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Revell Germany's 1/72 Scale
P-47 D and P-47M Thunderbolts

by Rafe Morrissey
and Floyd S. Werner, Jr.


Republic P-47 D and P-47M Thunderbolts


Revell's 1/72 scale P-47D and P-47M are available online from Squadron.com




The P-47 developmental history has been well covered so we won’t go into it here. However, it is worth noting the differences between the D and M models.

With the introduction of the P-51 in the European Theater, P-47 units transitioned to the Mustang until only the 56th Fighter Group flew the P-47 in escort duties. Republic sought to improve performance and endurance to enable the Thunderbolt to better compete in air-to-air combat.



The M model was basically a D model with an upgraded engine. Pratt and Whitney upgraded the R-2800 to a 57C series with a new supercharger and gearbox.

For the model builder, the gearbox is the same as the one used on the F4U-4 Corsair and the P-47N.

The R-2800-57C engine was plagued with developmental problems that weren’t ironed out until the final months of the war. All but a few developmental airframes were sent to the 56th Fighter Group in England.



Revell Germany's 1/72 Scale P-47s


The Revell of Germany 1/72 scale P-47 kits are little gems.

Available in the US for under $6.00 these kits are a testament to the state of the art in 1/72nd scale. Molded in light silver or gray plastic, the two kits differ only in the engine and under wing ordinance sprue that is included.

The D model offers two 75 gallon and one 108-gallon flat drop tank, as well as, two 250 lbs bombs.



The M model offers only two long range “P-38” style drop tanks and under wing rockets, (not a likely weapons load for an air-to-air fighter in the ETO).

The canopy is a two-piece affair that is rather thick.

The decals for both kits are very thin, opaque and well registered (the stenciling is legible even in this scale), but a bit brittle. They wouldn’t stretch enough to suck down into panel lines even with Solvaset.





The cockpit is a joy to put together. The detail is equal to or greater than most 1/48th scale aircraft. It is very complete and contains all the major elements. It just needs a coat of bronze green. Floyd used a Humbrol color with a dry brush of zinc chromate yellow and some silver pencil chipping.



Rafe used a custom mixed color. The instrument panel turned out great after a coat of flat black paint and a little dry brushing. Details were picked out with Prismacolor artists’ pencils. The overall effect once assembled conveys the sense of a great deal of detail with relatively few parts. There is no need for an aftermarket cockpit set here.


The fuselage fitted together with no major problems and little need for any filler. The fillet for the vertical stabilizer is conveniently provided as a separate part for those who want to do earlier models. It needs some carving and careful fitting where it meets the stabilizer. Rafe forgot to test fit it on the P-47M and had to do a lot of unnecessary shimming and filling to get a good appearance. This was his slip-up and not a problem with the kit. Floyd on the other hand installed the antenna so that it sat on the spine. It wasn’t bad except he forgot that he was going to put on the fillet too. Oh well it looks better without one anyhow.

One minor gripe is the cowl flaps, which are molded with a significant gap between them. On the real thing, a spacer would fill these gaps. Revell doesn’t include them so Rafe fashioned some from .005 sheet plastic.

Wings and Tail Plane

The wings are excellent and have a great deal of fine engraved detail. The bomb pylons are separate parts, which is a nice touch again for anyone wanting to do a P-47 without them. The fit wasn’t the greatest and Rafe ended up gluing them on and filling the seam with Acryl Blue Putty and removing the excess with Q-tips soaked in nail polish remover. This technique worked fine but cutting off the locating pins and rubbing the pylons over sandpaper held tight against the wing surface would work just as well.


The guns are molded correctly so that the will be parallel to the ground- a first for any 1/72nd scale Thunderbolt! Floyd did drill out the guns but in this small scale only people with a microscope could see them. Compressibility flaps are molded to the underside of each wing. They will have to be filed off if a plane without them is to be modeled.

One of our few minor gripes with the kit is the wheel wells. The kit includes some really super detail, again the best we’ve seen in any P-47 kit in this scale. Unfortunately, the model is tooled like the old Monogram 1/48th scale kit so the seam between the wing and the fuselage runs right through the corrugated roof of the well. Filling the seam and maintaining all that detail would be darn near impossible so Rafe just decided to live with it. Floyd filled it with Blue Acryl and did his best to make it go away without losing too much detail. If Revell had tooled this kit like the new 1/48 Tamiya P-47s, their kit would be nearly perfect.



Painting and Markings


Rafe first painted red trim on the cowling and the rudder of the P-47M with Testors Acryl Red with a tad of yellow mixed in. He masked the areas to remain natural metal because he planned on using Floquil Old Silver and knew the lacquer-based paint would craze an acrylic undercoat.

After masking over the red trim, Rafe sprayed a base coat of Old Silver thinned with a 50/50 mix of lacquer thinner and mineral spirits. Good ventilation and a mask were a must here! The Floquil laid down nicely and could be handled within 10 minutes. He let the Old Silver dry overnight before masking just to be safe. Rafe masked the undersurface and leading edge of the wing with drafting tape before applying a custom mixed color of Acryl Flat Black with a bit of purple added. When he peeled up the masking Rafe realized that he had forgotten to mask the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizers. This caused a real dilemma because you can’t spray the lacquer based Old Silver over an acrylic top color.



Rafe ended up masking everything but the leading edge and spraying Pollyscale Bright Silver mixed 50/50 with clear gloss. This turned out great and the match between the acrylic Pollyscale and lacquer based Floquil metal colors was perfect.

Floyd first sprayed his kit with Future floor wax in preparation for the Alclad. He painted it with Alclad Aluminum overall. Then he went back in and painted the control surfaces and select panels with Alclad Duraluminum for added interest. When that was all dry he painted the cowling RLM 04 and the black stripes on the tail. The Olive Drab anti-glare panel was the final touch.


The P-47M was only in service for a few months so extreme weathering wasn’t appropriate. Rafe lightened the base color of the topcoat with a few drops of white and sprayed this along the very top of the fuselage and the front edge of the wings. He applied a pastel sludge wash to the panel lines on the bottom of the plane using a blue gray color similar to Payne’s Gray.

Control surfaces received a sludge wash with black pastel. He brushed on exhaust stains with a mix of black and raw umber pastels. Finally, Rafe added a few ticks with a silver Prismacolor artist’s pencil around the cockpit, gun bay doors and trailing edge of the wing next to the fuselage.


Floyd opted for just a light wash of Paynes Grey in the panel lines. Not wanting to dirty it up too much as he liked it a lot. He did use a burnt umber wash to discolor the turbosupercharger exhaust.

Finishing Touches

Landing gear, wheel bay doors and under wing ordinance were attached with white glue. Rafe painted the drop tanks on the P-47M with SNJ and polished them with aluminum powder to get a high shine to set them apart from the rather dull finish under the wings. A bit of dry brushing and a wash of raw umber oil paint brought the tires and wheels to life.





The P-47 is one of the most well known allied fighters of World War Two. Up until now, no manufacturer had really done this significant plane justice. The Revell Germany P-47s give the modeler everything he or she could ask for in a kit at a great price. Our only hope is that they will add a razorback version to their excellent line of P-47s and a series of Bf-109s.




  • "Thunderbolt, The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in the European Theater" McDowell, Ernest, Squadron Signal, 1998 ISBN 0-89747-393-0

  • "56th Fighter Group" Davis, Larry, Squadron Signal, 1991 ISBN 0-89747-240-3



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Rafe Morrissey and Floyd S. Werner Jr. 
Page Created 21 November, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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