Sometime in mid-December of last year, while attending a meeting of the Brooklyn Plastic Modelers Society (my chapter of the IPMS), I came across this kit being sold 2nd hand for $25.00 with an Eduard photo-etch set and a Masters Productions horizontal tail stabilizer set thrown in. While I would not go as far as to say that this kit was a “sow’s ear”, it sure as heck was not a “Silk purse” either. I found it very reminiscent of a classic Monogram kit, correct in size and dimension, but needing a bit of work to bring it up to snuff. Why the hell not? Isn’t that what scale modeling is all about?
This build was a series of firsts for me. It was the first 1/32 kit I had built in over twenty years. It was the first time I re-scribed a whole fuselage as opposed to a line here and there. It was the first (and definitely the last) time I scribed 60+ “Dsus” fasteners around the cowling. It was the first time I used masks to paint the national insignias, code letters, serial numbers, fuselage band, fin flash, walkways, and gun covers. It was the first time decaling only took twenty minutes. Finally, it was the first time I ever posted any of my work on a web-site (six in all in the WIP section.
The only money I spent on this model was $8.00 for a Barracudacast resin upgrade set for the cockpit and $10.00 for a set of Montex painting masks. Everything else was either scratch-built or sourced from the spare parts bin. For a grand total of $43.00, I think this kit can hang in with any of these newer 1/32 kits which cost over $100.00. I am sold on 1/32 scale, but I think I will knock out a few 1/48 kits before attempting another 1/32.
22 additional images. Click to enlarge.