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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Nov 1 12 11:55 AM

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You might remember my old Monogram Bearcat, which I built in high school sometime around 1970, from Group Build #1, "Then and Now." After playing around with the thing, I've decided to try to do a semi-restoration on it for Group Build #3.

The canopy was broken years ago, but I have a Squadron vac replacement on hand for that. As you can see from the "Before" pic, the lower half of both LG struts and the wheels are missing, though I do have the LG doors.

I originally built this thing OOB and applied the kit decals right over the kit blue plastic--no main painting at all. And I'm going to leave it that way--I have two other Mono Cats built "good," including one with the kit decals. I want this to look like a relic of the old days, which it is, just make it presentable.

First step was general cleanup. I had originally (for some unknown reason) sprayed the whole model with Testor Dullcoat. I took 40+ years of dirt and grime, and the Dullcoat, with rubbing alcohol and an old toothbrush. It all came right off.

I've located the drop tank and kit display stand, so I'll be building it gear-up in flying attitude. I've covered the main gear wells with plain old common household Scotch tape, which I then carefully trimmed to about 1/32 or 1/16" outside the well opening. I'll paint the tape with Model Master Gloss Sea Blue, which is a reasonable (though not perfect) match for the kit blue plastic. (The canopy frames will also be painted with this.) I found that the GSB paint also made a passable "filler" for some glue seams that were showing up as thin white lines. Forgot to mention that I re-sanded the fuselage and wing seams as best I could.

In the pic below, one of the covered gear wells has now been painted; the other still has "raw" Scotch tape in place.

Next step will be touch-up of the decals.





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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Nov 5 12 12:23 PM

I've now got all the decals touched up. The white portions are so yellowed that I couldn't touch them up with white, I had to use Model Master Ivory, a very pale yellow from the car colors line--a pretty good match. I also touched up the out-of-register red stripes with Testor #4 dark red and a fine brush. Note in the After pic below the overall cleaner appearance of the hot mess, after cleaning it thoroughly of dirt and the old coat of Dullcoat with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush. Next step will be an overall coat of Future, had brushed (or maybe Q-tipped on).




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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Nov 5 12 12:27 PM

I'm also working on restoring another Monogram Bearcat, which I built at about the same timeframe, as a civilian warbird in white. The paint job was kind of okay but it's in flat white, not gloss, so I'll be giving it a new coat of gloss white. The canopy, prop, and inner gear doors are missing in this pic but I do have them. Biggest problem with this one is the broken engine. The engine in this kit mounts on a protruding peg to one of the fuselage halves before the fuselage halves are glued together--which means that I'd have to break the whole model apart to get in there and fix it. Plan B is that I'm gonna razor-saw the cowling off in one piece, fix the engine into the cowling, and then glue the cowling back on. Lotta work but it should work. Might start on that today.



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snake45

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Nov 7 12 10:58 AM

Took two evenings of very careful work with the little razor saw (shown), but I got the cowling cut off the white one. I assumed that the engine mounting pegs had broken off the inside of the fuselage half, but surprise! Both pegs are intact, the engine has just come unglued from them. I'd assumed I could take the engine out of the back of the cowling and detail paint it, but with the pegs intact, it won't come out, so I'll have to re-glue it up solid and then paint it through the front opening.

While working with it, the right gear door fell off, which is actually a good thing. Now to see if I can get the left one off without breaking anything.

I'd planned to shoot some gloss white right over the current flat white paint, after maybe smoothing it out a little with a Scotchbrite rubdown (it is VERY grainy and "pebbly"). But after looking at it closer, I think it'll be easier to just strip the paint off down to bare plastic with some Easy-Off and start the paint fresh. There's no cockpit in there to speak of anyway, and as you can see I was able to get the glued-on windscreen popped off without damaging it, so stripping the paint won't be that big a deal. It could use a little touch-up bodywork here and there, anyway.

I have exactly the same airplane in 1/48 (Hawk kit) on the bench (and it's been there for at least five years). I think I'll dig that project up and paint and finish them both off at the same time, as long as I'm about it anyway. Sort of a "big brother, little brother" project, dontcha know.



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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Nov 8 12 11:45 AM

Started stripping the old pebbly white paint off the Bearcat this morning (and also off the bottom of the Monogram A-1E in another thread). I couldn't remember if I'd painted it with AMT (lacquer) or Testor or Pactra (enamel) so I first tried some rubbing alcohol (which will easily strip most AMT lacquers) which had no effect whatsoever. Then squirted it with my old standby, Easy-Off oven cleaner, which also had no effect other than clean the white up VERY bright. Then I remembered that I didn't shake the can that well, and you have to really shake that stuff up, so I shook it up good and tried it again and it started to work. At this point I've done 3 or 4 applications of the E-O and have about 80% of the upper surfaces stripped so far. So the strip job will probably take another few days.

