Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Good Things Come In Small Packages"... Number Three

Brian and "The Spirit of Atlantic City"...

Brian's interpretation!
This is my son's effort on his inspirational, brown Thunderbolt. At the time, the Monogram 1/48 scale Thunderbolt created a conversion kit that once was introduced by the Hawk company, I believe. You could choose whether to make the plane with a razorback fuselage or without the green house canopy and make the "D" version with the bubble canopy. Only a skilled modeler could, with patience and the right tools, make these "B" conversions without any seams showing. With detailing an aircraft, it was always fun to check out the real thing at an airshow, though these planes are the ultimate investment for those who own them and therefore, well protected, they show little signs of weathering or wear. Old photos and history books including aviation books for modelers were a great source. Sometimes, the research is the most interesting part of the process and like most children that age, Brian was always curious and inquisitive.

One those detailing tricks of the trade was to scape paint off with an x-acto knife or pocket knife on certain parts of the aircraft that were prone to wear and tear like the port side of the fuselage and wing where the pilot and his mechanic/flight engineer were always walking and climbing into the cockpit. Other spots that showed wear was the leading edges of any surface especially the wing. In the photo of Brian's P-47, you can plainly see the wing surfaces exposed. ( Brian got a little carried away with this wing, but you get the idea! ) Prop blades scraped on the leading edge also produced that well worn look.

Being a kid, Brian had a penchant for losing parts and pieces critical to the completion, so even though he wanted to be historically correct, having lost the razorback piece, Bri decided to make his "Spirit" a  "D" model. I am sure the pilot, Bud Mahurin, of Zemke's Wolfpack, with 21 kills, would have understood.

Sadly, for the photo opps, I couldn't spin the propeller on his "Spirit" because he applied too much of that Testors glue which clogged up the prop shaft and the engine. It did turn, but no amount of pressure through the airbrush would make it spin.

I'm sure Bud Mahurin and the rest of the "Wolfpack" would understand!

Copyright 2011/ Ben Bensen III

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