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Dan's Diminutive Dealer of Destruction: Airfix 1/72 O-1 Bird Dog

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In the just under a month remaining of this GB, I'm going to try and get my Airfix Bird Dog built! It's a tiny kit with not a huge amount of parts, so hopefully should be fine!


Fair to say, probably never before was such a tiny, little plane so feared by the enemy, with the knowledge that it could, often within minutes, call down bombs, missiles, napalm and strafing if anything remotely suspicious was spotted. 


The Bird Dog had a long service life with the US military, it being the first fixed wing aircraft acquired by the US Army following their separation from the Air Force in 1947. It saw action in Korea, but the dangerous skies above the Vietnamese jungle were where it really earned its stripes in the hands of Forward Air Controllers.


Cruising at tree top height, looking for signs of the North Vietnamese, the first indication of which would usually be gunfire aimed in the O-1's direction, in a plane armed with nothing more than phosphorus marker rockets, it was not a job for the faint of heart. Indeed, during the course of the war, 469 Bird Dogs were lost to all causes. 


Bought this kit off Ebay a couple of years ago for less than £10 including postage.




4 small sprues of parts, plus one of clear parts, which look nicely moulded especially the pilot, although there are some annoying ejector pin marks around the tail area.




One page of instructions;




Nice looking decals;




And this is the scheme I will be doing;




Picked this up from a local model show earlier this year to help me along;




First bit of research required, what colour should the interior be? The instructions are somewhat vague, just giving details for the seats and cockpit floor.

Edited by danbuoy
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  • danbuoy changed the title to Dan's Diminutive Dealer of Destruction: Airfix 1/72 O-1 Bird Dog

First coats on most of the parts tonight. Trying to paint as much as possible prior to assembly due to the various clear pieces that need fitting later.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update on the Bird Dog, pilot finished and installed and fuselage halves together. Worth mentioning that the decal for the instrument panel was way too big for the piece it goes on, but it will barely be visible behind the thick transparencies. 






Also painted the tip of the tail fin



Edited by danbuoy
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Cockpit glass installed, wings on, plus struts and undercarriage legs. The struts had some awful ejector pin marks that needed dealing with which is why they weren't painted on the sprue like the other bits




Underwing stripes done, plus the anti glare panel




Propeller also done, but leaving that off for now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, sadly, I'm not going to get this done in time. This is how the Bird Dog is currently looking, all ready for decals;




But then this happened;




Decals just completely disintegrated. I will of course try and source some replacements, but no idea how long that will take. Gutted.

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Well, it would seem rumours of my Bird Dog not being finished in time have been greatly exaggerated! Straight after my decal debacle on Tuesday, I went on Ebay, and as luck would have it, found a set of Airfix Bird Dog decals for £2.80 delivered. Promptly bought them, and they arrived today!


The decals are clearly from an older boxing, and there is some discolouration, but they went on like a dream. So, here it is, all done! Will get some better photos for the gallery over the weekend. 










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