“Zombie” 1:72 Scale Republic P-47D-20RE SN 42-76594 by Martin Schultz

Thomas F. Bailey was from Nitro, WV and wanted to be a fighter pilot from the age of 10.   He joined the Army Air Corps after graduating from high school but was too young for the aviation cadet program, so he went to aircraft mechanics school before eventually earning his pilot’s wings and a commission as a second lieutenant in November 1942.   He was assigned to the 356th fighter group, 361st Fighter Squadron, and flew out of an 8th Air Force base in Martlesham, England.

Bailey, who flew 91 combat missions in Europe and counted the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, four Air Medals and the Purple Heart  among his decorations, went on to serve as the Wisconsin Air National Guard commander at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Field from 1959 until his retirement at the rank of colonel in 1979.

According to the littlefriends.co.uk website, this aircraft was re-coded to QI-U and later flown by Capt. Ronald Upp with the name Zombie still on the aircraft.  Here is a photo I came across online.

I have been fond of the Thunderbolt ever since I read the book Thunderbolt by Robert S. Johnson and Martin Caidin as a pre-teen.  For references, I used the Scribd website where I was able to pull together 5 different books on the P-47 including a Squadron Walk Around and a book on modeling the P-47.  http://www.scribd.com/collections/2796087/P-47-modeling-references.  This profile sheet is from the Aircraft Profile 007.

And here is the kit.

The Jo-Han kit allows you to build either a bubble top or a razorback.  I decided to do Lt. Bailey’s plane since I wanted to do a razorback.  I have a Revell kit of a bubble top if I want to do one of those in the future.  The Jo-Han kit has less than 50 parts to cover both two versions, including ordinance.There is no interior in the kit other than a seat and a pilot figure.  I painted the interior Euro Dark Green, which looked like a close enough match to the interior photos I found.   The engine is just two pieces.  I used detail painting and an oil paint wash before and after assembling the two parts to try to add some realism.

I painted the bottom surfaces with Model Master Neutral Grey and the top surfaces Model Master Olive Drab (enamels), both colors slightly lightened with white for scale effect.  The fuselage insert leaves a large seam around the top.   Here I am filling the seam with Mr Surfacer 500 and 3m Acryl Blue putty.  I had to re-scribe several of the panel lines when I was done.

Once I was happy with the panel lines I added some shading by air brushing strait OD over the panel lines. This was the first time I have ever done this.  I was worried that it was too dark, but other modelers told me it would change a lot under dullcoat.

On the bottom I used slightly darkened neutral grey to darken the panel lines.

Once the panel line shading was all done, I put the engine in and then it was time for a couple of coats of Future to seal the enamel paint coats and get ready for decals.  After the decals had dried for a week, I put on another coat of future, to protect everything prior to doing a wash with oil paints.  I used an oil paint wash to darken the recessed panel lines. I used a brown-green wash on the top and a dark grey wash on the bottom.  Here you can see the effect with a wash on the left side and no wash on the right. See the difference it makes on the white tail stripes?

With the panel line wash done, it was time for a dull coat.  I have a bottle of Testors lacquer dull coat (square bottle) that I siphoned off some of the clear from and added extra “dull” from another bottle.   The resulting mixture sprays on dead flat. After letting that dry, I  used a Burnt Sienna wash on the gear struts,  then attached the wheels and gear doors and  put the plane up on it’s gear.  Then I installed the seat and pilot.  The propeller is ready to be mounted.

I spent a lot of time sanding the underside of the windscreen to try to get it to match the contours of the fuselage.  It would have been easier if I had done that before I painted everything.  The canopy and windscreen were dipped in Future, then I went back over the framing with dullcoat by hand.  I attached the windscreen and canopies with Krystal Kleer and then sat back and reviewed my work.

It wasn’t until after I took the photos that I noticed all the spots on my camera lens.  I’ll have to get back out side with a different camera and take some more.

You can read more about this build over in the Work in progress area of the website


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