Gabreski P-47D-25RE Thunderbolt

  • 25 posts
  • Last reply 3 months ago
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  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    So, I was innocently cruising EvilBay on Monday, when I ran across a seller making “an offer I could not refuse” – A Tamiya P-47D bubbletop, $42.50 tax included, delivered (it goes at the LHS for $53 when they can find one). With that, I decided I would finally Do It – after many attempts since first purchasing a Monogram P-47D with Gabreski’s markings 50 years ago, I would do the airplane using the best historical knowledge gathered over the years, to get it as “right” as this Aspergian professional historian can do.

    I made a quick trip over to Rebelalpha, Scott Zuieback’s online shop, to pick up the most accurate set of decals, the Techmod set (I say that because theirs is the one sheet that – correctly! – calls out the underside color as unpainted aluminum).

    Both items arrived this morning.

    I can resist everything but temptation.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Mmmmmm, Gabreski’s plane used to be an obvious choice, and we knew what scheme to expect, or so we thought, Tom @tcinla!
    I just love that all gathered info may result in a scheme differing from our established perceptions.
    I will follow your build, waiting eagerly for your result.
    Based on it, I might afterwards not resist the temptation of putting together my ancient and definitely oversimplistic looking Testors one, in your improvised scheme.
    Of course, as my usual “El Cheapo” approach, I will build it OOB and scratchbuild everything I can, for the result not to be too offending.
    It will be a perfect excuse to avoid direct comparisons wih “other, better built” ones! 🙂

  • John vd Biggelaar said 3 months ago:

    That’s indeed an awesome scheme, Tom @tcinla
    A great choice I have to say to create a P47 which is clearly looking diffently than usual.
    Enjoy your build.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Interestingly, studying the available photos of the airplane, one is struck by the fact it was a “work in progress” throughout the time from when it arrived in the 56th in mid/late May 1944, to when he clipped the ground with his prop strafing an airfield on July 20, the airplane changes its markings every couple of weeks or so. So basically, one chooses a point in time to represent the airplane. I think I will go for early on around D-Day and shortly after, when the D-Day stripes were only complete on the lower wings and sort of complete on the fuselage below the national insignia, with white stripes only on the upper wing and fuselage, with the fuselage white stripes outlined in black.

    Also, it’s obvious the airplane was painted overall RAF Dark Green, with the one color photo confirming Ocean Grey (not the Sea Grey Medium some call for) “blotched” over the Green.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Erik Gjørup said 3 months ago:

    Interesting plane. I checked my local shop, and they sell it at what translated to 39.50USD and will ship at 5,50, so it is a rather OK price you got yours at. They are usually able to give a discount if you turn up at the store wich I do on every occasion possible. I may have to add one to my already too large stash.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Well, what can be said about the Tamiya P-47s? I think that the two best Tamiya kit lines are the P-47s and the F4Us. They’re accurate, they’re super-easy to build, and they practically guarantee a great result.

    With this one, after pre-painting the cockpit in Dull Dark Green and using Eduard seatbelts, I proceeded with assembly, which went quickly. This particular model is different from others in that I decided to assemble it according to the photos, which means flaps up and the waste gates only half open on the rear fuselage. As with every other Tamiya kit that has separate flaps, the flaps really want to be assembled down – you can get them up, but it takes a little effort to get them to snuggle into position as they should. I had to squeeze each into position and hold it there while the cement did its first set-up.

    So now, ready for paint.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    This was a snap put together, Tom @tcinla!
    Now comes the interesting part: looking forward to your painting and decalling!

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Painting begins.

    First, apply white on the nose and rudder, followed by red. White on the wings. Then mask off the nose and the stripes on the wings.

    Then apply a coat of Taqmiya X-18 Semi-Gloss Black to the lower surfaces. Mask off the black stripes underwing, then paint the lower surfaces with Vallejo Dull Aluminum. A very interesting color – it is reflective, but not shiny, like aluminum after exposure to the elements. It also has a slightly grey cast to it (which is correct) and which would possibly mislead someone looking at a black and white photo that they were looking at a light grey painted area.

    Lastly preshade the upper surfaces. Since this airplane is nice and neat, the preshading is also, because the RAF Dark Green that will go over it only needs a bit of depth. If this was going to be a faded paint scheme, the preshading would be much “messier” and uneven, to give that underlying texture to the paint that will go on top of it.

    7 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    ….and splendid so far!

  • John vd Biggelaar said 3 months ago:

    Great progress, Tom.
    So much work done in a short amount of time.
    Nearing completion already.

  • George R Blair Jr said 3 months ago:

    Tamiya models really go together nicely, Tom (@tcinla). P-47s build up into an impressive model.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    Final paint scheme. Didn’t follow Techmod’s scheme on the fuselage, because that didn’t follow what I could see in the photos. There’s only the one frame from a film that shows the right side, and all I could do from that was a real approximation, but everyone is just approximating; for such a well-known airplane, it’s not well-documented. You’d think they could have taken off at least 10 minutes from invading Europe to do a good walkaround, wouldn’t you? And get all those people out from in front of it?

    The wings and horizontal stabs are approximations from the little to be seen in the photos, combined with taking a moment to look at the Techmod diagram. One thing a lot of people miss is the yellow overspray from painting the stenciled serial number on the vertical fin. I used a 00000 brush and “dotted” around tape. I also applied the Ocean Grey thinned and then “mottled” to get the final look.

    Now to give it a coat of clear gloss, let it set up, then the decals.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 3 months ago:

    I think your approximations are pretty close to what it was, Tom.
    It does look great in this scheme.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 months ago:

    On its gear and ready for decals. I have to say, I am pretty happy with the way this is coming along. I’ve been sitting here comparing it with the photos, and I think I got pretty darn close.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 months ago:

    Looks great Tom and I have to say that “aluminum gray” is a hit!

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