I'm back for another go at it. This time it's the iconic (or is it venerable, I'm never quire sure) old Monogram kit of the Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat in 1:72 scale. The Monogram kit dates back to 1967 (not long after I started modelling) and can easily be found at contests, swap meets, flea markets, dusty attics, and mouldy fruit cellars. I got mine for an easy $3.00 at last year's ROCON contest (Rochester, NY). The shape of the old kit is very good, but being from that just-out-of-the-womb period in the history of plastic modelling, it's a bit short in the detail department. Little things, like the entire cockpit and the wheel wells are well, missing. It's not like some parts in my kit were lost along the way, but more like the parts were never intended to be there to begin with.
Luckily, we have the hard working Aires more than willing to take my hard earned money by offering a complete Grumman F7F Extreme Detailing Set (suitable not only for the Monogram kit but also for the same when dressed in Revell garb) for a paltry $55.00!! Isn't capitalism a wonderful thing?
So here are the raw materials:
The blue stuff is the kit, the resin-y coloured stuff is the, um, resin. I've already removed some of the resin parts from their pour blocks, and I can say that I'm quite pleased with the quality. I haven't seen any bubbles or such yet (knock wood). There are some extra kit parts that I'm not showing (engines, cowlings, etc.) since they will be replaced by the resin. Oddly enough, the bottom of each wing has recessed panel lines, but the rest of the kit is raised. No matter, I shall be re-scribing the fuselage as part of the project.
Speaking of the resin, we have a complete cockpit and two complete miniature Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp radial engines. Little kits themselves, I have the honour of installing the cylinder heads into the crankcase one at a time. Pumps and tanks are present, as are the intricate exhaust headers. Also in resin we have some of the engine mounts which will be exposed once the nacelles are cut open, and we have new front cowling pieces and main gear doors.
In photoetch, we will be building new wheel wells and adding assorted fiddly detail stuff, including seat belts and a new instrument panel which accepts the supplied film instruments. There are PE ignition rings and cooling gills for the engines. And lovely copper wire, which I think will be used for the lifters. (Is that what those rods are? I'm afraid I'm a bit of a hoser when it comes to a spanner. And that's hoser in the Canadian sense, just in case it means something naughty in Britain.)
Not shown are the replacement propellers and spinners that I've ordered and are whisking their way towards me at this very moment. From Missouri of all places.
I think I'll also pick up a vacuform canopy, because there are a couple available and we should do our part to support the cottage industries so they can grow and turn into big black smoke (apologies to the brothers Davies).
What I need is a new decal sheet. All I can find are ones for Tigercat Fire Bombers, which is not my intent. I was thinking of something more along the lines of Korean War bomber. Any ideas, mates? After my recent target tug Sea Vixen, I'm looking forward to a model where the entire fuselage is the same colour!!
Stay tuned, things should start getting interesting soon!
PS. It's a disease. I can't stop.