On the Bench: 1/48 Academy P-47N Thunderbolt


The P-47N was the last variant of Republic’s venerable Thunderbolt to be produced. Designed to escort the new B-29 Superfortress to Japan and back, the -N featured a new wing design with internal fuel tanks and squared off wingtips for improved roll. In typical Thunderbolt fashion, it also received a (further) upgrated R-2800-77(C) radial engine.

With the Spitfire off the bench, the P-51 stalled out for want of a cowl mask, and the big move looming, I’m hesitant to dive into an epic build along the lines of Tamiya’s new 1/32 P-51D Mustang. So I decided to cast about my stash and, well, this one’s been calling to me.


A few reasons.

First, it’s a relatively simple kit. Just a few sprues to deal with.

Second, it’s a surprisingly decent kit. I know I’ve bagged on Academy in the past (I’m still pissed at the laziness of their P-38), but this one surprised me. Details I hadn’t expected to see, like separate blast tube fairings complete with the tubes in proper alignment, give me hope that this will prove to be a less frustrating exercise.

Third, the markings. I’m planning to sub out as many of the kit markings as I can, due to Academy’s less-than-stellar reputation in that regard, but the “Expected Goose” nose art just makes me chuckle. And the be-yellowed, square-tipped P-47 is certainly a different beast than any other Jug I have in the stash.

Look for a kickoff in a few days!

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