1/48 Koster/Revell PB4Y-2 Privateer
This kit was an unintentional acquisition, part of a large swap. Prior to the build I had stayed away from vacu-form kits/conversions, convinced that I’d run out of talent shortly after unwrapping the boxes. (see WIP).
Motivated by the subject and concerned about the unknown territory ahead, I dove in.
At first progress was quicker than anticipated-cutting and fitting parts was no big deal-then the pace slowed. Filling, sanding, repeating over and over, priming, filling, cursing.
Then I met Bill Koster.
I was invited to his home and shop, along with now good friend Alex Guzman, the guy on the other end of the trade. A spry 89, bright eyed and of sharp wit, Bill was a gracious host that tolerated the sorts of questions asked by the awe-struck.
His builds are displayed prominently in his home, and he has them all, except a PB4Y-2, a fact for which I am somewhat grateful for. The comparison would have been too much to bear. Bill’s work is exceptional. I left with an Fw-200 and three different flavors of experimental P-47 variants under my arm. Koster Aero Enterprises is still in business and have various kits in stock.
Inspired and re-energized, I got back to it, then the talent thing started to catch up to me. Since every bit of this build needs to be thought through before execution, and nothing about it is what I would consider a mainstream, plug and play model kit, one needs to think. A lot. I built a very basic, lower detail model that still tested me.
As I progressed I tried to research, at least visually, each “sub assembly” as I went along, at the same time comparing what I was building to whatever it mated to. It matters. I did diverge from the instructions concerning construction a few times because I’d rather overbuild than hope.
Finishing the exterior took some time, as I had many errors that the primer brought out, compounded by a combination of raised and recessed panel lines. My solution was to try to minimize the raised lines and basically ignore the rest.
I ended up with two different coats of primer, the second much lighter in color than the first. I pre-shaded the underside and major panels above then gave everything a light sanding before using Model Master enamels in White, Intermediate Blue, and Flat Sea Blue. I used various techniques to tone down the Sea Blue in particular, but not being much of a weatherer, kept it light.
Sealed with Pledge (the former Future), I decalled it from a combination of the Koster Aero and Revell sheets and two strays from the spares box. Sealed again with Pledge and flat coated, exhaust stains were added and I called it done. At least for now, as there are a few glaring deficiencies that can be addressed when I’m in the right frame of mind.
All in all, it was fun. I’m obviously going to build another Koster conversion (I need three Monogram P-47’s. Two razorbacks and a bubbletop), and highly recommend Bill’s kits to those who don’t necessarily need immediate gratification but want something that can’t be found in the mainstream. My biggest fear that an injected Privateer kit would come out before I finished was not, thankfully, realized.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.