Kit preview: Monogram’s 1/72 “Fighting Planes of the Thirties” set

The older I get the more nostalgic I get. I find myself longing for the simpler days of youth. Thankfully, I can still get a dose of it through this hobby. Hobby. HOBBY. More on that later…..

I’ve been on an odd kick in my building lately. My friend Mike Grant sent me a couple of 1/72 Italian biplanes, a SuperModel CR.32 and an Italeri CR.42, and for some reason they sparked my interest in Golden Era and WWII biplanes. Which sparked others enthusiasm on the Agape Forums, and the subject of Monogram’s old F11C-2 Goshawk came up. Which prompted me to keep an eye out on Ebay for one of those kits.

Which brings me to the subject of this preview- a wonderful, three kit Monogram set from 1968 called “Fighting Planes of the Thirties”. I picked it up on Ebay for $9.00 or so. Not a bad price for an F4B-4, P-6E, and an F112C-2.

The memories were a bonus.

The kits themselves- individually- are classics. Accurate Miniatures recently re-released the F4B and P-6 as a set, and they sold like hotcakes. Sold out, in fact. And there is still a fairly brisk business on the Internet for these kits- both originals and re-releases. (Hint, hint, Revell…)

They’ve held up quite well. With the exception of a few parts loose in the box, it looks pretty much like I imagined it did forty years ago.

I’d never seen this boxing though, with all three kits. I suppose some folks might say I’m crazy to build a set of kits in darn near mint condition from 40 years ago in such an unusual boxing. Maybe I am crazy.

But I got to looking at the Monogram logo on the side of the box…. the one that said ‘Copyright 1968″ next to it. The logo says Monogram: Quality Hobby Kits”. And next to it was a logo of a guy holding a P-38, and he’s smiling. He’s smiling. You know why?

He’s having fun. And you know why he’s having fun?

Because he realizes that it’s a hobby. And hobbies are about fun.

As I looked through the parts, (how about that cool yellow color the P-6 was cast in, huh?), I remembered years past, especially this time of year, looking through the Sears catalog. Back when they actually had models in the catalog…. shoot, back when they had a catalog, period. On paper.

Anyway, looking through those parts, I thought about the fun, the anticipation, of those builds. I was actually pretty careful about how I painted them, for a kid. And I did quite a bit of research, constantly reading about airplanes. My shelves are still filled with books that are thirty years old- or more.

I didn’t worry about the shape of the cowl. Or the accuracy of the spinner. Or the tread on the wheels or how exact the colors were. I was more interested in just having fun.

And I realize I still feel that way. Sure, everybody is different. Nothing wrong with accuracy, careful research, and sweating the details, I suppose.

As long as it’s part of the fun. You know, the fun hobby stuff.

I think I’ll stick to the fun part. Better for my blood pressure.

As to the kit- it’s three airplanes. You paint ’em and glue ’em together. When built, I’ll fly them around and make engine and machine gun sounds and say stuff like “pilot to control tower” and so forth.

If I ever lose that, I may as well put the paints and glue aside.

Go build a kit. Have fun. Enjoy the hobby.