Sword 1/72 P-47N Thunderbolt

KIT #: SW 72039
PRICE: $32.99
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Multi-media kit with resin parts.


The P-47N was the last Thunderbolt variant to be produced. It was designed as an escort fighter for the B-29 Superfortress bombers flying raids on the Japanese home islands. Increased internal fuel capacity and drop tanks had done much to extend the Thunderbolt's range during its evolution, and the only other way to expand the fuel capacity was to put fuel tanks into the wings. Thus, a new wing was designed with two 50 U.S. gal (190 l) fuel tanks. The second YP-47N with this wing flew in September 1944. The redesign proved successful in extending range to about 2,000 mi (3,200 km), and the squared-off wingtips improved the roll rate. The P-47N entered mass production with the uprated R-2800-77(C) engine, with a total of 1,816 built.

The very last Thunderbolt to be built, a P-47N-25, rolled off the production line in October 1945. Thousands more had been on order, but production was halted with the end of the war in August. At the end of production, a Thunderbolt cost $83,000 in 1945 U.S. dollars. A total of 15,686 Thunderbolts of all types were built, making it second most produced American fighter of all times—after the 16,766 P-51 Mustangs. A number of P-47s have survived to the present day, and a few are still flying.


I'm going to assume this is Sword's initial boxing of this kit as it very much looks like a proper initial molding. There is no flash, no ejector pin marks aside from some on the inside of the large bits and I found no depressed areas. The kit has two sprues (well, one and two bits) for the kit parts along with a very clear sprue for the canopy. Resin is used for a number of areas including the seat, sidewalls, main wheel wells, engine and the leading edge insert for the guns. I was pleased to see that none of the gun barrels had broken away as they seemed so vulnerable in the small bag with the rest of the resin.

Molding on the plastic parts is excellent. The fuselage surface detail includes all the teensy rivets and they seem very much in scale. Indented, of course and not raised. There are some options on this one. You can use a clear or regular gun sight, there are optional wheel hubs, and the ability to do a more complex and more detailed tail wheel well. For those who may want to know, the gun insert has the guns in line with the leading edge of the wing. I believe it was the P-47 where folks have pointed out they are staggered a bit and not in line. I don't know, but thought I'd mention it in case it is different. One gets three drop tanks with the kit. One for the centerline and two much larger ones for the wing stations.

Instructions are very good with generic paint references for the build and FS 595 references for the color and markings diagram. The drawings for the build are superb, but there is a lot of info provided so it may seem a bit crowded. The instructions recommend interior green for the wells and I'm thinking it should be chromate yellow. Research will verify one or the other. Markings are for two yellow tailed planes from the 463rd FS/507th FG, one of which is shown on the box art. The other is a yellow and black striped 318 FG plane. These colors and stripes will have to be painted on by the modeler. All of them have rather large nose artwork, provided on the decal sheet. This is superbly printed by Techmod and includes a full data suite


This is the third injected 1/72 P-47N of which I am aware. The old Heller kit is to be avoided at all costs and while more detailed than the Heller kit, the Italeri one has some issues as well. This kit trumps them both in terms of detailing and from the look of it, it has all the proper shapes. Sword kits don't tend to hang around long so if you have an interest in this, you may want to pick one up.



May 2011

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at your favorite retailer.

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