There certainly are some great builds going on, sure brings back some memories. In my last update I had given the cockpit area a base coat of interior green and cut off the main float using a razor saw. So, in trying to keep up with a new years resolution of doing updates on a timelier basis (not doing too well with that!) I’ve made some progress and should do one!
This project is actually a trial run for the “real” Kingfisher I want to do. For that one I picked up a resin engin, cowl and a main float that is of the correct width. Turns out that the molding capabilities back in the 60’s didn’t allow for wider parts to be made, who knew? Anyway, I picked up two kits over the years, this one with the PE, and another that was an earlier kit. On the old Monogram kits I’ve found that getting kits that are close to the original release date tend to have the best fit as the molds hadn’t time to get worn out. So, I’m saving the really good stuff for that build, and using this one for two reasons, one to re-familiarize myself with the kit (first built it in the mid-seventies, no paint) and second to have fun and relive a build that I enjoyed but now able to apply some skills I didn’t have back then.
In keeping with my plan to do a little bit extra in the cockpit I addressed the instrument panel. Opting to save the PE part for the more scale build meant that I’d have to fashion a new panel from scratch. With the PE sheet this makes the process much easier. Having used this technique to replicate an instrument panel for a Rufe Zero floatplane in the past I repeated it with some minor modifications.
First up, I made photocopies of the PE Sheet, and the decal sheet (the kit provides instruments on the decals), and got up on it!
Next I took some 10K stock styrene and cut it to shape, to allow for making 2 panels.
The photocopied panels were then glued to the stock using white glue.
Then, using a new #11 blade I carefully cut out the outline of the panel and then using a Waldron punch set I punched out the holes where the instruments would go (note, while it looks like I didn’t get the holes lined up per the drawing it’s really just the angle of the photo, they were dead on with the drawing).
Following this adventure, it was time to give the ole eyes a break, so I assembled the wings per the kit’s instructions. This went well, despite the age of the molds, there was little flash to deal with. I also started to get the float in a better state of affairs. The fit on the float left a lot to be desired. After gluing and a rough sanding, gaps were all over the main float. Mr. Surfacer 500 jumped in to help save the day!
With my eyes recovered, I dove back onto the instrument panel. I checked my alignment of the holes on the scratched panel to the copy of the instrument panel decal, and found things looked pretty good!
I washed off the photocopy template, and compared to the PE part, I felt that it was rather bland and could be touched up a bit. I used the smallest of blanks from punching the holes to act as buttons, and also used some bezels to give the instrument holes some depth, the bezels come from an old Airscale set.
Feeling pretty good about things, it was time to paint the panel (Mr. Surfacer 1500 black diluted 1:4), the photocopy of the instrument panel received 3 coats of Future floor wax, and was cut to shape, The painted panel had a couple of placards added from the decal dungeon. Everything was then glued together, and I must admit it certainly comes close to what I envisioned.
In keeping with the cockpit, I sanded off the pilot seat belts and replaced them with an old set of Eduard belts, painted the radio and assorted items in the rear, gave a drybrushing of silver and a wash of burnt umber. Satisfied, these parts were test fitted, and finally committed with glue to the right fuselage half.
Closing the fuselage on this kit is a bit odd. The Kingfisher wings are mid-fuselage, and Monogram engineered the assembly such that the wings are inserted into the right half prior to closing the fuselage with the left half. Test fitting is key here to avoid headaches down the line. This all paid off with a pretty good fit!
Despite being molded in 1993, these 1967 molds definitely show their wear. While the seams were a bit rough Mr. Surfacer 500 makes light work of them.
One area that needs attention is the gap between the wings and fuselage.
While this may seem like a lot of work, it really isn’t. Following the painting of the interior and removing the float, the kit languished in its box while I completed the Mosquito for the Twin Engine Bomber campaign. The majority of the work presented was accomplished a little over two weeks. Kind of a testament to this older kit, low parts count and fairly easy construction, a little TLC and it starting to look the part. Up next, clean up, clear parts and prep for the float reattachment. Till then be safe and have fun!