Almost broke my heart to take that 40+ year old paint off the thing, but if things go according to plan, when I get finished with it, it will look just the same, only better. I was always fond of this little model for some reason.

BTW, this is what I'm going for. I never got around to putting the markings on it first time around, but this time I will!


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snake45

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Nov 8 12 7:56 PM

Tonight I got something done on the white 1/48 one on the bench (not shown yet) that I've been putting off for MONTHS now.

The tail of the Hawk/Testor Bearcat is incorrectly shaped. Long story short, the easiest way to get a presentable (though not accurate) shape on it is to chop 1/4" off the top and then reshape the fin/rudder tip. Of course you then have to rescribe the fin/rudder separation line to the right place. For some reason I've been dreading this job (the rescribing) and the thing has sat on the bench waiting for more than 6 months for the mood to strike me. With progress coming along on the 1/72 rebuild, I got motivated tonight to go ahead and get this nasty little task done, so I can have the 1/48 one ready for paint the same time the 1/72 one is (hopefully, next week). Should be an interesting project, doing the same airplane in two different scales at the same time.

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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Nov 9 12 7:55 PM

Continued with the paintstrip of the 1/72 one today. Now have 95%+ of the paint off the top, and 85% off the underside. That might be good enough--might be able to smooth out what's left with steel wool.

Shot some white primer on the modified tail and cowling of the 1/48 one. Looking pretty good so far.

It's good to have some momentum on a project, for a change.

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snake45

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Dec 28 12 5:19 PM

Finally wrapped up the refresh of the blue gear-up Bearcat today with the painting of the prop. Here it is by itself and with the one I built last year. For those who came in late, the one on the stand is the one I built as a kid. It's in its original blue plastic, now covered with four coats of hand-brushed Future, and still has its 1970-applied original decals, touched up with Model Master Classic Ivory to match the age-yellowing (the markings are yellower in person than they look in these lightened photos). I had to replace the broken canopy with a Squadron vac one.  Much better use for the old model than just tossing it out, don't you think?



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csmo

Totally Living in the Past

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Dec 28 12 5:32 PM

Retro, Retro, Way to Go!!!! That's what I'm talkin' about. Attaboy! Snake. Adios, Larry.

"Field Artillerymen do it with a BIGGER BANG!"

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berniehackettjr

Totally Living in the Past

Posts: 743

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Dec 28 12 7:34 PM

Mr. Chairman:

         Both are looking very good!

          Never throw anything away!

           Where dd the gray overall Marine Bearcat photo come from? Warbird? Never seen a F8F in Gull Gray (?) before. VNAF had one in front of MACV at Tan Son Nhut, thought it was silver, memory fading.

            Nice save on the survivor, makes you feel good, huh?

Regards,

Bernie

Boy modeler

Bernie Hackett, boy modeler

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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Dec 28 12 8:07 PM

Bernie, that Bearcat isn't Gull Gray, it's gloss white. It is in fact the very same Bearcat in which Mira Slovak won the first Reno air race in 1964. This is when it was owned by Junior Burchinal around 1970 or so.

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martsuze

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Dec 2 13 8:59 PM

The Bearcat in the color photo was white and not gull gray. That is the F8F-2 that was owned by Junior Burchinal in Paris Texas back in the Seventies where he ran his warbird pilot school. By the way that is the same bird that won the very first Reno race in 1964 with Mira Slovock at the controls. Ole Junior had a FM-2 Wildcat. a couple F5G Lightings, B-25s, FG-1 Corsair, B-17G, and more including some Korean era jets. I was down there in 1975 and took lots of pictures. I do not know what happened to all his aircraft. Yes I agree the Bearcat makes an interesting subject in that paint scheam. Martin

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berniehackettjr

Totally Living in the Past

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Dec 13 13 8:52 PM

Folks:

        Was Junior the guy who was also an ordained minister and a flying instructor?

         Boy, imagine having a collection of flying machines like his!

         I would be is real  trouble....

Regards,

Bernie
Boy modeler

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snake45

Totally Living in the Past

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Dec 14 13 9:29 AM

Yup, that was him. Budd Davisson at Air Progress did a whole series of checkout articles on his stuff in the early '70s.

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