On November 1st, Doogs’ Models kicks off its first ever kit giveaway. Two lucky winners will receive two fantastic kits, voted on by you, the readers!
In the lead up to the giveaway, I’m going to be announcing the kits every few days. Two at a time. One aircraft, and one armor.
First up, it was zee Germans. Now, let’s pivot to some American classics…
Aircraft #2 – 1/32 Hasegawa Republic P-47D-30 Thunderbolt – “Tarheel” Edition
I’m sure there’s some 20/20 hindsight going on, but if you look at World War II fighters, you can see a lot of the design philosophies that would come to define countries in later decades. Germany’s staggeringly well-engineered – perhaps overengineered – designs, I think, presaged the Teutonic precision that today defines BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. The graceful lines of the British Spitfire seque very nicely to the lithe, curvaceous Jaguar E-Type. The P-47, for its part, strikes me as a progenitor of the American muscle car. Big, heavy, clumsy in turns, but extremely tough and head-swimmingly fast.
The P-47 was the heaviest and most expensive single piston-engine aircraft of the war. What it lacked in a turning fight it made up for in sheer speed (especially in a dive), overwhelming firepower, and a ruggedness that got its pilots back to base, where they lived to fight another day.
A lot of pilots – particularly those who’d cut their teeth in revers Lend-Lease Spitfires – were all too happy to move on to the Mustang when it entered the scene in early 1944. But the Jug had its fans, including David Schilling, commanding officer of the 56th Fighter Group in 1944, who lobbied successfully to keep the big beasts.
The 56th ended the war with more air-to-air kills than any other fighter group in the European Theater.
This 1/32 Hasegawa represents a late-model P-47D-30 with the tail fillet for improved stability. I have their filletless P-47 in my stash, and it’s very high on my build list once we get established in the new house. Just as the P-47 is big in real life, it’s big in 1/32 scale as well. The Hasegawa kit isn’t quite as epic as the Trumpeter offerings…but it also doesn’t require that you build up the completely unseen turbocharger, either, and it’s reputed to be one great kit.
Armor #2 – 1/35 Tasca M4A3E2 Sherman “Jumbo”
On the ground side, the Sherman represents another American icon, and the M4A3E2 “Jumbo” variant represents one of the pinnacles of Sherman design. With German tanks packing bigger and bigger guns, the venerable Sherman, which started its career in the desolation of North Africa, found itself outmatched in the 1-on-1 encounters for which it was never really designed anyway (American tank doctrine called for using tank destroyers against enemy armor, and using tanks as the fast-movers to get behind enemy lines…see Patton). To counter the Panthers and Tigers, the Jumbo assault tank was devised. Sporting extra armor on the glacis, hull, and turret, the Jumbo was envisioned as the tip of the spear, the tank that would punch the hole through which the regular Shermans would pour. And that’s precisely what it did, most notably at the Battle of the Bulge, where Jumbos were the first American armor to reach Bastogne.
I haven’t built the Tasca Jumbo (yet), but I have built its sister, the M4A3(76)W, and should it pull in the votes, I can say with confidence that whoever wins it will be in for one very pleasurable build. The Tasca Shermans are not only dimensionally accurate and well-detailed, but extremely well-engineered in how they go together. And the Jumbo is no exception.
Stay tuned for the next two kits in a few days!