The P-47 was relatively unique among World War II fighters in that, instead of just dropping some machine guns into the wings and calling it a day, Republic designed the Jug’s eight .50 caliber Brownings to fire through long blast tubes.
Why? Heck if I know. The P-40, P-51, Spitfire, Hellcat and Corsair all seemed to get along just fine without blast tubes. Whatever the reason, they’re a pretty prominent feature on the big fighter.
My philosophy on aftermarket parts is all about focal points. I don’t any point in shelling out for super-detail landing gear bays, but prominent blast tubes certainly count, and Master Model’s turned brass tubes caught my eye at once.
So, are the brass tubes worth the $7 or so? In my opinion, absolutely. They look world’s better than Monogram blast tubes, which are basically plastic rod, and they outclass Tamiya’s better efforts as well. What’s more, they’re direct, no-modifications-needed replacements for Tamiya’s tubes, and they fit perfectly.
My one complaint – they’re brass. Most of the blast tubes were left unpainted, so aluminum tubes would seem a natural. Alas, I had to metalize metal. A coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200, followed by a coat of Tamiya X-1, then Alclad II Airframe Aluminum, and I got them looking pretty much like the real deal.
And as for the end result…what I can I say? These things speak for themselves.
Conclusion: Master’s blast tubes will class up just about any P-47. What’s more, they’re relatively inexpensive and don’t require any kit surgery. In my opinion, they’re totally worth it, and will be a part of my future P-47 builds. I tend to buy mine from Ultracast, but Great Models has them in stock every so often, as well.