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1/48 Koster/Revell PB4Y-2 Privateer

March 24, 2016 in Aviation

This kit was an unintentional acquisition, part of a large swap. Prior to the build I had stayed away from vacu-form kits/conversions, convinced that I’d run out of talent shortly after unwrapping the boxes. (see WIP).
Motivated by the subject and concerned about the unknown territory ahead, I dove in.
At first progress was quicker than anticipated-cutting and fitting parts was no big deal-then the pace slowed. Filling, sanding, repeating over and over, priming, filling, cursing.
Then I met Bill Koster.
I was invited to his home and shop, along with now good friend Alex Guzman, the guy on the other end of the trade. A spry 89, bright eyed and of sharp wit, Bill was a gracious host that tolerated the sorts of questions asked by the awe-struck.
His builds are displayed prominently in his home, and he has them all, except a PB4Y-2, a fact for which I am somewhat grateful for. The comparison would have been too much to bear. Bill’s work is exceptional. I left with an Fw-200 and three different flavors of experimental P-47 variants under my arm. Koster Aero Enterprises is still in business and have various kits in stock.
Inspired and re-energized, I got back to it, then the talent thing started to catch up to me. Since every bit of this build needs to be thought through before execution, and nothing about it is what I would consider a mainstream, plug and play model kit, one needs to think. A lot. I built a very basic, lower detail model that still tested me.
As I progressed I tried to research, at least visually, each “sub assembly” as I went along, at the same time comparing what I was building to whatever it mated to. It matters. I did diverge from the instructions concerning construction a few times because I’d rather overbuild than hope.
Finishing the exterior took some time, as I had many errors that the primer brought out, compounded by a combination of raised and recessed panel lines. My solution was to try to minimize the raised lines and basically ignore the rest.
I ended up with two different coats of primer, the second much lighter in color than the first. I pre-shaded the underside and major panels above then gave everything a light sanding before using Model Master enamels in White, Intermediate Blue, and Flat Sea Blue. I used various techniques to tone down the Sea Blue in particular, but not being much of a weatherer, kept it light.
Sealed with Pledge (the former Future), I decalled it from a combination of the Koster Aero and Revell sheets and two strays from the spares box. Sealed again with Pledge and flat coated, exhaust stains were added and I called it done. At least for now, as there are a few glaring deficiencies that can be addressed when I’m in the right frame of mind.
All in all, it was fun. I’m obviously going to build another Koster conversion (I need three Monogram P-47’s. Two razorbacks and a bubbletop), and highly recommend Bill’s kits to those who don’t necessarily need immediate gratification but want something that can’t be found in the mainstream. My biggest fear that an injected Privateer kit would come out before I finished was not, thankfully, realized.

7 additional images. Click to enlarge

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20 responses to 1/48 Koster/Revell PB4Y-2 Privateer

  1. Nice work, BB…..are all those builds in his display cabinet vac conversions?

  2. Absolutely stunning!!! All that elbow grease has paid off nicely!!! Well done.

  3. Beautiful job, Bryan! It was well worth the wait.

    Matchbox had a 1/72 PB4Y-2 years ago in 1/72 that has been recently re-issued by Revell and is still available. Not as big, but probably a lot easier to build and takes up a little less space….

  4. Very nicely done Bryan. I’ve been pondering that build for several years and seeing your very well done Privateer motivates me to put that PB4Y-2 near the top of my ‘to build’ list. My compliments on your modeling craftsmanship. Now all you have remaining to do is to find a place to keep that big bird.

  5. Bryan, well done! Amazing work.
    And thanks for letting us see Bill Koster in person, I’m a fan.
    I’d have asked for his autograph.

  6. I think most folks would agree that the PB4Y-2 is at the top or very near on the list of difficult and challenging conversions.

    This looks really excellent. Great work. “Stretching” is always good for modeling. It will make the next challenge not so challenging.

  7. Great job muscling through a tough build, and an excellent result! I’ve toyed with picking up the 1/72 Matchbox/Revell version, but haven’t bit the bullet yet.

  8. Few things are as developing for a modeller as getting out of your comfort zone. Congratulations to a successful build.

  9. That is a fine finish to that kit. I could never make a go of it but it seems as if you knocked it out of the park

  10. Bryan,
    Been following your progress and the final result is gorgeous. Ma hat is off to you for tackling this project. Kosters stuf is outstanding but not for the feint of heart. Outstanding.

  11. Very very nice. Love your Mitsubishi Nell too. Is that the vac form kit? Lovely.

  12. Thanks, all, for the kind comments.

  13. Absolutely beautiful job!

    I have this conversion in the stash along with the B-17C/D conversion too.

    Your beautiful result gives me much inspiration to have a go.


  14. You must be very pleased with the result, Bryan, thanks for sharing it with us, and also the story behind the kit.

  15. I think it’s a great job, on a difficult build. I had one of those, but the fear factor got to me and I sold the conversion. Nice job, Bryan!

  16. Beautiful job with the Privateer and the nose art. A real challenge for some but, this Koster vacu-form kit/conversion turned out to be a Goldie locks build.

    Two thumbs up. Looking forward to seeing you next build Bryan.

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