Review: 1/48 Hobby Boss P-47D Thunderbolt

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is my favorite aircraft, hands down, so when I first read that Hobby Boss would be releasing a new kit into the already-crowded arena of 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolts, my ears perked up.

In my opinion, the two best 1/48 Jugs exist at opposite ends of the spectrum. At the high end, you have the Tamiya kit; a marvel of detail and engineering, and probably one of the very best kits ever released in the scale. At the other end, you have the old Monogram mold. Crude by comparison, but a fast and easy build with solid fit and a low, low price.

The way I see it, the other 1/48 P-47s – such as those from Academy and Hasegawa – exist in a murky middle ground of “why bother?”. They aren’t as good as the slightly pricier Tamiya, or as simple (or cheap) as the old Monogram.

That is the perspective I have in mind as I approach this new “Easy Assembly” P-47 from Hobby Boss. There’s little chance of it knocking the Tamiya off the throne of awesome, but could it possibly give the Revell-Monogram kit a run as the lower-tier value option?

Let’s find out.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Wilding says:

    It’s a shame they come out with a new kit and it is not much better them a 30 year old Monogram. I am building the new Kenitics M109A2 and it is like a Tamiya kit from 1980.

  2. Doogs says:

    Yeah I picked up the Kinetic 1/32 Sabre (Italeri rebox) and it’s decent, but a far cry from cutting edge. I’d definitely give it much lower marks if it weren’t just about the only way to get a Sabre in the big scale (not counting the old Hasegawa)…

  3. Eduardo says:

    I think we must not forget that we are talking about a cheap kit and it aims to be uncomplicated.

    I’m building one. The pieces fit together very well and with the exception of the instructions, I’m enjoying a lot.

    The canopy is simple to fit but without mold lines and serves perfectly as a mask for the remaining paint.

    Sorry Doogs, but for 12 euros … is a must! 🙂

    1. Doogs says:

      Eduardo – that’s kind of my point and exactly my hopes for the kit – a cheap successor to the venerable old Monogram offering. But I’m standing by my opinion that a few poor choices make what would be that kit more frustrating and yes, more complicated. Specifically the single-piece engine/cowl and the struts being molded to the gear doors. Given those two items alone, I think the Monogram is still the budget P-47 to beat (and it’s $5 cheaper than the HB over here).

  4. Peter Ecos says:

    How do you compare the Tamiya and Monogram dimension-wise? I’ve only built one Tamiya but about a dozen Monograms. To me the Monogram is still 100% accurate, well, nothing is 100%, but the closest one to the real thing.

    1. Doogs says:

      Honestly, unless they’re significantly off, dimensions are not something that I bother with caring about.

      As for accuracy, the Tamiya trumps the Monogram hard in the cockpit and R-2800. The Tamiya is also the only 1/48 I know of that gets the guns right (parallel to ground, not to wing)

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