This is the old but still the best, Monogram kit. The last time I built one of these was when it came out in 1979. This one was made from a 2008 Revell release, made in China. Since Revell’s bankruptcy, I’ve noticed that a lot of the better Monogram kits like this one, haven’t been re-released. Let’s hope Revell or Atlantis have these molds. They’re still worth building.
This is really a model that I built because of an aftermarket decal sheet. When I saw that the Caracal USN Texan sheet featured an option for a Barin Field, Alabama plane, I had to build it. Barin Field is close to my home and I pass by it once a week when I meet friends for lunch in nearby Elberta. Barin is still operational. It’s an outlying field for NAS Whiting Field and I often see modern Texan IIs circling to land.
My model depicts a carrier qualification, tail hook equipped SNJ-5c from the 1953-54 period. In those days, students took the bus over from Pensacola for their stay at Barin. In addition to qualifying aboard either USS Monterey or USS Saipan in the Gulf of Mexico, they had to demonstrate proficiency at shooting a towed target over the Gulf with the SNJ’s .30 cowl gun.
When I researched the subject, I was surprised to see how beat up these SNJs were. In addition to the expected grime, they all seem to have seriously chipped and peeled paint, especially on the leading edges of the wings , fin, and stabilizers. I looked my plane’s bureau number up and it was a 1945 build. It was probably delivered in bare metal. Was the yellow paint applied without a primer? It kind of looks like it.
The kit assembled really well. It just needed a little Mr. Surfacer in a few spots. I added Eduard seatbelts and fabricated a tail hook from a HobbyBoss Hellcat item and some scrap. I painted it with Mr. Color #329 and gave it a semi-gloss clear coat. The one bad part of this kit is the clear sprue. The only usable parts are the belly lights and windscreen. I replaced the rest of the canopy with a Squadron vac item. I made the landing light covers from cello tape, added pastel exhaust and called it finished.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.