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Rodney J. Williams
171 articles

An Old USA Navy Airplane

April 19, 2020 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.3K

Thanks to the invention of the "net" I was able to get some quality "Life Magazine" photo's of the old airplane on a carrier deck and in flight. As a kid growing up during WW-II we all bought Life Magazine's weekly magazine as they took us through WW-II with quality photo's and the way they reported their "photojournalism."I did not research the real one, nor on how accurate made the kit. I was just interested in building any plane, other than Corsairs, P-40's/P-51's.

Alas, upon opening the kit I discovered that the modeler (me & you) had the option to build the model with the wings in "flight" configuration and/or in what I call being "tied down" on carrier deck with the wings folded.

Monogram's kits was almost flawless when it came to flashing and fit so it went together A-OK!

I was building the model in the o.o.b. category, but I may have added some extra items.

The box art showed a different color of yellow compared to the photo's of the real 's.

After all the panel lines were scribed-in I sanded the model down using 320, to 2,000 grit wet 3M sandpaper as the model was going to have a lot of what I call "Bare Metal,"(BM) looking area's. The bottom of the model was all BM and there in nothing like having a finished models with lots of scratch marks on it. Remember the bottom of the model "must" be as nice as the top, bar none.

I see other models on the web and the maker sand's the tires flat, but do not cut/file in the tire treads, nor do they paint the bottom of the tire.

I was a local, regional and IPMS/USA national judge from 1984 to late 2015 and during my judging lots of times a next to perfect model went from a possible first place to maybe a 2nd and/or 3rd and sometimes out of the 3 place winning circle just because they neglected to rework a flatten tire.

My paints were by Tamiya with a mix ratio of 4 parts "Denature Alcohol" to one part paint and sprayed @ 15/20psi in my clean Badger-200 airbrush using the medium and fine needle's.

I guess it's time for me to start showing more of my "armor" and "automobile" models with some toss-in "Airliner's!"

Have fun building your model.

Reader reactions:
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16 responses

  1. Beautifully done! I remember that diorama sheet from the two TBDs I built in high school. First movie I ever saw in a theater was "Midway" in 1976 (I was a 12-year-old country boy who didn't get to the big city very often), and for Christmas that year I got Walter Lord's "Incredible Victory" and the second Monogram TBD from my big brother. Best gifts ever!

  2. So i'm guessing your tyres are pumped to within a psi of bursting then 😀

    I've seen a few guys do kits where they add some sidewall bulge to mimic real life weight on the tyre. When done well it looks great.

    Nice clean build.

  3. Hey Rob:

    Sometime in the 1950's there was a long running weekly TV program called "Victory At Sea" and I never missed a program, then in the late '70's and/or the 1980's it came out again...hence I recorded several of them on VHS tape which I still have. I never transferred any of my tapes to a digital disk. Maybe 15 years ago, Walmart was offering tape to digital transfer's, but they wanted 25 buck per tape...

    I never got around to transferring as I must have had close to 100 tapes...awsome! Guess they will go to the dumpster one day. Rodney

    • Hey chap
      There's a little device you should find for around 25 bucks (I got mine in France for around 25 €) to transmit your VHS signal to your computer so it digitalizes the file, then you write it on a DVD or whatever you want. I think it comes with a little software. Well, the result is due to the quality of the VHS file, but it may be possible to enhance it when it is a computer file.

  4. When you look at real airplane on the "tarmac" and/or on a flight deck, there is not too much budge. Someone told me that most airplane tires carried 70psi. I just never tried to alter my airplane tires.

    Each of us can do what he/she want's to do on their model and if they like it, that's all it count's.

    Some of the rules by clubs at contest vary.

    I once flatten my tires on a 1/72 scale jet, and the judge said: Hey Rodney, you sanded down the tire's to within a scale inch of the rim, Dumb M! I took the model home and I added about a 1/16 real inch of flat styrene stock to the tires. That was the last time I flatten any of my tires.

    • I wouldn't flatten a tire very much (if at all) on a navy plane . If you look at one at an airshow there are two tire pressures stenciled somewhere near the tire. One for field operation and one for carrier ops. An example (directly from my F7U flight manual). The Cutlass from 20,000-30,000lbs pounds has the mains inflated to about 220psi while the nose gear is a whopping 270 for carrier ops. Above 30,000 lbs, main tire pressure increases from 220 to a maximum of 250psi at 34,000lbs. Pressure of the main gear for field work at 20,000lbs is 145psi which increases steadily until 30,000lbs. Above that weight tire pressures coincide for field or carrier ops. There are only two pressures for the nose gear. They do not change with weight. Field, 100psi carrier 280psi.

      I've always thought the Devastator's tires looked weird simply because they are smooth! I do like the way Monogram's builds up.

  5. Looks great Rodney! Despite all it's shortcoming, the TBD fascinates me. I have two of these Monogram kits that I picked up recently, each for less than 10 bucks, and one was still plastic wrapped! To boot, I found an Eduard Big-Ed kit for 20 buck! Can't wait to build them, this kit is one of Monograms best, in my opinion.

  6. Man that kit brings back a ton of memories! I built that kit 3 different times as a kid. Great build and thanks for posting!

  7. Hi Rodney,

    Very impressed with your model. Colorful and very well constructed. Monogram was way ahead of its time. I recently did read their story, quite interesting.

    Your article was also very clear. Do it the way you like it.

    The discussion involving Tyre pressure was interesting. Amazing how much PSI is pumped in the AC on board the carrier.

    Like someone mentioned above, I also have two in the stash. Bought in 1984 in Curacao, Dutch Antilles. I still think, it was a good investment. Regards, Derek.

  8. Great work Rodney!
    Love the yellow wings schemes!

  9. Nice work, Rodney. That’s one of my favorite kits of all time.

  10. Great work, Sir! Got myself the same kit, somewhere in my SoD. Inspired to search for it!
    All the best, Rodney!

  11. Great build of classic Monogram kit.

  12. To all the above comments: A BIG THANK YOU AND MORE.

    I should have put one wing down to stationary/flight position, then I could see into the cockpit.

    It was a very nice model to build, including the "big" torpedo which fit A-OK under the belly.

    Now it's time for me to hunt up one of my many automobile's. RJW...

  13. Great build, Rodney. I intend to build one in 1/72 scale and yours will be a good reference.

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