Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monogram Wright Bros. Kitty Hawk

I mentioned in my post on the Revell Sopwith Triplane that I did not like biplanes as a kid - at all. Imagine my disappointment then, when at a fifth-grade Christmas gift exchange in late December 1975, I unwrap a Monogram Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk. Not only is it a biplane, but a really, really old biplane! I was so put out by the whole thing; especially since a couple of my classmates got really cool models like the Monogram F-15 Eagle, and Revell A-5 Vigilante. Why did I get stuck with the Kitty Hawk!
I took it home and figured I'd put it together just for something to do. I didn't care to make the effort or take the time to line up all the struts properly, and the thing came out looking pretty sad. It didn't last long in my collection.
For my rebuild project, I'm not skipping over any airplane kits just because I didn't like them originally. So, I built a new Kitty Hawk and actually enjoyed it this time. Now I appreciate the engineering of this kit, having studied the instructions and followed each step by the letter. I even rigged the thing with original Monogram thread from an old Grumman Gulfhawk. The rigging really enhances the realism on this model, but is also a pain to apply. Only a few parts need painting on this model which is a bonus considering the time spent on the rigging.
Monogram (now Revell-Monogram) has been cranking this kit out since the late 1950s, and I could have easily purchased a new one; but I chose to get a 1973 "white box" version just like the one I had back in '75. There are lots of these available on EBay really cheap, perhaps because many kids like myself weren't interested in antique airplanes, and passed on it. It's a very educational model though, since the builder gets to see in miniature just how the original plane was designed and how it worked. It's still not a favorite of mine, but I like it a little better now than I did before.

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