iModeler

1/48 Monogram PBY-5A Catalina ”44-P-4” flown by Ensign Jack Reid, VP-44, Bureau Number 08031 (57 posts)

  • I have been thinking about starting a build using this kit for a while now……….. I’ve been corresponding with Jaime Carreon about it, who also led the charge on the recent “Water Wings” Group Build.

    So today when I saw Tom Cleaver’s post on one of his older builds, I thought this was a sign………………….

    I plan on working on this one time permitting……….. I have three other Midway builds on my work bench at the moment.

    1. Accurate Miniatures TBF-1 back dated to an early version
    2. Accurate Miniatures SBD Dauntless, flown by Richard Best
    3. Monogram TBD Devastator, “6-T-6” in “Yellow Wings” colors from the Enterprise

    and now this huge Cat………………….. also from Monogram.

    What the heck ??? It gave me an excuse………………. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it……………….
    So here it is:

    Tags: 1/48, Catalina, flying boat, Midway Group Build, Monogram, PBY-5A

  • I also have this one in the stash, but I don’t think it’s a correct version since it’s a straight “Dash 5” and not a true amphibian with a retractable undercarriage.

  • VP-23 flew straight -5’s at Midway. Lt Howard P Ady, was flying a PBY-5, the morning he did, in fact, sight the Japanese main body as they were preparing to launch the first strikes.

    You could use either kit

  • That’s some great information Freddie. I learned something new……………… I knew VP-44 had the dash 5 A’s.

    Thanks my friend.

  • Let me start out by saying that these planes don’t get the respect they have earned. You really don’t see too many of them built up in the larger 1/48 scale.

    I have decided to build the dash 5A with retractable landing gear. I want to keep the straight “dash 5” and build it as a Pearl Harbor plane. The decals are included in the kit to do that.

    This kit is HUGE !!!!!!!

    I have been around a real PBY Catalina at Kermit Weeks “Fantasy of Flight” Museum several years ago, and more recently, visited the one currently at the New Smyrna Airport. It’s a big plane in real life too……………….. you really don’t realize just how big it is until you’re right up next to it. I would compare it in size to a B-17. It’s that big……….

    This one is going to take up a lot of real estate in my display case……………..

    Here’s a few pictures of the plastic parts

    There are two wing plastic trees: This one is the Port side.

    The fuselage sections take up most of the room in this one:

    The other wing tree: This is the Starboard side.

    The center wing section is located here:

    Earlier today I was airbrushing the color flat black. I tried to put the time to good use and since I was spraying black, to be more productive, I sprayed parts in the SBD kit and this one as well.

    Here’s the engines after I painted the cylinders.

    The main wheels. I’ll come back later and add another color over the top of the black. This is to fill in the voids of the wheel and give it some depth.

    The nose wheels received the same treatment:

    I painted the control wheels and throttle quadrant black too.

    The props were attached to the trees in a manner that needed some clean up. I used a small machinists file to smooth out the attachment points after they were cut away. Once this was done, I sprayed them black, including the hub.

    I’m going to concentrate on finishing up my other Midway builds before I really dig into this one. However, when the opportunity arises, I will work on it.

    Enjoy !!!!!!!!!

  • This is looks to be an excellent idea, Louis! You’re making me want to attack mine now…! I’ll be keeping an eye on this build for sure

  • PS- If you can find a copy of the book, “A glorious Page in our History” Lead author is Robert Cressman. It’s a very detailed book about Midway, and there is a ton of info about the patrol squadrons, what aircraft they flew, who flew what aircraft, their patrol routes and call signs, ie: “Strawberry Five”…plus it’s a phenomenal read as well. You’ll find the info for your TBD in there also.

  • Great choice Louis – it will be a big old bird for sure – it deserves to be represented too – Cats seemed to have a habit of making the crucial spot!

  • Thanks Freddie for the information on the book. If I run across one I’ll try to get it for my collection. You should start building your Catalina model. There’s no better time than the present…………… 🙂

    You’re absolutely correct Dave. The Cat doesn’t get the attention that it should, even though it was very instrumental with helping the Allies to achieve victory over the Axis powers. Plus it saved many people who were stranded at sea either by having the ship sunk (that they were previously floating on) out from under them, or by having to ditch or parachute into the ocean. That’s not a very nice way to persish I’m sure.

    One can only imagine.

    Earlier today I made some headway with the Cat.

    To begin with, I cut all of the large parts off the plastic trees. This opened up considerable room inside the box.

    Since I still have to paint the wheels and engines on all of my Midway Group builds, I thought that if I had these parts ready from the Cat, I could paint them all at the same time…………..

    Here’s the wheels. The tread pattern looks a little over done, but will soften up some with a little help from some fine sandpaper.

    The engines were cut away from the plastic trees and are ready for some detailing paint work………..

    On the undersides of both elevators, there was the Monogram copyright date and initials molded into the trim tabs.

    Close up of the Port side:

    followed by the Starboard side:

    I then proceeded to glue the outer pontoon floats together…………………

    On one of the pontoon halves, the ring shaped tie down was broken off the actual float and was still attached to the tree. I carefully removed the broken part from the tree and managed to glue it back in position where it belongs.

