iModeler goes to the movies, sort of… 1/48 Grumman F9F-5 Panther
This started off as my first choice for the Movie group build and was supposed to be the Brubaker Panther from “The Bridges at Toko Ri” until about several others announced intentions to do the same airplane. Not being a herd animal and desperately wanting to be different, I found a set of Superscale decals on Evil Bay for a Marine jet with bright green trim, which would have been the perfect antidote for the dark sea blues. This was not to be, as the the first section of trim around the nose, despite the coating of decal saver, disintegrated while attempting to install it, thus ending that experiment. A long search for alternative markings found a bunch of them for -2 and -3 Panthers, but not enough neat ones for -5’s to pique my interest. In a last act of desperation, I decided to use the kit decals, which included a blue spiral around the nose. What could go wrong?
Things sort of spiraled (get it? ) out of control. Better modelers than I may have been able to get the pretty blue stripe around the nose, but after about two hours of finding out it wouldn’t fit where it was supposed to, I left it off. Much to my relief, I found a photo on the interweb showing an airplane from this squadron without it, so all was well. Until I shot the gloss top coat (Testors), which promptly attacked the paint in a few places, something that has never happened to me before. I decided by this point it wasn’t worth fighting it any more, and the result isn’t great, but isn’t bad either. To me, it’s a good representation of an average line bird in frontline service. Nothing flashy, but it gets the job done. The Panther is probably my favorite early jet; how could it not be with all those graceful art deco curves?
This is the Monogram F9F-5, built pretty much OOB with the addition of Airscale instrument decals, Eduard fabric seatbelts and MV lenses for the nav lights, which really add to the look of the model. Apart from taking almost nine months (I kinda got sidetracked by the Dark Side and built a 96 inch RC Spitfire and a 110 inch RC B-24 while this one was on the bench), the build itself was straightforward with no surprises apart from the decals and paint. Now, though, I have to come up with another movie airplane…sorry David! 🙂
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.