Author Topic: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)  (Read 841 times)


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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 10:11:38 AM »
Ooo... i thought the green strut? and the wiring are add-on parts... but when i zoom in.... that's a painting of a strut and wiring.... Now that's Skill airbrushing... Awesomes jobs sir...

Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 06:51:04 PM »
So, now we have two wings, folded over and glued.
Wing tips glued together as well.
I like to allow a part like this a good period to completely setup...maybe 24 hrs.

The Wings can now be slipped over the wing spars and ribs like a glove. (right side of the picture).
And should eventually butt up against the fuselage. (left side of the picture)

The tabbed glue strip inside the wing (trailing edge) can make it a bit tight for the wing ribs to slide in.
I needed to trim a little bit of the end off the rib ends...I'm sure it will depend on the exact placement of the tabbed strip.
Just trim the ribs as needed until the wing skin slides over snugly...but don't trim too much!

Gotta watch those pointy little tips on the wing roots...they keep getting bent!

Once the wing is fitted over the inner rib (the one closest to the fuselage) the skins will take shape
and the fit becomes obvious. They fit nicely up against the fuselage.
Don't worry too much about the top long as its is covered by the root fairings.
Its all about the fit of the underside.

I try to put a bead of glue along the edge of the underside of the wing skin, but its difficult keeping the glue inside the wing.
As the skin contacts the fuselage it will move around a little bit and it pushes the glue around too.
After the wing is secure against the fuselage, and I'm holding it in place while the glue grabs...
I will take a narrow dry paint brush and run  it along the seam. It spreads the glue out along the seam.
Sometimes it creates a visible glue line, but that is better than globs and blobs here and there.

You also need to put some glue along the ribs and spars before you slide on the skin for the final time.
AS I have said before, do dry fittings to make sure everything lines up properly and to give yourself a
complete understanding of how it will go together when you finally put glue to paper.

To finish off the top of the wings, you need to install the root Fairings.

Start by shaping the fairings. A strong concave curve is need at the tail end of the fairing.
Literally a 90degree corner...only rounded.
I use a long dowel (and my fingers) to curve the part, and get a tight inside curve
The curve needs to disappear about two thirds of the way up the fairing,
and then you just curve the part on the flat (so it will fit over the front of the wing).

To install, start at the rear...line up the curved edges with the curvy part of the wing...
make sure the fairing is rounded and tucked tightly into the fuselage...
and then glue about an inch of length to the fuselage.

You can see in this pic, I didn't do a very good job on the first fairing.
I should have peeled it off and tried again, but I was rushing to get things done.
So, I pay the visual price of a poor fitting.

If the misalignment is not too bad, its possible to trim the edges of the parts after they are glued.

I did a bit better on the opposite side.

First, a shot of the wing before the fairing goes on.
You may need to straighten out that little pointy tip again! lol

And then a view of the fairing attached at the rear.

Now, the fairing needs to stretched to the front of the wing and wrapped over the front edge.
As you go, tuck the fairing tightly into the fuselage, using that concave curve.
Glue an inch at a time, working your way forward, until you get to the front.
I usually just glue the top edge, to the fuselage.
If the fairing is properly curved and tucked tightly into the corner between the wing and the fuselage
it will hold its shape against the wing without glue.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2015, 12:00:20 PM »
Now that the wings are on, we need some Landing Gear...

I have designed the Gear parts to be supported by a central rod.
I like using wooden toothpicks.
You could use other things, or nothing at all....your preference

A central support rod will also fit into a hole in the wing boxes for better support.
Make sure you drill the hole (in the wing boxes) the correct size to match your support rods.

You can also use a bent wire, running all the way down to the wheel axle.
(a diagram has been provided in the assembly instructions for this)

For this tutorial, I'll go with my wooden dowel.
Its a round wooden toothpick...find a nice straight one...and sand it until its smooth
and about 1.5-2mm thickness (usually the lower end after sanding)

Cut out the Strut parts and prepare to roll onto the dowel.
I will wrap it a couple of times to impart a curve into the paper
and then glue the edge to the dowel...apply glue and slowly wrap the part.

