Republic P-47D-20 Thunderbolt

Vital Stats

  • Manufacturer: Trumpeter
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Aircraft: Republic P-47D-20 Thunderbolt
  • Markings: 318th Fighter Group | 19th FS | Saipan | 1944
  • Aftermarket: Master blast tubes (cut down) | Barracuda & True Details wheels | Eduard cockpit PE | HGW fabric harness | Hasegawa Curtiss-Electric “toothpick” prop | Montex masks | HGW wet transfers | Yahu instrument panel
  • Paints: Mr Paint | Kcolors | Tamiya


I love and I hate. The famous quote from the Roman poet Catullus pretty much sums up my feelings toward Trumpeter’s 1/32 Jugs. For every amazing feature, you get one of baffling madness. Over and over and over, all throughout the build.

Having suffered these highs and lows before, I mostly knew what I was getting into:

  • Poor wingroot fit
  • Poor-fitting, too-deeply-riveted ammo doors
  • Annoying engineering that forces you to install the blast tubes before the gun fairings
  • Shoddy landing gear
  • Over-engineered and entirely unnecessary internal ducting for the turbosupercharger
  • An absolute bullshit mounting arrangement for the engine and cowl.

Even knowing all of these faults, I somehow talked myself into believing that the Razorback would be a better experience than the bubbletop. See, the bubbletop kits have a maddening separate dorsal spine that Tamiya carries off nicely in 1/48, and that Trumpeter absolutely cannot match. Little did I realize the tradeoff – a very poor fitting windscreen – would basically cancel out the advantage of having entire fuselage halves intact.

Going to school off my first tussle with a Trumpeter Jug, I was able to figure out a lot of cool ways around the worst problems. The shitty engine and blast tube mount situations were fixed with magnets! I had the Eduard PE set ready to go to do awesome things with the gunsight and seat. But…there were still all the other faults to battle with, and they almost won.

My main goals with this build

For all its faults, I went into this build with a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to get out of it – an awesomely battered olive drab with the contrast of the bare metal cowl and tail that the 19th Fighter Squadron wore on Saipan.

These two things, I think, I carried off, though the soft detail on the kit’s cowl held back all the success I wanted. Still – it did win me over even more to the wonder of Kcolors metallics.


Check out all build photos over at SmugMug