Royce Williams’ F9F-5 Panther revisited
This is the Monogram/Revell 1/48 scale F9F-5. I won't repeat the well done documentation Tom Cleaver provided for his model of the same aircraft. Just to say Royce Williams in this F9F-5 was responsible for downing four Russian Migs in November, 1952. The model is built pretty much out of the box except for the Black Box cockpit I installed. I wanted to do the model with a typical load out for that period and not necessarily for the Mig encounter flight. A friend of mine who is a Navy engineer at Pax River found a copy of the action report for Carrier Air Group 102 of which VF781 was a part on board the USS Oriskany which covered the period before and after the Mig encounter. The report listed the ordinance expended with no mention of 500 lb. bombs. A large quantity of 250 lb. bombs and 5 inch rockets were expended. I chose to go with six 250 lb. bombs. Please note that the kit I used was the Revell boxing which is done in gray plastic. The kit has raised panel lines and I hate re-scribing lines. So, I preserved the raised lines. After painting the model with Model Master Dark Sea Blue and coating with Pledge, I wet sanded the model with 1200 grit focusing on the raised panel lines until they appeared as a fine gray line in the sea of blue. Not all lines came out as they were very light to begin with, but overall I was happy with the results. Another coat of Pledge and the decals came next. The decals were a challenge since those done for the F9F-5 for this squadron are no longer available. I primarily used a Yellow Hammer sheet for the nose flash and part of the tip tank flash. The Hobbycraft boxing of the Trumpeter F9F-2 supplied some more decals as did the Revell kit decal sheet. I think there about 5 different donor sheets in all which contributed to the model. The forward part of the tip tank flash had to be created by pieces of decals since the one on the YH sheet was for the -2 and it changed shape when the squadron got the -5s. At one point with all the decals on and a beautiful Pledge gloss finish, I thought of leaving it that way, but that would not be typical of in-service aircraft. Thus, I finished up with a semi-gloss clear. Enjoy!
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.