For the lower section of the strut...the offset axle have to fold and assemble two parts.
So far it appears that the part is rigid enough, but if you want, you can put a block of something inside.
Maybe carve another toothpick to create a filler piece?

The axle bracket attaches to the bottom of the main sturt by wrapping tabs around.
The backside folds inward to complete the wrap.
It covers the bottom rung of the strut almost completely.

I used some CA glue to strengthen the connection after the craft glue had dried completely.

You can also add the axle hub...just a rolled strip, glued into the bottom.
And fit an axle if you want.
You can glue the wheel directly to the axle just adds more support.
Once again, I used a sanded toothpick to create the axle.

Also add the Torsion Links. (thats scissor thingy)
In this photo, the Link is a bit oversize. It has been reduced in the kit.

Now assemble a couple of Wheels.

Probably the hardest part because it involves a bunch of thin parts, that have to be cut, formed and joined into rings.
Then those rings have to be joined to create a multi faceted wheel.
Its all a bit fiddly, but its better than boxed wheels.

A tabbed joiner strip takes a while to cut out, but will make the assembly easier.

Trick is to assemble all the separate components:
Four Wheel faces (inner and outer)...glued to the backside of four Tire faces.
Two Tread rings.
And then four angled Tire faces...glued to the tabbed strips.

Bend all the little tabs down to accept the treads and faces and start asembling.
I assembled faces first...rims, tire and angled faces.
Then attach each tire face to the center tread rings.

Be patient...alllow parts to set up completely before making the next connection.
Don't forget to make a hole for the axle in the center of the (2) wheel faces (if needed).


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2015, 12:58:27 PM »
Once I fit the Landing gear to the Wing, I will need Doors...

the Doors are separated into three parts:
inboard Door and outboard Door (2 parts).
As the Gear is lowered, the outer door parts overlap.

The model parts are assembled with multiple layers.
Door skins are two card layers thick.

Inner layering parts need to laminated least three card layers.
Mine shown are only two layers...and the size has been adjusted (they are a bit small).
The space in the upper section is where it will locate to the Landing Gear Strut.

Landing Gear is fitted to the Wing by inserting the support rod into the hole drilled in the Wheel boxes.
Remember that extra thick part you installed in the Wheelbox? it will support the Gear nicely.

Line up the wheels (forward) and glue in place.

Attach the lower part of the outoard Doors to the Gear Strut first.
Just fit the strut into the gap on the inside of the doosr and line up the round access hole with the wheel center.
Then attach the upper part of the Doors, overlapping the lower part.
A bit of glue on the strut and the lower door part.

Once again, there are diagrams in the Instructions to show the door position and angles.

The inboard Doors will sit flat against the wing but I added some small little brackets for the door hinges.
Not something in the kit, but a simple thing you can do yourself.

I noticed in photo of the plane, that the inboard Gear Doors have an actuator rod fastened to the edge of the Door.
Looks like a narrow piston that opens and closes the door?

I made these from wooden toothpicks.
Sanded down a round toothpick to about 1mm diameter.
Then whittled down half of it even further, using my craft knife, to create a cylinder and piston look.
Had to be careful not to snap off the skinny part!

Two colours of Green Art Marker...and some water based aluminum paint, finish the parts.

What? its wood (paper pulp)!

Glue it to the sides of the Wheel Boxes and Gear Doors.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 06:28:36 PM »
P47 build is nearing completion...

moving to the tail end of the plane, I add the Tail Wheel doors.
(assuming we are building a gear down model,
and you have cut out the tail wheel doors when assembling the fuselage,
and you installed the Tail Wheel box and Gear?)

