P-47 'Bridge Buster', 1/48th scale, 9th Air Force Diorama.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Airframes, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Due to a couple of deep penetration injections to my shoulder, I'm unable to continue with the Fennec build at the moment, as I need to avoid things such as sanding, filing and sawing. This also prevents me continuing with the commission builds still (slowly!) in progress.
    So, in order to pass the time of day, and retain my enthusiasm for modelling, I decided to do a simple, Out of the Box build (yeah, right!), using the old Monogram 1/48th scale 'Razorback' kit.
    As it seems every man and his dog, nephew, and the nephew's dog, only builds ETO P-47's from either the 56th or 78th Fighter Groups of the 8th Air Force, and there's nothing wrong with that, it's long been my intention to portray an aircraft from one of the biggest users of the type, and also possibly the most overlooked users.
    The 9th USAAF had a total of 15 P-47 Groups based in England during World War 2, operating mainly from ALGs (Advanced Landing Grounds) spread along the length of the South coast area, from Hampshire to Kent, before moving to the Continent in late July 1944. Operating at first as escort for the Medium bombers of 9th AF, and for the 'Heavies' of 8th AF, these Fighter Groups were then assigned a tactical role, under the command of IX TAC, operating as fighter-bombers attacking targets such as bridges, airfields, railways and other lines of communication in Northern France and beyond, a task which was greatly intensified on the run-up to D-Day, and continued, in support of ground units, alongside the RAF's 2 TAF, to war's end.

    This small 'cameo' diorama will depict a P-47D-16 or 20, just about to start up, ready for another sortie against bridges in Normandy, soon after D-Day.
    Subject to the results of currently ongoing research, the aircraft depicted will be from either the 50th, 362nd or 404th Fighter Group, and will be shown standing on a dispersal of Sommerfeld Matting, loaded with two, 1,000lb bombs and a 'belly tank', with the pilot strapped into the cockpit, the Crew Chief in front of the port wing, and the Assistant Crew Chief, fire extinguisher at the ready, near the starboard-side engine cowling. Various service items will be spread around the 'scene' as 'set dressing', and these will be shown and described as the build progresses.

    The kit, originally dating from around 1967, was donated by Karl (Rochie), and is devoid of packaging, instructions or decals, none of which are a problem, and, judging by the plastic and the mouldings, is probably one of the releases from the 1980s. I've built two or three of these over the years and, bearing in mind its age, it still provides a good representation of the 'razorback' variant, with only a very small number of minor inaccuracies, the result of economy in production, which are hardly noticeable and easily corrected if required.
    I had intended to ignore the raised panel-line detail which, once painted, is quite acceptable, but, after fiddling about with a couple of the panels, decided to re-scribe the whole lot, a task which was a lot easier and quicker than anticipated.
    PIC 1. Shows the re-scribing underway, with the port fuselage half done, but not yet polished.
    PICS 2 and 3. The kit has the moulded gun sight and instrument panel glare shield as part of the fuselage, with a slot for the armoured glass panel. As I wanted a better representation of the sight and its mount, and also wanted to show the rear of the instrument panel, this area was removed, and a K-14 gun sight mount, from the Academy kit, had the sight head removed and was adapted for use with a scratch-built sight.
    PICS 4 and 5. The adapted sight mounting bracket in place, with the basis of a scratch-built MkVIII reflector sight head in place. The sight's reflector 'glass' will be added before fitting the armoured glass and windshield. Also shown is some of the wiring and 'plumbing' added to the moulded instruments on the reverse of the panel, added from two gauges of lead wire.
    PIC 6. As the pilot is a central figure (literally) of the diorama, a suitable figure was sourced form the ICM USAAF figures set, this being a pilot from the PTO. The figure was therefore modified, by shaving off the 'rolled up' sleeves and carving folds to represent the A-1 leather jacket. The helmet was also slightly modified, the goggles lenses drilled out (later filled with PVA to represent the 'glass' lenses), and the head removed, and re-set at a different angle. The torso was also fitted at a different angle, leaning slightly forward and to the left, with the left hand on the throttle lever, and the right hand reaching for the switches. In order to allow the legs to fit into the cockpit around the rudder pedals, the feet were removed, below the ankles, and the 'leg ends' fit neatly into the pedal's vertical supports.
    PIC 7. The pilot figure after clean-up and basic painting. Further tonal additions were made once the figure was 'seated' and the oxygen mask fitted.
    PICS 8 and 9. The pilot in the cockpit, with seat harness added from strips of painted foil, and an oxygen mask from the Academy F-86 Sabre kit. Some areas need re-touching, due to marks and abrasion from handling, and this will be done once the masks are removed from the model itself, after painting.
    PICS 10 and 11. The fuselage has now been joined, and work has commenced on eliminating all traces of the joints. Various vents, jacking holes and breather holes have also been drilled out.
    The final shot gives some idea of how the pilot's pose will fit into the overall 'scene' of the diorama.
     

