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Jay Mitchell
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Republic P-47D “Luckys’ Lady”

March 21, 2023 · in Aviation · · 29 Comments

This is a P-47D . The box is dated 1967 and was still shrink wrapped. It's from the collection of a modeler, Mr Claude Good, that passed away about 1 year ago at age 86.

It is my interpretation of Captain Frank Luckman's P-47D named Luckys' Lady. The nose art is the character Moonbeam McSwine from the Li'l Abner cartoon strip.

Frank Luckman joined the 388th Fighter Squadron shortly before the June 6th D-day invasion of Europe. He flew over 100 missions with the 388th till the war ended.

After the war was over he became a businessman and started a Dental equipment company that is still in business today, Luckman LLC. He passed away in 2012.

I added the dorsal fairing in front of the vertical stabilizer . It is made from a wooden coffee stir stick off of one of my employers aircraft. All the Galley items get tossed in the trash when an aircraft comes in for maintenance , so rather then let those go to waste I use them for stirring paint or spreading putty. For paint I used Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Aluminum spray paint and Humbrol Olive Drab spray paint for the primary colors.

Since the kit decals were so old and didn't look too great , I opted to use some Super Scale decals. The nose art and the squadron fuselage code decals worked ok, but the “ star & bar” and a few other decals broke apart when wet. I applied liquid decal film, but the magic of that didn't seem to do much... maybe it was too old. I had some other replacement decals that I used that were problem free.

Although this kit is very old.. it still is a nice kit. It's one of my favorite old Monogram kits, along with their P-39, F9F, among others.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.

29 responses

  1. Well done, Jay! Love the wood replacement part...great idea! Nice tribute to the original kit owner and to Cpt. Luckman.

    • Thanks Gary @gwskat ! I appreciate the compliment !

      It’s interesting to know the history of the subject being modeled. The family of the original collector donated these kits to the Tulsa model club. I was fortunate to obtain a few of these nice old kits.

  2. Very good result. Older kits have a charm too. Sometimes can be a bit more fun than an uber kit with 300 parts.

  3. I agree, Dan @dbdlee , kits with fewer parts are almost always more enjoyable to build then high parts count kits...

  4. Great build Jay @ssgt, I've used wood and paper to add details on some of my builds and they worked put great. The dorsal fin looks like a natural fit. I do like the decals set used, a little different from what I've seen on other P-47 builds. This P-47 build complements your previous P-47s nicely.

  5. Thank you , Bob @v1pro !

    I like the silver & blue together.

    The three Thunderbolts fill up the book shelf they are on !

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  6. Very nice! great build and photos. What is the story on photo #24 women and kids?

    • Hi Robert… @roofrat …. thanks for the compliment! I’m not sure what the story is, I just thought it was an interesting photograph. Maybe it didn’t quite make it back to base and bellied in on some field , ,locals came out to look it over and an army photographer was out taking pictures of the crash site and got the idea to take this photo with the locals in it. It looks like there may be battle damage on the engine cowl.

      • I was wondering of image 24 as well.
        Likely in Belgium or the Netherlands where Thunderbolts were based for the final assault on Germany. A date could see if it came before “operation Bodenplate “ Jan 1 1945.

  7. Fantastic job, Jay! It is simply great to see old kits built, let alone in such a skillful manner! Great tribute as well!

  8. Very nice looking Thunderbolt, Jay @ssgt
    The idea to use a wooden stick for the dorsal is really good as is the result of it.
    Nicely chosen scheme and beautifully applied.

  9. Very good job! Old kits have soul!

  10. Nicely done Jay, that old kit can be built into a really good looking model as you've done here. I've built a couple of the Monogram P-47's and have been pleased with the results.

  11. Thank you , @tom-bebout , @lis , @johnb , @fiveten for the comments.
    I appreciate them . Sometimes I build newer kits, but I tend to gravitate towards old ones ... I’m thankful for aftermarket decals since old decals are often problematic .

  12. Great build of a older kit. Awesome back story also, building a model and learning about both the plane and the pilot is a big part of what makes modeling fun for me. You made the old kit look really good and the markings are great.

    On a side note, the 388th FS was part of the 365th FG, The Hell Hawks, you can see the emblem on the shirt of Frank Luckman in the article. Years back I was on another model site and saw post, someone was looking for pictures of the gunsight used in a P-47. I happened to have one and supplied them with pictures of it. It turns out that Don Barnes, John Grump and Roy Sutherland were collaberating on a book about the Hell Hawks. The book, "Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks, 365th Fithter-Bomer Group in Words, Pictures and Illustrations", gives a history of the group obviously but is more focused on the planes of the group, and is full of pictures and color profiles. (including a picture of the gunsight I took) For supplying them with the pictures I was gratiously sent two signed color profiles and the artwork for the cover of the book. The book is still available and you can learn more about it here.

    Other than a picture I took being in the book I have no affiliation with the authors or the publisher.

  13. A great-looking Jug Jay, and made from such an old kit - excellent work!

  14. What brand of decals do You bought?

  15. This is another OUTSTANDING build of one of my favourite aircraft of WW II. Your NM finish looks very realistic. Your P-47 is a WINNER that shines in all the right places. Thanks for sharing such an interesting background history to the model. Well done!

  16. Wonderful old kit. The monogram 1/48’s are gems.
    Thanks for sharing this good work.

  17. Nice work, Jay. That’s still a solid kit.

  18. You’ve really brought this old kit to life, Jay.

  19. Thank you, @blackadder57 , @chinesegeorge , & @j-healy !
    I appreciate you comments on this build.

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