by: Doug Nelson [ ]
introductionKinetic has released a 1/24 kit of Republic P-47D “Bubbletop”.
BackgroundThe Republic P-47 is indeed an iconic aircraft and to many is the represents American fighter airpower in the second world war. Although it was the largest and heaviest fighter during its time, it was also one of the most effective with its 8 .50 machine guns and outstanding diving (for “boom and zoom” attacks) abilities. It was also one of the most effective fighter-bombers with the ability to carry up to 2,500 lbs of bombs.
The KitKinetic has released a 1/24 kit of the “Bubbletop” version of this popular aircraft, which is based on the former VFS kit. Looking through the kit, I don’t believe anything has been changed, other than the instructions and markings.
The kit is packed is a box that is the same size as most standard 1/32 kits, but is much deeper to allow for all the parts needed for a 1/24 model of this size. This makes it easy to fit in with the rest of your stash.
The kit's 298 parts are molded in light grey plastic, and spread over 9 sprues. Surface detail looks good, although fine, so you’ll want to be careful not to lose it all under heavy paint. The main wheel tyres are molded in rubber, with the rear hub included, so if you are averse to rubber tyres you might want to look for a plastic or resin alternative. The canopy and windscreen are nice and clear, and require very little cleanup.
Cockpit detail appears adequate, although it will be easy to add more detail in this scale if desired. A multi-piece “sandwich” IP is included, and should look great once built up. Note that seat belts are not included, so you will need to source those elsewhere.
Engine and firewall detail is also very nice, and the 4-part cowling will make it easy to display by simply leaving one (or more) sections off.
Gunbay detail is provided on the starboard wing, and gunbay and ammo magazine detail is provided on the port wing. The doors that cover these areas seem to fit well in a test-fit, so if you want to cover those areas up it should not be difficult to do so.
Two different types of drop-tanks are included, as well as bombs and rockets for the wing hardpoints, and slipper-style drop tank is included for the fuselage hardpoint.
Both Curtiss and Hamilton Standard props are included.
Assembly looks to be straightforward, and the only area that might cause any concern at all is the spine insert on the top-rear of the fuselage. A quick test fit appears to show a very good fit simply pressed into place, so with care this should not cause issues even if you want to model an unpainted natural metal finished aircraft.
The decals have been designed by Kits-World decals and printed by Cartograph. They are nicely printed and in register, with provide markings for two natural metal aircraft, “Buzzin Cuzzin” (12th AF) and “Phyl Darling” (9th AF).
The instructions consist of an A4 size booklet printed in B&W. Assembly sequences are shown, but no color call outs are provided, so modelers will need to consult their references.
ConclusionThe P-47 is an impressive aircraft, and this is an impressive kit, especially in 1/24 scale.
The only minor issue I can find with the kit is the instructions missing color call outs, which are useful in building if one doesn’t want to have to consult references at every step of the build. A quick test fit of the major components did not reveal any potential fit issues and the sheer size and presence of the finished kit will make the building experience worth-while.
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