Revell 1/72 Israeli P-47M

By StephenTontoni, IPMS Seattle

As new research unearths more information about Israeli P47s, I think this subject will be fertile ground for after-market additions. Shamefully, markings for Israeli Jugs are not currently available through ANY company and there are many details that could be added to enhance any bubbletop P47 to represent one in Israeli service. Rather than paraphrase the outstanding P47 Thunderbolt article by Chaim Joshen, just read his article about Jugs Over the Sinai; Israeli Thunderbolts.

The Revell kit:

It's outstanding. The level of molding is excellent (with some slight sink marks on the upper wing – which may have been caused by my enthusiastic use of Tenax), including adequate interior detail, very nice engine, wheel well detail, separate supercharger gates, sturdy landing gear, open cowl flaps ( !! ), etc. Of special note: this is the only P47 kit in 1/72nd scale to get the machine guns correct! Most P47 kits are molded so that the .50 Brownings are parallel to the leading edge of the wing as is correct for most aircraft. This is incorrect for the P47; the line of machine guns should be parallel to the ground, not the leading edge. Good job to Revell for catching that!

Although the interior of the Revell kit is okay, I had a True Details interior given to me, so I used that instead. I first painted all the interior Floquil Grimey Black, then shot Floquil Interior Green over that; the places where the green had trouble going left a shadow. It's a good effect and it's easy to do. Regarding green for the P47; most P47s would have been a dark green interior - and that shade could vary widely. Since I painted the Interior Green over Black, it darkened it up quite a bit. It makes sense to me. After painting the green, I dry brushed a lighter shade, then picked out things here and there with a detail brush.

I used a Fotocut PE instrument panel and found it totally a joy to work with. Fotocut PE is quite different from any other I can think of; instead of cutting the PE off a fret and cleaning that up, with Fotocut, you just remove the perfect piece from a nylon backing. EASY. Fotocut instrument panels are two piece affairs: the front with holes where the dials fit behind, and the back having the dials pre-printed. There's no film to glue on as we're used to doing. I realized a neat trick while doing this project; to attach the back of the instrument panel, I used Future Floor Polish. It dries clear and shiny (for the dials) but it also is a very effective glue for non-load bearing stuff. I highly recommend that.

Next I had to scrape away all the details from the kit so that I could put the True Details interior in. Rather than building the tub of resin bits and inserting it, I chose to glue on the fuselage sidewalls then the instrument panel, and finally the floor (with seat etc). The only real snag that I had was that the Fotocut instrument panel was too wide for the cockpit; I recommend grinding more and doing lots and lots of test fits before committing to a drop of glue.

Before gluing the wing halves together, I cut out the flaps with a razor saw. In the Fotocut PE, you get some really nice looking flap actuators that are very visible on any P47 with its flaps down. See the picture. Although I took on this next step later, it could have been done any time along the way. Since the PE is one sided, I thought that they might look a little goofy. Instead, I used two sets, and sandwiched the actuators together. That gives the PE two sides, plus it beefs them up quite a bit. In addition to the actuators, you get these teeny tiny bits that need to be attached as well. So there are six actuators in all, and each one is made up of four tiny bits of PE. Primal scream therapy could help.

An additional modification that I made to the kit was moving the bomb shackles outboard to attach rocket tubes where the shackles normally would be. As it turns out, on looking at pictures, I realized that I goofed. In the Brazilian and Israeli P47s, the rocket tubes were mounted directly under the machine gun shell ejection chutes and the bomb shackles were in their normal location. I discovered my error very late in the process, so I just went ahead with the build.

Construction after zipping up the fuselage was straight-forward. I used a bit of CA here and there to fill, but no putty was needed at all. I used the kit engine after comparing it to an aftermarket resin one, and thought the kit one is just as good or better than the resin. The other aftermarket stuff I used: True Details resin wheels (diamond tread), and Fotcut PE oleo scissors, True Details vac canopy.


After airbrushing the wheel well with Testor's Yellow Zinc Chromate, I masked it off with Blue Tack. It's a sort of gum used to put up posters without marring the surface of the wall. I have heard of Blue Tack leaving a blue residue, so I put it on, shot Aeromaster Medium Gray, and immediately removed the gum. It's a lot easier to push a wad of Blue Tack into a wheel well and making sure that every you want is covered rather than trying to fit a piece of masking tape to that area. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well with the cockpit where fiddly bits will break off under the Blue Tack. I then masked and shot Testor's Model Master Insignia Red on the nacelle, prop hub and the rudder.

Next I applied a mask using Post-It notes and sprayed the model Floquil USAAC Olive Drab. I removed all the masks except what was covering the red, and shot Floquil Italian Sand haphazardly. According to my research, on the Israeli P47s, there was no set pattern to be used. The only thing that was common to them all was that the Brazilian Star and Bars on the wing and on the fuselage were overpainted with some sort of sand color at that time.


I gloss coated the model to prepare for decalling. I used markings from Isradecal for the insignias, from Superscale (tank & vehicle kill markings), from Roden (squadron insignia on tail) and the kit (NO STEP on flaps, various stencils). The aircraft that I chose to model would have been flown mostly by Lt. Hurya B'Yessin in 1948.

I love Isradecals; they are very hearty decals but respond well to Solvaset. They went down very nicely. The Superscale decals and Revell decals went down easily as well. The Roden decals that I used didn't really respond to Micro-Sol or Solvaset, so I went to Extra Strength Micro-Sol. They only adhered to the surface after I used a lot of pressure with a Q-tip soaked in solvent.

I next gloss coated that so that I could run dirty thinner through all the panel lines. After that had dried a day, I used Novus 2 (for fine scratches) to polish off the dirty thinner that wasn't in the panel lines. The neat thing about doing it this way is that it's cumulative; if you think they aren't dark enough, apply more dark and polish away the next day. I like the effect that I got with it. Testor's Dull-Cote over the top and that was that.

After that, it was just fiddly bits and a little bit of weathering to call it good.


I highly recommend the Revell kit; at about US$8 retail, it's a great bargain. The decal sheet that came with it was huge and printed very nicely. I'm sure I can use those decals on another model some time. With the addition of some aftermarket details, this kit can be made into an outstanding model.

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