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Another Hasegawa T bolt Bubbletop, my first LSP. November 12, 2022, It is DONE at last!!!!!!!!


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Well, after much consideration, and complicated by the vast pool of amazing talent on display here at LSP making me feel like l am in the company of master craftsmen, I have decided to post a build log of my first LSP as an adult.


A bit of background, like most here I was an avid modeler as a boy, 1/48 was my chosen scale, almost exclusively aircraft, and those were all world war two military aircraft. Then I went away to school, started a career and family, and suddenly, decades later, I saw a modeling magazine, and decided I could use the distraction of another hobby, something I could do at home.


I started with 1/35 armor, thinking my fat fingers could re learn the hobby with something larger and less dainty than aircraft. I learned a lot, PE, resin, scratchbuilding, patience, stencils rather than decals, weathering, oil paints, figure painting, and the wonderful community of the internet. Rather than reclusive loners toiling away and safeguarding secrets, I found a worldwide community of people anxious to share tips and techniques.


Well, it was bound to happen. At a raffle, I won some wingy things, notably Hasegawa's 1/32 P-47, and I am ready to build it. And blog it. Warts and all.


Now that I'm grown, money isn't as tight as it was when I was on an allowance. So I do indulge in aftermarket stuff occasionally, but I like to add details the old fashioned way, too.


So let's list the kit and aftermarket I have planned, subject to change should I mess up the kit engine, or decide not to use an AM part:


Hasegawa P-47 bubbletop

Big Ed PE, including exterior and colored cockpit details. (I will first paint the kit panel, then decide if its acceptable. I will likely need input on that.)

Quickboost gun barrel covers

RB Productions seat belts

Custom masks by Mal Mayfield. I am going with Gabreski's bird, I know its been done to death but I love the colors and I built one in 1/48 that came out well.

I plan to detail the kit engine, see below, but that is subject to change if I muck it up.


I am aware of some pitfalls, I already filled the wing and fuselage sink marks. I know I need to drop the engine mount by a millimeter, but will likely ask for some help on exactly how to do that.


In the past couple weeks, I masked the detail around the sinkholes and filled them. I planned to use Mr Surfacer, but my pot dried up. Luckily, I had some Tamiya white putty. Stinks worse than the old squadron green, but it was easy to work with.


Then I started on the kit engine, which is nothing to write home about, but I guess not much will be seen. The detail on the cylinders is pretty soft. I painted the cylinders with a testors non buffing metalizer I had on hand, cant remember if it is steel or aluminum. I did several washes, starting with Flory dark, which didn't want to stick at all, so I switched to some home brewed oil wash, van duke brown and white spirit.


Then I drilled for plug wires, and added the oil piping from .9mm lead wire, it's a little fat but I want it to be seen since I bothered to put it there.


While contemplating a resin motor, I looked at a lot of resin and photos of real engines, and decided the Hasegawa motor is pretty lacking. The ignition cable assembly is some kind of combo between the round and square cross section. I decided I will build the round, so I cut off the detail and cut some small brass tubing to serve as the openings for the plug wires.


I will add the wires next, but here are some photos of where it sits today.


I work very slowly, and sometimes I cant get bench time in for a few weeks, then I will log time every evening for a week, so I apologize in advance if updates are sporadic.


Boring wing fix




Engine work


Wedding ring for scale. Even though these parts are over scale, i dont think i can work with parts much smaller.




Inter ear drain tubes added. Rear bank, the front ones came out smaller and tidier




Dry fit, just to see how it is fitting.





I will add ignition wires next.


Any comments and criticism are welcome. This is good exercise, but is it worth it?


Thanks for reading,



Edited by Citadelgrad
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Good on you for starting your first build thread, Bill. It looks like you're off to a great start to me. In my experience, short of sitting down with a master modeller, running a build thread here is about as good a learning experience as you can get. Not only do you get great advice and encouragement from fantastic modellers, but you begin to think a lot more about your own progress, and about how you can incorporate what you see others do here in to your own build.


It's a courageous thing to do, but very worthwhile indeed. I look forward to following along!



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Being acquainted with Citadelgrad from another forum, I'll be watching this thread with keen interest. I have the same P-47 kit waiting in the stash and am looking for ideas and inspiration. 


