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Monogram dreams of my youth.

November 22, 2014 in Aviation

When I was building plastic models in the 70s, Monogram kits were the state of the art.
I always dreamed of building on of their big bombers in 1:48, but was never able to do it.
They were too expensive for a kid with a meagre weekly allowance, and even if I had been able to afford one I wouldn’t have been able to build it well, much less paint it well.

The coolest one was the B-26 Marauder. I always had a weakness for sleek streamlined shapes. I still do, that’s why I usually build ships.

I told my friend Lars about this childhood dream, whereupon he said:
‘‘You can have my Marauders, I’ve got three.’’
I immediately accepted the offer.

The plan for the build was utterly simple:
Build the kit out of the box, avoid all difficulties and then concentrate on the paint job.
For that reason I decided to build her flying, thereby avoiding wasting time on landing gears.
The underlying idea was to be true to my childhood dream. Therefore I painted her bleached olive drab with neutral grey undersides. None of those ugly invasion stripes!
Man, was it fun to airbrush those large surfaces with different shades of olive drab! Very different from the intricate paint jobs I usually do on my ship models
It was also very important that the wavy line between the olive drab and the neutral grey was diffuse (Sorry can’t find the right english word right now) In reality the line was pretty sharp, but that was of no consequence. This was about making old dreams come true.
I was so eager to see the cool streamlined shape of her, that I temporarily taped the wings to the fuselage with masking tape, just to get a look at her.
As reference material I used a Magazine that featured the first review of the kit, including a Shep Paine diorama, and a booklet bought on a trip to London 1979.

I displayed the model over a Michelin map of northern France, that I used when I toured France on bike 1991. (I was a very keen touring cyclist at that time.)

When I posted some pics of the build on the IPMS-Stockholm forum, I got quite a response and it was decided that we start a ‘‘Monogram dreams of the youth’’ SIG. 13 models took part in the SIG at 08-OPEN 2014.
In April 2015 we’ll do it again. Build your own ‘‘Monogram dreams of the youth model’’ and join in!

16 additional images. Click to enlarge

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15 responses to Monogram dreams of my youth.

  1. Cool model & interesting Sig. Monogram was issuing Speedee-built wood & acetate models in my youth. Don’t think I’d want to build those again.

  2. Great models!! Taking me back to the 1980’s when these kits were my pride and joy!! Can still remember painting the BUFF by hand. No airbrush back then. Superb B-26.

  3. Very nice Marauder, Ulf…those “old” Monogram kits were the best to be had way back when – and as far as I’m concerned, they STILL hold their own compared to the pricier imports of today’s market. Too bad they still don’t make ’em. So how do I ‘join in’ on that SIG…?

    • Thanks Craig! Joining in is done in two steps, that are easy or difficult, depending on how you build and where you live.
      1. Build an old Monogram kit. The goal is not do do a superdetailing job or anything like that. The goal is to FINISH the model, preferably in a way that corresponds to a boyhood dream.
      2. Exhibit the model at 08-OPEN in Stockholm 18-19 April.
      If traveling to Stockholm in April is too much of a hazzle, start your own local ‘‘Monogram dreams of the youth group’’

      Spread the gospel!

  4. Oh man, superb Marauder Ulf! Monogram heaven indeed. Let me in!! 🙂

  5. Fine work, Ulf, on a rather demanding build. You did especially good work in and around the fuselage at the tail, including the tail-gunner clear part area. The kit nacelles are certainly no treat; yours are well done. Great build and authentic paint job.

  6. Ulf, great looking B-26 and an excellent idea for a SIG. Great to see a dream build fulfilled

  7. Very nice work on a kit that is definitely “not that easy.”

  8. Interesting take on this kit, Ulf, and for the SIG idea too.

  9. Great idea and a very nice kit.

  10. Nice B 26 there Ulf.
    Well done mate.

  11. I don’t think these kits existed when I was a kid in the 1950s, although I do remember someone buying me an American model car kit with lots of chrome, maybe it was a Ford Thunderbird, I’m not sure, and it was quite likely Monogram or Revell. However, I can see that you’ve done a good job with this B-26, and that you really enjoyed making your dream come true, great stuff!

  12. Very nice job Ulf. I love a great story attached to a model, and that one really brought back my own memories of those kits in the early ’80s. At one point or another I built the B-17, B-24, B-25 and C-47. Never did the B-26 or B-29, but this is definitely inspiring me. As far as I am concerned, those old Monogram kits can still hold their own – great interior detail, and (for the most part) actually very accurate. The older, original moldings tend to fit better as the molds have gotten a bit worn.
    You did a really great job on this one, and more importantly it has a great story attached to it (one that I and many others totally relate to)!
    Well done!

  13. Thank you all!
    Telling my Monogram story apparently sparked some childhood memories.
    I can really recommend this way of dealing with with those childhood modelling dreams and memories. Get the kit, build it out of the box and have fun painting it.
    It’s a great way of getting away from that superdetailing, historically correct AMS type of modelling that we too easily get stuck in.

  14. beautiful 26…the maps a great touch…the 52 and night lightning are extraordinary too

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