Republic P-43 Lancer

Classic Airframes

Catalogue No.: 413-29.95
Scale: 1/48
Media: Injection Styrene, Brass Photo-Etch, Resin and Clear Vac-Form
Review Type: In-box
Rating: Recommended

Reviewed by Jim Maas

S u m m a r y

Contents: 41 Injected Styrene Parts; 35 Butter-Coloured Resin Parts; 1 Photo Etched Brass Part; 1 Acetate Film; 2 Clear Vacform Parts
Price: Around US$25-$30
Advantages: Multi-Media it in an affordable package. Best (only?) P-43 currently available in 1/48 Scale.
Disadvantages: Lack of reference
Recommendation: Recommended for modelers with some experience of limited-run kits (or diehard P-47 fanatics)


F i r s t   L o o k


I just picked up the Classic Airframes P-43 Lancer. This aircraft represented a transition between the P-35 and P-47 Thunderbolt.

p43jm_1.jpg (21830 bytes)Surface detail is much improved over Classic Airframes' earlier releases. Plastic includes left and right fuselage halves (including cowling), one-piece bottom wing, l and r top wings, tail planes and l/g doors and gear and tailplanes, plus a prop hub and three separate blades which have been on steroids. Resin includes a fantastic one-piece undercarriage well (no complaints a la the He-112 about not boxing in the gear well!), cockpit walls and seat, and (!) a P&W engine crankcase and individual cylinders. The vacuform canopy (spare provided) includes the rear windows and 'solid' portion surrounding them - think of the way Mauve handled the P-40M canopy. The simple decal sheet carries markings for an early '41 aircraft of the 1st PG, and an anonymous Chinese Air Force machine (wing and fuselage roundels and rudder stripes).

My example had an unwanted bump on the center portion of the resin gear well piece - it took a while before I realized why the resin piece wasn't sitting down snug into the inside of the lower wing. A quick sand-off solves the problem. A photo (pix of P-43's are really rare) shows the inner gear doors only open during gear extension, and then close up again.

Also, the kit needs a lip, under the engine, inside the cowling at the bottom - not as pronounced as the one inside the P-47 cowling but similar. Since the P-47 used this setup to direct airflow to the supercharger, I suspected this lip might be present on the supercharged P-43. The only photo I could find of the cowling face (and it does show the lip) is in the old Aero Pictorials #3, RAAF and RNZAF in the Pacific which came out in the late Sixties.

Two other suggestions: the "39 1P" designator codes on the USAAC aircraft should probably be carried in black - as a single line of characters - on the upper port wing, and in smaller characters forward of the word "ARMY" on the lower port wing. I also suspect that some of the aftermarket interior detail stuff available for the Hobbycraft P-35 might come in handy for this kit. Overall, though, this is a good kit. I'll change the USAAC designators to show a similar aircraft that displayed big red crosses over the insignia during the Louisiana Maneuvers in 1941.


M o r e   R e f e r e n c e s - W e b s i t e s   a n d   P u b l i c a t i o n s

As Jim has noted above, pictures and general information about the P-43 Lancer is rare. However, there are a number of Internet sites with pictures and information about the Lancer. Some of the more useful sites are listed below:

"Watson's World War II Aircraft Museum" - this site features some technical data, drawings and a wartime picture of a Chinese aircraft. The Lancer information can be accessed via the following link"

"Air Group One" has two photos. They can be found at

An unnamed aviation site provides a useful history, plus a synopsis of the different sub-types of P-43. This can be found at

Charles Metz has also put together the followng list of print sources which have some details about the P-43 Lancer:

Bodie: 'Republic P-47 Thunderbolt: From Seversky to Victory'
(Widewing Publications, 1994) -- YP-43 cockpit detail (p. 97), P-43
engine [Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp] (p. 22, 68)

Davis: 'Bent and Battered Wings. Volume 2: USAAF/USAF' (Bent and
Battered Wings series, No. 2; Squadron/Signal, 1989) -- P-43 wheelwells (p. 6)

White: 'Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II' (SAE
International, 1995) -- P-43 engine [Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp] (p. 207, 214, 219, 220)

