Francis Gabreski flying a Spitfire IX
Major Francis Gabreski seated in P-47

Back when this model was done, the Revell P-47 Razorback and Bubbletop were the only 1/32 plastic kits available.  The kits can best be described as toy-like and extremely simple.  I took that opportunity to use it as a demonstration of some scratch building techniques.

Revell molded the fuselage and cowl in one piece.  There were cutouts so you could view what they described as a detailed engine.  From the wing leading edge to the front of the cowl appeared a bit too exaggerated.  I sectioned off the cowl and shortened the nose.  The cowl was supported by brass tubing attached through the engine that was cemented into the cowl.  Separate cowl flaps were fabricated from brass sheet.  The splitter plates were made from stainless steel sheet and cemented in after painting.

The alignment of the gun tubes is a significant detail on a P-47.  I fit four brass pins in a piece of acrylic.  Four short lengths of brass tubing were slipped over the pins and then cemented in the wing.  The brass tubing was sanded down to blend with the leading edge and aluminum tubing formed the final gun tubes.

The detail on the surface of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers was a combination of scribing and engraving.  I explain some of these techniques in the video below.

The original main gear was molded fully extended.  I fabricated new gears from brass tubing and brass machinings.

Creating Engraved Surface Detail

This model was completed prior to the advent of digital photography. It is presented in the original form as it appeared in February 1993 issue of FineScale Modeler and then again translated in Italian for an early issue of Model Time Magazine.

P-47 Thunderbolt Revell 1/32

When the book Gabby was published, I took the opportunity to send Colonel Gabreski a copy of the magazine along with his book requesting an autograph.  I was extremely honored when he returned the book with a wonderful inscription and a two page letter.

"Gabby" the autobiography of Francis Gabreski
Autograph and personal message fro Colonel Gabreski