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Gary Brantley

Classic Monogram Warbirds

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I imagine most of you older modelers might've built all of these models at some time.  Heaven knows, like us,  they've been around a really long time. 😄 These were built a long time ago, pre-internet in fact for the most part.   Monogram kits may not have had all the bells and whistles of more modern offerings but they mostly got the shapes of the airplanes right and provided a good "canvas" upon which a modeler could "do his stuff".   These were all built at a time when nobody saw them but myself and my family.   As time progressed and I completed more kits, I started to think that they weren't worthy of photographing.   But obviously, a few years back, I decided that even these old kits should be documented by some pics, if for no other reason than to see how my skills might've improved.

 

Back in August of 2015, I took two models to the Cameron Airport for a little photo session, and neither had been photographed before. Although it was really hot out there, I managed to get some pics of each plane. These are both ancient 1/48 Monogram kits (as are all four), and both were built at least 25 years ago now, maybe even longer.   The Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX has an entirely scratch-built cockpit, resin wheels/tires and a vac-formed canopy from Squadron. The camo paint job was sprayed with my venerable Paasche H airbrush.

 

The Douglas SBD Dauntless is pretty much OOB. I remember being a bit “daunted” myself by all that greenhouse canopy masking. For sure, there were no pre-cut masks back then! Again, all enamels, and applied with the Model H.  I did drill out the holes on the dive-flaps, and added a few other details.

 

The Curtis P-40B and the Mitsubishi A6M5 were photographed back in 2013, again at the by-now so recognizable Cameron Airport.  Both reveal my limitations as a model builder back then, and those probably haven’t improved as much as I’d like since then. 😉The A6M5 has my first fully scratch-built cockpit but with the one-piece kit canopy, most of the work is largely unseen.😥 I’ve been telling myself for years that I’ll buy a Squadron vac canopy and open it up to show off the details.   Maybe still...one o' these days.  I used the book, “Great Book of World War Airplanes” with illustrations by the great Rikyu Watanabe for the detail information. Best as I can recall, the 'pit turned out pretty good; maybe someday I’ll get to see it again.  I just remembered that I used rubber O-rings from the hardware store to replace the kit's tires.  I scratch-built the wheels from plastic scrap.

 

The P-40, long a favorite type of mine, may well be the oldest of these builds.  I can still recall sanding a big step down where the wings and fuselage met.   That took a while!  I believe that other than the radio aerials, it is completely OOB.   All four have received some rudimentary weathering; I guess my very first attempts at that feature.  As with the others, the paint was all ModelMaster and Humbrol enamels, sprayed with the Paasche H single-action AB.

 

I hope everyone enjoys my little look at scale modeling back in the day and perhaps feel a bit of nostalgia for that simpler time. 🙂 Thanks for letting me humbly share this “blast from the past”, in more ways than one!  Thank you also for stopping in and looking around, and as always, please leave your comments and critiques!

Cheers!  Gary

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

 

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more spitfire Mk IX pics

 

Douglas SBD Dauntless

 

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more Dauntless pics

 

Mitsubishi AGM5 Type O

 

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Curtis P-40B Warhawk

 

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Edited by Gary Brantley
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Fantastic memories Gary. I built all of these except the zero as a kid. Wow, kits have come a long way. One of my favourites was the original helldiver with retractable gear and folding wings 

thanks for sharing your great photos 

Bruce 

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37 minutes ago, pacificmustang said:

Fantastic memories Gary. I built all of these except the zero as a kid. Wow, kits have come a long way. One of my favourites was the original helldiver with retractable gear and folding wings 

thanks for sharing your great photos 

Bruce 

 

I sincerely thank you Bruce and you're quite welcome as well! 🍻 It is a trip down memory lane, isn't it?   Yeah, modeling has come a long way since those days, but hey, these new whizbang kits maybe cool nowadays, but where are the retractable gear and folding wings now?😉   Wouldn't that be cool!?!  😁

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Well, I can't help getting a bit sentimental. There is a soulmate somewhere in the South of Texas by the name of Gary Brantley, who shares my nostalgic feelings about vintage kits. Of course I built them - all Monogram WWII US aircraft - in the seventies and eighties. It's nice to say hello to them again, and to see the little flaws that they all have. Mine are not finished as well as yours. That's why I've started a while ago to restore and upgrade them. I will post some here in the near future (when I'll find a moment to take pictures).