Each of the following books also includes at least one photo of the
P-43. Please note that Charles' database does not include page numbers for generic photos of
this kind (but it is a good start!):

Aero Staff/ Maloney: 'Republic P-47 Thunderbolt' (Aero series, No. 6;
Aero, 1966)

Angelucci, Bowers: 'The American Fighter' (Orion Books, 1987)

Archer, Archer: 'USAAF Aircraft Markings and Camouflage: 1941-1947'
(USAAS/USAAC/USAAF Markings & Camouflage series [unnumbered]; Schiffer,

Bell: 'Air Force Colors, Vol. 1: 1926-1942' (Air Force Colors series,
No. 1; Squadron/Signal, 1979)

Bodie: 'Republic P-47 Thunderbolt: From Seversky to Victory'
(Widewing Publications, 1994)

Bowers: 'Forgotten Fighters and Experimental Aircraft: U.S. Army,
(Forgotten Fighters series, No. 2; Arco, 1971)

Davis: 'Bent and Battered Wings. Volume 2: USAAF/USAF' (Bent and
Battered Wings series, No. 2; Squadron/Signal, 1989)

Davis: 'P-35' (Mini in Action series, No. 1; Squadron/Signal, 1994)

Dean: 'America's Hundred Thousand' (Schiffer, 1997)

Donald: 'American Warplanes of World War 2' (Aerospace / AIRtime,

Ethell: 'P-40 Warhawk in World War II Color' (Enthusiast Color series
[unnumbered]; Motorbooks International, 1994)

Feist, Francillon: 'The Royal Australian Air Force & The Royal New
Zealand Air Force in the Pacific'
(Aero Pictorials series, No. 3; Aero,

Francillon: 'U.S. Army Air Forces in the Pacific' (Aero Pictorials
series, No. 2; Aero, 1969)

Fry: 'Eagles of Duxford: The 78th Fighter Group in World War II'
(Phalanx, 1991)

Green, Swanborough: 'US Army Air Force Fighters, Part 2' (WW2
Aircraft Fact Files series [unnumbered]; Arco, 1978)

Hess: 'P-47 Thunderbolt' (Warbird History series [unnumbered];
Motorbooks International, 1994)

Jones: 'U.S. Fighters' (Aero, 1975)

Maloney: 'Sever the Sky: Seversky Aircraft Evolution' (Planes of
Fame, 1979)

McDowell: '49th Fighter Group' (Squadron/Signal, 1989)

Mondey: 'American Aircraft of World War II' (Hamlyn Concise Guide
series [unnumbered]; Chartwell Books, 1994)

O'Leary: 'USAAF Fighters of World War Two in Action' (Blandford Press
, 1986)

Pentland, Malone: 'Aircraft of the RAAF 1921-71' (Kookaburra, 1971)

Stafford: 'Thunderbolt in Action' (Aircraft in Action series, No. 18;
Squadron/Signal, 1975)

Stoff: 'The Thunder Factory: An Illustrated History of The Republic
Aviation Corporation'
(Motorbooks International, 1990)

Swanborough, Bowers: 'United States Military Aircraft since 1908'
(Putnam Aeronautical series [unnumbered]; Putnam, 1971)

Velek, Roman: 'Republic P-47 Thunderbolt' (MBI, 1997)

Wagner: 'American Combat Planes' (Doubleday, 1968)

Ward: '50 Fighters 1938-1945, Vol. 1' (Aircam Specials series, No.
17; Osprey, 1973)

Ward: '50 Fighters 1939-1945, Vol. 2' (Aircam Specials series, No.
18; Osprey, 1973)

White: 'Allied Aircraft Piston Engines of World War II' (SAE
International, 1995)

------: 'USAAF Aircraft of W.W.II' (Military Aircraft series, No. 14;
Delta Publishing, 1994)

Review Copyright by Jim Maas, April, 1998.
List of Published References Copyright by Charles Metz, April, 1998.
This Page Created on 08 April, 1998.
Last updated 22 July, 2003.

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