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P2V-7 Neptune

by David W. Aungst


P2V-7 Neptune


Hasegawa's 1/72 scale P2V-7 Neptune is available online from Squadron.com




It is amazing how the clean lines of an original design can be disrupted by assorted bumps and bulges in order to adapt the original design to a role it was actually not exactly designed to do. A great example of this is the P2V Neptune. Designed as a long range patrol bomber for the US Navy, by the time it reached its seventh variant, it had been adapted into an anti-submarine warfare platform.



Hasegawa's 1/72 Scale Neptune


This is the 1/72nd scale Hasegawa kit of the Neptune. Hasegawa's model of this aircraft is somewhat simplistic, lacking any real interior and only providing the basic airframe.


I was asked to build this model for a display at a local museum where they actually maintain a flying example of this aircraft. The museum afforded me complete access to their fully restored, full-size example. This provided me more than I really wanted to know about the shortcomings of the Hasegawa kit. To provide the museum with a model worthy of a museum display, I did the following to update and correct the stock Hasegawa kit.


Additions and Modifications

First on the list was adding an interior to the model. Many of the windows are quite large (since the aircraft is a surveillance and patrol aircraft) and afford a sizable view into the interior portions of the model. I opted not to build a complete interior as most of that would be invisible. Instead, I concentrated on detailing just the areas that are viewable through the windows. This included:

  • The cockpit.

  • The navigator's compartment (inside the nose).

  • The observer's compartment (just ahead of the tail).

I also:

  • added detailing inside the three wheel wells.

  • added the line antenna running from the fuselage to the tail top.

  • added and enhanced various antennas throughout the airframe.



Paint and Markings


I painted the exterior of the model using what were new paints at the time, X-tra Color. The X-tra Color line includes the correct color for the exterior of the airframe, known as Engine Gray (F.S. 16076). Since then, other manufactures have also started to produce this color, including the Testors Model Master line of paints. This is the color that the official US Navy specifications called for when the white fuselage top was introduced, replacing the overall Gloss Sea Blue (F.S. 15042) camouflage.

For markings, the museum requested that I build the model to represent the same aircraft the museum had on full-size display, BuNo 145915, from the time it was on duty with VP-24 at Guantanomo Bay in Cuba. This required me to delve deeply into my spare decals drawer to come up with all the lettering and numbering. I also used almost all of the thin yellow striping that I owned in order to add the wing walkways. The propeller warning stripe was particularly challenging as I had to hand paint the curve that crosses the front of the lower radar dome.

I weathered the model as I do most of my models using dilute enamel paint washes and highlighting applied by airbrush. The exhaust stains were especially challenging as the Neptune has very distinctive shapes and contours in the stains. I started these by using a light gray color to represent the lead content of the stain. Then I added a medium brown color to represent the burned portions of the stain. I completed the stain using black to represent the soot. The effect was as you see in the pictures. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".





In the end, the curator of the museum was delighted with my model, so much so that the model never has seen public display. Instead, the model lives on the curator's desk in his office. While this is not what I expected, I am fine with this private display.



Someday, I want to build another Neptune in the same markings for my own private display in the living room. For now, I am biding my time and wishing for a 1/48th scale injection molded model of the Neptune.



Additional Images and Project Summary


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Project Statistics

Completion Date:

September, 1990

Total Building Time:

60.0 (est)





Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):


Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2002 by David Aungst
Page Created 29 October, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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