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Republic P-47D Thunderbolt "Razorback"




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 61086
Scale: 1/48
Price: 2500 Yen (may be pre-ordered on Squadron for USD$34.96)
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Crisp molding. Appears to be the most accurate P-47D available. Good selection of ordnance and propellers.
Disadvantages: Exhaust waste gate could be better. Typical thick Tamiya decals.
Recommendation: Recommended


Tamiya's 1/48 scale P-47D may be ordered online from Squadron

Reviewed by Dave Williams




Given the number of 1/48 scale P-47 kits available from the likes of Academy, Hasegawa, and Monogram, many might be thinking that we need another Thunderbolt like we need another Bf109. Regardless, Tamiya has always gone their own way and has now entered the fray with their new kit of the P-47 Razorback. The first impression that the kit is an excellent rendition of the “Jug” and corrects some of the issues with the Hasegawa kit. The molding is typical Tamiya: crisp and well-done. I didn’t note any sink marks and there were only a few ejector pin marks that might need attention.

The kit provides a number of options a good ordnance selection and a choice of propellers. Beginning with the ordnance, the kit includes a 150-gal “flat” drop tank, two 108-gal pressed paper tanks, two 500-lb GP bombs, and two triple tube 4.5-inch rocket launchers. Propeller options include the original 12-foot Curtis Electric prop and the 13-foot Curtis symmetric paddle blade prop. Also included, but marked not for use, is the 13-foot Hamilton Standard paddle blade prop. The propellers have a unique breakdown, being composed of opposing two-blade sections that are joined together perpendicular to each other to make a four-blade unit.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Starting at the front, the kit has a fairly good representation of the R-2800 engine, although like most kits, the ignition wires are notably missing. You get a choice of two magneto styles for the engine. The two cylinder rows are separate parts and the kit has a good representation of the divider in the lower nose that diverts the airflow into a center duct leading back to the turbocharger and two flanking oil coolers. The actual central duct and oil coolers are molded on the firewall piece that attaches to the front of the fuselage. The kit has a choice of parts representing open or closed cowl flaps. It should be noted that the cowl flaps are of the type with the two lower flaps shorter than the rest which was standard for all except the early P-47Ds.

Moving on to the fuselage, the louvers for the oil cooler exhaust are separate pieces inserted from inside the fuselage which allows them to be properly opened up. Strangely, the exhaust waste gate outlet just aft of the oil cooler outlet doesn’t seem as well molded as the rest of the kit. The butterfly valve which controls the exhaust flow is just molded as a recessed circle bisected by a raised line on the flat fuselage. In reality, the valve was recessed a little inside the exhaust pipe and the area of the panel just behind the pipe was dished out a little. This area of the Tamiya kit seems a little flat and unconvincing to me.



Moving farther back, you have a choice of open of closed intercooler doors. The fuselage half has a nice section of the curved intercooler ductwork molded for the open door option, but the duct simply opens into the big, empty fuselage, so some sort of view blocking device may be needed. As a contrast, Tamiya provides a turbocharger part to fill in the top of the turbo exhaust on the belly. One item of note is that Tamiya has molded the drain lines on the right side of the lower fuselage aft of the wing trailing edge, which are missing in the Hasegawa kit. Finally, in case anyone is wondering what the optional parts that look like little reverse scoops placed on either side of the fuselage below the windscreen are (Parts E6), they are additional rear view mirrors that were fitted to a few razorbacks in the field. Although the instructions don’t make any mention, it appears that part E6 could also be fitted to the top of the windscreen in the normal rear view mirror position.

The cockpit is nicely done with detailed sidewalls.



The floor is corrugated, which is correct for razorback P-47s. The instrument panel is really only designed to work with the included decal as the instruments are simply molded as raised circles with no actual instrument face detail. Switches and knobs are molded on the panel, however. The seat has no molded belt detail, however a decal is provided for the harness. Overall, the kit cockpit is more than adequate for an out-of-the-box cockpit.

At first glance, the wing parts have a strange breakdown with the ailerons being molded as part of the upper wing and certain parts of the lower wings as separate inserts. The inserts on the lower wing, I believe, indicate that a bubbletop P-47 is in the future. The inserts are for the area behind the outboard part of the gear bay, where the compressibility flaps would be on P-47D-30s and up, and for the outboard part of the left wing, where the landing light was moved to when the compressibility flaps were installed. The right and left wings are separate parts, designed to slip of stub wing spars that are placed inside the fuselage. This avoids the step problem some people have reported with the one-piece lower wing on the Hasegawa kit. The roof of the gear well extends inboard of the wing root to avoid the seam problem in the Monogram kit. Tamiya has correctly represented the aileron configuration of the P-47 with an inset trim tab on the left aileron and an external balance tab on the right aileron. The flaps are separate parts, with separate sets of actuators for the up or down positions. The leading edge panel with the holes for the machine guns is a separate insert and has the guns correctly staggered with relation to the ground. The gun barrels (or more correctly blast tubes) are individual rods with a recessed hole to represent the muzzle. Some confusion is possible however, as both ends of the rods have holes and the instructions show that the end with slight taper at the tip is the front end. The gun barrels are attached to the sprue by only one attachment point; unfortunately it is near the visible end of the barrel, so some careful cleanup will be needed. If using the underwing pylons or the rocket tubes, holes must be opened up in the wing prior to gluing the wings halves together. If the pylons are not used, the small strakes that run forward of the join between the flap and aileron are included as separate parts. Finally, the cockpit air opening and gun camera port are molded into the leading edge of the right wing.

Rounding out the kit, the landing gear is nicely done with the upper and lower gear doors being separate parts. Separate actuating cylinders are provided for the inner gear doors. The wheel hubs are separate parts and although the kit only tells you to use the covered hubs, the six-spoke hubs are also present in the kit. The clear parts are nicely done and include the gunsight and the internal bulletproof windscreen plate. The canopy is separate from the windscreen, but it isn’t clear whether it is designed to be placed in the open position as the instructions do not show this as an option. A clear part is provided for the underwing landing light, but surprisingly the three recognition lights under the right wingtip are only represented as circles on the solid plastic.

The kit has a number of “not used” parts, some of which could actually be used on a razorback Jug. Besides the aforementioned HS prop and six spoke wheel hubs, the kit contains a DF loop and associated spine fairing which was fitted to some CBI theater P-47s, a different style of external rear view mirror, and two other types of gunsights. There is also an extra instrument panel shroud which has a cutout for a gun sight (unused part F2?) and extends back to cover the top of the panel. The shroud that is used in the instructions is short and allows the rear of the instrument panel and gunsight mounting structure to be visible. My references don’t the long type of shroud being used on a razorback, but it doesn’t appear to be a bubbletop part as the front is triangular and includes a slot for the internal bullet proof glass panel just like the part that you are told to use.

Decals are typical Tamiya: nice registration, but a little on the thick side. Markings are included for two ETO P-47s in OD over Neutral Gray: the popular HV-V “Little Chief” and UN-M “Spirit of Atlantic City N.J.”





What more can be said that it’s a great kit with a number of options and great detail overall. Modelers who already own the Hasegawa kit will have to decide for themselves whether the kit is enough of an improvement to justify getting one, but the Tamiya is a little bit nicer and more accurate IMHO.


Kit courtesy of my increasing credit card bill.

Dave Williams
IPMS/USA 19050

Review Copyright © 2001 by Dave Williams
Page Created 30 November, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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