First Look Review
P-47D Bubble Top Thunderbolt
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Roll Out
P-47D Bubble Top Thunderbolt is a new release from Platz of their 1/144 P-47D. This release, item PDR-3, features a Cartograf decal sheet loaded with four colorful Jugs.

Two P-47 models are in each box.

Those of you interested in everything P-47 should consult the Thunderbolt Research Centre, linked through the summary box, below.

Thirty-five gray parts and three clear parts make up this model. Molding is crisp with engraved structural lines. I spotted no sink holes, visible ejector circles, noticeable seam lines, and only a hint of flash. The attachment points for the sprues are small although they overlie the gluing surface of the lower wings. Parts makeup is conventional.

Three parts build the mainplane - one-piece bottom wing and fuselage, left and right top wings. Fine machine gun blast tubes are molded on as well as a pitot tube. The horizontal stabilizers are a left and right single piece.

Finally, the canopy is molded closed, as a single part.

PLatz includes a basic cockpit with a seat and a clear plastic undetailed instrument panel which fit into a tub molded into each fuselage half. Add those items, mate the fuselage halves together, add the radio mast, and you are done.

A modeler can choose between an early bubble top or the latter models with the extended vertical stabilizer spine.

The R-2800 is a chunky piece that captures that big radial. Platz made a separate piece to fit inside the cowl for intake ducting.

Each main gear assembly consists of the strut with the lower gear cover, a separate strut cover, and a wheel. Separate wheel covers are provided. None of the gear doors have interior detail. The main gear wells have structural detail molded into the wing interior. The tail wheel is a strut and wheel that fits into a box with each door molded on.

Weapon detail includes a bomb and pylon, or a cluster of bazookas for each wing. You must decide prior to mating the wing halves as to which holes to open up for which payload. A two-piece 150 gallon "slipper" belly tank is provided.

There were many versions of the P-47D and those Jugs charged forward behind four types of propellers. Platz includes three of them:
    * 12-foot Curtiss "Toothpick" with thin tapered blades and the standard Curtiss pointed propeller boss
    * 13-foot Curtiss "paddle blade"
    * 13-foot Hamilton propeller

I am perplexed by the clear instrument panel. One would think that means a decal is printed for the instruments. Let's see if there is one.

Instructions, Decals, Paint
First, there is no instrument panel decal. What there is is a Cartograf decal sheet with two sets of basic markings for any P-47D:
    "Stars and bars" national insignia
    Warning marking for the flaps
    Propeller markings for Curtiss and Hamilton
    Anti-glare panels from cowl lip to tail
    Canopy framing
    Machine gun sequence

Personal markings for four colorful Jugs are provided:
    C4*T, 388FS, 365FG, 1945
    "Miss Ann", No.60, 315FS, 324FG, 1945
    AJ*D, 356FS, 354FG, 1945
    "BALLS OUT", G9*L, Captain Milt Thompson, 509FS, 405th FG, 1945

For those of you who haven't used Cartograf decals, they are some of the best. They are thin, settle well, have little excess carrier film, and have accurate colors.

The instruction sheet is a folded single sheet, printed in Japanese and English. Six panels lead the modelers through the assembly, decaling and painting process. It is clear line art with some shaded items.

The other side features the four specific aircraft - and the generic one - in full color. It details the colors and markings.

Paint brands referenced are GCI/Mr. Color, and Model Masters.

Platz's new P-47D Bubble Top Thunderbolt is an exciting pair of kits for 1/144 modelers. It features crisp molding with engraved structural lines. Four decal options by Cartograf are included, including canopy framing.

I find it odd that Platz molded the instrument panel in clear plastic and yet provides no instrument panel decal.

This Platz P-47 should be welcome by the 1/144 community. Recommended.

Highs: Crisp molding with engraved structural lines; three choices of propellers. Four decal options by Cartograf, including canopy framing.
Lows: I find it odd that the instrument panel is molded in clear plastic and yet provides no instrument panel decal.
Verdict: This P-47 should be welcome by the 1/144 community.
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: PDR-3
  Suggested Retail: 1,944JPY
  Related Link: Thunderbolt Research Centre
  PUBLISHED: Dec 28, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Platz!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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