1/32 scale P-47D Thunderbolt (Razorback)
Information supplied by Chris Sherland
Redux 1/32 scale P-47D Thunderbolt (Razorback)
by Chris Sherland
The Revell 1/32 P-47 Thunderbolt was released in the early 1970s, and has stood the test of time as the only injection molded Thunderbolt in 1/32 ever released. J Rutman products released resin detail sets, then conversions both to fit the old Revell kits, then full resin kits of the Razorback, Bubbletop, and even the N model. Over 30 years has gone by and now a French company, Redux, has stepped up boldly with plans to release an injection molded multimedia kit of the P-47D Razorback in 1/32.
Some test shot elements made their way to me here in Colorado and I offer a preview here. Note that I am limiting my analysis due to the nature of test shots as well as having only the injection molded elements at hand.
The layout of the kits parts is not final yet but the elements I received for this initial preview were high quality injection molded parts in medium gray styrene. The parts that were included were the two fuselage halves, the cowling, the cowling cooling flaps molded in a single piece, three 2-part propeller assemblies (and a spinner cover for the Cutiss prop), two solid molded horizontal stabilizers (with elevators molded on), and two wing spar alignment rings that smack of the Tamiya 1/48 kit's engineering to an almost eerie degree. A single piece canopy/windscreen was included, molded in slightly hazy clear plastic.
Below is a picture of the Rutman, Revell, and Redux fuselages.
The Rutman resin fuselage is a knockoff of the Revell, with better detail, a reshaped fin, separate rudder, molded in cockpit wall detail, and a separate cowling. The Revell fuselage is old but well-shaped with the exception of the fin/rudder (note that the cowling and rudder of the Revell fuselage have been sawed off here. The Redux fuselage is very well molded and has overall superior detail. The wing airfoil shape and angle of incidence are quite different on the Redux piece, and the fin has a broader cord than even the "corrected" Rutman tail. The Redux's turbo supercharger shroud on the belly is a bit too far forward when compared to plans, and the Revell/Rutman fuselages are more accurate in this regard. Some of the contours on the Revell and Rutman pieces capture the feel of the Thunderbolt a bit better to my eye.
But the level of detail is far and away more compelling (albeit a little deep) on the Redux parts.
Again, detailed analysis to plans will wait for the release product.
The Redux wings are beautifully detailed with more accurate panel lines and dimensions than the Revell kit wings. They also have a very thin trailing edge. Two well engineered spar sockets are molded into the wing assembly, and room for the resin wheel bays is clearly defined. Sockets for the 4 guns are left open I assume for "plugs" as is a common practice for Thunderbolt kits that correctly depict the gun alignment.
One of the highlights of the injection parts is the beautiful cowling. This part is very well shaped and nicely detailed, and when compared to the Rutman replacement has better shape and detail. Another nice touch is the detail level of the propeller assemblies. They again quote the Tamiya 1/48 engineering very closely. The wing spar system is rigid and insures fantastic fit of the wings as well as adding stability to the fuselage. No tape was required at all to mate the fuselage halves with this assembly, and once fitted all parts remained together tightly.
So far...well...so good. The Redux P-47 is poised to refresh a long-neglected subject in a 1/32 scale injection molded kit, and to do so with accurate and generous detail. There are some shape issues along the rear fuselage and belly that I will show in the final "build up" preview, but to say this kit is an improvement over the Revell is to understate a mammoth jump forward in both detail and engineering. If the resin and photo etch parts are anywhere near the quality of the Contact Resine R-2800 (which is planned to be included in the kit), then we are looking at a magical time for the large scale Thunderbolt fan.
The multimedia elements will be covered in part two and should cover the cockpit, wheel wells, photo etch parts, and landing gear elements.
Thanks to Contact Resine for the preview test shot.
This article created on Monday, April 07 2014; Last modified on Monday, April 07 2014