Sometimes I run across photographs of original aircraft and vehicles that I just have to build. This was the case when stumbled on this photograph of a P-47 with nose art honoring the University of Utah.
This P-47 began its service with the 56th Fighter Group, 62nd Fighter Squadron flown by Captain Jack Brown of Salt Lake City Utah. At some point the aircraft carried two names; “Windy” and “The Flying Ute”. Records are spotty and some are even contradictory but it seems that Captain Brown had three kills in this P-47. Eventually it was retired to a training squadron where it finished it’s days.
I chose the Tamiya P-47D in 1/72nd scale as the canvas for the project. It’s a fantastic kit and hands down the best P-47 in 1/72 scale out there. The engine and cockpit are easily as good as or better than most aftermarket resin sets. The fit is engineered perfectly and construction is ridiculously simple.
I built the kit stock box since no aftermarket parts were really necessary. I painted and masked the designation code “UN-J” with vinyl masks I had custom made. I also painted and masked the white cowl and tail stripes.
I painted the underside with Tamiya XF-19 Sky Gray and the dorsal side with XF-62 Olive Drab. I post shaded both sides with the base colors lightened with white or buff paint.
I planned on making a custom decal for the nose art so I also masked off a white background in the outline of the design. This is because on an inkjet printer it is very difficult to get deep opaque colors. If I were to put the decal on a dark background it would have been very dark and muted.Since I was lacking the computer software (not to mention the skills) to make a digital copy of the nose art, I opted to go old-school and do it the somewhat old fashioned way. I created the decal design by printing a copy of a photograph of the nose art on regular printer paper in black and white. I then traced the outline of the design onto another sheet of paper. Then using plain old Crayola crayons and colored pencils, I colored in the design matching the original color as closely as possible. Once this was done it was a simple matter to scan the decal, reduce it in size and print it on Testors decal paper.
I gave the whole aircraft a good coat of Future to ensure a good surface for the deacls to stick to and laid on the custom decal and the national markings. Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct numbers for the serial number on the tail. I’ll claim artistic license there.