Monogram P-47D – FAIL

The past isn’t what it used to be.

Of all the fears I harbored about tackling the venerable old Monogram P-47, it wasn’t the fit, or the terrible blast tubes, or the raised detail that worried me most.

It was the decals.

Plastic doesn’t go bad. Oh sure, if stored improperly it can warp over time, but assuming it’s properly protected, a kit boxed in the 60’s can be built today exactly as it would have been the day of its release.

Decals, however, can degrade over time. And that’s exactly what happened with this build.

Getting the decals to go down in the first place was a battle. They came off their backing sheets with this milky white residue. Buckets of Micro Set and then Solvaset seemed to fix the worst of it, but the following morning, I awoke to this:

When I started the build, I tried to track down aftermarket decals for Col. Schilling’s “Hairless Joe” without success. Figuring I had no other option, I made a few attempts to salvage the decals. When that failed, I went online and found Aeromaster did, in fact, offer the appropriate markings (Aeromaster #48-648)

I promptly ordered the decals and went about removing the fouled ones from the kit. I got most of them off, but a lot of residue remained stubbornly in place, so I tried soaking the entire plane in warm water for about 45 minutes. Which helped a little bit, but had the side effect of dislodging some of the residue and spreading it around the rest of the kit.

At this point, I could strip it and start over, but there’s a question of how much effort I want to put into a $10 kit I bought off eBay.

Instead, I’m putting this one back in its box, and starting fresh with Tamiya’s extremely well-regarded Thunderbolt.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Dave says:

    Sorry about the decals. It looked like it was coming along nicely. A lesson learned I guess. One thing that might have helped these old decals was mixing some glue in the water (like Elmers or Aleen’s craft glues). I hope that’s not rubbing salt in the wound.
    I look forward to seeing the build of the Tamiya Jug.

  2. Doogs says:

    Thanks Dave! I think the lesson here – at least the one I’m taking away from it – is to avoid using old kit decals at all costs.

    I’m definitely looking forward to building up the Tamiya Jug, though. Just got done spraying the cockpit and engine pieces, and the detail’s night and day!

  3. Pierre Lagacé says:

    I dread using these old decals on my model. I am glad I read this post Doogs.

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