in 1/32 Scale
by Chris Sherland
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The build represents Francis "Gabby" Gabreski's second personal P-47
("HV-A" 42-75510) while flying with the 61st FS, 56th FG, 8th AF, out of
Halesworth in January of 1944.
Gabby scored 10 kills in this machine including 2 Fw190, 3 Bf109, and 3
Bf110. The ground crews of the 56th FG were a critical part of that
groups success. Early on it was decided by the 56th brass that all group
ships be waxed for increased performance to help get any edge possible
over the smaller more nimble German interceptors they fought. Gabby's
D-11 was no exception, and I have finished it as it might have looked
after a touchup pass on it's wax job.
All 56th ships were repainted in March of '44 when 8th AF command
loosened the leashes on fighter markings a bit. The ETO ID bands (white
stripes on tail surfaces and band on cowling) were allowed to be
removed/replaced at this time. The 56th chose red cowlings with red,
yellow, and blue rudders to mark the 3 squadrons.
Gabby's D-11 is shown just prior to that repainting. While Gabreski's
crew was meticulous at keeping this Jug clean and healthy, it was
showing signs of major wear and tear in the form of staining and
chipping as well as some denting in the cowling and wing leading edges.
A full 3-part article can be found on the construction of this build
this link, so I won't go
too deep here. Save to say that the kit was sanded, rescribed, and the J
Rutman P-47 Detail set was used.
Also a Teknics R2800 resin engine kit was used as a replacement for
the kit motor.
Markings and Weathering
Gunze, Tamiya, and Polyscale acrylics were used for the basic color
application. I mixed the darker drab color from Gunze Olive Drab, Black,
and Violet. Future floor wax was used pre and post decaling as a clear
Once the Future coats were dry I weathered the ship with pastel chalks
and Testor's Model Master Aluminum Non-Buffing Metalizer. A final coat
of Future was buffed out using a soft rag and "Novus' Plastic polish No.
I wanted to capture the "Dark Drab" look I've seen in so many photos of
56th FG ships. The mix I settled on looked a bit dark at first but
served as a great base for a pass with standard Gunze Olive Drab for
panel highlighting. This gets that dark drab effect but still retains
some good old olive drab tones.
The build took me over a full year. Many distractions fractured any
focus I had and the ship lay dormant for a good 3-4 months more than
once. That said I found it hard to complete this build with any real
consistency. Many hours spent scratching the gear bays and venting ports
were contrasted by a very rushed completion that saw some fairly sloppy
modeling. All told it was bitter sweet to finish this bird. From a
couple of feet away she's stunning, but get out the magnifying lens and
it's pretty grizzly in there.
This was my first (and probably last for a while ) super detailed build.
I learned a tremendous amount and honed lots of new skills. Above
anything else it's raised my confidence level for new modeling
challenges, and reinforced some old lessons over again.
As it is it's no contest winner, but I can't find anything wrong with
big Jugs in general!
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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2003 by
Page Created 18 April, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004
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