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Paul Mahoney
21 articles

Tamiya 1/48 P-47 Bubbletop in Gabby Gabreski’s markings

June 12, 2014 · in Aviation · · 35 · 3.4K

Well, usually I like to build things with slightly unusual markings, but this time around was different. My son was interested in building a with Gabreski's markings, and started in on the Hobby Easy kit (which includes those markings). He asked if I could build one of my kits in the same markings. Well, who am I to refuse such a request?! So, with the kit already in the stash, I was able to obtain some decals from the Testors and Monogram kits through a contact on the internet. This was supposed to be a quickie build to support my son's efforts, so I didn't try and chase down any other decals. Luckily, all I needed was on those sheets. Of course, a little bit of AMS set in with respect to the paintwork, and it took a bit of time to suss out the camouflage. Like so many others, a bit of this is guesswork, but I'm happy with the end result. I went with British colors for the camouflage, and gray (rather than nat metal) undersides. Various photos show various iterations of the Invasion Stripes, but this version seems plausible. This represents the a/c a bit later than the Invasion, when only the underside stripes were retained.

The only additions to the kit were a True Details seat, and the crosshair gunsight from an Eduard set. I was informed after the build that i have the wrong propeller on this, so that will have to be replaced shortly.

Reader reactions:
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35 responses

  1. Nice T-bolt Paul is this the 1/48 Hobbyboss easy/quick build kit?

  2. Hi Gregor
    no - it's the Tamiya bubbletop - my son is working on the Hobbyboss/Hobby Easy kit. I think the Hobby Easy kit is actually pretty darn nice, but it's no Tamiya lol !

  3. Very nice P-47 Paul!

  4. Sorry got confused a bit there as the Hobbyboss kit comes with those markings - i got one cheap a while back - it is a nice kit for the price, but won't hold a candle to the Tamiya kit detail wise. I also noted yours doesn't have the hard points for the underwing ordenance, which was omitted from the HB kit for some reason!

    • Yes - I was actually surprised at how nice the HB kit is - definitely a nice starter-type kit.

      I left the hard points off my Tamiya build, as photos of Gabreski's a/c do not show them present. I think the lead a/c in the 56th didn't carry them, but others may know more.

      • Others will ALWAYS know more, Paul - and will usually be more than glad to point it out (like the propeller thing). Thankfully, those type folks usually aren't posting on iModeler - for the most part.
        I think your P-47 looks great. You should post your son's build as well.

        • Good point Craig! Appreciate the kind comments as well.
          I will post my son's build for sure once he finishes. He loves starting kits, but sometimes doesn't quite get them done (sounds like a familiar trait to me...haha). I was hoping my building the same would spur him on.

  5. Fine build Paul.
    It gives me something to head for on my build.
    Well done Paul.

  6. very nice...challenging scheme

    • thanks Bob
      I am happy with the way it came out - pretty decent match to the side view photos I have seen, and don't think any exist that show the topsides of the wings, so that was just a guess. I put down the green first, then the gray in order to get a more ragged look to it by applying the lighter color over the darker one. Despite the free-hand camo, the stripes took a lot more masking than I would have imagined!

  7. Paul, what's wrong with the prop? I thought it should be a Hamilton Standard for the 56th - yours looks like a HS - what are you replacing it with? Or have I got it muddled up as well...

    Nice build by the way.

    • The "wrong prop" comment probably refers to the fact the the 'paddle prop' with wider blades was added later in production. But without a side-by-side comparison, I can't tell the difference.

    • I thought I did use the Hamilton Standard on this one, and agree that was what the 56th used (or so I thought), but some think it should be the 'paddle prop' that Craig is referring to. It doesn't look off to me, but again I was doing it quickly to boost my son's efforts and so I must admit I didn't thoroughly research it - used the one I thought was correct. And was happy with the weathering I did on it, so am now re-thinking changing it!

