Otaki 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt
This is my Otaki 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt that I built in 1986. This is a bit of a kit bash using Monogram's P-47D cowling and engine and Hawk's P-47D Curtiss Electric Propeller. Some details were added into the cockpit area, fuel pressure lines and a drop tank deflector bar. Navigation lights and lens were also added. I do not remember if the drop tanks were from the Otaki kit or Monogram's.
If you take a good look at my club's framed membership card you will see Robert S. Johnson signature. I cannot remember which IPMS convection or plastic kit model show Mr. Johnson signed my card, it could have been Rochester NY in 1990 but I am not sure. Ron Nickel (founder and ran our club during the first 20 years of its existence) hooked up with Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson saw my model in the card which represented his final aircraft that he flew before returning back to the states and got a pretty good kick out of it. He was kind enough to sign the card and talked for a while.
As you can see age is catching up to this build, the decal on the left wing are cracking and on the fuselage becoming a bit tarnish looking.
I used Hawk's Curtiss Electric prop from its P-47D kit because it was the correct shape for the blades. I wanted this one because it was the paddle bladed propeller that Robert Johnson allowed his maintenance crew to replace the original skinny shorter blades. He said it added about 1000 feet per minute on its climb rate. Plus they also tweaked the turbo charger and started using 150 octane fuel.
I really enjoyed this build, the upgrades were easy and with the recessed lines, it looked great! I liked it a lot more than the Monogram P-47's. It wasn't until 2002 Tamiya's release of their P-47 kits to become the better P-47 in 1/48 scale. Still I feel this Otaki kit can be made into a very nice looking Thunderbolt.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.