Tamiya 1/72 scale P-47D
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 P-47 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 littlefriends.co.uk, 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.