Tamiya P-47D-11-RE, 1/48. 'The Razorback over Normandy'.
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Personally, I'm a razorback fan over the bubbletop, and when I think razorback I can't help but think D-Day stripes which really narrowed down the sort of scheme I wanted to do for the build.
This kit is the Tamiya's offering in 1/48, they sell 3 variants of the P-47 being the P-47D razorback, bubbletop and then the P-47M, as well as some limited editions reboxings and such. These kits started coming out from 2002 onwards. Compared to the slightly older Corsair you can see a change in quality heading towards the current kits, with more precise detailing, better fit and more thought out engineering.
As with all of these older Tamiya kits putting out a review is a bit pointless and many of you here may have built it, or undoubtably all at the very least have heard good things about it. Needless to say, it's a very good kit, and the options for flaps up, down, as well as a plethora of underslung armament is well appreciated.
With a full build thread located at https://imodeler.com/groups/work-in-progress-aircraft/forum/topic/tamiya-p-47d-thunderbolt-1-48-razorback-and-bubbletop-europe-and-asia/, I'll only go into a simple rundown, but as its a Tamiya kit from 2000+ you can expect it to have a good fit. Unsurprisingly, the fit was impeccable and the only filler required was the standard fuselage seamline filler that any kit could do with. For this Thunderbolt I went for a wheels down option and the gear fit without issue.
For markings I used montex masks, which I didn't have too much issue with but the fuselage markings near the turbocharger outlet were a bit problematic, nothing too major though. Painting was done largely with MRP paints on this one, with the USAAF Medium grey on the underside and a mixture of MRP Olive Drab, NATO Green, and Tamiya RAF Green used for the upper surfaces.
The montex set came with masks for the checkerboard nose of the 78th Fighter Group, but the mask set was clearly not designed around actually be used as it didn't conform to the shape of the cowl. A A brief attempt of my own masking was tried before deciding this would take way too long. Luckily as this is a dual build I had Tamiya's bubbletop kit which came with decals for a plane of the same squadron as 'Eileen'. Thsse took a while to settle, but nothing that couldn't be solved with a lot of setting solution and some brush paint touch ups.
Nothing bad can really be said about this Thunderbolt kit, Tamiya definitely is the best in scale for this subject so I'll definitely be picking up this kit again in the future for their P-47M. The most difficult part of the kit was the checkerboard, I still somewhat think I should have tried harder with custom paint masking but I have a feeling I'd still be building the model now!