Apr 10



Edited: Apr 10

Well - I just wanted to build this unique-looking bird, and what I had in the stash was a VERY OLD Frog kit. I was thinking OOB, but from the moment I opened the box, things started happening...

I was thinking I'd not add any interior details - just open up air scoops and stuff like that. Looking at the canopy, it's one loooong piece of glass, and pretty thick and full of raised framing lines. I did a quick search to see if I could find a replacement (didn't), but found a set of canopy masks for it, and decided I could sand off the framing and polish it, then use the masks, and end up with a more clear greenhouse. That led me to thinking that you might actually be able to see some of the detail, and it is just one big empty cavern! So....


Original canopy with heavy raised frame lines



The only 2 pieces of the below photos that are part of the kit-supplied interior are the two grey floor sections (with holes in them for the seats) - one for the pilot and one for the gunner. There were also 2 seats, but nothing for the observer/navigator. I added the bulkheads, stringers, decking and radio from styrene, snagged a seat from my spares box for the observer, built the swiveling gun mount from a couple of landing gear legs (spares box) and some wire. The extra magazines for the rear gun came from a set of engine dolly wheels sanded down in diameter and thickness.




the pencil marks indicate where I cut the fuselage to open up the sliding gun cover section of the fuselage.


All in place and painted - added some details and headrest to pilots seat, and extended the rear deck once I decided to open up the gun cover.

Below is the twin gun piece I found in my spares box as a framework to build out the guns.

I used another two of the modified engine dolly wheels on the gun, along with styrene and some more parts from the spares box to create the guns.



And as usual, since I'm building wheels-up, I had to totally replace the gear doors, as they did not fit AT ALL.

I mentioned that I cut down the rear deck area to depict the gun cover open and slid along the back of the fuselage. I'll glue down a piece of thin styrene to depict the cover pushed back. I also had to then cut the rear canopy section that tilts open (like on the Dauntless, it just pivots back into the section in front of it), so that the gunner can get at his guns and do his thing. I used an engraving tool to depict the rail area where the panel slides open/closed.


So then - I bit the bullet - and decided to sand off all the raised panel detail and rescribe everything. I found a good diagram on to help me in that task. I wish I had made this decision prior to building out all the interior detail so I would have less hassle sanding and scribing - but oh well!



I had recently purchased a Valom Blackburn Firebrand kit, which contained a multi-media torpedo. I decided the Firebrand is cool enough looking without the fish, so stole it for the Barracuda build. The torpedo trunk is resin, the horizontal fin is styrene, the propellors, propellor guards and vertical fins are PE (did I mention I hate PE...?). I'll have to manufacture some shackles for the torp.


More pics to come as I progress.

Kenny Gregory
Apr 16

You do some impressive work Greg!

Apr 16

Look at all that white that is a real modeler. Unique subject.

Apr 23Edited: Apr 23

Ok - some updates: I've got all the panel lines and panel hatches scribed - first time to do this with an entire aircraft, and I think I'll do it again with more of these older kits I like to build. Here's a few looks at some of the lines - though tough to see in the pics



You can also see I've added the wing fences and the attachments for the Fowler Flaps

When I saw the raised lines for these, I didn't understand what they were - looking at reference photos I also couldn't tell, but finally discovered these are handling rails that fold up into a recessed slot, and are dropped so crew can fold the wings. I grooved these areas out with scriber and knife, and then glued in stretched sprue to replicate.


There was no grill screen or divider in the front intake, so I found copper mesh online. Cut out a section, painted, then used silver pencil to highlight. I used styrene strip to build the Y-shaped divider. You can also see where I opened the chin scoops, and if you look carefully by the wing root, you'll see where I added wing inspection windows using clear sprue.


Next was the blanking plates for the old Mk. I style exhaust extensions. I etched out the area using scriber and knife first, then fit the plates in. You can also see the pilot's observation window I drilled out (one on each side), the drilled exhaust stubs, the seat headrest, and where I had to fill sink holes with body filler.


A little work on the underside (see captions):


This opening appears on reference photos, though there is no explanation for exactly what it is for.


Part one of the radiator vent. This door recesses up, while the other section will drop down.


Made catapult spools for each side, using spare parts (landing gear legs) and wire.


Interesting that this kit didn't even have an arrestor hook! Had to etch out the recessed area and make the hook out of styrene strip and rod.

That's it for now. In these pictures, the scribed lines look a bit more ragged than they look to the naked eye - hopefully they'll finish out well. I started on the underside of the wings to get a bit of practice, so those are probably the worst of the lot. But I'm pretty sure they'll look a lot better than the raised lines that were there before.

Apr 29Edited: Apr 29

More work over the weekend:


finished up the radiator doors


Added the torpedo crutches (2 pics)




Used styrene rod to replace stabilizer supports - filled insertion holes with plastic putty



Created bomb racks from styrene strip and PE sway braces (2 pics)



Lastly - I realized after I glued the control surfaces in a deflected position, I should have created the hinges - especially the way this old kit fit, the join was pretty clunky. So - I stuffed some thin styrene wedges down into the area where the hinges would be, then clipped them off and sanded down, to make it look more like hinges:


Almost ready to start paint work!

Apr 30

Coming along. This should look real good. Nice job on taking an older basic kit and taking it up a few notches. I use the term few lightly..

Jun 11

Well, finally finished this. I'm really pleased with how it turned out i the end. Made the usual bobbles here and there, but overall it was a very fun project - probably my favorite in quite a while. Here's a few pics. I did end up finding a Falcon vac-formed canopy set so used that instead of the kit canopy - even after I worked on cleaning and cutting the old one.










This one was also brush-painted. Detailed and weathered in the usual way - panel line wash, pastel chalks, and oil treatment for stains, grime, and fading. Used oils to get a wood grain treatment on the M.A.T. air tail on the torpedo - worked pretty good.


Here's a synopsis of the detail work done:


· Drilled exhausts

· Added copper mesh & Y-splitter to radiator intake

· Drilled and added copper mesh screens to chin intakes

· Scratch built all cockpit detail:


IP panels

Pilot’s headrest

Fire extinguisher


· Scratch built Vickers gun, magazines and gun mount

· Added observer

· Added pilot’s fuselage windows

· Added wing inspection windows at wing roots

· Sanded all raised panel lines and rescribed

· Added foot steps

· Added wing fold handles

· Added tail hook

· Added catapult spools

· Detailed upper wing antennae with metal wire

· Added torpedo crutches

· Added under-fuselage detailed area above torpedo

· Used resin torpedo with MAT air tail

· Used vac-formed canopy – cut open gunners and pilots canopies to pose open

· Cut out sliding rear gun panel and create new panel to pose open

· Corrected fuselage where rear canopy flanges close on fuselage, and added flanges to canopy

· Added life raft release lanyard

· Replaced stabilizer braces with styrene rod

· Added exhaust extension cover panels

· Scratch built gear doors to mount in retracted position

· Added extended radiator vent beneath chin

· Scratch built bomb racks

· Created hinges for deflected control surfaces

· After market Pacific Fleet decals, and stencils from spares box

Jun 11

Nice work making a very substandard old kit look incredible! Good work.


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