I particularly love your Spitfire and Zero because I haven't got those and they both look superb even by today's standards.

 

Cheers, Michael

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Wow this brings back memories , I remember buying the FW 190 & JU87 Stuka tank buster.

For me  the Hawker Typhoon  was the one to have. , The MK9 Spitfire although crude by todays standards was the only 1.48th kit available for years.

Ahh happy days. 

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1 hour ago, Toryu said:

Well, I can't help getting a bit sentimental. There is a soulmate somewhere in the South of Texas by the name of Gary Brantley, who shares my nostalgic feelings about vintage kits. Of course I built them - all Monogram WWII US aircraft - in the seventies and eighties. It's nice to say hello to them again, and to see the little flaws that they all have. Mine are not finished as well as yours. That's why I've started a while ago to restore and upgrade them. I will post some here in the near future (when I'll find a moment to take pictures).

I particularly love your Spitfire and Zero because I haven't got those and they both look superb even by today's standards.

 

Cheers, Michael

 

Yes indeed, it does seem as though we two are soulmates Michael! 🍻  It's fun to look back and relive some good old memories.   If one looks at a map of Texas, and draws a triangle connecting Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, my hometown Cameron is located near the center of that triangle, in Milam County.  If you're ever over this way, be sure and let me know.  Drinks and dinner are on me! 🍔🍷

 

Thanks for the kind word too my friend!   I would love to see your restored Monogram builds; I expect they'll look great.

Best regards, Gary

1 hour ago, keith in the uk said:

Wow this brings back memories , I remember buying the FW 190 & JU87 Stuka tank buster.

For me  the Hawker Typhoon  was the one to have. , The MK9 Spitfire although crude by todays standards was the only 1.48th kit available for years.

Ahh happy days. 

 

Thanks for the reply Keith! 😀 Yeah, I've done that Typhoon as well.  Here's a look at her:

Monogram Hawker Typhoon 1/48 on BM

 

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The memories, the memories! Built all of these back in the day- didn't know what filler was, but were all finished in flat colors with a brush. If you built these when they were first released, Gary, it looks like you were ahead of the curve, modeling-wise! Monogram had the corner on the 1/48 market back in the day. I pretty much built whatever kit was out there of the airplanes I wanted to do back then, as I didn't settle on God's Own Scale until the seventies. I'm a much better modeler now, but my build rate is nowhere near what it was then ; always had one kit in the research stage, one under construction, and one being painted and decalled each month. I am amazed you have managed to keep all of these beautiful models intact- I am jealous.

Mike

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Hi Gary!

now we all can see that it is worth to build these nostalgic kits.  Glad to know and proud that we could live in this pre internet times. That were very cool times! No smartphones , no Internet. Thank god that we grew up in analog times .

 

cheers

Andy 

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50 minutes ago, Gary Brantley said:

If one looks at a map of Texas, and draws a triangle connecting Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, my hometown Cameron is located near the center of that triangle, in Milam County.  If you're ever over this way, be sure and let me know.

Thanks for the invite Gary. I'd love to see all your models lined up on the Cameron airport apron 😄 I've been over to Houston a few times on business in 2012 - not anymore now. Part of my family lives in NYC and upstate NY - that's a long way from Texas. But who knows... Michael

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Gary,

 

Very nice you posted this topic. From how far we have come! 😁

 

Yes I still have many Monogram and also Aurora models in my collection.  Too nice to ban them to the scrapyard.   They also were a good starting point for some conversions.  

 

For example this one: 

 

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I know, the upper colours are not correct, but then I did not knw that. But it was fun to build.

 

Finally how about this one: 

 

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I hope that there more modellers will show these old gems !

 

Cheers,

 

JohnHaa

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Lovely collection Gary. Looks like you have always been a good modeller!