    If you’re building one of these this is an area to pay attention to. The rings are very delicate.

    The next step I did was to scrape off the Monogram and copyright logos from the trim tabs. I carefully used a single edge razor blade and gave the lettering a few swipes……….. This took off 90 percent of the details from the lettering. I followed behind the razor with some fine sandpaper and carefully sanded away the remaining details.

    This is how the underside of the Port side looked after they were given the “treatment”.

    and the Starboard side………………….

    Here’s a picture showing all of these parts grouped together:

    Lastly, here’s a picture of a large pile of plastic. Hopefully tonight I will glue these together to form the wing.

    I’ll post up more progress tonight if I make any. Right now I’m headed out to the shop to continue with the engine build for my Challenger restoration. I assembling a Chrysler 440 engine for it. The short block is done and I have degreed the camshaft. Now I’m checking other clearances like the valve to piston contact………… That’s my other hobby. Restoring old “Muscle Cars”.

    Take care.

  • Good start Louis. I built mine as a wheels up dangler so didn’t need to worry about weights. 2 areas of concern for me. The fit of the out-riggers in the up position was atrocious so I built them down. The keel was a beast, one side was more bowed than the other but in the end it was tamed. I can’t remember if its mentioned in the instructions or not but mid-gunners floor was rubber coated

  • George, I was wondering about the floor. I was thinking it was like the CAF LB-30 (once “Diamond Lil”) version of the B-24 I saw last year here, Unpainted corrugated flooring. Both Consolidated aircraft, out of San Diego. Not even thinking about the ones Canadair did, up North. I’ve never seen the interior of a PBY in person. The one in the AF Museum at Wright-Pat was in restoration and off limits when I was there years ago. And the one at Balboa Park in San Diego is up on a pylon. Tom Cleaver answered my question about interior colors.

  • Not sure what the rules are for posting from a book. If it’s not right, I’ll remove the photo.

    From the in detail & scale book “PBY Catalina” by Bert Kinsey. Squadron/Signal Publications

    1 attached image.

  • Thanks George for the picture. It shows some great details and colors. I’ll watch out for the fit on the out-rigger pontoons as well. They glued together nicely but I’m not sure how they will fit into the wings just yet. I’ll pay attention to this area. Thanks for the heads up too.

    I managed to glue part of the wings together. These large parts are warped pretty badly on my kit too. I hope the fuselage halves are better…………… I’m going to tape them together and let them sit like that to see if they are warped.

    I managed to glue the center section of the wing together. The front leading edge was good to go. The trailing edge is where the warping was noticed. So I “borrowed” a little trick from when I build balsa wood planes.

    I simply secured the wing to a straight surface while the glue dries. I used three clamps to hold the trailing edge flat and level. Then I placed a heavy book on top of the front leading edge.

    Hopefully this was enough to keep things straight. I may consider installing a metal spar (or two). The spar would run the entire length of the wing to help keep the wing straight over time……………..

    The book is a great book.

    One of my old Army First Sergeant’s is in this book. His name is Robert M. Patterson, and earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam when he was in the 101s Airborne.

  • I decided against installing the metal wing spar, and proceeded with gluing the rest of the wing together…………..

    Once I removed the wing from the board after it stayed there overnight, I noticed that something was not quite right……………

    There was a considerable gap that became apparent once I began test fitting the upper outer Starboard side wing panel. The gap was larger at the trailing edge and not present at all on the leading edge.

    So I flipped the wing assembly over and found the cause of the gap. Apparently as the wing was drying overnight, something shifted causing a miss alignment in the lower center wing panels. I could have done this as I was securing the wing to the board, or the stress from the warp in the wings could have pulled the plastic parts askew as they were drying.

    Either way I will have some filler work to do…………… Hopefully it will not be too hard to fix.

    But on a positive note, the trailing edge of the wing is nice and flat. So I a way the gaps are something that I can live with as a trade off for getting a nice straight wing………. so far.

    Here you can see the slight gap that I found on the leading edge at the center of the wing. This should be fairly simple to correct, and not too visible since it’s on the underside of the wing.

    The Port side of the wing came out really nice…………………

    Here’s the mostly completed wing assembly drying on my work bench. In the back ground you can see the Monogram TBD Devastator and a 1/35 scale M-60A1 that I am almost done with. It’s painted up and marked like one of the tanks I was a crew member in. I hope to get it done soon as well.

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Take care.

  • Louis, I meant to tell I love that yellow wings Devastator from Torpedo Six off Enterprise. I saw those color pictures from Life magazine years ago (friend had them in an old scrapbook) and have always wanted to do a TBD in those markings. Yours looks lovely.
    I’ve also been eyeing the Monogram Catalina -5 I’ve had for years in the pile of polystyrene. I hope that leading edge glitch isn’t going to throw off the alignment of the tower when you attach the wing assembly. to the fuselage. Thanks for the cautionary into on the wing assembly. When I saw the multiple pieces, I thought to myself, looks like things might get interesting. Hey, I’m a modeler. Challenges are what we do, get the BIG clamps, and lotsa glue and putty! Teach you to mess with the Green Hornet!