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Geoff M

Culling the Herd

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I have proposed a rather ambitious list of projects.  However, this is not too much out of my usual build routine.  I usually get 10 -12 kits built in year.  I just have them all mapped out in advance for once.  The part that will bog me down is the publishing the day to day work that is taking place in the forum.  I will do my best.  To reiterate my plans I am showing the first four projects.

 

Monogram(ProModeller)-vs-ICM P-51B Mustang

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Models USA-vs-Roden O-1 Bird Dog

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Academy-vs-HobbyBoss F8F-1 Bearcat

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And for now at least:

HobbyBoss-vs-Grand Phoenix FJ-4B Fury

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Too keep on track, these will be pretty much OOB with new decals as needed.  Some of these have been waiting in the garage along time to see the light of day.  

 

If these progress ok I still have the P-61s and the EA-6B to add in.

 

Cheers

 

Geoff M

 

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Getting started with the Mustangs.  Here is what we are dealing with in these two kits. 

 

The ProModeller kit is the old Monogram kit that was reworked back mid 90's to have engraved panel lines and better cockpit  and overall detailing.  The engraving in my opinion is a marginal improvement over the old kits raised panel lines and the cockpit details are not finely detailed, they are rather globby (is that a word) and need a lot of clean up to remove flash and mold marks.  Is it better than the old kit?  Hard to say.  Are the new King Kong movies better than the original?  I guess it depends on what you grew up with.  If you remember the Detail and Scale series of books, Bert Kinzey stated that at the time the ProModeller kit was the best detailed kit of the P-51B out of the box.  And that was comparing to the Tamiya P-51B kit that was out at the same time.  Will it make up into a decent P-51?  I think so.  ProModeller does provide a pretty comprehensive instruction book with some actual building advice, all black and white and decals for 3 aircraft.  The decals are of a matte nature and some of the markings are kind of smeared so I may have to dip into the decal vault to find something suitable.

 

ICM is a kit maker out of the Ukraine.  They have progressed over the years to make some never before released kits.  There quality has always been good if not better.  There 1/48 Spitfires were considered one the most accurate for awhile.  The P-51B they released in the late 90s bears a lot of similarities to the Tamiya kit.  It has very fine engraved panel lines and good cockpit detailing.  The one thing it does not have is locater pins on the major components.  I have built this kit before and that issue did not cause any problems.  It goes together like a Tamiya kit.  ICM provide a fold out instruction manual in black and white with a marking guide for one of the 2 decal versions.  You have to use the box top as a guide to the other version.  The decals look matte and from the looks not very user friendly but they do look very crisp and in register.  Again I will probably find a suitable replacement for these.

 

Sprue shots:

ProModeller

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ICM

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Decals and Instructions

ProModeller

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ICM

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That's it for now.

 

Geoff M

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Promodeler P-51B? I'm not at all familiar with this kit. Is it an in-house production or somebody else's plastic? 

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From the information in the Detail and Scale book on the P-51, Part 1, Monogram had their original P-51B molds updated to have recessed panels and updated interior details and it was released under the ProModeller label.  Several monogram kits were issued with updates under the ProModeller label

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Wow. Cool! I hope you can start showing off your work soon.

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I had a chance to get started on these over the weekend. This is the Promodeller kit ready to have the cockpit installed.  I thought I had taken a picture of the ICM kit but I guess I missed that one.  I am keeping it simple.  No extra detailing.  You can see that with this rework of the Monogram molds they have added sidewall panels that have better details than the previous version.  In the original kit, the radio was part of the fuselage walls in the rear of the cockpit.  You can see now that it is separate and added to the cockpit parts.  The ICM kit follows this same pattern; detailed sidewall panels that are glued to interior.  I would rate the ICM sidewall as having crisper detail.  Neither kit provides any kind of seatbelts for the seat.  The Promodeller instrument panel does look nice than the ICM.  Neither kit provides any decals for the instrument panel

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Here is a side by side comparison of the fuselage.  They both have inscribed panel lines.  The ICM kit are much finer and crisper.  Some details on the ICM kit do not show up on the Promodeller such as some access panels on the nose.  Minor shape differences in the vertical tail.  The ICM plastic is very smooth and shiny as you can see.  The Promodeller kit has a rather pebbly surface.  It will be fine under a coat of paint.  The ICM plastic is softer and chalky, Promodeller is harder.

 

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This picture reveals a glaring omission by the Promodeller kit. Promodeller kit is the one farthest from you as you look at the picture.  You can see it is  missing is the vent (?) just ahead of the radiator exit.  Actually there is very little detailing in this area.  ICM represents this area much better

 

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Here are both kits buttoned up.  The exhausts provided for the promodeller kit are the shrouded version which could limit the particular aircraft that you want to model.  There would need to be some modification to the exhaust area if you wanted to do non-shrouded exhausts.  Promodeller kit requires that you install the tail wheel when putting the fuselage together. 

 

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Wings and tail surfaces went on without any problems.  No gaps.  I glued the bottom of the wings to both kits.  Then I added the upper wings to make sure there was no gaps.  And they matched up well with the bottom of the wing.  Promodeller kit requires adding the propeller blades to the spinner as part of the assembly process.  This will make cleaning up the seam around the spinner and  painting the blades and the nose a little more difficult.  The ICM spinner allows for the blades to be installed later. 