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

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4 hours ago, 72modeler said:

The memories, the memories! Built all of these back in the day- didn't know what filler was, but were all finished in flat colors with a brush. If you built these when they were first released, Gary, it looks like you were ahead of the curve, modeling-wise! Monogram had the corner on the 1/48 market back in the day. I pretty much built whatever kit was out there of the airplanes I wanted to do back then, as I didn't settle on God's Own Scale until the seventies. I'm a much better modeler now, but my build rate is nowhere near what it was then ; always had one kit in the research stage, one under construction, and one being painted and decalled each month. I am amazed you have managed to keep all of these beautiful models intact- I am jealous.

Mike

 

Thank you Mike, I really appreciate the kind words! :thumbsup:  In reality, I think they were already old releases by the time I built these.  The oldest of the four builds is the P-40, in terms of when I did them.  It dates back to 1990 or '91 I imagine.  When I resumed building models in the late 1980s, I pondered whether to go 1/72 or 1/48.  My OCD just doesn't allow me to mix the scales, lol.  I settled on 1/48 for that Monogram A-10; although there have been several times when I wished I had gone 1/72.  There seemed to be many more choices and of course, the smaller size would allow more finished planes in the same display.  But, as I aged, I was happy that I chose 1/48 because the larger sizes are just easier to see and handle for me now at 66. 😉

 

Back in the early '90s, I was working on a model everyday and finishing them at a good rate. (no internet to distract one and nobody to build for but myself) My rate of completion has become glacial in comparison to those bygone days.   When we moved into our current home, in August of 1990, I was so excited to finally have a dedicated room for my models (and also firearms and their accoutrements).  I had a friend who owned a cabinet shop make a display cabinet.  A few years ago, I had him build another one just like it.  I think I have room for maybe 6 or 7 more 1/48 planes in those cabinets and after that, I don't know what I'll do for display as I really don't have room for another cabinet.  Oh well, time will tell how many I'll need room for...but, I am fortunate to have a place to keep them safe and relatively dust free too.  Here's a pic of how they looked in 2016; I've just recently sort of rearranged my "study" for more space and less clutter-probably should get a pic of that before it gets out of hand again!

 

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4 hours ago, Andy Dyck said:

Hi Gary!

now we all can see that it is worth to build these nostalgic kits.  Glad to know and proud that we could live in this pre internet times. That were very cool times! No smartphones , no Internet. Thank god that we grew up in analog times .

 

cheers

Andy 

 

Thanks Andy!   🍻I'm so glad you enjoyed and appreciated these old builds, means a lot to me my friend.   Although I guess I've adapted pretty well to the digital age, at heart I'm still kind of an analog man.   And yeah, I did see a whole bunch of the cool bands...oh that Led Zeppelin show in '73...best I can recall, it was awesome.😉 

 

Analog Man...

4 hours ago, Toryu said:

Thanks for the invite Gary. I'd love to see all your models lined up on the Cameron airport apron 😄 I've been over to Houston a few times on business in 2012 - not anymore now. Part of my family lives in NYC and upstate NY - that's a long way from Texas. But who knows... Michael

 

You are most welcome Michael!  Come on over and I'll cook you some good authentic Texas barbecue!  😀

 

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3 hours ago, JohnHaa said:

Gary,

 

Very nice you posted this topic. From how far we have come! 😁

 

Yes I still have many Monogram and also Aurora models in my collection.  Too nice to ban them to the scrapyard.   They also were a good starting point for some conversions.  

 

For example this one: 

 

spacer.png

 

I know, the upper colours are not correct, but then I did not knw that. But it was fun to build.

 

Finally how about this one: 

 

spacer.png

 

I hope that there more modellers will show these old gems !

 

Cheers,

 

JohnHaa

 

Thanks so much for the reply and your kind comments John! 🍺   And thanks for showing those classic models as well, they look very nice; like you, I hope this will inspire others to show their versions of these old warhorses!  Best regards from the Heart of Texas, Gary 😀

 

2 hours ago, Baldy said:

Lovely collection Gary. Looks like you have always been a good modeller!

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

 

Thank you Malcolm, much appreciated for sure!  😀  I don't know if I was "good" or just lucky  (my late Dad always said "even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.)", but maybe I've gotten a bit better at it as I've gotten older.   After some of my recent mistakes, I question that too, lol. ie. Two days ago, I primed my Meteor F.1 build with gloss white by mistake.:doh:

 

41 minutes ago, RMCS said:

Niiiice 

 

Many thanks for that Rich!  👍

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Thanks for nostalgia overdose :D  The Monogram Spitfire IX was the first 1/48 model I built and it seemed big to me at the time. Mine was brush painted in Humbrol enamels in colours that were as least green and grey kind of !

no way as good as yours 

I had the Dauntless too. Memory is a funny thing but didn’t it have some moving features as well?

thanks for showing - it made my evening !

