Monogram Boeing F4B-4 Build in 1/72 Scale

F4B4_01
This is another old kit we are probably all familiar with – Monogram’s F4B-4 which was first released all the way back in 1968.  I remember building this one as a kid and they still appear regularly at model shows.  I found this one at the Local Hobby Store for a pittance.
F4B4_02
The kit contains just three sprues and a total of 25 parts including the windscreen.  Here again we see Monogram’s innovative approach to biplane kits which has been largely ignored by all competitors – the landing gear legs and fuselage struts are molded as part of the fuselage halves, thus ensuring a strong assembly and proper alignment.
F4B4_03
Monogram’s F4B-4 shares a problem with their Goshawk kit, a dozen ejection pin marks on the underside of the upper wing.  There are others on some of the smaller parts as well.  Not the end of the world but something which needs to be carefully addressed.
F4B4_04
I scratched up some basic cockpit details along with a seat from the spares box.  The tops of the fuselage struts have some more of those ejector pin marks which need filling.
F4B4_05
Here is the cockpit under a coat of Alclad.  Seat belts and the instrument panel are printed out on the photocopier. 
F4B4_06
Basic assembly completed.  The fit of the fuselage decking required some filler.  I find Perfect Plastic Putty is ideal for filling in gaps where conventional sanding would destroy surrounding detail.
F4B4_07
I made handles from stretched sprue to hold some of the more awkward pieces while painting.
F4B4_08
This is Don Greer’s cover from Squadron / Signal’s P-12 / F4B in Action book.  I’ve always loved his art and consider this to be one of his best efforts.  The F4B-4 in the background was from Fighting Six based on the USS Saratoga (CV-3) and is a favorite of mine.  The background is Pearl Harbor.
F4B4_09
Fortunately the Langley markings are included on sheet 72-011 from Yellow Wings.  You get complete markings for six different aircraft on this sheet.
F4B4_10
Here is 6-F-10 completed.  There is a nice contrast between the colors on the upper wing and the gray scale of the rest of the aircraft.
F4B4_11
I couldn’t resist building two of these.  They are nice little kits which go together well.  They were innovative in their engineering, and way ahead of their time for molding and surface detail.  Fun little builds!