When you sit and think about older models, and the companies that owned them, you eventually think about "what happened to the molds"? Monogram used to be one of the "big players" in the modeling world. Many years ago they were bought out by Revell, but Monogram still existed as a "sub"-company. Unfortunately Monogram has ceased to exist, which leads one to question "what happened to the molds"? Thankfully Revell already had possession of Monogram, and one would think of their molds. There are molds, though, that are lost for all times. Unfortunately one of those is the Otaki 1/144 C-5A, also bought by Revell. One theory places the molds at the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen again. So, when old molds still exist and the newly-owning companies cast new models from those molds, there is definitely time to rejoice.
The Revell 1/48 P-47D "Razorback" is actually the old Monogram kit. Yes, it has been superceded by other companies (Tamiya and Hasegawa) but the Revell/Monogram P-47D still warrants attention. It may have raised panel lines, but the level of internal detail is still outstanding. Unless you're a stickler for separate seat belts, the cockpit tub needs little else to make the cockpit sizzle. Sure, you could by aftermarket for the kit to enhance it, but building it out-of-the-box still results in a most pleasing model. In addition, the price-point of the Revell kit makes it a little more savory for those under budget constraints. You can buy a couple of Revell kits for what it takes to purchase the Hasegawa example. There appears to be no mold degradation with this release.
In addition, this is a perfect model to give to the person just starting out in model building. They will have an excellent built P-47D in their stash and it won't take long – or a lot of money – to get there.
The Revell kit has 44 amount of gray, injected plastic pieces and a clear canopy and clear windscreen. Options include an external fuel tank, rocket pods under the wing, a pilot figure, and having the canopy displayed open or closed. The kit comes with nicely printed decals for 3 versions:
Okie P-47D-6-RE, 42-74753, 1Lt Quince Brown, 75th Fighter Group (FG), 84th Fighter Squadron (FS), 8th Air Force (AF), Duxford, England, April 1944
The Bug, P-47D-20-RE, 42-76653, Capt Arle Blood, 450th FG, 510 FS, 9th AF
Construction starts with the cockpit. Add the control column and instrument panel to the tub, and a cockpit you have. Glue it to one of the fuselage halves, along with the separate headrest, and you're ready to glue the fuselage pieces together. Once that is finished then you glue the horizontal tail pieces on, along with the separate tail-wheel well/doors and tail wheel (although I would leave the tail wheel off until after painting).
Now's the time for your first decision. If you plan on using the rocket tubes, then you need to open up the holes in the lower wing halves. After you've made the decision and have/have not opened the holes, then glue the wing halves together then glue them to the fuselage. Now you have an almost-complete airframe.
The next instruction step is best left until the end, since it deals with the addition of the main landing gear, landing gear doors and rocket tubes. All of those are best left off until after painting.
In fact, the only upcoming step I would accomplish prior to painting is gluing on the windscreen and either gluing or tacking the canopy over the cockpit (only tack it in place if you plan on opening it up later). I would even leave off the engine and cowl until the end, especially those schemes that have you paint and/or decal the cowl a different way than the rest of the airframe.
If you're looking for either a nostalgic build – or a great introduction to scale modeling – then the Revell 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt Razorback is the kit you want. Not too difficult to assemble - with the small amount of parts - and accurate as Monogram is known for.