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Academy 1/48 P-47N Thunderbolt

This was a fun build! I've never had much luck with 's decals, so when I found the cool Hawaii ANG sheet, I was set.

Although maybe basic by some standards, I think the cockpit builds up nicely after a wash and drybrushing. Same with the engine.

Had a few fit problems, particularly the gun inserts on the wings, as well as a seam that needed some putty on the bottom of the fuselage. But nothing too difficult to deal with.

I don't like shiny bare metal finishes, as I don't think they look real. So I toned this down with a semi-gloss coat, and then weathered with graphite pencil in the panel lines that is then scrubbed with a stiff brush to add tone to the surrounding areas. There's some gentle application of washes and Tamiya weathering kits as well.


14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. That's a great result, MIke! Your weathered NMF turned out terrific. Nice to see an Academy 1/48 Thunderbolt being built, turning out beautifully; I don't recall to having seen many built.
    All the best!

  2. Very nice Mike. The weathered aluminum finish is very realistic.

  3. Great job Mike, beautiful weathering I have to say.

  4. Good looking Jug Mike. Nice job on the NMF.

  5. Nice one, Mike; you can't go wrong with a Jug! Nice weathering and the decals look great as well.

  6. Terrific Thunderbolt! I've had bad luck with academy decals myself.

  7. I'm very interesting in how you did the panel lines. You mentioned a graphite pencil? Was this a particular sort? Did you just sharpen it into a very fine point? And what sort of stiff brush did you use afterwards?
    Sorry for all the questions, but I'm looking for a simple technique to highlight panel lines and this sounds like a technique that I could do with my limited materials!

  8. A nice used, slightly worn finish Mike. I've not seen an Academy T'bolt built before & this looks really good. I do like your weathering technique as well.

  9. Well done, Mike. Hated to see the photos end. Great work all around.

  10. Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments!

    @embersonfedders, it was indeed just a standard No. 2 pencil sharpened to a very fine point.

    The brush was just an old #1 paintbrush with the bristles cut down (I use these to apply all sorts of weathering stuff like the weathering kits from Tamiya or pastel powders, etc.). The more you cut off the bristles, the stiffer the remaining brush is going to be, so I have a few that I've made of somewhat varying lengths/stiffness.

    Hope this helps!

  11. Nicely done - and I agree with "shiny" NMF finishes. Yours looks great!

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