Great start, Bill! I like how you approached that ignition ring. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Bill.  Good start on the bubble top.  As I am currently working on a 1/18 scale bubble top, I have done a bunch of research on the R-2800.  I can tell you that the Hasegawa kit has supplied a bit of a frankenstein engine with "C" series cylinders with a forged cylinder body and distinctive cooling fin patterns different from the "A" and "B" series engines. Yet the reduction gearbox case (the nose of the engine) is "B" series (the "C" series has a very different looking case).  Also, the ignition system modeled is a Bendix/Scintilla type where the magneto and distributors are separate items (the magneto being on the centerline top of the reduction crankcase, and the distributors on either side of the magneto).    Bubbletop P-47D's all had the R2800-59 and subsequent "B" series engines.  These engines had older style cylinders with different cooling fins, the "turtleback" GE combination magneto/distibutors (with a blanking plate installed at the absent centerline magneto location), and the older "B" series reduction gearbox crankcase.  


I think nearly all P-47 models have some sort of serious error in the engine.  It isn't surprising - many museums with P-47's also have the wrong engines.  If that really bugs you, then I suggest the resin Vector 1/32 engine (early type).  This kit has the right cylinders, ignition harness(es), and a choice of the Bendix/Scintilla or the GE "turtleback" ignition systems. 


Lastly, a long time ago I made a Rutman resin Bubbletop that I am very proud of.  It had an aftermarket resin engine included that (I just found out recently) had the "C" style cylinders.  Oh well!  At least it has the turtleback mags.


Here is a picture of a -59:




It comes from restoration of P-47D "Dottie Mae".  Google it and you will find all kinds of great info on the bubbletop.  Happy modelling!

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Bill. Welcome aboard to our corner of the web thingy.........


Great to see your build progressing, i keep saying I must post pictures of my attempts but

I probably spend more time within the forum than building, how perverse is that.......


Really looking forward to the build, hitting the follow button now.......

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks, guys. Jayw, ive seen your t bolt, its an inspiration, yet discouraging at the same time.


This weekend i sat down and starte to tackle wiring the engine. I have some lead wire and it seems to be gluing up well enough. I will snap some photos once i am consident that the wires are good to go.


As Sister Bridgid used to say, "William, youre slow. Slow but sure, like an ass's gallop".


I think she was using a loophole to call me a name.

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  • 2 years later...

Ok, back from the brink.  I read new posts here and follow other’s build’s every day.  

i have finally started using my stay at home time to work toward finishing this first for me LSP.  


I realize that there is extreme talent on here, and i think it makes me a better builder.  This engine, for example, is not the best engine, but its certainly the best one i have ever made.   Its still got some detail painting to do, and the blow ups make every issue i need to fix so easy to see, but here is what i have come up with.   



i am really excited to continue, i need to shoot the cockpit interior green, maybe tomorrow.  

stay safe all!  Thanks for any criticism, i dont expect to just get courtesy compliments.  I am trying to grow, i still remember how hard i worked on figure painting a few years ago when i returned to the hobby.  

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Thanks, all!   I remember as a kid building away in the basement, sharing my finished builds with friends and parents, sharing with like minded, talented builders all over the world is much better.


i added a bit of styrene detail to simulate the corrugated floor, front panel, and added a bit of lead wire to the sidewalls to replace some molded detail.  I have The Eduard interior set which i will be using some of to liven up the cockpit.  

I hope to shoot the interior tomorrow, but wanted to show the work that went into it before its covered by paint.


also, a question.   I will shoot this interior green, then pick out details with paint.  Should i seal it with a clear before i use washes and tamiya panel line stuff?  If so, dull or gloss?   Thanks.  

here are the photos. 




Edited by Citadelgrad
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Yo, Bill, quick heads up as it seems you're striving for accuracy with this build, hope you haven't busted out your airbrush just yet -- bubbletop Jugs had Dull Dark Green cockpits, not Interior Green, which has been well-documented over the years.


There are several options out there for DDG straight out of the bottle, including AK Real Colors and MRP among others, or you can always use this mix of Tamiya paints:

20 parts XF-11 (IJN Green) + 2 parts X-4 (Blue) + 1 part XF-1 (Flat White).


Also keep in mind that the green & gray used on Gabreski's kite were most likely RAF Dark Green and Ocean Grey, pulled from Boxted's available paint stocks as the camo was field-applied, so no OD41 and Neutral Gray. For the bottom, and I may be stirring the pot here, but I'd stick with NMF (just like all the other 56th FG Jugs) although most profiles you find online show Medium Sea Gray undersides. All it takes is a cursory glance at the many period color photos of other Jugs from all 3 squadrons of the 56th to see that undersides were kept bare metal, I just don't see why they'd paint only Gabby's plane. Personally I feel it's easy to look at an overexposed black & white photo and mistake oxidized aluminum for gray paint. Of course, this is all highly subjective and wildly open to interpretation, just my two bits and all that, YMMV.


Hope that helped, nice work on the R-2800!





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  • Citadelgrad changed the title to Another Hasegawa T bolt Bubbletop, my first LSP. November 12, 2022, It is DONE at last!!!!!!!!

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