P-47D Razorback, by Monogram
Greetings iModeler compadres. I present my Monogram-Revell P-47D Razorback, of the 325th FG (Checkertails) for your perusal, and hopefully enjoyment. This particular aircraft was flown by Maj Herschel Green, who was credited with 18 kills, which led US pilots based in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in WW2. I wanted to do the Checkertails because of their great look, and the fact that the group was commissioned in my original hometown of Providence, RI at Theodore Francis Greene Airport ('PVD' for you East Coast US commercial flyers). You can still find the 325th commemorative plaque in the terminal.
The Model: I found this kit, which was copyrighted in 1998 (under Revell-Monogram at that time) to be quite respectable and very enjoyable to work on. I scraped off most of the raised panel lines and engraved new ones in their place. I added a 75 gal tank from a Monogram P-51B that was in my spares box. Otherwise the kit is straight from the box, including decals. The parts count is a bit low, but despite some production shortcuts, the accuracy is adequate-to-good. The kit featured InvisaClear (Microscale?) decals which worked well, except when I destroyed the black checker decal for the vertical tail. Lesson learned: cut the decal in half and do the port/starboard (top/bottom), one side at a time. Then fill in any gaps with semi-gloss black paint on the forward edges. My homemade paint masks salvaged my 325th FG ambition for the vertical tail, and I was glad to not have to undo the investment in painting the yellow tail. The 3" prop scales out as a 12', 2" Curtiss Electric, which was standard up to the D-22. The prop decals were excellent too.
The Plane: iModeler members seem to LOVE the P-47. There are about 170 really nice P-47s on display at iModeler (great search function!). We love this airplane; and we have good reason to.
It was a winner. It took on the Luftwaffe in its back yard from early 1943 right through VE day. And it took on the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force starting in New Guinea and ending in Tokyo with the P-47N.
The plane had a great look, which derived from the superb design by Alexander Kartvelli of Republic/Seversky aviation. The elliptical wing that was passed on from the P-35 and P-43 with relatively minor changes (mainly being made larger) had low drag, and a great look. The ducting for the supercharger ram air and exhaust drive ran under the wing spar, which necessitated a 'mid-wing' look with the longer landing gear struts. The design looked great and worked well operationally.
The innovative supercharger and intercooler system resulted in a large/long fuselage which was aerodynamically clean, and resulted in a really fast plane at high altitude. This investment paid off and the P-47 was about 40 mph faster than a contemporary FW-190A-5 at 25,000 feet and up to 60 mph faster at 30,000 feet (FW-190As 'maxed out' at 21K ft, and then dropped off dramatically above that level). P-47 speed dropped off above 32,000 feet.
It was the first major use of a 4-blade propeller in US service, and would have several propeller upgrades and variants over its service life.
The plane (and model) are big and impressive, had many modernizations, served in every theater (NE Europe, Med, SE Asia & Pacific) with a variety of markings, with numerous allied countries and color schemes, which we modelers make good use of.
So there is my tribute to Monogram and Republic/Seversky. Thanks for any comments and any thoughts on the P-47 in general, since this plane has evidently seized our imaginations in a big way.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.