1/48 Monogram Consolidated PBY-5

by Randy Lutz on Sept 23 2003

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This is my 1/48 Monogram Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina.  It is finished in the markings of: Flying Officer D.S. Beauchamp 6 (Flying Boat) Squadron,  Halavo Bay Florida Island, Guadalcanal, December 1944

Modifications to the kit consists of the following:

Fuselage

- True Details resin sidewalls added
- thermal de-icing system air intake reshaped
- waist gun and nose gun positions detailed with strip styrene
- antenna wires made from stretched sprue
- gun barrels drilled out
- pendant line replaced with copper wire
- mooring cleats replaced
- PBY-5A eyeball nose turret added
- the too thick vertical tail was given the attention I felt it deserved

Click on images below to see larger images

Wings

- pitot tube drilled out
- landing lights replaced with MV Products lenses
- ASW antennae replaced with wire
- ignition wires added to engines
- fuel dump tubes drilled out
- assist handles added to upper surface of wing


Paint and Decals

- model painted with Xtracolor X162 USN Blue Grey, M-485, FS 15189 and
X137 Light Gull Grey, FS 16440
- all markings are from Aero Master SP48010
- model is weathered with chalk pastels

References

- RNZAF The First Decade 1937-46, by Charles Darby.  Kookaburra Technical
Publications
- Detail and Scale Vol. 66 PBY Catalina
- Squadron In Action No. 62 PBY Catalina
- Squadron Walk Around No. 5 PBY Catalina

Interestingly, every review I have read about this kit claim that the tail section is too thick in the area of the vertical fin.  Perhaps so, but strangely enough, not one reviewer has noticed that the waist gun blisters are too close together on the top of the fuselage.  I am not sure if the the blisters are too wide, positioned too high, or if the fuselage is actually too narrow, but the inaccuracy is quite noticeable once the model is completed.  It is not something that is obvious until it is too late.

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A note for anyone using the Aeromaster decals for this subject.  They are printed by Cartograf, and while having perfect registration, and excellent colour density, they must rate as some of the worst decals I have ever used. 
Some of them, especially the wing roundels and serial numbers, refused to settle down, even after 20 applications of Solvaset.  Once the decals were applied to the wings, I could actually get them to lift, by blowing across the surface of the decal.  I had to resort to making my own replacements from decal film.  The fact that the serials refused to settle was a blessing, as they were far too large in the first place.  I made new serials of the correct size on my PC and printed them on clear Micro Scale decal
film.

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I used the True Details cockpit set for the kit, but in my opinion it is totally unnecessary as it all but invisible once the model is assembled.  The money spent on the detail set is better spent on beer.  The same holds true for the True Details wheels.  I had them, but did not use them as they are no better than the kit wheels.

Randy

Click on images below to see larger images

Photos and text by Randy Lutz