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A Snapshot in England - Capt. Arthur Bux and his P-47D


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You never really know when creative inspiration will strike.  

 

Back in November of 2019, I started a (now defunct) build thread for building a pair of P-47D Thunderbolts - the Razorback from Trumpeter, and this kit from Hasegawa.  Despite the best intentions, the Trumpeter kit fought me all the way, the ignition wiring on this kit turned out like garbage, and so I shelved the whole project.  The Trumpeter kit went on my son's ceiling with a cursory finish and this one hit the shelf of doom.

 

Every now and then, I'd pull it off the shelf and do a bit here and there.  I kept putting it back on the shelf because I'd intended to do a natural metal finish bird (even bought the decals) and, try as I might, I just don't like NMF on WWII aircraft.  To each their own, but to me, they're just boring.  

 

So, after cracking the canopy on the absolutely craptacular Special Hobby Brewster Buffalo I was working on, I shelved that and pulled this out.  Sometime between 2019 and pulling this off the shelf of doom, I'd picked up a Cameo Silhouette mask cutter, so now I had a lot more marking options available to me.  I decided to poke around the web to see if I could find an OD green bubble top P-47.  Ultimately, I found several including this one.

 

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And creative inspiration struck.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Capt. Arthur Bux.  He flew with the 61st Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group (the famed Zemke's Wolfpack) from Boxted England.  I'm not sure exactly what it was that caught my eye, but I decided this would be the paint scheme I would pursue.  Checking various sources shows that there's considerable debate about the finish of this particular Thunderbolt.  Is it OD Green?  RAF Dark Green?  Black as some of the 56th's later aircraft?  We'll likely never know, so I went with something that landed (pun intended) somewhere between US OD green and RAF Dark Green.  

 

The further I got into the build, the more I realized that I wanted not just to recreate the aircraft, but the whole scene itself.

 

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So, I pulled a figure from the Tamiya 1/32 Mustang kit I had, mated it with a 1/35 head from some rando Dragon kit in the spares bin (I never realized how hard it is to find a head without headgear that's not wearing an utterly dour expression) and custom-sculpted the right arm and leg to more closely match Capt. Bux's pose.  It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it since sculpting is something I just started doing.

 

As to the rest of the build, this is Hasegawa kit 08077 (the Gabreski boxing) and it's ... okay.  The step at the bottom of the fuselage & cowl annoys me somewhat and the wing roots were not a great fit.  Back in 2019 I had built the flaps in the down position, only to realize that I'd need to break them and rework them to put them in the up position to match the photo.  Ultimately, that turned out pretty well.  I ended up redoing all of the ignition wiring, so that was a hoot.  The Thunderbolt has roughly 700 cylinders with 16 spark plugs each.

 

The ground work includes a sandpaper tarmac and good old fashioned dirt with static grass thrown in for fun.  Chocks are ChuckD custom shop work.

 

Anyway, I hope you like it as, despite the fits and starts, I'm really happy with how this turned out overall.  Doubly happy because it wraps up my builds for the year 2020, and I'm jazzed to end 2020 (of all years) on a bit of a high note.  Enjoy!

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Edited by ChuckD
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Love it , esp the new "improved" Capt Bux , nothing Out Of Bux..Box about him ! .  Love the dio and the story , and it brings out the sheer size of the jug by having him in the foreground . Really nice modulation of colour as well, makes an overall OD finish (which could have been very plain) , alive with interest .So glad you pulled this back of the SOD . 

Edited by Panzerwomble
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