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  2. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Terry,

    Nice work thus far. Looking forward to seeing your progression on this kit. I like your paint work on the pilot, especially his face. Nice job.
     
  3. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Great idea for a diorama Terry. I've made the Monogram razorback two or three times myself, and the bubble top version was the first kit I build all by myself when I was 7 of 8 years old and have done that one several times too. I'll be watching your build with interest.
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Wow that looks spot on!!
     
  5. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Looking good!
     
  6. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Quick start Terry, and a great figure. Awaiting to see how you handle the wing/fuselage join. Have you got an aircraft picked out or would you like some options.

    Geo
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this Terry. Looks like you've not lost your touch at all.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much for the positive reactions chaps, it's much appreciated after my frustrations lately!
    George, I haven't definitely decided on a particular aircraft, although at the moment the choices are G8-J from the 362nd, 4K-B from the 404th, or T5-A from the 50th.
    Finding good photos of camouflaged razorbacks from 9th Air Force is proving tricky, although I have another couple of books on the way which might reveal something.
    For the above aircraft, I have a profile for G8-J, a B&W photo of a canabilised T5-A, and only the box art from the old Matchbox kit for 4K-B, the serial number of which doesn't correspond with the aircraft listings on the 404th web-site, although this only shows named aircraft.
    I want to do just an ordinary, everyday aircraft, in Olive Drab/Neutral Gray, with white nose band and tail stripes, and full 'Invasion Stripes', but without any nose art if possible. There are a few pics around, although, as 9th AF wasn't as 'glamorous' as their 8th AF colleagues, there are nowhere near as many as the latter, and those showing OD aircraft are mainly just nose shots, or have fancy nose art, or not clear and without information.
    If you think you have any pics that fit the requirements, I'll be happy to see them.
     
  9. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Emailed you some photos Terry. I think you have a couple already. What the heck was wrong with the 9th Air Force. Almost every photo is of a pranged up aircraft.

    Geo
     
  10. Bustedwing

    Bustedwing Member

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    Steroids for frozen shoulder ???? If so I can relate. As for the out of the box thing, Ive come to terms with it, aint gonna happen. I have a 1:72 scale Enola Gay I swear will be otb build but I know what I'm like once I get started. I built that kit as a kid, looking forward to it's turn out. Love jugs !!
     
  11. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Good your taking care of the shoulder. After my rotator cuff op, physio was a must to keep it limber and stiffening.

    That's looking mighty nice really. I have a Davidson flown Jug from The 34th Fighter Squadron from IE Shima Island North West of Okinawa. Yellow rudder and black spade the pretty much covered the vert stab.

    I'll watch what you're doin here fer shur!
     
  12. Angels one-five

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    The pose of the pilot looks really effective. Impressive how small changes can make it come to life.
     
  13. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good work so far Terry!
     
  14. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Inspirational as always old boy....do have a snifter!
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks again chaps. Not got any more done today, as I've been spark-out asleep for over 14 hours!
    George, got your e-mails, thanks, and there's a couple of interesting ones in there. If nothing else turns up in the other two books I'm waiting for, I'll probably go with one of those you sent me - great stuff.
    Yep, lot's of pranged 9th AF kites - just goes to show how dicey the ground attack role must have been - unless the pilots were more used to fixed undercart aircraft, and forgot about lowering the gear!
    It really is surprising though, just how little 'coverage' the 9th got, compared to the 8th AF and even the 15th AF. Even books, or chapters, dealing specifically with the 9th are short on photos, and believe me, I've searched and searched over the years for stuff on the P-47 and B-26 units from the 9th, with similar results.
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    George, I've now got the wings on, after drilling and cutting the cockpit air intake, gun camera aperture, landing lamp and I.D. lamps holes.
    I can't photograph it at the moment, as it's 'chocked' to retain the dihedral, and clamped also. The upper wing joints show minimal gaps, very easily addressed, and the under wing joint can also be easily filled with stretched sprue.
    The joint which bisects the 'corrugations' inside the wheel well, I think can be tackled by filling with stretched sprue, and then cutting-in the 'notches' to continue the impression of the corrugated ribs, and I hope to get this done some time tomorrow (Saturday). I'll post pics to (hopefully) illustrate how it's done.
    Also, the moulded guns might be removed, as one of them has already been slightly bent, and I'm sure more damage will follow. Given that I can get a miniature tube cutter I've spotted, I'll very probably cut off the plastic guns, drill the wings, and insert lengths of steel tube cut from the Revell cement container, once the model has been painted.
     
  17. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Terry, what your opinion on the turbo supercharger exhaust. I've seen photos of it in camo color or a burnt metal?

    Geo
     
  18. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Terry, you really do some amazing work, just beautiful.
     
  19. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    If you're still looking for B-26 stuff, I've got some photos and profiles.

    Geo
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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