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Mike Maynard
52 articles

PBY-5A US Coast Guard 1952

July 1, 2013 · in Aviation · · 12 · 3.5K

This is a version of 's 1:48 scale - 5A. Most builders construct this kit in typical WWII fashion but I wanted my plane to present a different appearence. The USCG started flying Catalinas in the 1930's, (the flying boat version) and continued operating them as patrol planes throughout the War. In the post WWII period, the CG flew the PBY-5A and PBY-6 in search and rescue missions as well as coastal patrol. The "Cats" carried radar, high powered day/night binnoculars, and a paradropped lifeboat. In addition, the aircraft was equipped with a powerful radio transmitter, extra fuel, and JATO bottles when more power was needed to takeoff in heavy seas.

My model was built five years ago pretty much out-of-the-box, representing the plane that flew SAR out of the Quonset Point naval air station. I added a scratchbuilt lifeboat, and jato bottles as well as an access ladder. The landing gear and tires were upgraded with aftermarket parts and I repositioned the control surfaces similar to that of a parked aircraft awaiting the call.

It was my first attempt at detailing the interior of a model and books about the were used for reference. Much of the internal "stuff" was scratchbuilt or pulled out of the spare parts box. The decals were made on my computer (as there is very little in CG decals commercially available). It was painted with Tamiya rattlecan silver and airbrushed with a modified Testors yellow. I did a little weathering to the interior and to the wings but didn't want the plane to look like it was on it's "last legs". The Coast Guard adopted the HU-16 as it's primary SAR aircraft in the early 1950's and the "Cats" were retired by 1954.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

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12 responses

  1. A very unique rendition of the PBY, Mike...some nice work there. Great build...I like it.

  2. Mike,
    This is a real work of art. I like what you did with this. the added details, boat,JATO, etc really shows your skill, It is great to see this a/c done in USCG markings for a change. I also like the base this sits on.
    After the War the these Cats were routinely seen flying in and out of the USCG base at Mills Field (now SFO). The base is still there but mostly helicopters.
    My compliments on a great build.

  3. that is really terrific...what a pleasure to look at

  4. What a great model of a terrific looking aircraft. It's good to see a model finished in a non military livery for a change.

  5. Fantastic...the aircraft the display and the history first rate job well done too bad its so hard see all the detail through the little glass panels great interior.

  6. Now that's one cool cat

  7. Very nice work indeed, and very interesting markings.

  8. Really great model.

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    said on July 2, 2013

    Lovely model Mike! Reminds me of the PBY Jacuqes Cousteau used in the old 1970's TV show!

  10. Excellent work! Love the interior detailing. Very nice clean build with crisp paint & decal work.

  11. Very nice build, I like the added detail in the interior. Nice exterior too. Nice NMF. Bet it takes up lots of space though.

  12. What a great model from a very good base kit. I can only imagine the strain on the wings when those JATO pods light up and blow the plan vertically into the air!

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