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Sweetwater Jug: Hasegawa P-47D-40

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Keith Ferris may have seen this painting as a straight forward portrait but, my word, did he ever capture the essence of the P-47's lines, bulk and grace in this somewhat lesser known work of his. This is the exact 'Jug' I'd like to build a model of.




Here is one fresh off the line in Evansville, Indiana. The plant produced 6242 P-47's between 1942 and 1945, and as this wonderful photograph portrays; pulled the community out of the depression and into a late war industrial 'American Dream'. The clean purposeful lines of the aircraft are very evident in this portrait, as well as the stylish draughtsmanship of Alexander Kartveli (who fled from Russia and the Bolsheviks).




This is what a production line should look like.




Sweetwater, Texas is not normally associated with P-47 training. It was actually the home of Avenger Field - the largest all female air base in American history. Jackie Cochran's saw to it that WASP's were trained in a suitable facility, and this would be it. Probably because it was so desolate...






Ok, enough. Before this post gets moved, I'd better show some plastic. This is a very interesting kit, seemingly easy and modern, but there are some traps. I'll discuss them as I go along, and won't bore you right now. This is where I made a start...




More shortly,



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On 4/6/2022 at 8:14 PM, easixpedro said:

I like it, a build log with history stuff.  Looking forward to it!


More like a history log with some build stuff at this stage! :D Thanks Peter.


On 4/7/2022 at 11:09 AM, MikeMaben said:

Have fun Sean ...   :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

Hi Mike, I certainly intend to! Hope you have some fun too...


On 4/7/2022 at 2:24 PM, MARU5137 said:


Look forward  to your build.

I do  like history and having a model build attached one is always exciting to read.

Neat start.



Geniet die bouwerk.


Baie dankie Maru. Your Afrikaans really is fun, along with the ever-present enthusiasm!


On 4/7/2022 at 5:38 PM, KUROK said:

Subscribed to thread.

Riding along!

Thanks Kurok - enjoy the ride. Gonna be like a Sunday afternoon cruise. :whistle:


15 hours ago, Uncarina said:

This is another one I’ll be following Sean!


Cheers,  Tom

Hey Tom, you are always welcome aboard! 

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Hi Max,


Looking forward to your build, I just wrapped up a P-47 build (it was supposed to have been a quickie after my one year Mosquito project but didn’t quite work out that way).   I really liked the Hase kit, went together very nicely.  

Keep the history snippets coming, to me that really brings a build to life!

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10 hours ago, John1 said:

Hi Max,


Looking forward to your build, I just wrapped up a P-47 build (it was supposed to have been a quickie after my one year Mosquito project but didn’t quite work out that way).   I really liked the Hase kit, went together very nicely.  

Keep the history snippets coming, to me that really brings a build to life!

Hi John, I learned quite a bit from your "Little Bunny" build - thanks! More snippets of history coming up...



You may have gathered by now that I didn't get an aftermarket cockpit. The kit cockpit is pretty basic, but that makes it quite easy to spruce up. First I scraped off the unwanted detail - here on the sidewalls. The IP is actually very nicely moulded, but eventually got scraped off too since I followed the crowd and invested in the Yahu 'stick and play' replacement. Don't worry hard-core dudes, I have immediately disqualified the model from any competitions as a result of this! :whistle:




For those who know the kit, you might have wondered about the origin of the armour plating seen above. It is actually the rear cockpit bulkhead from the kit that incorporates the 'headrest', cut to size and seat mounting holes filled. A new aft bulkhead was scratched and the seat mounting modified to look a bit more the real deal. Quick fix.




The last photo of the previous post shows how the radios etc were modified - pretty straight forward too. I have tackled many piecemeal projects in this kit so far, and the tailwheel was next. The kit has the retracting arm shrouded in a pseudo canvas boot, that doesn't exist in Republic's manuals. It is actually a formed metal housing that I have attempted to replicate with styrene. More importantly for me however is the desire to let the tailwheel swivel, since one so often sees photo's of the wheel standing at all angles on the ground!








That done, I set to work on the engine. Having saved some money on the cockpit, I splurged on the engine and prop! Actually, the Quickboost resin was very reasonably priced, so I bought the propeller too. The engine looks better than the kit offering, but requires quite a bit of work. The pushrod tubes are cut from piano wire so they don't bend, the pipes connecting the rocker covers are from twist ties (paper peeled off first) and the ignition wires are fly-tying lead. A LOT of fine drilling was required...




