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P-47 Thunderbolt Makeover—Republic’s Street Fighter in British War Paint

I’ve always favourite Republic’s large P-47 Thunderbolt and I’m certain I’m not alone. A longtime favorite of warbird enthusiasts, a Jug has a possess conspicuous place in a story of aerial warfare. In use about a same time as a equally apparent P-51 Mustang, Supermarine Spitfire, and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it had really tiny in common with a others. Sure, they were all deliberate “fighters,” all really able and some improved than others in specific areas. One thing a Jug did not share with any of a contemporaries was size. Its airframe was large with a big, turn R-2800 engine to compare and eight—that’s right, eight!—.50-caliber appurtenance guns make-up a firepower punch nothing of a others could match. So, since does this hulk of an aeroplane get a bend it does from those who flew it, honour from those who flew opposite it, and a indebtedness of those who have complicated it? The biggest reason has to be a extraordinary ruggedness in fight that supposing protected thoroughfare home for those who would have been mislaid in reduction “substantial” airplanes. It will sojourn a favorite and a fable for generations to come.

The Project

The “BEFORE” shot!


This Airfield P-47 ( is one of a latest in a universe of froth ARF warbirds and it reflects dual large differences from “first generation” froth models. It’s larger, by a good bit, than others and it’s molded of EPO (Expanded Poly Olefin) foam. Nearly all of a froth ARFs use this element underneath several names and it is a large jump forward, generally in a “finishing” and coming department. Almost left is a EPS (Expanded Poly Styrene) indication that looks like it’s lonesome in alligator skin; it has been transposed by a smooth, tighten dungeon froth aspect that offers a array of refinishing opportunities from elementary repaint to a focus of lightweight fiberglass cloth with epoxy-based resin.

For this exercise, we chose to examination with a array of collection and materials that we suspicion competence work on EPO froth though had not nonetheless used. Since we’ve already presented a array of these “makeover” articles, we carried a thesis over to this project, that is substantially a many endless so far. Since a settled design of a “makeover” array is to yield a routine of creation your mass-produced ARF indication distinctive, different, and singly yours when compared to others that left a factory, we wish this provides a proclivity to get started on your possess project. As with prior presentations, a fun starts with researching, finding, or forgetful adult that special paint intrigue that held your eye, saw in a movie, celebrated during a internal airport, or customarily suspicion “what if?” They’re all authorised here; remember, there are no rules, customarily your creativity and eagerness to do it, ruling your project.

My P-47 came out of a box simply finished with an appealing OD over gray scheme, finish with black and white advance stripes and pre-applied vinyl, self glue markings. This is one of those cases where we would have elite that requesting a “stickers” was one of a few tasks left remaining for a ARF “builder.”


First dilemma: mislay or paint over them? Painting over them would be easiest though also approaching a slightest appealing with edges and separate surfaces to understanding with. Okay, off they come! Oops … never approaching that most paint to come with them! Just have to understanding with it. After stealing all a markings, it was flattering apparent that something some-more than customarily laying some new paint over a tip of all would be required, so while we suspicion about probable solutions, we worked on some other areas that we suspicion competence serve urge a coming of my Jug.




I motionless that many of those neat tiny “shutters” and openings on a full-scale Jug could be combined simply enough. After referring to a array of cinema and drawings, we used printer’s litho plate, that is a really skinny metal, to make a parts. It is a good element for displaying and, when we can find it, it’s customarily giveaway since it’s a disposable commodity that is used customarily once and discarded. Check with a internal blurb copy shop. They’ll substantially give we a displaying lifetime’s worth! we cut a tools with mixed passes with a hobby blade – a pointy scissor will work though will give a somewhat twisted corner to a steel that should be straightened. we afterwards cut openings into a froth fuselage to accept a litho tools that enclosed intercooler and oil cooler shutter, rubbish embankment panels, and tailwheel doors that were fit and epoxied into place.

Back to a refinish.

With all that partially embellished and unprepared froth exposed, it was transparent that something would be indispensable to turn a personification margin before adding color. Foam does not take good to solvent-based material, so a margin was narrowed to water-based acrylic or latex materials. A discerning outing to my internal home alleviation supply store and a brief contention with a sales associate and we had my answer.


