PBY-5A US Coast Guard 1952
This is a version of Monogram’s 1:48 scale PBY- 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 Catalina 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.
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.