1/72nd P2V-5 Neptune Conversion
I wanted to build an earlier version of the P2V Neptune and selected the 20mm cannon armed P2V-5 as my subject. The Hasegawa 1/72nd P2V-7 kit was the starting point and I used the fine Falcon P2V-5 vacuform conversion set for the major modifications. A word of praise here for that Falcon conversion set. Their parts were precisely done with no fit issues but much care must be taken trimming out the clear plastic parts. A new #11 blade or two worked for me. I found out the hard way that a pair of modeling scissors wasn't the way to go. Falcon was most generous in providing a replacement canopy after I ruined the one that came in the conversion kit. The Hasegawa kit fuselage had to be cut at the front of the wing mount to allow the joining of the Falcon forward fuselage part. Various kit radomes needed to be removed in order to backdate it to the earlier version. Once the fuselage halves were modified, I used portions of the Eduard cockpit set to detail the cockpit. Lots of nose weight had to be added to keep the Neptune on it's three wheels. It took about an ounce and a half of lead to do that. Fortunately there was quite a bit of usable space in the fuselage forward and on top of the nose wheel well. While the Falcon conversion set provided a nice set of wing tip tanks, no parts were provided for the searchlight assembly that occupied the forward portion of the starboard tank so it had to be scratch built. The nose and tail 20mm mounts came from a A-3 resin conversion set which had to be cut to fit the contours of the P2V-5. I added the 14 rocket launch pylons and deleted the jet engines as the plane I was modeling did not have them. The model was airbrushed with Model Master dark sea blue and flat black was used for the anti-glare panel. The decals were custom made by Joseph Osborn and laid out and formatted by Pip Moss. These two folks helped greatly to allow me to build this particular Neptune. The final photo in the batch is a photo of the actual aircraft I was modeling. It was P2V-5 124881 that was assigned to the Service Test division at NATC Patuxent River, MD in 1957.