I explained that we was portrayal a molded froth cooler though we wanted a smoother aspect than a tender froth (I didn’t wish to go by a contention that would have come from a discuss that it was a indication aeroplane we was refinishing!). He bound me adult with a quart of latex white authority and we headed home though not before seeing that they had a ability to tradition brew paint, in representation sizes, to any tone desired.


I wiped a whole indication down with ethanol to mislay any oil or contaminants from both a remaining embellished and pure froth surfaces and afterwards practical a cloak of a primer, permitting it to dry overnight.



Now, about that custom-mixed paint service. Since a British RAF tone intrigue we had selected for my Jug has “FS” (Federal Standard) tone equivalents identified, we took my tone chip book with me to see customarily how good they could compare my chips. Well, they didn’t need to compare a chips during all, they already had FS formulas in their database. Fifteen mins later, we left a store with 3 ideally matched colors, in latex, in representation distance (7.5 oz.), for reduction than 10 bucks! Man, this scale things is flattering easy!



I laid out a deception settlement with a soothing pencil directly on a indication and practical a lightest color, in this case, to a undersides, first. This was followed by a subsequent lightest (gray) and finally, a darkest (green) in a camo settlement on a tip surfaces. Each of a colors was practical with a froth “brush” and authorised to dry before requesting a next. The froth brush eliminates tarnishing and required brush marks. The paint pigmentation is unenlightened adequate that one cloak should yield adequate coverage. If not, request a second cloak before starting a subsequent color. If we wish to “soften” a tone subdivision edges, use a suitable color, thinned with water, and request it along a corner with a tiny artist’s brush. You can also use an airbrush for this, though we have not been totally confident with putting thinned latex by an airbrush.


I done a decals by formulating a design in a graphics module and outputting them on decal paper to my inkjet printer. Following a instructions concomitant a paper, we sprayed dual coats of transparent Valspar over a whole piece and let it dry completely. After pleat tighten to a picture edges, a decal is treated as a standard H2O slide. Soak it in H2O until it releases from a subsidy paper, position it on a model, peck a additional water, and concede to dry overnight.


With all a markings in place, we started a “dirtying up” and “weathering” routine that is a same as I’ve explained in prior “makeovers.” For those of we who missed them, we use an airbrush with a suitable tone to unnatural empty and gun gasses, referring to cinema for upsurge instruction and density.


Chipped panels were unnatural with a focus of china paint practical with a excellent artist brush while row wear is replicated regulating a qualification element called “Rub ’n Buff” which, when rightly used, can explain a really picturesque looking ragged patina to a model. It does take a bit of investigation to get accurately a preferred effect, though it is a lot of fun and positively value a effort.


Final touches

Since a P-47 was finished with water-based paint, as a final step, we treated it to an altogether gray “wash” practical in a instruction of moody trail to a wings and tail organisation and plumb (top to bottom) on a fuselage. This rinse is a brew of gray colouring and H2O to a ratio of about 5% colouring to 95% water. In fact, we can substantially start with a brew that’s in a enclosure we used to purify your brushes and froth applicators. It can be practical with a consume or paper towel, always operative in a correct direction.


Practice on a throw aspect first, afterwards pierce to a bottom of a wing; when you’re comfortable, go for a propensity and finish a tip surfaces. Man, that’s some considerable indication you’ve created!



After! In further to a apparent paint intrigue differences, comparing a “Before” and “After” photos shows a other changes done like a weathering and empty staining. we even reworked a bombs to embody some-more picturesque fins. Subtle changes have a large visible impact!


These are a dress-up tools we done from printers litho plate. They embody tailwheel doors, oil cooler and intercooler shutters and rubbish embankment panels. Great, inexpensive element has many applications on scale models.



Fuselage side with intercooler panels private from foam. This would be a good time to implement a pushrod passage stiffener to make controls some-more certain by expelling flex.


Aluminum litho picture intercooler shutters are epoxied in place after ensuring correct fit. A side advantage is increasing cooling for interior tools like battery and ESC by formulating an atmosphere exit.


Adding elementary rigging doors as good as some dim paint in a area around a tailwheel also adds realism. The final product, glowing in RAF markings, is an instance of customarily how opposite we can make your indication demeanour with customarily some bid and experimentation. Pick a intrigue and go for it!


The final product, glowing in RAF markings, is an instance of customarily how opposite we can make your indication demeanour with customarily some bid and experimentation. Pick a intrigue and go for it!

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