The Next Build(s) – Play it Again, Sam…

My nostalgia builds haven’t quite gone as planned.

Everything was going swimmingly with the Monogram P-47 until I hit the decal stage. Then, well…yeah.

The Revell P-38 is another story. I hadn’t gotten anywhere near as far along on it as the Thunderbolt. But…it’s going to be done up in a natural metal finish, which calls for absolutely pristine surface preparation. After my experience cleaning up the P-47, and looking at all those raised panels on the Lightning, I’ve decided to stick it back in the box for now. I’m just not feeling it, and since this is a hobby and not a profession, if I’m not feeling it, I’m moving on, damnit!

So where does that leave me?

Well, I still want to build the two subjects, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to do it with different kits.

Academy P-38F Lightning

This Academy kit depicts the early P-38F variant of the Lightning, which served extensively in North Africa and especially in the Pacific. The kit’s of much newer tooling than the old Revellogram, features recessed panel lines, a more detailed cockpit, actual gear bays, and a much improved weapons loadout.

I’m planning to build this kit up as Jim Shubin’s “Oriole” of the 354th Fighter Group, 13th Army Air Force, stationed at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. The South Pacific was brutal on aircraft, so I’m looking forward to some interesting weathering opportunities.

The P-38F Lighting will be augmented with an Ultracast resin seat and resin wheels, and a set of Master turned brass gun barrels in the nose.

Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt Bubbletop

After coming so close with the Monogram, I’m determined to add a P-47 to my shelf post haste. When I discovered the existence of aftermarket decals for Colonel Schilling’s “Hairless Joe” and subsequently mucked up the Monogram Jug’s paint trying to get the bad decals off, I scooted off to the local hobby shop and grabbed Tamiya’s kit.

The Tamiya P-47s are widely regarded as some of the best model kits ever produced. Gorgeous detail. Brilliant engineering. Perfect fit. I’ve barely scratched the surface, so I can’t chime in on that yet, but I can say without hesitation that it’s a far, far superior kit to the Monogram Jug.

I’ll be modeling Schilling’s “Hairless Joe” once again, but this time I’m going to play it a bit straighter. In a previous post I mentioned the controversy surrounding the underside of Schilling’s plane. Was it painted RAF Medium Sea Gray, or left in the bare duraluminum? The best guess is that the port wing was replaced due to damage, and its underside was left unpainted. I’ll be doing the same, which should make for an interesting paint scheme down below.

I’m also going to take a stab at freehanding the intricate camoflage pattern. The silly putty worked alright, but the lines felt a bit too sharp. Besides, I freehanded my La-5 and was happier with the way it came out than I was with the silly putty masks…

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