Friday, 13 February 2015

Revell 1/144 P-47 Republic Thunderbolt - Pt. 7

[Sub-title: Humbrol Polished Aluminium Metalcote experiment.]

Getting there (finally)! I've applied the decals which is always a nice stage to get to - it's like you've reached the summit of a hill and now it's the easy coasting to the end of the journey.

The Revell decals are very nice and slid off the backing paper very easily and lay on the surface without tearing. The colour was rich and - importantly - the white was nice and opaque. I used Microscale MicroSet to help attach the decals and conform to the raised panel lines of the kit.

Obviously there aren't a lot of decals and it didn't take long to apply them. The main problem I had with them - as usual - was getting them to sit straight, it takes me a while to position decals in what I think is 'level'. It's one of those things that's a matter of personal perspective (literally) and unfortunately, sometimes, when I look at decals I thought were straight the next day they don't appear as straight or level as I thought I had them!

Still, MicroSet is just as good at lifting decals for repositioning again as it is for adhering decals to the surface of your model. MicroSol, on the other hand - while softening decals to make them conform to deep ridges or lines in your model - does stick decals down more permanently or softens decals so much that they are in danger of disintegrating if you try to lift them off again (so if using MicoSol try hard to get it right the first time)!

And so...I'll give the model another light coat of Humbrol's acrylic Satin Varnish spray, just to help settle the decals onto the surface. Once it's dry I can think about pin-washing and weathering. Also, I'll starting to think about the dreadful propeller and what to do with it.

The prop is - to be honest - the worst part of the kit. It's so deformed and flash ridden that it's hardly recognisable as the P-47's distinctive 'paddle prop'.

The Thunderbolt series used - I believe - three different designs of prop and guess what? Yep, the Revell P-47 prop doesn't look exactly like any one of them! It vaguely resembles one of the Curtis designed 'paddle' props but the prop hub suggests the Hamilton prop - If I had to choose (and bearing in mind this is a P-47 'D' model) I'd say this was a badly done Curtis type prop.

I was very tempted to dispose of this part and instead make a fake 'rotating' prop out of a disc of transparent plastic (as this model is supposed to be in flight). I still may, it's - excuse the pun - 'up in the air' at the moment!

Bit of a shoddy 'snap' of the painted prop - painting has not
improved the look of it all that much!
Next: Last leg - as I decide how much post-production work to do (pin-washing, weathering, etc). Oh, and what to do about that darned prop!


  1. It's looking nice so far. The metal finish is I think satisfactory. Can't wait to see more. As bad as that prop is though, I've never been a fan of just throwing a disc on there. I've always wanted to throw a motor in there for in flight prop aircraft but haven't done so yet. It's a bit late for that now anyway!

    1. Hi there! You have a point - I should have thought about this first not last. As you sat the metalcote is just satisfactory. The problem is that I'm just on that edge of 'beginner' and 'intermediate' modeller, so I'm still interested in 'beginner level' techniques. But I am slowly replacing these simpler mediums - like spray cans - for better quality techniques. Spray can makes it quick and easy to apply a finish without the outlay for a decent airbrush - BUT the downside is quality of finish. As I progress I fully intend to try out something more advanced like Alcad now I have an airbrush (co-incidently, I am just starting to get the urge to apply my varnishes by air-brush rather than spray can too because of the thickness of coat you get from a can). I like the idea of putting a motor in the model - I have a 1/72 Airfix P-40, might be worth a try! :)

    2. It's an evolving process. I seem to pick up new techniques/tricks/products as quickly as I build kits. Airbrushing really does make a difference. I still use cans for primer and matte finishes though. I think it's good to have a wide angle sprayer for those steps and I only have a fine nozzle airbrush. Keep on learning!