If you have not heard of Model Monkey or looked at their web site, you should. I heard about Model Monkey about a year ago when my best friend since first grade
raved about the extreme quality and fidelity of a glacis front piece for an 1:35 scale Sherman tank that he was building. I looked at it and it was far superior than the
plastic part provided in the kit. Yes, that is correct for all of you Tread Heads and Sprocket Spuds,
Model Monkey provides super detailed parts for commercial armor
kits, as well as commercial naval models. In the naval realm there are parts for scales from 1:16 to 1:1250. With the re-release of the Renwal kits, you may want an
accurate island of different carriers designed for the Renwal
Shangri La, Essex Class Modernized aircraft carrier, or how about the popular conversion of the Renwal
Springfield into an all gun Cleveland Class. That and more await you at Model Monkey.
I was really interested in the Model Monkey parts designed to convert the HobbyBoss/Banner 1:350 scale Arizona into the Pacific Fleet flagship, USS
Pennsylvania
, on December 7, 1941. There are a host of parts available allowing the build of the 1941 Pennsylvania but it was the superstructure that most intrigued
me. What you receive are four parts designed to replace the kit's plastic
Arizona parts in order to build Husband Kimmel's pride, the Pennsylvania. The parts are
very clean and even have interior rooms. The photographs show the parts fitted together as well as separately.
Model Monkey is different than most 3rd party parts
manufacturers.
Steve Larsen of Model Monkey designs the parts but the actual production is done by Shapeways in Queens, New York. In essence, the parts are
cast to order. There are no stacks of parts boxes previously cast. Each order is handled one at a time, as they are ordered and then shipped from Shapeways to the
purchaser. As a consequence, when the parts arrive they are freshly cast. It is strongly recommended that before painting the parts that they be washed with Dawn
or other mild dishwashing fluid and then sun dried for a few hours for final curing. Since Shapeways uses a waxy substance in the production process, which will
undermine painting efforts unless cleaned. Also, use superglue as plastic cement won't work.

When I received the
Pennsylvania parts I was so excited about using the new toys I had acquired in January, a new Paasche airbrush and new Iwata variable PSI
compressor to paint the
Pennsylvania superstructure. In my rushed I did not wash or sun dry the parts first. I chose Lifecolor Dark Gray 5D as my paint of choice
as acrylic paints are recommended and mixed a 60% paint/ 40% Lifecolor thinner. My mixture was obviously too thin, as the paint puddled. I added more paint but
the spray coats were still too thin, so I brush painted the parts. I have kicked myself since then for not following the cleaning process before painting. After brush
painting the individual parts I again dry-fitted the parts together for photographs. I also used Micro Kristal Klear to glaze the windows.
The Model Monkey USS Pennsylvania 1941 superstructure is a high quality design, designed to replace the plastic parts of the plastic USS Arizona 1:350 scale
model released by HobbyBoss/Banner. These parts, along with other
Model Monkey Pennsylvania parts, open the door to new horizons for this kit.
Steve Backer
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