trued the template guides.

The same thing was needed for the geometric lap joints on the tail feathers of the P-47. These are very distinct and I wanted them to be consistent as well. Soda can aluminum was used again, and the same drawings were enlarged and used to trace the pattern onto the aluminum sheet. One side is the elevator pattern, and the other is the pattern for the rudder. Simply flipping these templates over on their backs allows for both sides of the aircraft to get the same consistent scribing patterns.

The rudder and elevators were finalized and detailed with the scribing template and some sheet styrene.

Of note are the actuators for the elevators and all trim tabs. Mostly sheet styrene and brass rod. The light on the rudder tip was made with scrap clear rod and styrene tubing. Shaped with a dremel then polished.

Details

The wing tip lights were made out of clear shower curtain rings. I cut a basic pattern out, then made a "groove" lightbulb, painted it and mounted the lens. From there it was just some shaping with the dremel and files, then they got a final polish when the Jug was paint prepped.

I must admit to seeing this used on a number of other models, and also in a few tips book. It's not big news, but it works well!

The windscreen on the Razorbacked Thunderbolts was very unique. With a center brace the gunsight was offset, and the armored glass was applied inside the windscreen and mounted directly in front of the pilot's head position.

Clearly the kit canopy had to go, it is misshapen and as thick a a 2 X 4 in scale. Brian Cauchi sent me some vacs of the kit canopy and while they were much better scale wise, they still did not have the correct outline and shape. Squadron carries a replacement vac that is much more accurate and I procured one of them. It is a great vac piece and makes a lot of difference in the canopy and windscreen profile.

I used sheet styrene to both make the framework and the brace for the armored glass. The armor glass piece is just thick clear plastic cut and shaped.

Painting Prep

I completed the Rutman gunsight (from the update set) and fashioned a glare shield from thin brass rod and masking tape. Once these were in place I painted the interior of the windscreen and armor glass and mounted the windscreen.

I sanded the whole kit down with 600, then again with 800, and finally with 1K. I then went back looking for trouble spots and scratches, found em, and repeated the above in localized areas.

Once I was satisfied with the sanding I masked off the cockpit and wing lights with masking tape. The flap bays and cowling were masked using foam cut a little bigger than needed and "stuffed" into the openings.
Good old tissue was used for the tail gear bay masking.

In closing

At this point it's all about painting and weathering. You won't see an update on this old beast until I put a final sealer on it...you're probably pretty happy about that by now!

I hope these pages will be of some help to anyone wishing to work the Revell T-Bolt over. It's not an easy job, nut it's not extraordinary either. It's all about patience and creative thinking when you get into a bind. I re did at least a third of the scratched stuff when my first attempt failed or was measured incorrectly, and always bowed to patience when I got stuck.

These Revell kits are worth the effort. The best thing about them is that they stand as decent OOB efforts, but they also form a great canvas for taking them as far as you want to. Look at Scott Murphy's D-25 or John Formon's build of the Bubbletop and see just how far that can be.

Construction begins on the Revell Tony once I get the landing gear on the Jug. Gonna do some cockpit work and some gear bay detailing, but the Tony will be largely OOB. I need a serious break from detailing!

References

  • Mustang and Thunderbolt Aces of the Pacific and CBI (Osprey) ISBN 1-85532-780-5
  • America's Hundred Thousand (Dean) ISBN 0-76430072-5 (This is simply a MUST HAVE for USAAF and USN WWII fighter reference!!)
  • Aero Detail #14: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt ISBN 4-499-22648-1
  • Warbird Tech #23: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt ISBN 1-58007-018-3
  • Squadron/Signal Walk Around #11: P-47 Thunderbolt (Drendel) ISBN 0-89747-375-2
  • Squadron/Signal In Action #67: P-47 Thunderbolt (Davis) ISBN0-89747-161-X
  • Warbird History: P47 Thunderbolt (Hess) ISBN 0-87938-899-4
  • Pilot's Manual for P-47 Thunderbolt ISBN 0-87994-026-0
© Chris "Mo" Sherland
 
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