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Bob Torres
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Two Old 1/72 Bearcats Model Kits (Frog and Monogram)

March 23, 2022 · in Aviation · · 14 · 1.7K

Here are two kits that I've been wanting to build together for a long time. Years ago, I build the just a few years after it was released and a few years after released their Bearcat, but this was a hard one to catch since Frog closed their doors in 1976. Move the clock forward some 46 years later, I managed to buy both kits and decided a few weeks ago to just build them before getting involved with some more serious upcoming builds.

Both kits did not fail me on being a quick and easy builds, Monogram was the easiest, but Frog was a little more accurate. Keep in mind these are kits from the 60's and 70's.

My first build was the Frog kit, it is a -1B Naval Fighter, kit No. F407, released 1975. This was a quick build, straight out of the box. It's a nice kit, I enjoyed it very much. Happy to see it with my other builds. This is my 9th FROG build in the past 2 years.

I used the markings from GC1/21 'Artois' operated by the French Air Force from Bac-Mai (Hanoi) Vietnam in 1952. Flown by Capitaine Faure.

And the second was the Monogram's 1/72 F8F-1 Bearcat, Kit No: PA144, initial released (1967). A very simple and enjoyable build. My goal was to build this straight out of the box and try to add no extras. I feel that Monogram has done a great job on this kit.

The markings that came with this kit belongs to LCDR D.C. "Whiff" Caldwell, F8F-1 Bearcat. Commander of the VF-20A.

Decals on both builds are the original that came with these kits. The Monogram gave me a fight, but Micro Sol took care of most of its issues.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Fantastic job on both, Bob!
    Super results!

  2. Ecellent result on both Cats, Bob @v1pro

  3. Nice pair of Cats Bob - well done!

  4. Nice post Bob, and excellent looking builds.
    I recently acquired a Frog Sea Fury and a Monogram F8F Bearcat - but I decide to build the Sea Fury first.
    Nice to see the Monogram kit finished so well. I'm looking forward to start mine sometime soon, thanks for the inspiration.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Thank you George. I built Frog’s Sea Fury back in the 70’s. I still think that is a neat kit to build.

      The Monogram Bearcat was easy. Where the lower wing meets the bottom of the fuselage there was a big gap on both sides. I simply cut a piece of thin .10” sheet styrene, slipped it into the gap and no putty was needed. The flap area also had a gap, but it was smaller and paint filled that in.

      I used some thin super glue to fill in any small gaps on the forward wing roots to fuselage areas. The top needed no filling while the bottom needed a little.

      I sanded the seams on the fusleage and needed no filler. Same with the wings. Enjoy your Bearcat.

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  5. Both look great! I've always wondered how the frog kit was.

  6. Nice work, Bob! I’ve always liked the Monogram Bearcat and have never seen the Frog kit built til now.

    • Thank you John, I have seen a few in different sites but never in front of me. The Frog kit is a bit thicker than the Monogram. The Monogram has nicer clear parts and thinner.

  7. Hey Bob ( @v1pro )...
    Both of those look great ! Great workmanship, as always on your aircraft. Monogram had several nice 1/72 fighters not only the Bearcat but also those 1930s biplane fighters , the F7F, F-82 , all great little kits. Now days they are so expensive , if you can find them.

    • Thank you Jay. In my stash I have a few of the Monogram's 1/72 kits. The P-36, P-51B, Tigercat, Do-17Z, the snap together B-26 Marauder, and one bi-plane...Both Bearcats and Tigercat were recent finds. Monogram made some great stuff back then. Yes they are pretty expensive now. Half of my stash are from over 35 years ago and the rest are from my searches done mainly on eBay in the past 5 years.

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