|First released in 1963 and mine was 1983 re-production... almost 30 years of age...|
As mentioned its hard to do justice to a raised panel lines kit and a lot of work need to be done
I built this kit just to challenge my thoughts and many others about building a raised panel kit, which is outdated and troublesome for us to built. Many young modelers think raised panels kit was inaccurate and outdated in terms of realism and aesthetically wrong compared to real life a/c.
As a modeler, and start in the mid era between tami-gawa era, i would like to feel how does it feels to built model back in the 60's-70's when the technology constraint the manufacturers to produce Tami-Gawa quality kit. Well, let see and enhance this old gems with limited resources.
I worked with airlines before so, having said all panels have gaps in between panels which simulate sunken lines (engrave on models) throughout is not true. Some areas received overlap panel and riveted on top each pieces. and was sealed by some sort of sealant. Of course, scale wise it looks good to have a fully engraved panel lines a/c and it's making weathering easier with "washing" process but in real life its the other way around... along the period of time these a/c received a lot of refurbishment, servicing and some even gone through wear and tear.
The built up
Basically this is out of the box built up therefore there was no aftermarket parts used on this kit. I just used scratch items on certain areas just to enhanced the kit and some spare parts from other kit to expedite the process of building it. Areas that was enhanced and material used as follows:
1. Cockpit - Monogram produce good cockpit details (back in late 60's) compared to other manufacturer (airfix, frog etc). many tiny switches and knobs were present and molded nicely. Therefore i used minimal source to make the cockpit busy by adding come throttle handle, and seat belt were added to replace molded one included on the seat. I used stretch sprue dip in white glue (Elmer glue) to simulate the knob and painted it various color. Seat belt were from Tamiya masking tape and buckles from fine wire bend to shape. Gunsight received same treatment by adding clear plastic and some plastic card and sprues.
2. Panel lines - In order to preserved the raised panel lines, I carefully test fitting all major joints, wings,fuselage, etc. to make sure minimal sanding. More sanding more panel lines will vanished. I carefully sand the joint and the avoidable area such as fuselage the raised panel lines were preserved by adding same size panel by stretching the kit tree and glue it along the missing lines.
3. Weapons - The gun barrels were replaced by copper tubing. It add more realistic appearance and enhanced the overall looks on the "Jugs" tremendously!. The 500lb bombs was from Accurate Miniature A-36 Apache kit (to speed up the building process!) The bombs received little make over on the new safety clips.
Painting and Weathering
The final stage will be the paintings. I admit back then, they hand-painted their models, but of course I would not do the same. The best equipment that i invested in my hobby was the airbrush and a compressor. It makes a lot of different in model making. As my goal is to bring justice to this raised panel kit (and many other old kits) I have to used all the available resource but maintain the subject as original and pristine as possible.
I purchased LifeLike decals Pt.2 (limited edition) for the Jug on ebay. At first i planned to built "Tar Heel Hal" colorful machine but it used P-47D RA version (Tamiya kit) so luckily there's 2 additional markings included which 1 was for P-47D Razorback version and the last one was P-47D RE bubbletop version flown by Lt. Walter A. Grabowski (don't get mixed up with col. Francis Gabreski). Grabowski carried 167 Fighter-Bomber mission, 24 fighter sweeps, 13 Top Cover Mission and 12 other sorties. Just what I need... an ace!
I used Alclad 2 chrome series for the natural metal finish. Just used 2 shades from the series, Airframe Aluminium and Dark Aluminium on this aging Jug. Both paints were spread out through out the model. The nose was painted yellow and anti glare panel mixture of green from Tamiya Acrylic. The cockpit received same treatment from Tamiya and Gunze paint. Artist oil wash consist if raw umber and burnt sienna for all the places needed. I carefully wash over the raised panel lines and wipe it out after the oil wash about to dry. I don't want to dirtied up my Jug heavily because I want to appreciate the Alclad paint and leave it to a minimal weathering.
My first time using Alclad... I wish I had it 20 years back! No buffering, no mess, and shiny finished. Flawless is all i can say. The kit, well it is one of the best Juggernut in the market, before Tamiya and Hasegawa produce theirs. I enjoy building it and Decals was superb. just that i mislooked the labels on Alclad bottle mentioning that decal softener will have some affect on the finish which it did. My bad. But overall, this would be the starting point of me building a natural metal finish aircraft. Till then, see ya! Now where did i put my monogram Hustler?