Monogram P-47 – A Series of Tubes

Monogram’s P-47D Thunderbolt isn’t a great kit. In fact, it doesn’t compare well at all to the newer offerings by Hasegawa and especially Tamiya. But it’s a competent, fast-building kit, with surprisingly solid detail.

Well, except for the blast tubes in the wings.

I’m trying to build this one mostly out-of-the-box, but I just couldn’t abide these sad excuses for blast tubes.

I’ve got a set of slick turned brass blast tubes I’m planning to use with a Tamiya P-47, so I figured what the hell, steal the Tamiya kit tubes and install them into the Monogram.

I started out by taking measurements.

Then I taped the wings together, snipped off the kit tubes, and drilled out the holes. Next I took some Evergreen angle stock and, measuring the distances (length of Tamiya blast tubes minus distance the tubes extend from the wings), tacked them down to act as barrel stops. The whole idea here is to be able to slot the tubes into place after painting’s been completed.

Once that was done, I taped the wings back up and did a test fit. Sure enough, the tubes fit perfectly. I’ll have to muck with alignment a little bit as the glue sets, but I’ll definitely be able to install them after the fact!

I’m still very new to this whole kit surgery/scratchbuilding thing, but I feel like I’m catching on pretty fast. This little procedure didn’t take too long at all, and the result is much, much better looking looking blast tubes.

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