Monday, January 30, 2017

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt “Eileen”, 1/72 scale, Academy Kit 2105

This kit has been in my stash for a year or two.  I like the Academy 1/72nd scale WWII fighter kits.  Recently, I obtained some Vallejo Acrylic Metal Color paints, and I thought this model would be a good project to test them on.

Grey Surface Primer followed by Gloss Black Surface Primer.  I used the grey first as I was not sure about masking over the gloss black.  Would it hold the paint?  I was sure it would, but I decided to not take a chance.  It worked perfectly.  I picked out some wing panes in  darker shade.  I am very pleased.  Here are the Vallejo colors I used:

The radio antenna too close to the canopy, so it cannot be posed as open all the way.   I decided to not move the antenna back, fill the hole, repaint, etc., so I closed the canopy.  I had done some detailing of the cockpit, but not much, so there was no big loss.  Trying to over-detail cockpits in 1/72nd scale is a challenge and often not seen later anyway.

The decals are terrible.  I had been able to use the decals that came with the Academy 1/72 scale Hawker Tempest V I made a couple of years ago.  They silvered some, but could be worked with.

Not so the decals in this kit which were the worst I have ever tried to work with.  The decals are thick, they rip and shatter easily when handled, and they are impervious to Microsol and Microset.  They do not “snuggle down” over surface details at all.

I am not alone in being disappointed in Academy decals.  I was reading a review of their B-29A kit, and that modeler was tearing his hair out after dedicating a lot of work to the kit and them finding out the decals were atrocious.

The featured marking for this kit is an aircraft with a checkered cowl.  There is no way that would work. 

I saw this kit on a list of kits recommended for a new modeler.  I hope not!  I used ever trick I could think of, including trimming the shattering decals on the tail surface with a fine file after application.Now, if you nave some nice aftermarket decals for a Bubbletop, then this would be a great kit to use them on.

Here are some more photos of the finished model: