Tamiya Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Bubbletop Build Part I

This is Tamiya’s excellent P-47D Thunderbolt kit, a rare single-kit build for me (well, sort of anyway).  I pulled this one out of the stash looking for a relatively simple project while waiting for the world’s postal systems to get back to normal and deliver up some insignia masks from our friends at Maketar for another project, which is currently stalled at the painting stage.
This one had been in the stash for a bit and the box offered up a few pleasant surprises.  The first was a Yahu instrument panel.  These are little gems and relatively inexpensive, well worth picking up if you’re doing an open cockpit build.  The other surprise was past me did present me solid favor by painting up the propellers and wiring the engine.  Much of the work on those components are masking and drying time so it takes little additional effort to work ahead and knock off these types of details while working on other kits, which is apparently what I have done here.
A shot of the general mess on the bench after the end of the first day.  The interior colors are on and the major pieces have been prepped.  Landing gear doors are cleaned up, taped to a card, and painted.  I have assembled all the hangy bits and masked the canopy, which was relatively simple for this subject.  Somewhere the cockpit components are also taped to a card and painted.
Here is the cockpit all ready to go.  Paint, drybrush silver, pick out the detail colors, and wash with black.  The belts are printed on photographic paper.  This gives a good impression of just how good the Yahu instrument panels are.
The kit goes together well with no surprises.  Nice to have a kit like that every once in a while!  My regular routine is to check the finish with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and then prime with Alclad black primer.  The shinier you can make the model at this stage, the shinier the natural metal finish will be in the end.
Here is the Thunderbolt under two coats of Alclad Candy Base.  There was a little pebbling on the upper wing surfaces after the first coat, so I buffed out the affected areas and shot a second coat.  Shiney!
Also available in convenient 2 Liter bottle.