Academy P-47 D, 1/48, 1st Brazilian Fighter Squadron

January 20, 2022 · in Aviation · · 19 · 1.1K

Salute, gents.

This is Academy's P-47 D in , a well known kit which was superseded by the Tamiya offering. It is not a bad kit, but can use some improvements. Ultracast resin wheels, seat (with molded harness) and propeller were used. The kit only provides the Curtiss prop, which is incorrect for this particular airframe. The dorsal fin was field applied to some brazilian Thunderbolts, such as this one, so I scratchbuild it, as this kit doesn't provide that part. Took quite a while forming it with putty around a piece of an old credit card. Other refinements were simple enough: opening the vents under the cowling, a bit of wiring added to the engine, detailing the bombs, drilling the barrels of the machine guns and so on.
This aircraft was flown by Lt. Rui Moreira Lima through 94 missions during the italian campaign in the Po Valley region. The silver canopy, by the way, was a replacement: the aircraft was hit during a mission and Lt. Moreira Lima got ready to bail out, but gave up and decided to try and land on a RAF field marked on his map.
He managed to do so, and as soon as his P-47 came to a halt after the belly landing, he was approached by an RAF officer, and, according to the man's uniform, Lima greeted him in english. The RAF officer answered him in portuguese, asking about the women of Rio de Janeiro, and Lt. Lima was baffled. Turns out the RAF man was born to english parents in Brazil and joined the Royal Air Force when hostilities began. Not only that: he was born in Curitiba, southern Brazil, where I live. His uniform is currently exhibited on the Brazilian Expeditionary Force museum located here, and his name is Frederick C. Tate. One of those amazing war stories...

The Brazilian Fighter Squadron was attached to the 350th Fighter Group, and distinguished itself in battlefield interdiction and ground support roles. It is one of the few foreign units to receive the Presidential Unit Citation. Their history is really worth checking out.

Reader reactions:
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12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Excellent build, Thiago @tcpacheco
    Beautiful paintwork and weathering.
    You don't see Brazilian aircraft built that often.
    Do you know in which years the Brazilians used the Thunderbolt?

    • Thanks a lot, John!
      The P-47 was used during the italian campaign, and after the war was over, the remaining airframes were disassembled and brought to Brazil by ship. Other 19 aircraft were ferried by pilots who went to the US to pick them up straight from Italy, and the Thunderbolt was used until the mid 50's.

  2. Amazing build, Thiago!
    Great scratch built improvements, as well!
    Love the markings and the story write up!

  3. Great work Thiago! I always like to see models of the FEB. this one in particular I don’t recall seeing it until now. It’s a beautiful model and the extras really did push the quality one step up.
    Pode me dizer o significado da expressão que está na insígnia da esquadrilha? Sempre quis saber isso 😉

    • Thanks, Pedro!
      A origem do uso da expressão é contada pelo Ten. Rui Moreira Lima no livro de memórias que ele escreveu, também chamado "Senta a Púa". Lá ele transcreve a definição do linguista Austregésilo de Athayde: "Senta a Pua significa lançar-se sobre o inimigo com decisão, golpe de vista e vontade de aniquilá-lo. Quem vai sentar a pua não tergiversa. Arremete de ferro em brasa e verruma o bruto”.

  4. Excellent work on this Jug Thiago, enjoyed the history lesson as well.

  5. Great looking T-bolt! I have decals to do one of these in 1/72 - I like the color/markings combination. Was nice to get some history of the unit. Well done.

  6. Nice looking Jug...where did you get the seatbelts?

    • Thank you, Jack! The seatbelts are molded on, it's a very nice resin part by Ultracast from Canada.

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  7. G'day Thiago (@tcpacheco),
    This is a lovely build, particularly the way you painted the upper surface to get some variation in the single colour.
    This is one of those "I must build one of these" schemes.

    • Thank you, Michael! This was my First attempt at blackbasing/marbling, and, looking back, perhaps I should have lightened the OD, as It looks a bit too Dark after applying varnish. Well, every build teaches you something!

  8. Nice work, Thiago. Brazil’s contribution to the Allied cause is always an interesting topic.

  9. Excelente trabalho e texto! Parabéns!

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