The magnetos on the D-40's engine are GE "turtleback" mags (as has been discussed on many builds before). In fact, they are General Electric designed, but produced by Briggs and Stratton, which really resonated with me. One of my big chores, as a schoolboy, was to mow the lawn. My dad had a 1960's Briggs and Stratton powered mower that I spent hours trying to start, and I trust that their magneto's ran better than the mower. :lol: I just sanded the QB mags to shape and added a bit of detail with styrene.




At the bottom of the plate you can (possibly) read 'MFD BY BRIGGS & STRATTON...'






There is one snag with the resin engine however: It isn't terribly 'true', or geometrically sound - the top and bottom are out of alignment by a good couple of degrees. Hopefully this won't be noticeable once inside the cowl.




The next thing on the list is probably going to trigger some debate. The propeller.


In Keith Ferris' painting it is clearly the thirteen foot, one and seven eighth inch Hamilton Standard prop. Based on the serial number of the aircraft however, the aircraft should be sporting a thirteen inch Curtiss Electric airscrew. What to do, what to do? This is what I went with...




Yeah, if Keith says its this one, its good enough for me! The resin, as reasonably priced as it was, is little out of shape - too broad and square at the tips. Easily remedied with a bit of sandpaper. They still look better than those provided in the kit.




I came across this gem while researching the WASP's. Jo Myers doesn't look convinced with the instructor's flare and hold-off technique. 







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Good catch on the tail wheel well, wish I knew that for my build.   I’m curious - how does the tail wheel fit into the well with that metal “housing” in there?   Is this just some sheet metal that folds up when the wheel retracts?

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45 minutes ago, John1 said:

Good catch on the tail wheel well, wish I knew that for my build.   I’m curious - how does the tail wheel fit into the well with that metal “housing” in there?   Is this just some sheet metal that folds up when the wheel retracts?

Hi John, The sheet metal housing goes around the hinged 'arm' of the tailwheel (assume for dirt and dust protection). The annotation on this photo shows how I assume it retracts. There is an extra cross-member in the kit part that would make the retraction a very noisy affair! :blink:





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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 4/10/2022 at 9:38 AM, brahman104 said:

This'll be good! Following :) 



Hi Craig, hope its nearly as enjoyable as your B-17! 


On 4/10/2022 at 4:21 PM, Rocat said:

Great project, I’m following!

Thanks Rocat!



My progress has been a bit haphazard, but enjoyable, as I focus on whatever catches my fancy at the time. 'Tis a hobby after all. 


The kit wheel wells make for a good blank canvas, and don't need all that much attention. The actual wells aren't terribly cluttered, unlike so many other aircraft. One that springs to mind is another legendary Republic aircraft; the F-105. Ever seen those wheel wells? Anyway, here is my bit of plumbing and stuff...






The addition of the oleo-compression rod and the door arms to the main gear legs are suggested in the instructions, along with the torque links. It seems a bit early in the build, but I thought it might be advisable. As it turned out, the attachment of the upper gear door is tricky, and requires a bit of adjustment of the arms (as you can see I broke one of the arms and eventually replaced it with a metal one). I also sanded off the little door moulded onto the top of the door. It gets replaced with thin styrene card.




The doors all suffer from fat lips, and I spent quite a bit of time sanding them thinner, and then re-riveting them.






The intercooler doors and oil cooler doors also need some thinning. It takes patience to carefully carve and sand the plastic thinner and I obviously rushed the one (as you can see on the next photo). :wacko:




The lollipops are replacement exhaust waste gate deflectors, which can now be opened or closed.




The four part cowling isn't everybody's cup of tea. I suspect that it will require some careful consideration and accurate building to get it right, since it has to house an aftermarket engine (of different dimensions to the kit's one) and hinges around a single frame to get the shape right. The latches in front close across the join lines, so I cut them out and intend to use pieces of styrene to join the gaps. This should look better, and hopefully strengthen the structure too.




The inside of the cowls should preferably be painted before assembly, particularly the lower portion and its ducting. I figured the open cowl flaps looked better, but require some pushrods since they are pretty visible when viewed from the back.




The lack of detail behind the resin engine might be an issue based on this photo... :huh:




The single piece horizontal stab and elevator will simply not do - not even in 1:72 scale! It takes an irritating amount of time to build up the structure once separated, but the results are worth it in my OCD world.




This is what I would like to see. The rudder will clearly be visited by the razor saw too!




All plastic and no paint makes this all rather dull. The compressor got fired up and the smell of hairspray made my wife suspicious. "Just a bit of chipping technique my dear..." Dull Dark Green to follow, assuming I can mix anything resembling that elusive colour!







Edited by Madmax
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