The doors come with two layers, inside and outside artwork...fold and glue, then cut of the parts.
There is also a thin tab strip attached to the inner door layer to act as a mounting hinge.
You need to curve the doors to match the curve of the this with a straight dowel.
A smooth colouring pencil works well.
And it will curve easier, and hold its curve better, if you do it just after gluing the layers (before the glue sets).

While we are at the tail end, lets add the three underside fairings.
Just ahead of the Tail Wheel doors, is a small straight angled aero fairing.

Ahead of that is a larger Curved housing, an Exhaust outlet...the only two part assembly.
A small crescent shaped piece (a grill?) is provided to help form from the inside.
A couple of slits and some careful edge gluing help create the domed shape necessary for this outlet.

And then, ahead of that, is a smaller domed air outlet.

Pre forming these parts until they maintain the proper shape is the best thing before trying to glue them in place.

Assemble the vertical Tail Rudder by folding the part down the center line and gluing over a single former.
Its important to wrap the lower part to a tight seam.
Pre-curve the bottom of the Rudder part using a narrow dowel so it fits around the former smoothly
and meets with a straight edge seam.
Glue one side of the rudder to the former, making sure the bottom seam is dead center on the former.
Then glue the other side making sure to line up that bottom seam.
Glue all the way around the edges of the Rudder only AFTER the bottom seam is properly lined up and glued.

Elevators are assembled in a similar manner, gently fold the leading edge (you want more rounded than sharp)
and line up the trailing edges for gluing. Only apply glue to the very edges and try not to flatten the parts.

There is a right and left difference so don't mix them up!

You should have already cut out the slots in the tail to receive the elevator Spar.
(The Spar is laminated to stiff card, about 1mm thickness. You can strengthen with a coating of CA glue if you like.)
Slide it into and through the slots in the tail, and center it.
You can glue it in place if you like, but its not necessary.

Glue the Rudder to the tail by gluing the rudder former flat to the fuselage end former.
If the formers are inset at all, use thin layers of paper or cardstock to get a good contact.
No gap is best.
Don't crush the rudder while holding it to set (like I did!)...firmly, but gently is better.

Now you can slip each horizontal wing/elevator onto the spar.
Contact the fuselage as tightly as possible.
Use the line art on the tail to position the Elevators.
Edge glue each horizontal wing to the fuselage.

Make sure the spar and each Elevator/Wing is square - properly horizontal to the fuselage.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2015, 07:02:12 PM »
To finish the Tail parts (vertical and horizontal stabilizers) you have to install a three part fairing
that will cover the connections to the fuselage.

I created a single piece for the top that finishes all three stabilizer connections
It needs to be formed to fit over the vertical tail
and the sides have to be folded to fit onto the horizontal stabilizers.
You have to cut a couple of small slits near the front to allow it to shape over the stabilizers.

Test fit this part, form it until you get a flush fit everywhere.
The more you form it to fit the surface, the better it will fit the surface.

Two separate fairing parts fit under each horizontal stabilizer
and butt up to the upper fairing at a front seam.

Glue the upper fairing to the front first, making sure the fairing is pushed downward, tightly to the fuselage
and pull it backward tightly against the vertical stabilizer.
Watch where it fits at the front of the horizontals, don't force it back too far or you will have trouble
getting the lower fairings to meet up front.

Next you can install the Cockpit Canopy.
A paper canopy is provided...or you can use a preformed plastic canopy...
or you can use the paper canopy part as a template to cut sheet acetate and create a clear canopy yourself.

I will use the paper canopy as that is what comes with the kit.
First I cut out the "glass" part, as well as the main canopy frame
and the front frame and windshield parts.

You'll notice that the "glass" artwork shows a Pilot which I have since removed.
This artwork looks okay for a closed canopy, but if you want to display your model with an open
canopy to show off the detailed cockpit, then the pilot artwork looks silly.
So, I decided to remove the Pilot and go with a plain "glass" look.
(I'll switch parts before the end)

Cut out the glass part, and cut all the side slits.
You can leave overlapping tabs as I have done,
or for a smoother look, use joiners from behind and butt join the seams.

