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Terry Schuler
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Tamiya 1/72 scale P-47D

February 28, 2017 · in Aviation · · 20 Comments

This project begin while researching an uncle in our family who flew with the 56th FG. I had discovered a personal photograph of Lt. David Mauldin (56th FG, 61st FS) inscribed to our uncle.
Lt. Mauldin's carried the name "Upstairs with Mauldin". As a modeler I thought what a cool name, I must build it !

I soon discovered that Lt. Mauldin's aircraft had been destroyed on March 13,1945, after being involved in a mid-air collision over England . Lt Luther Hines was the pilot that day and actually survived the crash initially, however died from his injuries the next day. Unfortunately, no photographs could be located of this aircraft, therefore I was on my own to give this my best guess.

My son designed the artwork and my friend Gerry (a wonderful model builder himself, at 80), made the decal for me. I knew the squadron markings, also the code and serial number of this aircraft. Most of the aircraft in the 61st FS were bare metal, so I figured my odds were good, going with a bare metal scheme.

I used Alclad lacquer for the base color, and MM Metalizer (steel) to highlight the panels and flaps. The gun barrels were drilled out and Eduard photo-etch seat belts were added. Painting on the invasion stripes was a challenge, made even more fun at this scale.

Overall I was very happy with the results, and then a funny thing happened.

A few months after completion, I was in contact with wonderful guys at, doing some more research on our uncle, I asked them if they had any photographs of this aircrafts in their archives. They replied they did not, however they did have an incident report in regards to the mid-air collision, and maybe something was there. A few days later I received a couple photographs showing the wreckage of "Upstairs with Mauldin. The aircraft was actually a P-47M, an early M, without the fillet on the tail, so it looked very similar to a D. Unfortunately, the actual aircraft was one of the black painted P-47s of the 61st FS.

As a friend of mine told me, "It was actually bare metal before it was painted black, therefore at some point I was right" !

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. We always get the correct information after the project is completed. Murphy's law comes to mind. Nonetheless, you have really done a beautiful job on your Thud.

    • Couldn't have said that better myself, Jack. This is not the only time this has happened and I'm sure it wont be the last !

      Thanks for the nice comment !

  2. Great narrative, and super model, Terry. Congratulations on an excellent build.

  3. That's a 1/72nd scale build? I hate you! It's fantastic!

  4. Nice work, Terry, Really looks the part.

  5. Beautiful build ! Fantastic story.

  6. Well done Terry and a fine story as well.

    • Thanks Jim.
      I had a lot difficulty photographing this model being a metal finish. A lot of reflection issues and getting a background that would work. I'm still experimenting !

  7. Nicely done, Terry! Was the Lt. any relation to the cartoonist and dogface social commentator Bill? Gen. Pattons favorite newspaper guy!

  8. She looks great Terry! I did a similar scheme on my recent 47 build, and love the unique way the T-bolts ran the OD glare panel done the spine. Nice work on the NMF and weathering - great build all the way around! (and I love seeing great work in 1/72!).

    • Thanks Mr. 1/72 scale Greg, I knew I'd probably get a response from you. I have to admit, with all the paint scheme and nose art options, a P-47 is a great airplane to model. I really enjoy building them in this scale.

  9. Very nice work. It actually depends on what time period you are dealing with as to what the camouflage was. Zemke was big on going along with 8AF idea to camouflage NMF aircraft around D-Day for the possibility of them basing in northern France. So 56thFG "superbolts" (as they called the bubbletops) got painted pretty quickly using RAF paints. There are photos of some still in NMF by late June when the upper surface D-Day stripes were removed, but after July most photos that can be identified by time period show the majority in camo, other than replacements that hadn't been painted yet.

    The above is just info for those trying to come anywhere close to the really nice result you have here.

  10. That is one nice looking Jug, Terry. Well done.

  11. Dayum! Terry, that is beautiful in any scale, but man, that's 1/72, huh? Incredible work sir! 🙂

  12. Nicely done Terry, looks good.

  13. You've certainly got the hang of photographing the NMF, and your model is beautifully finished, great work in any scale, let along 1/72.

  14. Excellent small model!

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