FAST, rugged, and heavily gunned, the famous Thunderbolt fighter-bomber is one of the top-ranking American planes. The solid model shown here, made at a scale of 1/4" to the foot, is patterned after the latest version which has a new silhouette, 360-deg. visibility for the pilot through an electrically operated bubble canopy, several hundred more horsepower, and increased fuel capacity.
The plans shown at the left are reproduced half size. Connect the 1/4" graduations at the edges of the page to form a grid of 1/4 " squares. Make a full-size working drawing on a large, stiff sheet of paper, laying out a grid of squares and transferring the lines from the small drawing to the large one by matching squares. Then draw a second, similar full-size layout and cut out the shapes to form* full-size patterns.
Use a 11/4" by 17/8" by 81/2" piece of stock for the fuselage. Balsa is ideal material to work with, but pine or some other soft wood may be substituted. Cut the block first to the shape shown in the profile, then to that indicated in the plan view. Carve and sand it until it agrees with the fuselage-section patterns. Make the bubble canopy from scrap material and cement it in position. Cut a slot through the belly, from one side to the other, to take the one-piece wing.
Make the *wing from a 1/2" by 21/2" by 10 1/4" blank. Shape it to conform with the top-view outline; then taper it toward the ends to agree with the front elevation, and finally carve and sand it to the form that is indicated by the wing-section patterns. Crack it along the longitudinal centerline so the tips can be elevated to the proper dihedral. Rest one half flat on the bench, weight it in place, raise the tip of the other half 11/2", support the raised tip with a block, and cement the cracked center.
The stabilizers and the rudder are fabricated from stock. Saw them to the profiles shown, taper them slightly toward the tips, and carve and sand them to a streamlined cross section.
Sand each part thoroughly before assembling the model. Use glue or cellulose cement to hold it together. Form the fillets where the after edge of the wing meets the body with plastic composition wood. The two droppable auxiliary fuel tanks and their brackets are next made and secured in place. Cut the propeller disk from celluloid. The stand is bought at a model supply house or made of a turned base and a dowel.
Treat the model with several coats of wood filler, sanding between coats. Paint the entire surface silver with black trim, using a good grade of model-airplane dope. The insignia may be purchased in the form of decalcomanias and transferred to the model.
Bomb loads up to a ton in weight are carried by the full-size plane, shown below. It is especially effective for low-altitude bombing and strafing