Hasegawa & Trumpeter 1/32 P-47D Thunderbolt
The definitive Tamiya 1/48th scale Thunderbolt has been my favorite model of the topic. Recently, a sale of Hasegawa's 1/32nd scale provided the opportunity to try the larger scale. The purchase of Trumpeter's match model followed shortly. The bubble canopy is wrongly depicted in Trumpeter's model and the propeller types also require modifications. Fortunately, Hasegawa provides open and closed canopies and the correct sized propellers. Moreover, Hasegawa provides attractive color schemes for two famous aircraft.
I chose Eagleston's scheme for the Hasegawa kit since the bare metal finish is suitable for the smooth plastic surface texture of the kit. Gabreski's scheme was suitable for the riveted Trumpeter kit, since it is possible to play with the density of camouflage colors against the plastic texture to enhance the 3D effect.
Hasegawa's kit is relatively simple and easy to build. The Trumpeter kit is more detailed, but the build is challenging if not frustrating to correct engineering errors and deal with deep seam grooves. Trumpeter's kit is tail high resulting from an engineering error in the tail wheel housing. As a result, when completed it has a low posture. You may want to insert the housing deeper in the tail until the wheel strut base is flush with the fuselage. By doing that, both model kits meet the same propeller height.
I added straps for the Hasegawa kit. Both kits had ignition wires and spare sights installed.
Eagleston's scheme was modified painting olive green on top of engine cowling instead of suggested black. In addition, I painted the eagle decal with color pencil to enlarge the wing like the famous photograph suggests. I also eliminated the old offset printing color on the decal using the pencils.
Gabreski's scheme differs significantly from the instruction scheme and was completed according to more updated information.
The result is very impressive models, much more than my favorite Tamiya.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.