The full build article can be found in Tamyia Model Magazine International (TMMI), Issue 151.
The Model Kit
With the new models coming from Trumpeter and Hobbycraft for the F9F Panthers in the early part of 2007, the Monogram version sitting on my “to do next” shelf looks more and more out of date. I sure wasn’t going to go out and buy the more expensive new versions if I already have one in stock. If I don’t build the sucker soon I don’t think I will build it at all.
The Monogram kit is not bad at all; best of all it was pretty economical in price. The kit has raised panel lines. I sanded off the raised lines and rescribed the model. Generally, the parts fit pretty well except for the wing to fuselage joint. This joint required some shimming with styrene sheets in order for the wing to mate well to the fuselage. The cockpit is ok; nothing to rave about. I replaced the cockpit with a Black Box cockpit set. It was well worth it. The replacement resin set is excellent and it justify the cost for the resin set. Although I could have spent some time to spice up the kit seat, the time-saving from a resin set is well worth it.
The Panther is a fairly boring looking aircraft, especially in it’s all blue paint scheme. So, my angle to make this model more interesting is to open up the camera bay and show the camera system in there. As far as I know, I have not seen anyone have done that before. Using reference photos, I scratch build all the parts for the camera compartment.
Since my model is a photo recon aircraft, I modified the Black Box instrument panel to suit that of such an aircraft by following a reference photo.
I initially painted the model with Tamyia Dark Sea Blue acrylic paint, but the damn paint “fuzzed” up on me and I had to strip the paint and do it all over again by painting it with Model Master Dark Sea Blue enamel paint. The Model Master paint went on excellent. I used the Monogram kit decals for most places. To my surprise, they went on really well. I finish the model with a coat of Polly Scale Satin finish. A shinny gloss finish on a model military aircraft makes it looks like a toy. The satin finish is more appropriate.