1/48 scale P-47D Bubbletop is available online from Squadron
Despite the subheading, Tamiya's 1/48 scale P-47D
Bubbletop really needs no introduction. It is a beautifully crafted kit
that looks wonderful out of the box.
The only aftermarket enhancement that seemed
necessary to me was etched metal seatbelts from Eduard.
One might also consider alternative decals given
the abundance of striking options that are available from such companies
as Eagle Strike, Aeromaster, Cutting Edge, and SuperScale, among others.
However, this time around I decided to stick with Tamiya's markings for
Maj. Gen. William Kepner's aircraft, "Kokomo".
Some unique features of this aircraft included the
deletion of wing pylons and external stores, as well as the removal of
the outboard machine guns.
The cockpit was painted using a combination of Model Master Acryl
interior green and #3 green (a bluish green). Control panels were
sprayed scale black. Wheel wells were painted yellow zinc chromate mixed
with a little interior green to tone the color down.
The exterior natural metal finish was sprayed using various shades of
Alclad II lacquers applied over a base coat of Tamiya surface primer.
The shades of Alclad II used included aluminum,
semi-matte aluminum, and polished aluminum. I found that the subtle
variations in these shades was sufficient to provide an interesting and
varied finish to the model.
I prefer this approach over the uniform application of a single color.
I departed from Tamiya's instructions regarding the color for the cowl
ring and upper fuselage deck. Tamiya recommends a bright green (1 part
XF-4 [yellow green] and 3 parts XF-5 [green]), whereas a color
photograph I obtained (thanks to John Greiner) suggests that those
colors were simply faded olive drab. This latter interpretation makes
more sense to me given that the upper deck of P-47D's in natural metal
finish were olive drab, so I opted for Aeromaster's faded olive drab
Panel lines were darkened slightly using a thinned mixture of burnt
umber and raw sienna. Note that in my photographs the panel lines are
unusually bright due to the reflection of sunlight off the natural metal
Images of the completed model were taken outdoors with a SONY digital
camera set at its highest picture resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels).
Other camera settings were as follows: 200 ISO film
speed, 800-1000th/sec shutter speed, F-stop 8.0, and fixed focus
distance of either 20 or 30 cm. Images were cleaned up using Adobe
Photoshop 6.0 for the Macintosh. Specifically, the interface between the
base and background were merged using the software's "blur" tool, and
edges in some photographs were sharpened using the "sharpen edges" tool.
Sharpening images in such a way helps to restore some of the clarity
lost during image compression.
Click on the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2004 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 06 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004
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