Trumpeter 1/32 Republic P-47N Thunderbolt
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: P-47N Thunderbolt
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Trumpeter
- KIT Number: 2265
- MOLD CREATION DATE: 2008
KIT DATABASE ENTRY:
TWEAKS LIST VERSION 1.0 (publication date: June 2009)
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company.
As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process.
No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
- Kit is made of 15 sprues of neutral grey plastic parts, two sprue of clear parts and a cowling, one photo-etched fret (compressor and radiator parts, seat belts), one acetate film strip for the IP instruments, vinyl tires and .50 cartridge belts.
- There are many optional parts (engine types, propellers, mirrors, gun sights, antennae, flaps hinges, drilled MG barrels, ammo bays, bombs, drop tanks, etc.) but only part of them may be correctly used on an authentic early P-47N replica.
- Full engine and supercharger internal components (pipes, ducts and exhausts) are detailed.
- The control surfaces (flaps, elevators, rudder) are separate parts.
- Surface is free of flaws, blemishes or molding sink marks. Rivets and bolt heads are correctly depicted.
- Fit is generally excellent but some dry fit is necessary to properly assemble internal components. Occasionally, some pins should be removed and parts should be modified to obtain a better part alignment (more particularly take care to internal components such as engine and turbocharger parts).
- Regarding accuracy, the shapes are generally correct, the most glaring error being the windshield front shape.
NOTICEABLE FUSELAGE ISSUES (from front to rear)
- The kit instructions wrongly propose the Hamilton Standard or the Curtiss Electric asymmetric propellers option. Wartime pictures confirm that Ie Shima "N's" used the cuffed symmetrical paddle blades Curtiss Electric propeller. The correct propeller is not mentioned in the instruction sheet but is available on the M sprue (part M2).
- A small square plate with a hole near each corner is missing at the base of the propeller boss. Moreover four holes should be drilled in the boss to simulate the holes of the bolts securing the propeller. Two bolt heads should be added four times (between the aforementioned holes).
- The correct (later) crankcase front is included (part S1), but noted as optional choice whereas it was a N-model specific feature.
- R-2800-57 engine is very detailed (made of 76 parts!) and only asks for some additional pipes on the lower section of the crankcase as well as the plug cabling on the cylinders.
- The clear plastic cowling is difficult to position correctly. Check bulkheads and twisting pipes behind the engine and modify them to improve the fit.
- Edge of exhaust shutter parts should be thinned.
- The kit gives two options for the cowl flaps crown located behind the engine (closed or opened). Either use the closed one or correct the opened one. Indeed, for the latter one, there is a simple seam simulated between the flaps whereas it should logically be a triangularly-shaped one.
- A lot of care is necessary to glue the tail and spine parts to the fuselage ones. Note that the seam between them corresponds to a panel line. This area will stay very visible and as all P-47Ns were full metal planes, obtaining a perfectly clean seam is mandatory. It is probably easier to glue each tail & fin half to each fuselage half rather than mating the dorsal spine sub-assembly with the assembled fuselage (that seems to be a little bit narrower). Last but not least, to avoid damaging recessed panel lines and rivet pattern or melting the thin edge of the spine parts, it is probably better to use a small amount to CA glue and reinforce the seam from the internal side with plasticard and classic styrene glue.
NOTICEABLE WING/WEAPONS ISSUES
- Side edges of flaps are devoid of any structural detail but this is not visible if they are put in the neutral position.
- Take the time to clean the edges of the ammo and MG bay doors cautiously if you want to close them. Otherwise, some large seams will be impossible to avoid.
- Well-molded vinyl ammo belts are proposed by Trumpeter. However, keep in mind that the actual ammo was made of multiple layers of belts and that they were stored in contiguous compartments. Hence, simply gluing a flat belt on the bay dividers cannot give the authentic look of draped ammo belts.
- The instruction sheet gives optional parts for .50 machine gun barrels whereas the real plane had blast tubes on the barrels. Replace them with aftermarket tubes or make them from brass tubing.
- The part covering the MG barrels (parts F13 & 14) does not meet correctly the leading edge wing contour as its angle is too closed. Cautiously open the angle and add a thin plastic strip on the underside edge to compensate the resulting lack of depth.
- A lot of ordnance (HVAR, 250lb & 500 lb bombs) and a large variety of drop tanks (75/108/150 gal. metal tanks & 108 gal. paper ones) are available. They are correctly shaped but ask for finer and/or additional details (fuel hose for drop tanks).
NOTICEABLE COCKPIT ISSUES
- The cockpit floor is corrugated whereas it should be smooth (change occurred after the D-26 block).
- The cockpit side details and front IP do not correctly depict any N batch. Use aftermarket parts or rebuilt correct ones with scratch-built parts. For instance add the armament selection and oxygen control panels under the IP. Note that details varied a lot according to the various production blocks. For instance, the starboard side radio details evolved noticeably. On the port side, some switch and circuit breaker panels are missing or have a different configuration than the ones found in D airframes. Note most preserved N models have cockpits that do not look like the ones used at the end of world war two. Refer to TM views to correctly depict an initial N airframe. Keep in mind that a lot of hoses and wires are normally visible on the cockpit sides and behind the front IP.
- The clear instrument panel is far too thick. Half of its thickness should be sanded if the part is not replaced by an aftermarket one. Moreover, take care to line as correctly as possible the film with the part because it seems that the two parts may not be perfectly aligned.
- Kit offer optional parts for the gunsight whereas only the K-14B dual lens sight (N31 part) was used on last Tbolt marks such as the N. Drill the holes in the gunsight part support (actual support is hollow).
NOTICEABLE CANOPY ISSUES
- The canopy rail guide is correctly depicted but simplified.