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8 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Thanks for nostalgia overdose :D  The Monogram Spitfire IX was the first 1/48 model I built and it seemed big to me at the time. Mine was brush painted in Humbrol enamels in colours that were as least green and grey kind of !

no way as good as yours 

I had the Dauntless too. Memory is a funny thing but didn’t it have some moving features as well?

thanks for showing - it made my evening !

 

Thank you for the great comments John! 👍 And of course, you're very welcome too. 😀  You know, I believe that Dauntless did have landing gear that closed up; but I may be thinking of the Monogram Hellcat...yeah, got that one done too, lol.  I recall that it had operating LG and folding wings too.

 

garybrantley-161204-5844553f9b25e-1024x7

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Oh yes, back in '89. I was in Jackson, Tennessee. For six weeks. I was there training for my Instrument rating living in a motel. But I didn't fly every day. The weather didn't always cooperate including Hurricanes. 

 

So I found the local hobby shop and bought a Monogram Zero and happily built it on the the off days. I still have it. I brought it home to Ireland. 

 

It reminds me my love of America. Everything seems possible there.

 

It's funny how an object kicks off so many feelings. Been to the USA since and never lost my attachment to the place. I feel at home there. I suppose the initial experience helps. 

 

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1 hour ago, Gary Brantley said:

I recall that it had operating LG and folding wings too.

Real SBD's didn't have folding wings, but the Monogram kit had retractable undercart, operating dive brakes, the bomb could be swing on the crutch, and the prop and rear gun were moveable. Couldn't afford the $1.49 retail price on my allowance, but they were 90 cents at the BX! Monogram pretty much switched from box scale kits to 1/48 and didn't begin doing 1/72 kits until the late sixties, IIRC. Back  in the day when I was in high school, every cent I made mowing lawns and bagging groceries at the base commissary went for plastic and control line models....those were the days!

Mike

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Ah, nice memories! I built all of these when I was but a wee lad - I remember saving my allowance so I could go to the hobby shop once in a while and buy one of these babies. Monogram was always my favourite (not favorite, this is Britmodeller after all), but the kid next door liked Revell. Lots of interesting adolescent arguments were had by all. (Other kids in the area played stick and ball games. They were odd.)

 

I had all my models lined up on bookshelves on the wall in my bedroom (there were quite a few cars, but don't tell that to anyone here.) I think I broke each and every one trying to dust them.

 

Your work shows how beautiful models can still be made from these old kits. Love it!   :thumbsup:

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Imagine a time when we didn't' suspect raised panel lines were evil - how nescient!  

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1 hour ago, noelh said:

Oh yes, back in '89. I was in Jackson, Tennessee. For six weeks. I was there training for my Instrument rating living in a motel. But I didn't fly every day. The weather didn't always cooperate including Hurricanes. 

 

So I found the local hobby shop and bought a Monogram Zero and happily built it on the the off days. I still have it. I brought it home to Ireland. 

 

It reminds me my love of America. Everything seems possible there.

 

It's funny how an object kicks off so many feelings. Been to the USA since and never lost my attachment to the place. I feel at home there. I suppose the initial experience helps. 

 

 

I really enjoyed your recollections of your times in the USA Noel, that's the sort of stuff that makes this such an appealing, and interesting hobby for us all.  We all can connect our love of these plastic planes to some really great memories.  My very first scale model was the really old Aurora Zero.  It was molded in bright yellow plastic.  I was 6 years old and I'm sure Dad helped with the assembly.  One sad day my grandmother sat on it.   Speaking of mishaps like that; I used to carry a couple models to my classroom from time to time while teaching.  I carried them to and fro in a big old VCR box.  One afternoon, while headed to my car, a stupid custodian stopped me and lifted the flaps on the box.  Before I could stop the dolt, he thrust his hand into the box and flattened that Monogram Zero (above).😲 Both landing gear came loose and after getting them back in place, I realized that there forward angle was now not steep enough.  Arrrghhhhh!!!  That can be seen in the pic.  Of course, I had to redo the aerial wire as well.   I had a few choice words for the man...

