Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tri-Pacer Redux

I was not really happy with that all-yellow Tri-Pacer I did a while back, so I bought another Tri-Pacer on EBay, one that's molded in the correct cream color, and made her up to look like she's supposed to. The color scheme and pattern corresponds to Piper's early to mid-1950s version. Later, less expensive Tri-Pacers had a simplified paint scheme. When modeling this bird, the early body color pattern is a real chore to mask and paint. I kept the background color the original cream-colored plastic, while the red is standard Testors gloss spray. Masking was done using Pactra racing car trim tape, which is expensive, but works really well. You get a large choice of widths to work with, from 1/32 of an inch to about half and inch. The interior was painted red to match the outside panels, but the seats were painted flat red, then covered with a coat of Micro Gloss for a semi-gloss leathery look. I even painted the two hunter figures and dead mountain lion. I'm not big into pilot and crew figures, but these guys are classic! The Civil Air Patrol decals were added to later reissues of the model, but if you put them on and display the aircraft with the hunters, it's an odd combination. Throughout CAP's history many aircraft used in search and rescue were not corporately owned, so its not unrealistic for a privately owned aircraft to be used on a hunting trip with CAP insignia on it.

This is the fifth Monogram Piper Tri-Pacer I have built in my lifetime, and probably my last. This one here is the best of them all-I don't think I could do any better.


  1. Great build of a classic kit. Love your posts!


  2. That model looks really nice Don.

  3. Nice build. It brings back memories. I remember when my elder brother built one back in the early 60s. That was right after the "Cuban Missile Crisis". It had the Civil Air Patrol Decals.
    I finally found one of these in 1990. I painted it with DupliColor Buick White and VW Red. Yes, I used the CAP Decals.
    I didn't care for the extra Appendage holding the Plane up. I remedied that by cutting, filing and carving an Automotive Wheel Weight and using it instead of the Plastic Engine. Then I glued the Hood(?) in place.