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1/18 Guatemalan P-47 N "El Sulfato"

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I'm working on an interesting project, converting the 1/18 21st Century Toys P-47D Bubbletop into a P-47N to represent a particular aircraft used by the Guatemalan Liberation Army in 1954. This aircraft got quite a reputation locally for daring strafing attacks. Here are a couple of pictures of "El Sulfato":






I'm starting with this model, and another "donor" model for the much needed wing conversion.




The plan

Convert the D bubble into an N model. There are a few very large differences, most notably the wings are larger to accomodate long range fuel tanks added inboard of the landing gear in an extension of both the inner wing and flaps. The tips are more squared off as well.


First step was to dissasemble the entire model. This was not hard at all, but there are screws holding the major components together and those needed to be pulled. The cockpit is poorly aligned (it's far too low in the fuselage) and I'll be fixing that as well as detailing the cockpit a bit more, along with the wheel wells. I'll need to work on the engine's reduction gear housing and magnetoes as they were very different on the N as well.


Other plans include correcting the wheels and gear legs a bit, and covering the entire plane in foil for the bare aluminum finish "El Sulfato" wore into battle.


Small progress so far

I've made a new seat from brass sheet, and used Milliput to make a seat cushion and the headrest. I've added detail to the rudder pedals, added the "smooth" floor for the N, made seat braces from plastic rod and brass tubing, and used 1/18 race car seatbelts and wine-bottle foil to make a harness.




Floor detail.




I'll post more progress after the Holidays.


Thanks for looking in~

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Edited by Mouse

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Turns out this "F-47N" actually downed a Mustang! I'll post details of that a bit later.


Progress on Cockpit.


I used the kit's cockpit almost stock. While it's not the greatest cockpit in the world, it does the job. I added solder wiring here and there, and throttle handles.


Side walls:






Floor, seat and side walls test fitted:






Next up is IP and rudder pedals, then the PIT will be done and I can start to tackle the wing modifications.


Comments and critiques welcomed!



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Cockpit fitting


Lots of hacking, shaving, grinding, and I've got the cockpit fitting snug, and raised up to a more appropriate elevation in the fuselage. As it comes the kit's pit is quite "sunken" and looks lost in the fuselage. Here it is looking a bit more believable.




A little more IP detail. I used the 1/32 Hasegawa P-47 IP decal, enlarged it 200% and printed it at high resolution, then glued that image to the kits IP. I then cut a matching piece of clear plastic and glued that on top to serve as dial face glass. Finally I used sheet styrene, cut a panel and punched out the dial holes, added detail, painted it and glued that on top of the clear part. I'll snap a pic of the panel in better detail before I seal up the fuselage later.




..man this thing takes up some room! But it forces me to clean the bench every day or so :)




Next up is scratching the gun sight in prep for finishing the cockpit. Then on to the engine.

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Nice and clean work on the pit Chris, looking very convincing to my eye.





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I scratched an approximation of the late-model gunsight for the P-47N. This is not an accurate site, but it gives the feel of one :)




I started with a single-stud LEGO brick (don't tell my kids!!) for the body of the sight and added other stuff, plastic card, an MV lens, wiring, a small pin, etc.






I'll mount this on the windscreen, or the IP somehow to finalize the cockpit.


Engine up next...


Thanks for looking in, comments and critiques welcomed!

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Fuselage Surface Prep


Got the engine and prop done, sealed up the fuselage with that, the pit, and the tailwheel inside. Then gap-filled the screw holes and seams. This is the first shot of Mr Surfacer to show me where the surface is with regards to begin foiling.


Overall shot of fuselage:



Detail of the front spine (some initial re-scribing here too):


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Dont want to appear like I'm being a critic, but I've been researching the P-47N a fair bit recently for my own upcoming build on the Trumpeter kit. The N model had the tail fin dorsal fillet fitted and you can just make it out in your photo of the actual aircraft, though it is hidden in the background. Just think it'd be a shame not to fix that if youre going to the trouble of fixing the wings. Once again. not a critisism of you or your build, you're way braver than I am.

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Thanks for the note. The fillet is on there, I made it out of .020 card but it can't bee seen in the foil pictures, and it's not present in the primer shots (I made and mounted it after that).


Here's a shot of it blocked in:





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