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Grumman F9F-5
"Brubaker's Panther"

by David W. Aungst


Model Picture

F9F-5 Panther





Ever since I was a young kid watching the movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri, the F9F Panther has been a favorite of mine. When Monogram released their kit on the F9F-5 Panther, it was a natural for me to want to build the aircraft flown by the movie's main character -- Lt. Brubaker. 





The Monogram kit is a good kit, but I could not just build the kit out-of-the-box. I did the following to the basic kit:

  • I incorporated the True Details etched metal detail set. This set provides the following details. 

    • Cockpit Instrument Sub-Panels 

    • Windscreen Mirror 

    • Ejection Seat Harnesses and Details 

    • Wing Fences 

  • I added the firing wires on the under wing 5" rockets. 

  • I replaced the cannon barrels in the nose with styrene rods and drilled out the tips. 

  • I added airflow spoilers onto the windscreen sides. 

  • I added clear lenses to all the navigation lights using super glue and accelerator. 




Camouflage and Markings


I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints and metalizers. The camouflage is the standard overall Gloss Sea Blue (F.S.15042). I was very happy when watching the movie to find Brubaker's aircraft was one of the ones that had natural metal wing roots. I like the break-up of the aircraft that these large unpainted areas make.



Decals for the F9F Panther aircraft of VF-192 come from SuperScale on decal sheet #48-374. The decal instructions claim the provided aircraft is Lt. Brubaker's aircraft from the movie. However, I needed to make serious revisions to the decals to actually match the markings shown in the movie. It beats me what movie the guy who created the decal sheet was watching as the aircraft depicted by the decals was never flown by Lt. Brubaker in the movie. I made the following revisions to the decals and instructions provided by SuperScale.

  • Nose Number -- In the movie it is 209. The decals provide 216. 

  • BuNo -- In the movie, aircraft 209 is 125598. The decals provide 126078. 

  • In the movie, the pilot name ("Lt H Brubaker") is on both sides of the aircraft in yellow, below the windscreen, using a Times Roman type face. The decals provide the name for only one side of the aircraft in white, using a Gothic type face. 

  • In the movie, the tips of all three tail surfaces are white. The decal instructions show only the vertical tail being tiped and claim the color is yellow. 

  • SuperScale did at least get the tail code and unit insignia correct. 

In addition to the unit markings from decal sheet #48-374, I also used the F9F-5 Data Markings decals from SuperScale found on decal sheet #48-376.



For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my article on "Weathering Aircraft".



Additional Images and Project Summary


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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

23 August 1993

Total Building Time:


Research (includes time watching the movie to take notes on the aircraft markings):






Decals / Markings:


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Models, Description and Images Copyright 2000 by David Aungst
Page Created 31 December, 2000
Last Updated 26 July, 2007

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