Preforming the canopy part is helpful here...first tightly roll the galss lengthwise.
And then curve the sides a bit.
As you glue each connection, curve the parts more to make the best connection.
A bubble shape will form.
Take your time...allow each connection to fully cure before making the next one!

You can also use a round ended tool to smooth out the seams even more.
Apply a lot of pressure from the inside, against a hard surface.

The front frame needs to be formed into an arch shape and the windshield will fit into the front space.
Use small paper tabs inside the frame to attach the front windshield part.

Test fit the frame to the will need to gently curve the sides to get a flush fit.
When you are sure of where and how it fits, edge glue it in place.

Then try to match the same arch shape at the front of the "glass" canopy.

Cut out and install the main canopy Frame, and glue to the "glass" part.
Try to maintain that forward arch that natches the front frame.

Attach the canopy is whatever location you like.
My canopy is not fastened down, thats why it has lost its arch shape.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2015, 07:28:55 PM »
One more thing to add to the fuselage...

actually, four more things...

the lower engine air vents, there are four of them.
They need to be shaped and attached at the marked locations
just ahead of the exhaust ports.

and that brings us to the last step in this build:
fitting the Wing mounted Machine Guns.

Actually the Guns are inside the wings, and what extends from the front of the wings are various length Barrel Tubes.
The MG Gun barrels are inside these tubes.
The Guns are positioned in a staggered arrangement and Number 4 gun is almost completely within the wing.
Anyway, I will wrap up this build tomorrow with instrcutions for the Gun Barrels.


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2015, 11:36:19 AM »
okay, lets wrap this up...forgive me for rushing, but I need to move forward
and since the model is actually finished, I don't want to pretend its taking any longer.

Pretty much the last step is installing the Machine Gun Tubes into the wings.
You can do this step any time you want, but these are fairly fragile parts...
I don't think you you want them on the wings if you are still fumbling around
with the model (like me!).

The MG tubes are rolled paper parts...but I'll admit, they are very small tubes, only about 2mm diameter.
I rolled took some patience...and I had to do it twice, because of wrinkles.
But its not impossible.
Some of you might have a knack for rolling small tubes, some might not.

Unfortunately this aircraft has MG tubes that stick out from the wings....there is no other option.
And to stay true to scale, the tubes have to be pretty small.
So its a difficult stage.
I'm sure a smart modeller can come up with various other ways to produce these MG tubes.
I'll leave it up to you to figure that out (if you don't want to use the supplied paper parts)

But I came up with a method which does not change the intended assembly procedure
and I will illustrate it here.

Once again, I reach for some of my trusty wooden toothpicks.
Round, plain wooden toothpicks...I look for some nice straight and smooth ones.
Then, start sanding...until I create eight narrow dowels about 1.5-1.6mm diameter.

Then I reprinted the MG tube parts on regular weight paper.
Its a little over .1mm thickness.
With 2-3 wraps over the dowels, I'll create a tube thats under 2mm.

Very tightly wrap and glue the MG tube paper parts over the toothpick dowels.
Let them completely dry and then straight cut, as neat as possible, the exposed dowel ends.

So now I have eight MG tubes...lets get started with installing them.

The only visible part of the MG tube is the silver/gray ends and they vary in length because
the Machine Guns are staggered within the wing.

The dark section of the tubes is what goes inside the wing and can be cut to whatever length you desire.
Heres the shortest tube in place, and it has almost the full length of dark tube inside the wing.
I slide it in until it hits something...measure the length.. and trim until the tube can be installed with no visible dark section.

Oh, by the way, end caps (barrel ends) are provided in the paper parts.
I carefully cut out and glued the tiny round printed caps onto the dowel MG tubes.
It looks a lot more like gun tubes.

Continuing the installation, I followed the same steps with the rest of the tubes...
feed in the next MG tube until it hits something inside the wing and stops.
Measure the length and trim the excess dark section.

Number 1 Gun...the inner most the trickiest to do.

