Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Battlefronts P-47 Thunderbolt

I completed this tank cracking death from above toy option for Flames of War recently.

From Wikipedia:
P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug" (because either it was shaped like a squatted milk jug, or it was short for "juggernaut"), was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine.
Interestingly enough when you read on it turns out it was designed by a Georgian immigrant based on earlier developments by a Russian immigrant. Both ran away to avoid the Bolsheviks. Fair enough.

When I opened the box I found it was missing an under wing bomb. Boo! But an email meant a new part turned up in the mail a week later. Yaaay! Can't complain about that really. But I was eager to start it sooner but never mind.
When I looked a bit closer at the model though I realised that the wings on the tail (including the upright one) needed a lot of bending to get them straight. Darn it! A bit of softening with hot water and a bit of bending later got it mostly sorted. The material that they make these planes with is just strange. Yes it is hardy and will stand up to the rigours of getting knocked over by your average clumsy gamer like me but it is just so darn slippery and odd. From previous experience with BF planes you really need to scrub it clean, and spray it with a very good primer. I have found in the past that your paint job you spent ages creating will scratch off very easily if you don't take care. The detail is shallow. Not sharp and crisp at all. The master is obviously hand made and not a CAD designed affair. No probs. It's just a game toy after all and not a museum quality display piece.
I painted my one with GW Bolt Gun Metal and a few streaks of Vallejo metallic Gun Metal Grey however I ended up with a streaky looking application because my paint had thickened with time. Oh well. If I had wanted to use up more time perhaps I could have stripped it back and got some good acrylic paint thinner and done it again but I just plowed on.
I glossed sprayed it with Tamiya Clear. Nice and shiny. One reason was protecting the paint and another for that shiny Aluminum that sparkles in the sun look (even though having seen some naked Aluminum in the Aviation Heritage Museum it is not shiny looking). I could matt varnish it later if it is a big deal really. Next was painting anything that was to be black. Glass and the tail stripe and the anti glare parts on the top of the fuselage. Having gloss varnished it turned out the black if it was overly watery tended resist at the edges. Kind of gave it a groovy edge finish but then I just painted it solid. I tells ya, it takes me a bit of courage build up to paint the long more or less straight or curved edges of the red around the nose. I painted the top of the tale white then yellow as well. I just went for a same as the box approach and wasn't interested in doing any research really. I am gamer first right?
Decals was a nightmare and I lost a letter from one of the side decals in the process so I just trimmed it off the decal for the other side. I used a long skinny brush to paint some of the panel lines Panzer Gray. The decal sheet that came in the box was obviously cut from a sheet of more and gee whizz they cut it very, very close to one of the large blue circles. In fact so close that I would say it was through the circle by a very small margin. After I looked at it with the Decals on I decided that as nice as the smooth glossy glass cockpit area looked it was just too close to the black on the rest of the plane so I decided to paint it blue-ish. A mixture of a very light grey, panzer grey and blue. I think it looked much improved afterwards. A bit of weathering with some brown/khaki paint here and there as well.

My advice is don't get one. In the time that I waited for the bomb (not really a major hassle as I had some Saxons and Vikings to do) I came across this kit set at Yee's Hobby Shop here in Darwin. It was cheaper and I looked it up on the net to see what other planes they had in the range.
Check the link and look at the second plane across the top. By the time perhaps you add postage and exchange rates to where ever you are the price may be about the same as the BF one. However if BF made plastic planes like they made the German Paratroopers Gliders then I would definitely get those to try out.

Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)