1/48 Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt “Razorback"

Gallery Article by Ryan Ahern on May 6 2011


Returning to the hobby after several years of rehabilitating a bad back and other health challenges, I’m finishing some unfinished business. Many years in the making I finally completed 1st Lt. Albert P. Knafelz’s P-47D (Serial No. 42-26298) of the 8th Air Force, 62nd fighter squadron, LM-A. Lt.  Knafelz pictured below right. The plane had many names associated with it: “Stalag Luft III - I Wanted Wings / Button Nose”. It also had quite an array of colors with OD covering the tops of invasion stripes across the fuselage and (reportedly) wings. This and my lack of trust in my single action airbrush made for quite a bit of masking and sealing with Future to achieve the camo pattern and many layers of paint from what I remember.

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The model itself is built from the classic Tamiya 1/48 scale P-47D Thunderbolt “Razorback" – “Big Chief” kit. I cannot remember many of the aftermarket items used in the making of this kit given the length of time it was built over. I do remember the Aeromaster aftermarket decals for “Stalag Luft III - I Wanted Wings / Button Nose” (thank goodness for copy and paste writing about this plane). The kit was typical of any Tamiya kit. Phenomenal fit and at times I wondered why I bothered using glue. 

I modeled the plane to look somewhat weathered. Not too heavy, but heavy enough with an often sharpened silver pencil for tiny paint chips and scratches, sludge wash for grimy look prior to the plane being cleaned perhaps as these planes were pretty well taken care of, and flattened Tamiya Smoke with a touch of brown for exhaust.

Good to be back!

Ryan Ahern

Photos and text © by Ryan Ahern