Right behind the Gun port opening is the Wing Rib.
Its just unlucky the middle Ribs fall right where the the MG tubes must fit
...this is also the outer edge of the Wheel Well Boxes, so I can't move the Ribs.

For this MG tube, you can follow the same installation method, but you will be trimming
off almost the entire dark section of the MG tube.
And, for this one, it cuts on a slight angle to match up against the rounded end of the Wing Rib,

It means there is very little tube inside the wing (for support)
but the good thing is you have a solid surface to glue the tube against.

I have not glued any of the Tubes in place yet...I wanted to get all the Tubes adjusted
and get a feel for how they all fit in place before moving on to the glue stage.

Now, I go back and glue each Tube into the wing.
First, a glob of glue at the back end of the Tube (in case it contacts something in the wing for support)
and using a narrow paint brush, I fill up the hole in the wing with tacky glue.

Carefully push the trimmed MG tube into the opening and position it properly.
It needs to be straight (in line with the fuselage) and level with the wing (in line with the fuselage again).
Hold in place until your glue sets enough and then move on to the next one...or wait, if you like.
All four Gun Tubes need to be parallel and horizontally level.

Looks good when its all done!


As I mentioned before, I've done quite a bit of modification to the model during this test build.
You may have noticed a few errors on this model.
What you see in the photos is not entirely accurate to the final model.
For example...extra artwork has been addded around the MG tube ports.

I tried to remember all the final adjustments I have made.
This is what I could remember:

-wing markings realigned
-fuselage markings reduced, lowered
-resize of underwing landing lights
-rear fuselage antiglare narrowed
-front antiglare edges realigned/narrowed
-antenna position moved
-exhaust shading added
-colour adjustments to wing root fairings
-aileron/flap shading added
-cockpit entry handholds added
-various panel line adjustments
-various rivet pattern adjustments
-resize of landing gear strut torsion links
-adjustments to landing gear inner door parts

If you haven't already fitted the Antenna (on the spine of the fuselage) you need to do that to finish the build.
The antenna folds and glues to make it double thickness
and a small slice is needed in the fuselage, to receive the end tabs on the antenna.
Yes, the Antenna is offset to clear the open Canopy.

Thats it.
Hope you enjoyed it.
I will try (soon) to package up all these photos for download (a Walkthrough Photoset available at
FULL SET of finished model photos can be viewed here;


Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 10:43:12 AM »
Build thread update...

starting off with some missing Cockpit photos!
[all these pics are being added to the Build photoset, which I will make available soon at]

Since I had to build another Cockpit (for the razorback P47 test build), I made sure to take a few photos
of the assembly this time!...and here they are.
Its all pretty straightforward construction, I don't think it needs any further explanation...

Only thing I recommend is leave the Instrument Panel off until the tub is installed in the aircraft model.
This way it is not in any harms way during installation, it is out of your way during the installation,
and you can make sure it is fitted flush with the upper cowling part of the fuselage.


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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2015, 11:21:24 AM »
Another Build update!...

this is for the razorback assembly.
Construction of the "razorback" Thunderbolt model is exactly the same as previously shown
with the addition of the spine (razorback) fuselage section (and a slightly different Cockpit Canopy.

The cockpit opening (in the fuselage) is slightly different shape, but that doesn't alter the assembly.

After assembling the main fuselage you can install the spine parts at any time ...but you will need to fit the Tail Rudder first.
The additional parts (to turn the previous Thunderbolt into a razorback) are:
an internal former assembly, a finishing plate for the front of that internal assembly, and the outer skin part.

Internals are laminated to about .75mm (1mm is permissible, but it doesn't really need to be very heavy).
Preshape the skin part to match the former assembly.

The sub structure is mounted to the spine of the aircraft...centered, and aligned at the front with the fusleage seam between parts 3 and 4.

Here, I am preparing the additional parts for the Canopy.
Preshape the parts to match the shape of the spine parts.
The front Canopy parts not only have to match the main canopy shape, they also shape to fit around the fuselage.

