Korean War GB: Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star – Monogram 1/48
This kit has been on the cusp of completion for a few months. With little time or energy to do much building recently, I primarily needed to clean and organize my work area, which had gotten a bit out of hand.. when the dust settled, this old hunk of plastic was left sitting there begging for some finishing touches, and I hesitantly obliged... Now that it's done, I hope you don't mind a quick article so that I can bounce this thing onto the shelf and forget about it.
The kit is a stranger to only few, as it's been around for so long. It's one of my least favorite Monogram kits that I've ever built, but not for lack of accuracy. The kit is just so "meh" in how it builds up, and was subject to many acts of shelving through-out the build, simply because I was tired of it.. nor is the F-80 an extremely striking aircraft, so perhaps that had something to do with it too. I decided to add the kit bombs, and leave open the flaps and spoilers, but the canopy (which is "designed" to be able to slide open, but not actually close) gun bay, and aft fuselage were carefully closed up. Some weight was added to the nose, in spite of the clear tail strut that Monogram provides. Note Mr Cleaver's articles and attach the rear fuselage halves to their respective fronts (just forget about displaying the engine) before slapping port and starboard together... I did not, and that is perhaps another reason I had so much trouble..
Painting was pretty straight-forward, following the usual MR 1500 black primer topped with Vallejo Acrylic Metal Colors. Not much variation went into this airframe, as reference photos do not show much panel variation on F-80s. Primary color used was Dull Aluminum, with some panels line shading misted on using Duraluminum. Tamiya clears thinned with Mr Levelling Thinner were used before and after decals. The blue was a custom mix, which I tried to base of the color displayed on the F-80 at the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH. A light burnt umber oil washing was done for effect.
The selected decals came from an old Microscale sheet that I found at my LHS for a few bucks. The sheet number was 48-0163, and while the sheet is old (i'd guess 20-30yrs), the decals performed fairly well. The carrier film had the tendency to crack, but always along the same direction, and usually not all the way across. The decals that did split just needed careful corralling back into place, and the only ones that I all together failed to get set was the red flap outlines.
The selected aircraft is not quite as colorful as some of the later Korean aircraft, but instead represents an F-80 dubbed "Salty Dog", #49-671, from the 35th FBS at Itazuke, as early in the war as July 1950.
I hope you like it!
14 additional images. Click to enlarge.