 

wPjnwX0.jpg

I have been doing some seam clean up and rescribing of detail.. You can see some Tamiya surface primer in some areas to be cleaned up.  The Promodeller kit does not have the upper cowling depicted as being 2 parts, no engraved line denoting it should look like 2 pieces so I scribed that in and added the rivets..The promodeller kit also doesn't provide any barrels for the wing guns.  The ICM kit has them model as part of the wing.  I will try to add some barrels to the Promodeller kit later on. 

 

Sum9YdB.jpgT024sE7.jpg?1

 

That's where I am at now.   I need to finish cleaning up some seams and get the canopies masked and added to the planes and then I can start painting.  I haven't figured out the particular markings yet, but one will be OD/NG and the other will be NMF. 

 

Geoff M

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Very nice work. Pretty clear that the ICM is overall a tad better, but the Monogram is still pretty respectable. Did ICM copy Tamiya's B-model mistake on the curved cockpit floor? (the Allison Mustangs did have a curved cockpit floor, which was the top of the wing, the Merlin Mustangs have a flat wood floor as the wing was lowered 4" compared to the Allison models)

One note for future reference the floor on Mustang cockpits was painted with black anti-slip paint, rather than being bare wood. Most of the warbirds have clear-coated wood instead which has led to many of us (including myself) painting a wood floor instead of matt black.

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I remember the revamped panel lines on the Pro-Mod kit to be rather heavy handed.

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MAWZ,

The ICM is very close to the Tamiya kit.  I hesitate to say it is a copy but it is very close and goes together very well.  It also has the same floor issue as the Tamiya kit.  It does not have the flat wooden floor.  As to the color of the floor, the reference I have been referring to, Detail and Scale P-51 part 1 states the factory floors were clear seal coated and later in the field when the floor was worn they were painted over most often with black.  So I suppose it could go either way.

 

Wyman,

You are correct the promodeller panel lines are a bit heavier.

 

Geoff M

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Update for the week. 

So after stating how nice the ICM kit is compared to the Tamiya I found a pretty good flaw.  The canopy is badly molded.  Lots of swirls in the clear areas like there was a lot of mold release agent mixed in with the plastic or something.   The plane I am doing is to have the Malcom hood and you can see it is pretty bad.  The rear side panels are bad also.  I tried sanding and polishing to see if that would help.  Not happening.  So I dug into the spares box and found a suitable replacement that was made to fit with some sanding and gap filling.  I didn't have any replacements for the side glass so hopefully they won't distract from the build too much. 

 

IH3NcUZ.jpg

The Promodeller kit is progressing nicely.  White ID stripes have already been painted.  This is going to be a William Hovde's Ole-II,  P-51B in OD/NG 358FS/355FG using some left over Tamiya decals.

Getting ready for paint.

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The ICM kit has also been giving me trouble in the painting aspects, although it is not the kits fault.  I have recently switched to Mission Model and Vallejo acrylic paints and I am learning the hard way what to do.  I got the kit ready to paint by painting the white ID stripes and the D-Day stripes area with Model Master paint.  I used model master because I knew I would be masking and MM adheres very well.  I masked the white stripes and painted the top Mission Models olive drab.  The bottom and sides are going to be NMF.  After the OD dried I tried lightly masking the top.  I sprayed the Mission Model Aluminum on and waited for it to dry.  Pulling off the masking the paint lifted too.  Fortunately the paint comes off easily with windex.  So start all over.

  19pELvh.jpg

 

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Both kits getting ready for the paint shop

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I bailed out on using the acrylic NMF.  Repainted the Olive drab and went with Bare Metal Foil for the rest of the plane.  Here is where I am today.

Promodeller Kit

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The ICM kit

This plane is "The Iowa Beaut"  354FS/355FG using an old Microscale sheet  48-019

 7SdwD4l.jpgrJb6Wjp.jpgEJMGsvn.jpg

As you can see they have been glossified to get ready for decals.  Next update I should have that done.

Cheers

 

Geoff M

 

Edited by Geoff M

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Wow nice work, and a great recovery from a paint problem. The problem with the  clear parts  is a shame.

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Decals are on and all the little details are taken care of.  I painted the Promodeller kit with a lighter OD to simulate it being in service a while.  The ICM kit I painted with a darker OD thinking it still has D-Day stripes that have been painted over so the paint would be rather fresh.  Panel lines were done in Tamiya Panel Line Accent.  Black on the ICM and Dark brown on the Promodeller.  I wanted aluminum drop tanks so I tried putting foil on them.  It worked pretty good.  If you look hard you can see some seams where pieces of foil are adjacent to each other.  That took a couple hours to do all four.  I added guns to the Promodeller with some metal tubing.  Flat coated with Mission Models flat clear coat.  The clear parts came out not great on the ICM and I will blame that on the molding, but the Promodeller kit suffered from some sanding residue ending up in side the canopy and now it is stuck to the inside.  My Bad!  Other than that I am happy with the kits.  They both look like Mustangs.  The heavier panel lines of the Promodeller kit aren't that noticeable under some paint, but the lack of separate flaps and belly details  do detract from an otherwise nice kit.  If you were in a store with both kits and had to pick one I would go with the ICM kit and hope that the clear parts are in good shape.  The ICM kit is the poor mans Tamiya.  Here are some pics.   Now to try out a couple Birddogs.

 

Geoff M

 

OLE II

 

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"THE IOWA BEAUT"

 

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