      • For what it's worth, I'd leave it alone. It isn't like you're gonna be entering a "contest" or sumthin'. Anyone that sees it in your display area won't know the difference anyway (I didn't) - LOL

        • yup - I never should have mentioned it and no one would have known lol ! You have convinced me to just leave it. I'll spend the time on other builds. I have an HK Models 1/32 B-25 and a Tamiya Do335 in the works. And about a zillion other projects in my head that need building!

          • I just went back to an article I did for Cybermodeler on my Vintage Fighter Series 1/24 Jug - also a 56th aircraft - and find that I used the 'Curtiss Electric Asymmetrical Paddle Type', so I stand corrected re the HS blade, but as Craig says I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

      • said on June 15, 2014

        the hamilton standard has the blunt grumman type spinner as on the hellcat and avenger

  8. Say, didn't the late war bubble tops have 3 and a half blades...or maybe I'm thinking of the Korean war the way, you're short two rivets on the underside left wing radar housing...

  9. maybe I should just get a fan and get the prop spinning for the next set of photos... then it would all be just a blur ...

  10. Wow. I have seen a lot of renditions of Gabreski's P-47 posted on various scale modeling websites over the years, but this is the first time I have seen one posted without the "Great Debate" over the correct underside color. Some say neutral gray, others say natural metal. This question was actually posed to Gabreski when he was a guest speaker at some IPMS event many years ago. He replied "Damned if I know, I just flew the plane, I didn't paint it. Anyway, it looks like a "10" to me, Paul. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Seamus. I did read of all the angst regarding the various colors, and just went with what looked right to me. As you so rightfully point out, even the pilot himself didn't know! I did go with neutral gray for the drop tank, as that definitely made sense to me! appreciate the kind comments.

    • said on June 14, 2014

      Great built, I would like to have similar in showcase.

      Debate about correct colors, dimensions, shapes etc are in most cases out of control. I like imodeler being different. I think modelers often live in other world, taking care about details unnoticed by aircrew. It is just a hobby and everybody choses a level and modeling style he likes for himself.

  11. A famous Thunderbolt ! really nice build and paint ! congratulations !

  12. Paul, very nice job, especially like your light touch on the grey on the upper camouflage.

  13. Looks like Gabreski's P-47 to me. Nicely done too. When it comes to masking invasion stripes I think I've done enough for a while

  14. Excellent work on the T-bolt Paul, I went thru the same dilemma on my "Jug" as well when it came to the correct scheme. I have seen so many variations of the 56th stable of Jugs. Just posted mine yesterday in an unusual tu tone grey scheme, over Natural metal. Yet I have them in different greys, grey/dk green etc. Hub Zemke was posed the same question and he didnt really recall the scheme of the different Jugs he flew as well, Kinda tells you these pilots were more concerned about takin out the Luftwaffe then wondering what color their aircraft was. Being in the Navy flying HH-60's I just knew we flew grey helo's, didn't care what shade of grey they were just knew they were grey and all I cared about was coming back home safely after performing our mission. Can't wait to see your son's rendition.


    • Thanks Chuck
      I did see your P-47 post, and have to say I like the 2-tone gray camo - very nice rendition. I was thinking about doing one of the black, or 2-tone blue camo P-47Ms next go around.
      And totally agree - gotta believe these pilots had more important things on their minds than what the exact shade of blue/green/periwinkle/whatever was on their a/c!
      Still, I like to get as close as I can 🙂

  15. Very nicely finished model, Paul, I can't comment on the propellor, but it's a great looking model, I hope it inspires your son to finish his build.

  16. Nice model Paul. Great looking airplane. 🙂

  17. Paul,
    Right prop or wrong prop, silver underside or grey underside... Who cares. This looks absolutely great and I will bet your son loves it. Do post your sons model. We need younger modelers to replace us old guys. I like it.

    • Thanks very much Frank - I am hoping he will have it done sometime in the near future, and it most definitely will be posted if so! He has a few other builds in mind as well, but I'm hoping to convince him of the benefits of finishing one before starting another. (of course, one look at my desk and he will see I don't follow my own advice!)

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