I did finally get the Bearcat (bottom left) finished this weekend, but didn’t quite finish the upgraded Helldiver and Corsair (bottom row) that I started this weekend to replace the much cruder Matchbox models I have now (back row). The kits are done except for finish overall flat finish and some weathering, as well as clear canopies. But the decals need some time to sit, so I can’t finish them tonight.
They’ll be significant upgrades from the Matchbox ones. The AMT Helldiver kit is actually older than the Matchbox – first released in 1967 versus 1973, but it’s a better kit, and of the more numerous SB2C-3-5 variants. The Matchbox is of the rare SB2C-1. And the Corsair is an very nice 1981 Hasegawa kit updating a 1972 Matchbox which wasn’t even of a WW II Corsair variant.
But even the new Helldiver and Corsair are midrange kits – I now have in the stash much more advanced on both (a 2016 reboxing of a 2005 Academy/Minicraft SB2C and a 2000 Tamiya F4U).
I’m working on older kits to (1) clear the stash; and (2) build up some experience and modeling skills. Back when I first started back into the hobby – probably 1990s – I bought any carrier aircraft model I saw just because I knew there were so many subjects I wanted to build. But as time goes by, given how long the models take to build I am being more choosy in my subjects and the kits I build from. And I build “replacement” aircraft regularly as new kits come out – I’m replaced my original Spitfire, Wildcat, Dauntless, and now Helldiver and Corsair. And am slated to replace another Dauntless, an Avenger, a B-25, a Devastator, and add another Hellcat, two Corsairs and two Dauntlesses.
Sharp eyes will have noticed the yellow cowlings and arrows – that was a mark of the carrier USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)’s air group for the February 1945 Tokyo Raids (shown below).
The carrier’s air group’s geometric sign was the arrow, and the yellow cowling was a temporary mark for the raid. I’m replacing one VF-84 Corsair (White 110) with another (White 183) and the new Helldiver is from VB-84, which was also part of the raid. My next torpedo bomber will be a VT-84, so I’ll have a complete set. Not that I’m particularly interested in that ship or raid – it’s just a popular model topic, so I have extra decals for it for these “second-tier” subjects. The #1 subject for the Helldiver and Corsair will be in the three-color camo, not overall Gloss Sea Blue – the scheme shown on the back row Helldiver.
But when you’re trying to do two aircraft in one weekend, it’s easier if you’re just spraying everything in sight the same overall color.