- Windscreen framing is incorrectly depicted and does not fit well. Its front top section is too rounded. Use an aftermarket one or a spare one from a Hasegawa Bubbletop.
- The canopy has fine rivet detail on the frame but is flawed inside by a notch for the canopy frame support. Its profile is not fully correct but this is not very noticeable.
NOTICEABLE LANDING GEAR ISSUES
- Wheel wells are nicely detailed. However, except the rear ones (separate structural beam part), the vertical sides of the main landing gear well are devoid of any structural detail because of the molding process. Moreover, various hoses and pipes should be added. The missing ones to add will be particularly visible on the rear vertical side of the wells.
- Kit wheels are early type with full wheel covers and no brakes. However, N airframes never used full wheel covers. They used 8-holes wheel rims that were retrofitted to many P-47Ds after the war. Either use aftermarket wheels or modify the kit ones (the wheel backs have eight spokes but they are not correctly shaped).
- Dry fit the landing gear strut before assembling the wing halves. If you place the landing gear strut in position and try closing the wing halves, you will see that the strut interferes with the wing skin. Accordingly, some strut rework is necessary to get it in place correctly. Note also that to avoid breakage; the inner gear door support in each wing (N37 part) must be left out until the wing halves are glued together.
- Landing gear legs are correct but some details should be refined: the rod molded on the leg should be replaced by another one as it is actually not close to the leg along its length, the two rods connecting the lower door to the leg should be replaced by more detailed ones, the brake hose is missing and some bolts heads are also missing here and there on the leg.
OTHER NOTICEABLE ISSUES & MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS
- Various combinations of antennae were used on P-47Ns. Wartime pics show that "2 BIG & TOO HEAVY" only used the single antenna in front of the spine edge. Moreover, the plane had no rear view mirror on the windshield edge.
- Early N (block N-1) airframes had no rocket launchers stubs. P-47N-1REs were progressively updated to N-2 status in the field (installation of rocket launchers). They were systematically present on later marks from the N-5. Note that wartime pictures show few Ie Shima airplanes with zero length rocket launchers. They seem to demonstrate that Ie Shima Thunderbolts mainly fly without external charges or simply used wing drop tanks (at least the 150 gallons variety for fuel or napalm). However, some pictures show the use of wing rockets, of a single bomb on the belly pylon or bombs on the wing pylons. Last but not least, wartime pictures indicate that "2 BIG And TOO HEAVY/SHORT SNORTER" (P-47N-1RE serial number) did not use rockets while used from Ie Shima Island.
- If you want to depict a later mark (such as the ones used postwar by the ANG), do not forget adding the padded armrests on the seat (they were systematically installed from the N-15 production block). Similarly, keep in mind that from batch N-25, the wing lights were relocated from the front to the center of the wing tip edge.
The decal combination for "2 BIG And TOO HEAVY/SHORT SNORTER" does not comply with wartime pictures:
- When using the early squadron yellow half vertical color scheme 333rd FS P-47Ns only used the serial on the tail. Hence, the number 21 should not be on the fuselage (and main gear) of this P-47 because the 1 to 49 numbers were reassigned from the 19th FS to the 333rd only after they repainted in the yellow/black striped tail scheme. Switching to the striped tails implied the serial disappearance.
- Features of the fonts used for the digits (plain ones) do not exactly comply with the actual plane pictures.
- Pin-ups paintings are nicely printed but do not depict accurately full-scale ones.
- Trumpeter had difficulties with the wording of "SHORT SNORTER" (rendered as "SHDRT SNDRTER"). By the way, the "SHORT SNORTER" artwork was only added on the starboard side of the cowling and fuselage after the tail markings were changed to the group yellow/black stripes in June/July 1945. Pictures show that font types and colors used for "2 BIG And TOO HEAVY/SHORT SNORTER" are not correct.
- The pilot name does not correspond to the name of any of the two known pilots (Lt. Wayne Duerschmidt, then Lt. John D.K. Bruner).
- Either use aftermarket alternatives or the other decal option of the kit (Oscar Perdomo's plane "Lil Meatie's Meat Chopper").
The following sources were used to build this list.
- DRENDELL, Lou, P-47 Thunderbolt Walkaround, No. 11, Squadron Signal Publications, 1997.
- KINZEY, Bert, P-47 Thunderbolt, Detail in Scale No. 54, Squadron Signal Publications, 1998.
- PECZKOWSKI, Robert, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Bubbletop, Mushroom Model Magazine Special No. 6118, Yellow series, Mushroom Model Publications, 2005.
- ROMAN, Valerij, VELEK, Martin, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, MBI Publishing House, 1987.
- SHIGERU Nohara, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Aero Detail No. 14, Dai Nippon Kaiga, 1995.
- HALL, W., Alan, P-47 Thunderbolt, Warpaint series special No. 1, Hall Parks books.
- DAVIS, Larry, P-47 Thunderbolt in Action, Aircraft in Action No. 67, Squadron Signal Publications, 1984.
- DAVIS, Larry, P-47 Thunderbolt in Action, Aircraft in Action No. 208, Squadron Signal Publications, 2007.
- Mc DOWELL, Ernest, R, Thunderbolt & The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in the Pacific Theater, No. 6079, Squadron Signal Publications, 1999.
- MULINA, Tim, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Aircraft Reference Series, BHI Publications, 2007. (Does not cover the P-47N but offers interesting insights and pictures regarding P-47D Bubbletop components which are common with the N Jugs).
- Magazine : Scale Aviation Modeller International.
- Various Web Pages (LSP, Hyperscale, Cybermodeller).
© Thierry Laurent 2009
This article was published on Friday, August 12 2016; Last modified on Friday, August 12 2016