 

We surely have our problems here in the States, but I still think it's a great place to live. We still enjoy a great deal of freedom here and one can't have enough of that. 🙂  I hope you continue to enjoy your visits to my country Noel! 😀

32 minutes ago, 72modeler said:

Real SBD's didn't have folding wings, but the Monogram kit had retractable undercart, operating dive brakes, the bomb could be swing on the crutch, and the prop and rear gun were moveable. Couldn't afford the $1.49 retail price on my allowance, but they were 90 cents at the BX! Monogram pretty much switched from box scale kits to 1/48 and didn't begin doing 1/72 kits until the late sixties, IIRC. Back  in the day when I was in high school, every cent I made mowing lawns and bagging groceries at the base commissary went for plastic and control line models....those were the days!

Mike

 

Uh, Mike I think I was referring to the Hellcat model 😉, but I had forgotten about that swinging crutch for the bomb and the alternate fittings of the rear canopy too.  The Monogram F6F Hellcat was about my fourth finished model, circa '89 and my first attempts at scratch-building.  The somewhat silly oleo hinges were made by me and I added some plumbing here and there.   The influence of Finescale Modeler magazine and assorted Kalmbach publications was starting to show...😉  😁

12 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

Ah, nice memories! I built all of these when I was but a wee lad - I remember saving my allowance so I could go to the hobby shop once in a while and buy one of these babies. Monogram was always my favourite (not favorite, this is Britmodeller after all), but the kid next door liked Revell. Lots of interesting adolescent arguments were had by all. (Other kids in the area played stick and ball games. They were odd.)

 

I had all my models lined up on bookshelves on the wall in my bedroom (there were quite a few cars, but don't tell that to anyone here.) I think I broke each and every one trying to dust them.

 

Your work shows how beautiful models can still be made from these old kits. Love it!   :thumbsup:

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Imagine a time when we didn't' suspect raised panel lines were evil - how nescient!  

 

Thanks Bill! 🥃  I also enjoyed your reminiscence of your childhood; it sounds just splendid.  My goodness, what were those crazy "stick and ball" kids thinking of?!!?  😊  I removed each and every one of my models out of the displays last week, shelf by shelf, and dusted the shelves and models.  It had been several years since the last dusting and believe it or not, I didn't break loose a single little piece.  I could hardly believe my luck!   The glass doors do make a fairly tight seal but not perfect and dust does seep in.  Oh, those horrid raised panel lines!  I had built a dozen models with them before I read that they were "bad".    Well, I haven't let that stop me from still building those types, heh heh.  It just caused me to develop ways of dealing with them that didn't involve rescribing.😉  I so admire the results of those who do that but I would sooner stick a hot needle in my eye that rescribe an entire model plane. 😄  

 

Thanks for the memories and the kind words Bill!  Best regards sir! 

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2 minutes ago, Gary Brantley said:

I would sooner stick a hot needle in my eye that rescribe an entire model plane. 😄 

 

Um, I'm in the process of doing that right now....     :(

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

PS. Scribing that is, not sticking a hot needle in my eye.    :)

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Bill, could I send a few your way to get the "full treatment"?   For the re-scribe...not the work in your eye!!😁  I got a good laugh out of your reply!  :clap2:

 

I had a look at your project!  Good luck, I'll be looking for it in RFI before too long.  When I was a kid, maybe 8, I got a Christmas present that had pieces that one could assemble into four or five different fighter jets.  One was the Javelin.  That was my first knowledge of that type.  I believe most of that kit may still be around here somewhere too. Its looks have certainly grown on me over the years and I would love to have one on my shelf.   What is the "best" kit to buy in 1/48? 

Edited by Gary Brantley

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Hey! Model aircraft and barbecue. What could be better!

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I am of a certain age but where I live in deepest darkest Wales,we never had exotic names like Monogram,we had to make do with Airfix kits,I am building a Vodoo from Monogram at the moment and I am pleasently surprised that the filler has remained in the tube.I have enjoyed looking at your models very much.:clap2:

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