The The 1/72nd scale Tamiya P47D model is done and ready to go to the New Hampshire Air Museum display of all of the plane types flown by the New Hampshire Air National Guard over the years. This is the second P47D I have built for them and was a typical Tamiya ‘shake the box’ kit for the most part.

       To a certain extent, this was an experiment on my part in a number of ways. First, it is, surprisingly enough, one of the only two bare metal planes I ever have done, the first being a 1/48 scale F86 that also went to another museum a number of years ago. It is also the first metal finish I have ever sprayed using Tamiya acrylic metallics (in this case Titanium Aluminum). It has decals from both the original kit, custom produced art in the emblem, and some inkjet markings provided by the coordinator of the project. And, it was the first time I have sprayed a Tamiya acrylic clear gloss over any surface successfully (I was concerned the the gloss might have flattened the aluminum look, but it didn’t, fortunately. I used about 90% X20 thinner to about 10% clear, as the clear is very thick). All went well.

       To do the finish, I covered the bare aircraft surface with Tamiya X-1 black as my base, then overshot that with the Titanium Aluminum. I felt this metal color in the Tamiya offerings came closest to my interpretation of an aluminum aircraft surface. One thing I found, however, is that a gray or white undercoat might have been a better choice, as the black makes the surface a bit too dark for my taste. However, it does show up well under good lighting.

      My markings were done in a simplistic fashion. I left off all of the small stencils and concentrated on putting down the most visible elements. This plane is going to be in a viewing position where it will not be seen closely and I did want to make the plane identifiable from a normal viewing distance.

      The emblem was, after some experimentation with my inkjet printer, printed out on a gloss photo paper, rather than decal sheet, as it gave a much crisper result. I had intended to sand the back of the emblems to bring them down to a much thinner profile, but was concerned that the sanding process might damage the emblems, so I left them thick. As it happens, the image I was working from had a white border around the emblem, so it at least looks appropriate, again from a normal viewing distance.

       It is kind of fun to do a piece like this every once in a while, to act as a buffer between more challenging projects. I look forward to seeing it on display at the museum in the near future!

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