At this time, if you plan on putting in clear windows, you need to cut out the window openings and glue some clear acetate
to the inside of the canopy parts. Just make sure you have preshaped the parts so they hold their shapes when acetate is installed.

As I mentioned, the Tail Rudder has to be in place first, so you will need to assemble it and get it installed.
I decided to beef up the internal supports for the improve the finished shape.
Basically I just added a second rudder former and a spacer for positioning.
(I didn't like the way a single former can cause a ridge (ahead of the rudder) if you apply too much pressure when assembling.
The second former helps against crushing the rudder area.)

Now its time to fit the Spine part, which extends the fuselage shape upwards.
Pre-fit the part so you have a full understanding of how it must be installed.
You need to line up all the rivet and panel lines as best as possible and fit the end cut out up against the vertical Tail fin.
Depending on the ultimate position of the Rudder against the fuselage, you may have to trim the cut out for a easier fit.
Don't worry about how perfect it fits, the cutout is covered by the Tail Fairing.

Once you are ready, its time to glue the skin in place.
You can start by gluing the skin to the top of the internal formers, but you need to make sure the part is centered perfectly.

Eventually you need to glue down the edges of the spine part, to the fuselage, as cleanly and smoothly as possible.
A fine bead of glue along the edges of the spine part will fix it to the fusleage sides.
Press it down firmly...allowing it to flare out slightly at the edges.

Once the spine part is secure, you can start fitting the Canopy.
Assemble the main part of the canopy...the rear section is angled slightly to fit over the spine parts.
Hand fit the part (if you plan on an open Canopy) and determine the position for the front windscreen.

If you are planning on a fixed/closed Canopy I recommend attaching the main Canopy part to the Windscreen parts first
and then gluing the entire assembly in place on the fuselage.

Once you have determined the proper placement for the Windscreen part, you can glue it into place.
Once again, dry fitting/test fitting will help.
Make sure the part is properly shaped to match the main Canopy...make sure it is properly curved to fit the fuselage...
and install it properly vertical to match the main canopy.

Then fit the Main canopy, and glue it in place (optional) in the desired position.



Dave Winfield

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Re: Lets build a P-47 (Photo Walkthrough)
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2015, 12:24:07 PM »
To finish up the Razorback build...I added some Wing Pylons.

These will be included in various kits...well, actually, all P47s from now on.
As long as there is space within the kit pages.

(44-32691 P47 does not have the pylons, since they did
not appear on the actual plane as it sits at the Smithsonian Museum.)

Its an optional item...and the same goes for adding anything to the pylons.
(I'm working on a download accessory freebie that will include Bombs and long range Fuel Tanks)

Anyway, the pylons are three parts (plus a joiner tab).
You need to roll the front edge and shape the Pylon body to match the upper and lower plates.

Crease the joiner tab as sharply as possible and join the rear end of the Pylons.

Top plate (or wing mounting plate) is actually more of a former
and needs to be installed flush with the top edges.
I just put some glue on the inside of the pylon...pushed the plate into the pylon...
and then, from the other open side, pushed the plate upward until it was flush.

The "bottom" plate is visible (its the surface that an accessory will fit against).
If you can get the bottom plate flush inside the Pylon, great.
Otherwise it can attach to the surface of the long as the Pylon matches the shape
and there are no overhanging edges.

Fit the completed Pylon to the wing at the marked location on the wings.
If your wing "skin" is not glued tightly to the inside ribs (as mine never are)
you may have to apply extra pressure to flatten out the get the
best contact between the Pylon and the Wing surface.


And thats it!!
The Razorback version is done.

I am now working on a second 332nd FG (Tuskegee Airmen) razorback version.
basically the same plane as below, just in Olive Drab and Gray paintscheme (direct from the 325th FG)
with Red overpainted Tail and Engine cowling.

More pics of the model below have been added to my Flikr P47 album: