D-Day +4 , 1/48th Hasegawa Republic P-47D USAAC, Capt D. Smith
The 56th Fighter Group, 61st Fighter Squadron were tasked with support of the D-Day invasion flying 8 missions on the first day. Throughout the month of June missions were mostly ground attacks, interdiction and to destroy the Germans ability to resupply. With Allied supremacy of the skies the 56th saw little action for air to air combat. Based out at Boxted AB. The P-47’s of the 61st FS were lead by Maj. Frances “Gabby” Gabreski, the squadron had almost an all-star lineup of pilots that would make any Hall of Fame. As Gabreski’s P-47 has been modeled many times prior I wanted to do something not as familiar but just as controversial when it comes to the color scheme. Even when Hub Zemke was asked the various color schemes used in his squadron, he couldn’t really recall. Even with some research and checking other aviation sites, on what is the correct scheme for Capt D. Smith’s P-47 was is not definitive. I even found some really rough color photos but the quality are so bad the colors are really quite hard to tell. Even ran across an instance where the scheme was white washed and look closer to a Luftwaffe scheme than a US Air Corp. Seeing a few built, in Med grey/Dk Green over Lt Grey or natural metal, another scheme where the lower was in Azure Blue? A tutone Grey over Med grey undersurfaces, so basically it can be any one of those schemes. As the squadron over painted the natural finishes in the local RAF paints that were available, not any 2 were really alike. The Kit world sheet calls for Lt Ocean Grey/Dk Ocean Grey over a natural metal undersurfaces. With a touch of Lt Grey at the nose demarcation line and at the front lower areas of the rear stabs. As I try to stay within the historic reference to a particular plane I want to model, being a rather non-standard scheme and it’s unusual nature I went with the decal called for. But since I could not find Dk Ocean Grey, I mixed my own to create it. And what I did is I used Aeromaster Ocean Grey and 5 drops of Gunship Grey (36118) to darken it. I used Gunze Med Grey as the Lt Ocean grey portion of the scheme. At first it looked to light. But as it dried it darkened a bit and looked much better the next day. And even darker with the gloss coat applied. I wish we had the real airframe or any other aircraft that had this combo. I am sure will have someone refute this , but as I read a few of the comments on those who built “Ole Cock” III no one actually commented any of those schemes the modelers chose were incorrect as there is no proof of this is wrong. Anyway it really is a unique scheme as most “Jugs” can be built in unusual colors. Not always OD or natural metal. Any way the kit went together well, no issues other than the typical wing to fuselage seam clean up. The Hase kit has been criticized that the lower portion of the fuselage is to shallow, as I compared it next to the Monogram kit yes I can see the difference but really who cares? It is a P-47, and it looks great on the shelf. I want to thank Neil for a great job and his encouragement to all who participated on this Inaugural GB for I-modeler. To Martin in creating a wonderful site for modelers. And to all who commented so enthusiastically on the WIP. Thanks for viewing and God Bless
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.