Monday, February 6, 2012

Monogram Piper Tri-Pacer

I remember building the Monogram Piper Tri-Pacer on the picnic table in my backyard at J-5. It was a typical warm, sunny day. I liked this model because of its opening doors and removable cowling cover. To the best of my memory, the "white box" version I got back then was molded in white, and I attempted to paint the trim in red. I don't think it looked to good, but I enjoyed playing with the model for a long time afterwards.
I found a sealed 1973 "white box" Tri-Pacer on EBay to rebuild. When I opened it up however I found the parts were molded in glossy "Piper Cub" yellow. This presented a problem. If I wanted to paint the model in factory Tri-Pacer colors, I would have to paint the whole model cream white, then apply the red trim. This was not something I was in the mood to do as it would take hours of painstaking masking. So, I did an Internet search for pictures of Tri-Pacers and found many are solid yellow just like their smaller Cub cousins. I decided to leave it the natural yellow with gloss black seat cushions and flat black floor. I also applied the Civil Air Patrol decals in memory of my own service with CAP from 1985 to 2003.
The Tri-Pacer is a really fun model to build, and can be finished in a single day with minimal painting.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favourite plastic kit. The runner-up is the Monogram Cessna 180. My father bought and flew a Tri-Pacer directly from Lock Haven Piper's plant to Bogotá, way back in 1951!! I was 5 at that time and I always wanted to build a Tri-Pacer until in 1957 Monogram did it!!! Thanks to the late Bob Reader and Jack Besser (Monogram's founders and owners) for this fantastic little model.