Friday, April 24, 2020

Hasegawa, P-47D Thunderbolt “Nose Art”, 1/48th Scale, Kit No. 09305 (Part I)

I decided to have two blog entries on this build.  The kit has been in my stash for a while.  I have the time now to say a little more about this build, since as I write this we are deep in the Wuhan virus pandemic.  (Sorry if I offend anyone, but the whole world  knows and admits the virus originated somewhere in Wuhan, China, the exact location to be determined.)

I  built the Razorback version of this kit and presented it in this blog on July 9, 2017.

Hasegawa kits are less detailed, and thus less complex, than Tamiya kits in my experience.  Nonetheless, they are fun to build, and I wish they would release some additional kits this century. When I see “new” Hasegawa releases, they are the same old kits I have been seeing for decades.

My stash included the Jaguar P-47D Cockpit Detail Set (64805), which I believe is no longer in production.  I taped up the parts to it first thing to determine if it fit, and it did.  Hooray!  That is not always the case with some of these resin detail sets.  My research told me that Thunderbolts mostly had dark green interiors.  Testors Model Master Acryl Gunship Green was a good match.  Testors is dumping the Model Master line in favor of more craft oriented products.  I have found that Vallejo Camouflage Green in the Model Color line is a perfect match.  The "uninhabited" spaces of the P-47s were coated with yellow zinc chromate, a color available from Vallejo in their Model Air line.  So, I guess I will not miss Model Master.  Over the past few years the line has been slipping away, so the ultimate demise came as no shock.

Hasegawa models are often provided with shiny, smooth surfaces, and this one was no different.  I think that will enhance the natural metal finish I intend to apply.  We will see.

Here are some progress photos:
Basic model done.  Part fit was excellent.

Some of the small parts painted.
I was very pleased the Jaguar resin cockpit fit so well.  It just dropped in.

The finished cockpit looks very nice.
A fret with the two dive brakes came with the kit.
Dive brakes installed.
As always, comments are welcome and thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

MPM, Gloster Meteor Mk I, 1/72, Kit No. 72567

This is the first and only Allied jet to enter operational serve e during WWII.  Clearly the British were miles ahead of the USA in jet  engine creation and manufacture.  The first American jets were powered with British engines.  While there was no jet-to-jet combat in WWII where the Meteor went up against the ME262, the Meteor Mk I effectively pursued and downed V-1 missiles over England.  There were teething problems to be sure, such as the cannons not being reliable and freezing at the wrong moment.  But the Meteor throughout its operational life proved to be a rugged, reliable and versatile aircraft.  Meteors downed Mig-15’s during the Korean War, and the Martin Baker Co. still has one flying as a testbed for new ejection seats.

If you want a Gloster Meteor Mk I in 1/72nd scale in your collection, this appears to be the only game in town for a readily available kit.  It is another product of Central Europe’s plastic kit powerhouse - the Czech Republic.

I do not know what the relationship is between MPM and Special Hobbies but they appear to be one and the same company, either through a name change or a merger.

According to, the kit first appeared in 2006 as a Mk 9 Meteor.  This release was in 2011, and the kit includes many parts for other versions.  Releasing the Mk I was clearly an afterthought as many other marks were released first.

I found the part fit challenging in places, particularly the canopy.  As the kit fuselage was originally designed for later model canopy configurations, the Mk I canopy with its flat windshield was molded with a lip sticking out to cover that area of the fuselage that would be covered by the canopy in later marks.  I had the devil of a time trying to get it to fit, and I was not that successful. Once I broke the canopy on a 1/72nd model trying to make it fit, and I have since been very careful handling them.  As always, I blame myself and do not try to shift the blame to the manufacturer.  More skillful modelers have undoubtedly made it fit.

The each landing gear is made up of several parts that are a challenge to fit together correctly.  Instead of a straight oleo leg, the Brits designed the landing gear to flex at a knee joint.  I am no engineer, but this looked like another piece of British design that turned a 5 cent problem into a 50 cent solution.

Speaking of landing gear, I added 26 grams of lead birdshot in the nose and the engine nacelles to allow the model to sit on the landing gear.  The shot is placed in a convenient cavity (created with plastic card bulkheads where needed).  Then I pour Elmer’s wood glue over it to fix it in place as a single lump.  Never fails.

Main Colors Used (Vallejo Model Air):
    71.097  Base Grey (used for Dark Grey)
    71.022  Camouflage Green (used for Dark Green)
    71.049  Medium Sea Grey
    71.103  Grey (used for Sky)


Excellent subject.

Very nice decals for four versions, thin and easy to apply.

Fit could be better.

Cockpit could have been more detailed.

Mainer landing gear parts.  I am now using Tamiya Cement in most places I once used CA.  Given time to set and dry, this cement is very effective at keeping small parts fixed.

The lead shot is held in place by plastic card bulkheads I made along with Elmer's glue.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Tamiya, M151A1 U.S. Utility Truck “Vietnam War”, 1/35 scale, Kit No. 35334

Aside from various types of 2 1/2 ton trucks, this is a vehicle I operated almost constantly while in the Army.  The all-purpose MUTT (military utility tactical truck).  They served in many roles.  With a quarter ton trailer behind them, quite a bit could be hauled.  They acted as scout vehicles, armored cars (with field conversions), ambulances, and weapons carriers, as well as simple troop transports.  And with the Davy Crockett short range nuclear armed ballistic missile mounted, the MUTT became a nuclear weapon! I always wondered if the missile would go far enough to keep from killing the crew firing it.

By the late 1980’s, the MUTT was being phased out of service.  Some  went to allied countries, but most were cut into two or four pieces and scrapped.  Really.  They were just destroyed.  I have never heard a real explanation for this, as they could have been sold to civilians.  There were some who believed that the fully independent suspension of the vehicle made them somehow too unsafe for civilian use (but apparently not armed forces use).  I think it was more that the Ford Motor Co. (the manufacturer), Jeep and others that wanted to sell new vehicles to us and wanted the competition to go into the scrapper’s compacter.

By the way, as I recall, these vehicles were always referred to with the term “jeep” and sometimes MUTT.

According to, this kit was new tool on 1982, and it shows its age.   This version lets you built a U.S. Army Military Police or U.S.M.C. vehicle with fording kit, both with markings for Vietnam units.

While not called out for use on this version, there are parts for an M60 machine gun and a radio on the sprues, so I decided to use them.  The MP’s spent a lot of time guarding convoys, etc. and seeing the M60’s mounted on their vehicles was pretty common, as was radios being mounted on a huge proportion of the MUTTs.

The kit goes together very well with no issues.  There is a figure for a seated driver, so there are no pedals to get in the way of mounting him.


Nice quick build as a change of pace project.

Very desirable subject.


Nothing worth noting.

As I write this blog entry, here in the USA we are in the depths of the corona virus pandemic.  This is a small blog with a few followers, many of whom are from France, Russia and other places around the world that have also been deeply effected by the virus.  My thoughts are with my fellow modelers and their families all over the world, and my hope and wish that we all come through this as unscathed as possible.

 And, as always, thank you for visiting my blog.  Comments are always welcome.